Qualification issue in the target of becoming the 10th country

Qualification issue in the target of becoming the 10th country

With International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recent global economic outlook, we have learned that the Turkish economy has changed places in the list of world economies. Turkey was ranked 17 in the world between the years 2004 and 2010 according to national income, but has moved down to 18 as of the end of 2011.

If you asked me whether or not this was important; I would say it is not a significant fall. However, because Turkey is targeting to become one of the top 10 economies in the world by 2023, the 100 anniversary of the republic, it is a development that needs to be scrutinized over.

I have not seen that the opposition parties have used this drop against the government. What would the ruling party have done if they were in opposition? I don’t know, but I can say the current opposition’s stance is positive. As a matter of fact, with 2012 end-of-year data, Turkey is likely to overtake Holland and climb back up to 17.

Dropping one place is not important but with this data, it is obvious that the target of becoming the 10th greatest economy has to be reviewed. If that target is to be met, then a new vision and new studies on how to meet this target are needed. It is not possible to reach that goal without a definite plan or with present “save the day” policies. If you asked whether we have administrators in place who are able to create such a plan, I don’t know. 

As we have been saying for years, Turkey has to seriously discuss, in detail, all the existing problems found within its economic infrastructure and determine its structural reforms as soon as possible and eliminate its economic imbalances. We have seen that a sustainable and stable growth will not be met with hot money policies. 

We have just seen the incentive system that was publicized the other day. Will this incentive system make us the 10 biggest economy by the year 2023? This system, we think, is only aiming to curb the current deficit but even that is doubtful. It has been launched as a system that would be a cure all for our problems. An atmosphere has been created as if we would undergo a boost in production with those incentives and as if we would do all this with almost entirely with domestic resources. 

Nobody can say that they have seen a general global vision behind this incentive system, which would carry Turkey into the ‘20s and ‘30s waiting ahead of us. They cannot say it because it is not there. 
We are increasingly recognizing that one of the essential problems of Turkey, of its economy and of its management is “qualification.” Everything is growing and increasing numerically, but it is not a “full” growth. It is not a growth that will carry Turkey, its economy and its people to the future. 

It is impossible to become a big and contemporary country with empty, showpiece perceptions that do not comply with global standards. Actually, instead of contemporary models, if you chose the China model based on cheap labor, lacking human rights and freedoms, then you can become the 10 country. Why not? 


Erdal SaĞlam is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which an abridged article was published on April 23. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff