About Turkey- economic review
Turkey is in the most strategically important location as it “straddles” the two continents, Asia and Europe. This fact of fortune has made Istanbul-- being on the Bosphorus--( the thoroughfare and control over the Black Sea to the Aegean), a mecca for multitudes of cultures to conquer. It was the center of the Ottoman Empire until the 1920’s when the nationalist leader “Ataturk” took over and modernized Turkey into a secular republic with voting rights for women, a new Latin alphabet and an upsurge towards Western life.
Turkey became an EU candidate country in 1999 revising economic reforms, introducing substantial human rights, abolishing the death penalty, and in general, putting in place tougher measures regarding torture and the penal code. Also, reforms were introduced in the area of: Kurdish culture, language, education, and women rights.
Turkey has had it’s ups and downs progressing towards democracy and a market economy. The army saw itself as the guarantor of the constitutions that Ataturk put in place. There were many efforts to reduce state control over the economy and as of 2002 a tough recovery program was put into place with austerity measures imposed.
In 2002 there was a landslide election victory of the Islamic-based Justice and Development Party (AKP). This is a traditional society mores deeply rooted in Islam. There are constant oppositions challenging the constitutional right of the AKP to be the party of government. As recently as 2008, the Constitutional Court narrowly rejected a petition to ban the AKP for seeking to establish an Islamic state.
EU membership talks were launched in Oct. 2005 and are expected to take approx. 10 years however, the going has not been easy. T here are differences with Greece over the divided island of Cyprus and other territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea and several EU countries continue to have serious misgivings ovr Turkeys membership into the EU. .
So, as of 2008, due to the 2002 austerity program, Turkey actually was more prepared and in a better position to weather the economic crisis that many other countries in the EU and America have been experiencing. As of 2011, enviable concerns were being raised over whether the “boom” was sustainable.