TUSIAD-US issued a new working paper entitled, “Reform Efforts of the DSP-MHP-ANAP Coalition In Turkey: Signs Of Change Amid Crises”. Written by the TUSIAD-US staff, Mr. Yakup Beris and Ms. Asli Gurkan the working paper draws attention to the reform process initiated by the Ecevit government, which has lately been undervalued, as the recent economic crises triggered an immense sense of pessimism in/about Turkey. It claims that such a reform process is likely to have a crucial impact on the overhauling of political and economic structures in the country. The paper concludes as the following:
“The ruling period of the current DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition, the 57th government of Turkey, has so far been a controversial episode in Turkish political history. The formation of the government coincided with rising nationalist sentiments, triggered by various domestic and international developments, such as the capture of separatist PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the EU’s exclusionary decisions towards Turkey in the Luxembourg Summit. Ironically, three parties with radically different political constituencies and agendas were bound to come together in June 1999, with a resolve to achieve key political and economic reforms necessary to overcome longstanding difficulties within the country that had grown throughout 1990s.
Turkey has faced many challenging issues during the Ecevit government, one of the most striking being the two recent economic crises, which deeply shook the foundations of Turkish life. This evidently led to increased pessimism in the way in which most analysts have evaluated the current coalition government’s performance.
However, this negative sentiment should not overshadow the importance of the ongoing reform process, initiated by the Ecevit government, that paved the way towards improvements in democratization and the transformation of Turkey’s economic structures. Despite its flaws and deficiencies, and in spite of resistance even within the government itself, the reform process resoundingly achieved what the previous governments failed to do during the last ten years.
The concept of “crisis” is most frequently used to describe Turkey’s current problematic situation. Equivocally, it also implies a period of a major transformation, an opportunity for change and renaissance within the political and economic contexts. To this end, the laws initiated by the Ecevit government and enacted by the Parliament are expected to fundamentally alter the nature of political life in the country. Whether a better future can be attained for Turkey will depend on the outcome of the great battle between the forces of change and those of inertia.”
For more in-depth analysis, see the full study on