The stagnation of the world economy affects developing countries most adversely. But for Turkey, in particular, the political risks in the case of a global economic crisis have always been higher than other developing countries. Instead of being merely a developing country, Turkey resides in the very center of world politics with its historical body of knowledge, imperial heritage and politico-strategical position.
Turkey has not only been a member of NATO, but it is also a candidate for the membership to the EU. Being part of the Balkan countries and the former patron of Middle Eastern countries, Turkey has been a traditional regional power for centuries. Today, Turkey's geographical position makes her a neighbor of Azerbaijan and Georgia in the Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine in the north, Middle Eastern countries in the south, and the countries of North Africa and southeastern Europe through the Mediterranean.
Such an invaluable politico-strategical position presents Turkey with immense economic opportunities. Relying on her comprehensive economy of production, Turkey has been exporting her products throughout all these regions. Thanks to their qualified infrastructure of production, Turkish companies satisfy the needs of not only non-productive economies of its region but also highly-developed economies of Europe.
In the 1970s, Necmettin Erbakan, the political leader of the National Salvation Party (Millî Selamet Partisi), was able to complete Turkey's infrastructural needs in heavy industry and turn the country into a self-sufficient economy in many fields, from the iron and steel industry to automobile and subsidiary industries.
Thanks to such industrial infrastructure, Turgut Özal was able to turn the country into a rapidly-growing liberal economy in the 1980s. Despite the fact that military interventions and coup d'etats interrupted the course of Turkey's halting democracy, its economy has always been highly-productive and vibrant.
Aiming to switch Turkey's economic strategy from heavy industry to high technology, Özal's vision had been groundbreaking at that time. Thanks to such an innovative and courageous leadership, Turkey's communications infrastructure was rapidly completed with fiber cables.
When the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002, Turkey's economy began to regrow rapidly. At that time, the growth rate of Turkey's economy was equivalent to those of the Chinese and Indian economies. In such an economic environment, Turkey's fundamental economic issues had been the completion of immense infrastructural projects and the resolution of growing urban problems through public and private investments. During this period, the AK Party realized unprecedented investments in various fields of economy.
If the economy of a country steadily grows, its lands become more valuable and its people become richer. Thanks to the increasing demands of the people, Turkey's construction sector has grown rapidly. Combined with infrastructural demands, the housing demands of the rapidly urbanizing economy turn the country into an immense construction site.
As Turkey's financial system was required to respond to the needs of booming construction firms, the profitable construction sector has not only awakened the interest of industrialists but also become all the more vital for the country's economic health.
As soon as financial stagnation emerged in the global economy, many experts urged Turkey to move from construction to production. Despite the realization of unprecedented investments in education and technology, Turkey has obviously arrived late to developing a prescient strategy on scientific, industrial, and technological production.
In the context of global economy, Germany emerges as one of the largest exporters in the world thanks to its industrial tradition. Following the German example, Turkey will certainly become the productive base of her region with strict economic planning, which paves the way for pioneering entrepreneurs. It can bypass bureaucratic clumsiness and remove the barriers standing against the investments of foreign capital. To become a stronger regional power, Turkey must put her productive economy at the center of her political agenda.
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