WEEK

Turkish Wrestling

Bosphorus bridge

Turkey has begun to build its position already after economic crisis in 2001, when a large budget deficit entailed a retreat of foreign investors. They withdrew a capital of 70 billion dollars in a matter of few months what has led Turkish lira to slump and caused stock exchange crash. Crisis, triggered directly by the budget deficit was also connected with Turkish political instability at that time. Corruption allegations, inability to form a ruling coalition disillusioned Turkish society disappointed with the situation.

In 2001 new political party appeared on the political scene. Former Mayor of Istanbul Recep Tayyp Erdogan set up the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a year later received 34 percent in parliamentary elections, what let the party form majority government. R.Erdogan was a Prime Minister from 2003 till 2014, when he became a president, elected in the first national direct presidential vote. Since 2002 party has been gaining a significant support in consecutive elections. Today nearly half of voters support AKP.

R. Erdogan appears to be the leader, for whom Turks have waited. His government is a time of economy recovery and reestablishing a stronger position in the international arena. Since then poverty in Turkey decreased by half, wages increased by 30 percent, GDP has been going up, access to healthcare and education has been improved.

Latest coup attempt is another blow to Turkey. Over the course of a year Turkey was a target of several terrorist attacks. Recent attack at the international Airport in Istanbul resulted in 40 dead. Previous incidents took place also in Ankara. These events have badly affected Turkish economy.

Tourism sector has been already touched by the situation by reason of a dramatic fall in number of tourists keen to go on holiday to Turkey. Conflict with Russia over shooting down of Russian fighter jet had also an influence on the situation. After that event President Putin called on his countryman not to spend their vacation in Turkey and the Russians are one of the largest group that visits this country.
Turkey is one of the six self – sufficient countries in the world in terms of food. Agriculture generates 8,1 percent of Turkey’s GDP and provides employment for 25 percent of labor force. In addition, agriculture forms an essential part of Turkey’s export.

Another important branch of export are products manufactured by Turkish industry, including vehicles and electronics. Turkish Beko brand is present and well known across Europe.Turkey clearly goes in the direction of industrialization and last years are boom time in the defense industry. American military base with nuclear arsenal is located in Incirlik. What is interesting and little-known, Turkey produces F-16 fighter under American license!

Army in Turkey plays a special role. Since 1923, when the Republic of Turkey was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, army has perceived itself as the guardian of secular nature of the State. Since then, army has repeatedly intervened in domestic politics. It could do that due to the Inner Service Act of The Turkish Armed Forces that was pushed through after a coup in 1961. This Act has given legitimacy for military intervention into politics. Since then, Turkish armed forces have conducted four coups (including the last one on July 15), with various effects. R. Erdogan’s government is against such a prominent role of army and tries to reduce it i.a. by making amendments to the mentioned act.

Turkey has second army in the NATO, is a member of World Trade Organization and already since the 80s last century has applied for EU membership. The state explicitly aspires to regional leadership.Coup attempt on Friday, June 15 and worldwide commotion related to that situation only highlighted increasing Turkey’s importance in maintaining global order.