Jun 27 2018

Turkey plans deep reforms in Erdogan ‘commonwealth’

Turkey will enact deep-rooted reforms to deal with its economic problems under a “commonwealth” model that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced since he came to power, said Cemil Ertem, Erdogan’s senior economic adviser.

Presidential and parliamentary elections, won by Erdogan and his ruling party on Sunday, will herald a new era of economic reform, Ertem wrote in a regular column for the Daily Sabah newspaper on Wednesday.

“This new Erdoğan era will strengthen the free market economy, further improve investment environment, make independent regulatory and supervisory institutions more efficient and strengthen common welfare in line with new industrialization and exports,” he said. “It looks like we will have a smooth five years ahead.

“With regard to our structural problems such as inflation and the current account deficit, deep-rooted reforms will undoubtedly come up very soon.”

The main reasons why Erdogan won the elections can be summarized by policies that spread wealth among the lower and middle classes, through an economic model based on growth. It also brought small and medium-sized companies into an economy previously dominated by old capital whose main business was to assemble cars, fridges and washing machines, Ertem said. This is the main reason of Erdogan’s political success, he said.

Erdogan has built the infrastructure to support and grow this new commonwealth, including bridges, roads, mega hospitals and universities, Ertem said.

Those policies also included constructing energy and other infrastructure in the Middle East and Mediterranean, meaning that Erdogan’s commonwealth, unlike that of the United Kingdom, is spreading wealth, not plundering it, he said.