“The Turkish economy is still growing though more slowly, and the current account deficit has now reached an alarming size, make any sudden stop a real danger (and the bubbly housing market might still turn south). More importantly, it’s becoming harder for even outsiders not to see the problems in Turkish politics.”
Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
Die Türkei sorgt gerade für Schlagzeilen, aber genaue Kenntnisse über das Land sind im Westen nicht weit verbreitet. Wir haben das Buch “Why Nations Fail” von Daron Acemoglu und James Robinson und seine Kernthesen in FAZIT mehrfach behandelt (unter anderem hier und hier und hier). Die beiden Autoren betreiben ein gleichnamiges und sehr lesenswertes Blog, in dem sie unter anderem über die Anwendung ihrer institutionenökonomischen Überlegungen auf allerlei Länder und Völker berichten. Im Februar und März 2013 haben sie einen Sechsteiler über die Türkei verfasst *), der durch die aktuellen Ereignisse noch an Interesse gewinnt.
Wir verweisen nachfolgend auf die sechs Beiträge, deren Lektüre viele Erkenntnisse verspricht (sofern man nicht schon ein ausgewiesener Experte in Geschichte, Politik und Wirtschaft der Türkei ist):
What’s afoot in Turkey?
“A few snippets should give a fairly good sense of how Turkey is fast turning from democratic haven in the Middle East to unblemished authoritarianism.”
“It will be no surprise to readers of Why Nations Fail that we see the roots of the current problems in the history of Turkish institutions, which trace back to the Ottoman heritage. We argued in Why Nations Fail that the Ottoman Empire was a perfect specimen of absolutist political institutions, concentrating power in the hands of the Sultan and a narrow elite. First and foremost, this was the result of the highly militaristic nature of the Ottoman state…”
“Much of the historiography of modern Turkey emphasizes the major reforms and revolutions leading to the founding of the Turkish Republic. One might then have expected a rupture from the Ottoman institutions we discussed in the previous post. But the importance of modernizing efforts, coups and revolutions during this period of modern Turkish history notwithstanding, there are also powerful continuities between Ottoman and modern Turkish institutions. In fact, one aspect of institutions has remained in essence largely unchanged, casting a long shadow on modern Turkish society: the absence of state institutions and bureaucracy independent from the ruling elite.”
Black Turks, White Turks
“White Turks here are the well-educated, well-to-do Kemalist elites fashioning themselves on (some of) Atatürk’s ideas. They are often associated with state bureaucracy and the military. Black Turks are those that the White Turks see as low-educated, lower-class and either still peasants or unable to have shaken off their peasant heritage.”
The Political Economy of Turkey
“But one should not exaggerate the prospects of the Turkish economy. It has experienced sizable current account deficits over the last several years and there are also other signs that it will not be able to sustain the growth rates of the 2000s, and growth already slowed down considerably in 2012. In fact, there is no evidence that Turkey has broken out of what some like to call “the middle income trap,” and does not seem poised to achieve East Asian-type growth rates that would be necessary to close the gap with European Union economies. We believe this is just a reflection of the fact that Turkish economic and political institutions are still far from being fully inclusive. Even though the AKP has gone some way towards leveling the playing field, particularly making economic opportunities more widely available to Anatolian small and medium-sized businesses, the problems in politics we identified in our first post in this series are looming large.”
The Road ahead for Turkey
“Some may read our account of Turkish institutions and political economy so far as bleak. After all, haven’t we seen an authoritarian turn and the erosion of civil liberties? These worrying signs notwithstanding, a cautiously optimistic read is also possible. Perhaps Turkey is going through the pains of “institutional rebalancing”.”
*) Man darf vermuten, dass der Sechsteiler im wesentlichen von Daron Acemoglu, der aus der Türkei stammt, verfasst worden ist.