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    Ertugrul Ozkok: Chastise economy replaces market economy in Turkey

    Hürriyet Haber
    31.10.2008 - 11:23 | Son Güncelleme:

    We discussed in detail one particular report during our editorial meeting yesterday. The world's three leading newspapers covered three separate news items regarding Turkey.

    All three showed a not too bright future ahead for Turkey.


    French Le Monde said "Turkey is heading towards catastrophe".


    The report in Le Monde says Turkey should put aside its pride and sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.


    "Turkey does not have the luxury to experience the same crisis scenario as it did in 2001," the report concludes.


    The second article was published in the Washington Post.


    Turkey is among those countries badly affected by the global financial crisis and would benefit from an IMF loan deal, the Washington Post said.


    Most importantly, the newspaper emphasized this:


    "Turkey, alone, is in need of some $90 billion according to a Deutsche Bank calculation."


    Of course the $90 billion issue created a storm in markets.


    The third article was published in the Financial Times (FT).


    According to the FT, for Turkey, there is good and bad news.


    The good news; the IMF announced it would take steps to help countries affected by the crisis to meet their urgent credit requirements.


    This is "good news" for Turkey "who stands among the emerging markets".


    But the following line in the FT crushed our hopes.


    It said that countries such as Turkey and South Africa, who have huge current account deficits, would not be able to meet the criteria set out by the IMF.


    * * *


    Of course, three catastrophic news items covered in influential newspapers of the United State, France and UK is very important.


    The issue we discussed in the editorial meeting was this:


    I supported the notion that this news should be highlighted and given in-depth coverage.


    But the opinion of the economy news service was contrary to my own.


    They believe that a "speculative" atmosphere was being forced into the markets over the last 48 hours.


    Enis Berberoglu, the Ankara representative of Hurriyet daily, also supported this thesis on a morning program broadcast on CNN Turk.


    This speculative atmosphere could be intensified through detailed coverage of international news items on Turkey.


    As I always take the opinions of professionals and department executives very seriously, I ceded to their suggestions.


    But, I need to confess that these reports should receive wider coverage.


    That is because the government is convinced their economy politics is faultless if we don’t give greater coverage to such news items.



    * * *


    What is this politics?


    Turkey replaced the "market economy model" with a "chastising economy model".


    Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan is angered by anyone that suggests the economy is headed along the wrong path.


    Erdogan is angered when the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) warns of "taking measures".


    Erdogan is angered by bankers who ask precautions be taken.


    Erdogan speaks about "being held by the throat" while the IMF calls for an agreement.


    I am not even going to mention his attitude towards the mass media since he shakes his fist at us every single day.


    He doesn't stop with just fist shaking, but also sends the state's so-called autonomous institutions to attack us.


    Foreign newspapers that until recently supported him write that Turkey has "run amok" and is headed towards catastrophe while Erdogan’s anger intensifies.


    In other words, Turkey's "chastise economy model" doesn't find ground abroad.


    At this point I want to tell him directly.


    Mr. Prime Minister;


    Every single day your anger towards everyone intensifies, but the situation does not seem any brighter.


    Now is the time to stop getting angry and hold a 24-hour-long crisis meeting.


    I reiterate.


    Do not believe that the wheels of industry are turning in this country by simply looking at the regularly paid deputies and bureaucrats in the capital, Ankara.


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