June 24, beyond any doubt, was the most important election in Turkey's history. These elections have not only succeeded in a change of the government system but the legislative power (Parliament) formed by the popular will present very important clues about the upcoming years. In terms of political sociology, the June 24 vote was a very important example of political transformation.
The Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) 16 years in power, determined by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have already been a silent revolution, spread over time in terms of the process undergone. The economic dynamics of this revolution have also determined political ones, bringing Turkey to this transformation. In this whole process, we have been faced with a very comprehensive resistance of the "old." From the very beginning, the established powers of the old tutelary system have alternately staged numerous coup attempts, trying to prevent Erdoğan with any kind of anti-democratic initiative. However, after coming to power, Erdoğan and his party have been the representative of a democratic transformation in Turkey. In this sense, assessments about Erdoğan in the foreign media are manipulative and deliberate news and interpretations that are far from objective journalism and are incompatible with journalistic ethics. Turkey's people gave the most comprehensive answer to this on June 24. With the world's most democratic election that had the highest turnout, Erdoğan became Turkey's first elected president.
In terms of the economy, the most important dynamic that brought the June 24 transformation to maturity is the fact that the Turkish economy, under Erdoğan's leadership, has entered an industrialization process as a competitive small and medium sized enterprise economy. Essentially, this process is the most important dynamic that has brought Erdoğan's electoral success in political terms as well. At one point, this can be explained as a Turkey-specific new-deal program.
In the past, enterprises all over Anatolia were working as undergrown and domestic market-oriented structures, which were the vendors of large capital belonging to several families that were located in and around Istanbul. The main so-called industry was large white goods and automobile-oriented assembly workshops stuck in the Istanbul-Gebze-Bursa line. First, this structure came to the end of the road with the 1994 crisis. Then, the 2001 crisis swept its finance and service pillars.
The vendor networks of the large "industrial" capital also came to unravel in this process, and thousands of small enterprises and workshops started looking for a new way out. The economic and social narrative of this process undoubtedly transcends the boundaries of this column. However, Erdoğan's economic line, particularly from 2008 onward, has pushed up industrial enterprises in the provinces such as Kayseri, Malatya and Gaziantep, in addition to Istanbul and Bursa (with infrastructure investments, highways, airports, Anatolia universities, ports and railway networks). The economy, which started to grow with intensive infrastructure investments, actualized this with the public-private partnership (PPP) models out of the budget. As Erdoğan said, this was a unique "resource diversification."
These investments have also defined a higher consumption habit and a new settled modernity in Anatolian cities. This new modernity has also created Erdoğan's undeviating mass, which has surprised everyone. As the beacons of all Anatolian cities, universities and modern health campuses have become the embodiment of this new common wealth, i.e., of new social prosperity. At one point, this is a "commonwealth," i.e., the politicization of common welfare as a new path.
Four years ago, on July 9, 2014, just before Erdoğan became the first elected president, I had written: "To me, the thesis that Turkey will head toward an inward-looking state-central economic model, in the case that Erdoğan becomes president, is some of the worst disinformation about Turkey recently; a point of view which is wrong in many aspects. Contrary to this claim, if we are to mention the economy of Erdoğan's presidency, we have to talk about a new growth model, which prioritizes an open economy with market-friendly and anti-monopolistic regulations. This new model indicates the emergence of a new commonwealth that will positively affect both Turkey and neighboring countries."
As you know, interestingly enough, the name of former British Empire is "commonwealth," meaning the community of nations. However, the name United Kingdom is better suited to Britain; for the societies under its colonization were pushed to eternal poverty through plundering, let alone achieving welfare.
However, our territories are the lands of being together and developing together. With this new economy on the rise, Turkey is striving to push up not only itself, but also Middle East and Asia Minor which have been racked with poverty so far. In this sense, the Erdoğan economy also tells all the energy agreements and roads made in the entire Middle East, Caspian and Mediterranean regions in recent years, as well as capital export to these regions. Thanks to this economy, Turkey has become one of the first four economies in the world that provides emergency humanitarian aid.
This means new and common enrichment and democratization. Obviously, this is the common wealth or common prosperity. However, this is a union very different from Britain's commonwealth. After four years, Erdoğan has been elected the first president of Turkey in the new presidential system. However, they tell the same off-told story and we reiterate it: 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. 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. I will address this path in detail in the next article.
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