Last Tuesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan conducted a “two-year presidential cabinet evaluation meeting.” Following this meeting, which assessed the past two years, certain criticisms were brought upon Erdoğan regarding his speech on the subject of the economy, so I deemed that it would be beneficial to reiterate a few critical subjects.
Who but Erdogan could have handled it?
Let’s take a look at the events that transpired in Turkey within the last eight years.
Feb. 7, 2012, The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) crisis: an attempt was made to arrest MIT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Erdoğan, who was Turkey’s prime minister back then.
May 2013, The Gezi Park events: Turkey was face to face with a street movement that lasted for months and which cost its economy billions of dollars.
Dec. 17-25, 2013 coup attempt: Members of a terror organization who had infiltrated the judiciary and Turkey’s police launched a coup against the government. During the same event, Halkbank, which would later transform into a problem in America, was utilized and we entered a period that cost the economy over $100 billion.
Oct. 6-7, 2014, Civil War Rehearsals: The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) dug trenches in Turkey’s east and the flames of a possible civil war were fanned.
Following the elections on June 7, 2015 Turkey struggled once more during the coalition period.
July 15, 2016: Turkey faced a deadly coup attempt launched by terrorists who had infiltrated the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).
When we take into consideration this period wherein Turkey faced half a dozen financial attacks and sanctions against its economy, which cost it hundreds of millions of dollars, we need to ask: Which country other than Turkey could have survived this intense an attack?
Wake up and smell the coffee!
The problems we faced were not all internal. The issue of the downing of the Russian plane, U.S. sanctions, the civil war in Syria, the Cyprus issue, the events in the East Mediterranean, the effects of the sanctions against Iran, and finally the EU’s and Greece’s policies against Turkey all demonstrate that Turkey has been trying to break a siege.
We are speaking of an economy that increased its exports and strove to create job opportunities for its youth all while simultaneously fighting against terror groups like the PKK, Daesh and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). When considered in this light, it would be a complete injustice to analyze Turkey’s economy with just a few variables.
Why do we need the presidential system?
It could’ve taken any other country years to emerge from the aftershocks of even one of the events I have mentioned above.
Turkey however dealt with a myriad of these problems and soldiered on. With the implementation of the presidential system it was able to make decisions quicker and more effectively.
We have witnessed the greatest example of this during the pandemic. It seems that, as Turkey’s influence in the region grows and as it takes initiatives that prioritize its economic independence, these attacks will only continue. We are at an extreme advantage because the presidential government system is in place, hence quick and efficacious responses are possible.