By Barış Soydan
February 19, 2020
Massive infrastructure projects have become the bedrock of the political economy of Turkey. With the projected building of a canal that would devastate Istanbul’s ecology, and which will vastly increase the budget deficit, the destructive consequences of the collusion of state power and business interests in Turkey risks reaching unprecedented levels. While Turkish crony capitalism requires new mega projects to survive, the Turkish political regime must keep feeding its cronies in order to retain its grip on the country. But the ultimate project of Turkish crony capitalism could spell the end of Istanbul.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
Capitalism is the key to understand the political journey of the Turkish republic. Capitalist development explains the transition to multiparty democracy, the military coups, and most lately the ascent of Muslim conservatives to power. But the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has ceased to be a vehicle of capitalist development as it has increasingly veered toward a conservatism that does not provide for the needs of advanced capitalism. If the ninety years of republican history is any guide, then Turkish capitalism can be expected to produce another political remedy to its predicament.
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.