By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
When the global financial crisis sent economies around the world into a tailspin, officials from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP insisted that the country would remain unaffected. One of the reasons appeared to be a simple refusal to acknowledge that anything negative could happen to the Turkish economy while the AKP was in government. Another seems to have been a reluctance to introduce austerity measures in the run-up to the local elections of March 29, 2009. There is a danger that the combination of pride and political short-termism could both deepen the impending economic recession in Turkey and threaten the social and political fabric of the country.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The effects of the global economic crisis are increasingly making themselves felt in Turkey as well. After having initially taken the position that Turkey would somehow remain shielded from the global unrest, the AKP government has gradually been forced to acknowledge the vulnerability of the Turkish economy. However, with continued political instability and with the upcoming local elections, the AKP government is having severe difficulties in mustering the required ability to manage the unfolding economic crisis.
The explosion at the Soma coal mine that claimed the lives of three hundred workers has led some to critical comments against the neo-liberal economic regime in Turkey. Hasan Cemal, a liberal commentator, argues that it’s time to revisit long-forgotten notions like social justice and he questions the wisdom of totally expelling the state from the economy. The rising tensions in Turkish society are of great concern for many commentators. Oral Çalışlar, a liberal, warns that Turkey is drifting toward chaos. And although he does not hold Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan solely responsible for this dangerous drift, he nonetheless argues that Erdoğan’s reactions exacerbate the polarization and he urges him to take steps that ease the tensions. Yüksel Taşkın, a social democratic academic and columnist, accuses the AKP government of having intentionally alienated the Alevis and he warns that especially the Alevi youth has become a powder keg that is ready to blow up.
by Ben Welch (vol. 6, no. 6 of the Turkey Analyst)
While the recent decision of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to cancel a privatization tender has caused concern, due to the unpredictable nature of the intervention, Turkey remains a popular venue for international investors seeking high-yielding infrastructure purchases. With more positive news in the first quarter of 2013 reflecting declines in the current account deficit, reasonable projected growth over the next few years, and the demographics pointing in the right direction, the stage is set for continued interest in the Turkish privatization market.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.