The economy's referendum expectation - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

The economy's referendum expectation

Turkey's economy, which has for the past 15 years achieved a widely acknowledged growth trend, is now at the furthest point that it can possibly reach within the existing system. The difficulty of writing a new success story with this system has become quite clear.

The need for structural reform, which has been stated numerous times over the last few years, has reached the point to where it can no longer be delayed. Hence, the presidential government system that will take effect with the April 16th referendum is almost going to be a triggering factor for the change and transformations that are needed.

With a winning result in the referendum for the "yes" camp, the system will transform from its existing loutish structure to one that is faster, more efficient and able to make stronger decisions. As a result, the structural reforms that were planned for years but could never be realized in a true sense can now be implemented without wasting time.

Also, one of the greatest expectations is the formation of an atmosphere, in which the structural reforms that could not previously be realized will be quickly implemented and stability, both political and economic, will be secured.

The business world awaits

One of the most significant benefits of the system to take effect following a “yes" win in the referendum is the environment of stability that will be brought to the economy. Turkey has experienced four elections since 2014; a local election on March 30, 2014; a presidential election on August 10, 2014; and two general elections, with one on June 7, 2015 and the other on November 1, 2015.

Despite having a strong political party in power, the ballots the people have faced in the last three years have led to expectations for the economy, a slowdown in investments and delayed plans. This means that people's expenditures and investors' investments were postponed.

The acceptance of this referendum, in which the presidential government system will be put to vote, will secure stability in administration. With the new system, the parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on the same day and elections will be repeated every five years.

As a result, market actors will be able to plan major mid- and long-term investments and take more determined steps without limiting themselves to short-term plans.

The last 3 days

The referendum is going to be held on the upcoming Sunday. According to the survey results revealed in the last three days ahead of the referendum, the “yes" votes are in the lead. As a matter of fact, according to some surveys, the difference between the “yes" and “no" votes is very high.

However, the common target of both the “yes" and “no" fronts is the “undecided" voters.

While the “no" camp states that this mass will display an attitude in their favor and that the results can still change, the “yes" camp thinks the groups classified as “undecided" are inclined to vote yes. It is clear that the efforts to be made in the last three days will be entirely targeting this group.

However, the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) strategy is to speak one-to-one with the undecided voters who are inclined to say “yes" and explain to them the advantages of the new system, meeting the demands of the voters who say: “I am undecided, because I still don't know the exact contents of the articles."

During these one-to-one discussions held in friendly settings, the AK Party base explains what the articles mean, the kind of changes they will lead to and what advantages the new system will provide for Turkey.

Here, the role of the party's voter base, who work alongside the AK Party as much if not more than the AK Party itself, is great. While there are still those among the administrators of the opposition party who do not know what the constitutional articles will change, the AK Party base has a good command of both the articles that are going to change as well as what these changes will bring.

Hence, one of the greatest actors in the likely success of the referendum is the AK Party base.


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