Joris Gjata (vol. 2, no. 20 of the Turkey Analys)
Since May 10, 2008 Turkey has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over another three-year Stand-by Agreement, the corresponding loan and its conditionality. Despite debates on the need for such agreement, implicit in the statements of the IMF and Turkey’s authorities, the fact is that they both want it. However, there is no deal yet, its conclusion being delayed by the Turkish government. The reason for such a delay is not the political cost of an IMF agreement, as is generally supposed: it is the lack of a compelling political benefit from announcing the decision early. Yet, the reluctance of the Turkish government risks coming at a cost for the recovery of the Turkish economy.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 15 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey has been severely affected by the global economic crisis. The country is in deep recession. However, it is still uncertain whether an agreement with the International Monetary Fund will be reached. The agreement with the IMF was expected to be signed after the local elections in March 2009, but the Turkish government continues to postpone the issue. The non-existence of an agreement with the IMF is above all a testimony to the lack of any economic administration to speak of. To implement the measures that are necessary if Turkey is to avoid another economic collapse means that the AKP must be prepared to sacrifice its hold on power.
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.
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.