The world is moving into another technological age, which is to say that we have moved on from the Internet age to the age of artificial intelligence (AI), with the U.S. and China leading the way. Turkey should consider its next steps very carefully as, unlike many other nations, we have limited resources. For example, Turkey does not have the oil or gas that provide other countries a lot of revenue; however, this setback does not mean that Turkey is not eligible to be a self-sufficient economy.
China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey have some similarities when it comes to their past. One example being that the United States had both constructive and destructive roles in relations with these countries. In other words, the U.S. had a role to play in their development. Due to intense focus, moving in the right direction and after many sacrifices, these countries have transformed themselves from war-torn countries to the world's leading economies. China is regarded as the second largest economy, Japan as the third largest and South Korea as the 11th largest in the world for nominal gross domestic product (GDP), while Turkey is 17th.
Japan was defeated by the U.S. in 1945, while the Korean Peninsula saw war in the 1950s, where Turkey had a part to play. On the other hand, China was established under the Communist regime in 1949 and faced much internal turbulence.
Wars, as well as other internal or external issues, have not stopped these countries from having their own technological brands. Instead, they have continued to work harder. Today, each country mentioned above has succeeded in many things both internally and globally. It is their hard work that has paved the way for their brands to be known universally.
Some Chinese branded cars include Geely since 1987, Chery since 1997, Dongfeng since 1969, Hongqoi since 1958 and SAIC Motor since 1955; whilst Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi and Honor are Chinese branded phones. Japan has had Honda since 1946, Lexus since 1989, Mitsubishi since 1970, Nissan Motor Company since 1933, Isuzu since 1916, Mazda since 1915, Toyota since 1937, both Yamaha and Suzuki since 1909, while Fujitsu, Panasonic, Sharp and Sony are some examples of well-known Japanese companies. South Korea has had the Hyundai Motor Company since 1967, Kia Motors since 1944, Daewoo since 1967 (now under General Motors) and Ssang Yong since 1994, while LG and Samsung are Korean technological companies known around the world.
On the other hand, Turkey has technological companies such as Arcelik and Vestel. However, when we compare Turkey to other countries, including China, Japan and South Korea, it seems Turkey has lagged in some sectors. These sectors include technology, practicality and economy. This gives us the opportunity to compare the performances of the governments before 2002 and after 2002. Therefore, similar to what Turkey has done with its defense sector during the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) era, it is time the country adopts sharp, consistent policies in other sectors as well.
For the visions of 2023, 2071
If not all parties, at least the allied AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) should consider establishing an economic-financial council that could monitor political parties to keep an eye on economic policies and progress – both of which would be focused on long-term goals determined by the consensus of all parties in Parliament.
In this respect, whichever party takes power would have economic goals that need to be achieved. This way, the people could monitor whether the previous government had any success in fulfilling its economic promises. This council could push and check the ruling party to achieve the anticipated economic targets from time to time. For example, when a party is elected to power, the council may inform the new government about shortcomings in the system. So, the party can directly focus on these shortcomings while also fulfilling their own campaign promises.
This system would work to prevent unnecessary internal economic delays and could expand into each sector or ministry; by doing so, it would decrease bureaucratic deficiencies. This council could be composed of a range of people from the industrial, commercial and financial sectors, including intellectuals, experts and so on, for 10 years to provide sustainable development. The members of the council should be able to stay abreast with national and international surroundings.
This system could be improved in detail and may be well suited in Turkey to understand stable economic and financial goals for times when the AK Party is in power and when they are not.
To reach the first vision of 2023, Turkey needs to start its belt-tightening policy by making a prioritized list that should include professionalism in every bureaucratic segment of the country.
* Ph.D. candidate in international relations at the University of Malaya, Malaysia