© Reuters. Commercial and residential buildings are seen in the Sisli district of Istanbul
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey announced a public investment program for 2021 worth 138.5 billion lira ($ 18.53 billion), with communications and transportation projects receiving the largest allocation of investment funds. The program, published in the Official Gazette late on Friday, set aside nearly $ 6 billion for public investments in the transportation and communications sectors in 2021, and another $ 2.6 billion for educational projects. Other areas of investment include manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, tourism, and energy. Under the program, the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure will receive about $ 2 billion, while the State Hydraulic Works (DSI) will receive $ 1.8 billion and the Highways Directorate $ 1.75 billion. President Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for nearly 20 years with five consecutive electoral victories, had enjoyed steady annual growth of around 5% through 2018 driven by cheap external credit and “mega projects” ranging from bridges and tunnels to roads, hospitals and other construction.