Newspaper seller Menderes is beaming: "Everything is great!" His newsstand is located at the Kadiköy ferry landing on the Asian side of Istanbul. Business is going well these days -- and not just for Menderes. The Turkish economy is booming, registering the second-fastest growth rate in the world last year at 8.5 percent. The country has a young population and the consumer culture is robust.
Menderes doesn't shy away from making comparisons to Europe when it comes to the economy, either. "There is no crisis in Turkey," he says. "Our Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is doing a good job!" When asked what he thinks of Turkey's long-standing bid to become a European Union member state, the 30-year-old says he is no longer interested in the subject. "We don't want to be dependent on others," he says. "We are stronger on our own."