The current account deficit increased to a record $6,380 million in 1993 compared with $942 million for the previous year, according to official figures.

The main reason was a 73 per cent increase in the trade deficit to $14,162 million over the period.

Imports rose by 29 per cent to $29,772 million on the back of high domestic consumption. Exports increased by only 4.8 per cent to $15,610 million. The poor export performance was due to recession in Turkey’s main European markets and uncompetitive export prices from an overvalued lira.

Tourism earnings rose by 9 per cent to $3,025 million, while expatriate remittances declined marginally to $2,919 million. During the year, foreign debt repayment totalled $7,873 million. Direct foreign investment fell by 20.2 per cent to $622 million.

Total foreign debt increased to $65,875 million during the first three quarters of 1993 from $55,592 million at end-1992, according to official figures. Short-term debt increased by 30.6 per cent to $16,543 million, and long/medium-term debt by 14.9 per cent to $49,332 million. Market sources say the end-1993 total may be near $70,000 million.