Recently, the economy has been at the top of Turkey’s political agenda. Despite the achievements of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in addressing Turkey’s infrastructure problems, the government has been particularly criticized due to the rising exchange rate. This persistent problem of Turkey’s finances can only be solved by strengthening the country’s production economy. It is true that when foreign investment exploded in Turkey in 2015, the AKP party government could have focused more on production than on public investment. By designing a long-term plan, the government could have moved Turkey from an investment economy to a production economy.
Nevertheless, it is not too late to reverse the course of the Turkish economy, which is based on solid foundations. Turkey’s productive capacity has grown considerably since the 1960s. Following the path of the late President Turgut Özal, AKP party governments have not only carried out huge infrastructure projects, but also transformed Turkey into a regional economic center that attracts private investment internationally. Currently, Turkey is one of the leading economies in its region with significant production capacity.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when major countries in Europe suffered from economic stagnation and depression, the Turkish economy proved its resilience through its productive capacity. Along with South Korea, Japan and Germany, Turkey has successfully weathered the most difficult times of the pandemic. However, as the pandemic is still far from over, it is crucial to make practical suggestions to help the government overcome the current financial problems.
As is known, the AKP party governments have largely solved the huge housing problem in Turkey by building hundreds of thousands of houses through the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI). As the Turkish industrial sector urgently needs land and factories in various industrial zones, a similar state institution could be founded to build and lease factories to businessmen. Just as the needs of the Turkish military have been met by the national defense sector, all other public institutions should meet their needs, from medical instruments and devices to research and development through domestic private companies. By relying on its own resources, Turkey will not only strengthen its independence, but all related sectors will also be strengthened, providing jobs and income for businessmen and workers. This strategy must be implemented not only as a governmental act but as an economic mobilization at the national level.
After realizing huge projects in Turkey, leading construction companies should start focusing their energy in the international construction and industry sector. The government should guide these companies to invest in North Africa, the Middle East and even the United States. Such an expansion of the private construction sector in Turkey towards the international market will also ease their pressure on politics.
Turkish businessmen should develop new business models in our region of influence to utilize Turkey’s production capacity in international markets, such as the growing North African market. As Chinese products become more expensive than before, Turkish industry could meet the needs of our region, increasing its export capacity to countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Turkey’s problems in the financial sector could only be solved by strengthening its well-established industrial sector. I believe that the new economic path of the AK Party government should transform the Turkish economy into a production economy.