Turkey at a Crossroads: The Political Economy of Turkey’s Transformation
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AbstractEconomics and politics are inextricably linked in all countries. This is particularly true for Turkey, which is at a crossroads where politics overwhelmingly dominates economics. An accurate understanding of the way in which the Turkish economy integrates into the global markets, therefore, will not be possible unless the broader political context is understood. This paper argues that Turkey is geared up for a regime change, which is likely to be more authoritarian and less secular. It first emphasizes the Islamist-oriented Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) radical policy discrepancies, which appear as inconsistencies at first glance but in effect complement each other in the face of dynamic political changes to achieve a regime change. It then focuses on the role of economic policies that were designed to create an artificial economic miracle and to stimulate short-term consumption to achieve successive election victories. However, since the “economic success” was built on weak fundamentals, only a more authoritarian regime could rescue the AKP. The paper concludes by discussing the presidential system, which is essential to seal what has been achieved and facilitate further and more radical transformations.