Freedom of expression, press issues in Turkey affecting economic growth: Expert
Öykü Altuntaş – Doğan News AgencyThe political system and the rule of law have a significant effect on a country’s growth in the long term aside from macroeconomics, said a leading economist and daily Hürriyet columnist, highlighting the issues of freedom of expression and the press in Turkey in terms of economics.
Speaking at a Transparency International Turkey panel, Hürriyet columnist Uğur Gürses said the growth model of Turkey depended on household consumption, making freedom of expression and of the press pertinent.
“Freedom of expression and of the press are of crucial importance for the economy as the growth model of the country relies on the consumption of households,” Gürses said, adding that the main financial sources in Turkey were loans and external capital.
The authority of the government over other institutions, especially due to moves to politicize the judicial system, along with a number of bans and limitations on the freedom of the media, have eroded checks and balances on the political authority, according to Transparency International Turkey’s National Integrity System Assessment – Turkey report, which was released on April 7.
“The fact that Turkey is increasingly losing the separation of powers shakes confidence in the economy,” Gürses said, warning that the country had begun to lose any of its advantages.
He also said there would be no investment in a country where court decisions were taken as arbitrary.
Investments, which make up 20 percent of Turkish economy, were largely halted after 2011, he said.
“We are wasting Turkey’s economic potential for the sake of political dominance,” Gürses said.
Gürses also said the primary economic need in the country was tax reform.