Turkey's exports were up by a quarter in the first three weeks of June from the previous month's level, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, predicting an economic recovery would accelerate after the downturn caused by the coronavirus.

Exports had slumped more than 40 percent year-on-year in May but the government relaxed its lockdown measures as the number of new coronavirus cases shrank and it says the worst is over for its trade performance.

Turkey Exports up by a Quarter

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Reuters

"The first three weeks' export data for June is 25 percent more than May," Erdogan said at a ceremony marking the opening of a new wastewater tunnel. "We see that foreign markets are starting to recover."

"We anticipate the acceleration of the economic recovery and strong growth rates in the last two quarters of the year," he added. Government officials say a strong second-half recovery could still see Turkey register modest GDP growth in 2020, though others see a contraction, including the International Monetary Fund which expects a five percent decline.