The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has given a robust defence of Labour's performance in Government.

Tánaiste said that he knows that there are some in the party who are sometimes more comfortable in opposition.

He said that the Labour Party in Government had taken on a responsibility to turn the economy around and would not pull back from that.

The Tánaiste said it was about more than people keeping their seats and that the country's problems go beyond whatever political self interest some TDs may have.

He was speaking in Istanbul at the start of a four day trade visit to Turkey.

The Tánaiste told RTÉ that the serious issue which needs to be addressed is economic recovery.

He said the Government needed to press ahead urgently to get jobs and investment as well as dealing with mortgage difficulties.

He insisted his leadership of the party is secure.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore has begun an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Turkey.

He is leading a delegation of 24 Irish companies.

The Tánaiste will visit both Ankara and Istanbul during the four-day visit.

He will hold a series of meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, government ministers and senior officials on trade and economic cooperation.

Mr Gilmore will also visit a camp housing Syrian refugees near the border between the two countries.