This book examines the interaction of politics and economics in Turkey. Applying the new political economy and public choice economics, it shows how politicians manipulate the economy for their own ends, for example by using fiscal and monetary policy, and by timing elections to coincide with periods of relative prosperity. It goes on to show the impact of all this on the Turkish economy, arguing that political manipulation has taken the economy from its natural course, and brought about unoptimality and disequilibrium, for example in the form of growing government expenditure, ever increasing public debt, chronic economic and political crises, and inflation. It argues that politico-economic interaction in Turkey is different from in Western democracies, and that Turkish democracy is different from Western democracy. It goes on to propose how political manipulation of the economy might be moderated, for example through increased privatisation, central bank independence, and a more robust relationship with international financial institutions. Understanding fully economics and politics in Turkey, and the interaction between them, is of critical importance as Turkey's accession to the European Union is negotiated.
Preface and Acknowledgements Introduction 1. An Introduction to Political Economics and Public Choice: Old Questions, New Answers 2. The Economy and Polity of Turkey 3. Searching for Political Manipulation of Economy in Turkey: A Descriptive Statistical Analysis 4. Politics and Macroeconomic Performance in Turkey: Political Manipulation of Macroeconomy in Turkey 5. Political Economy of Elections in Turkey: Deconstructing the Functioning and Consequences of Political Manipulation of the Economy 6. Epilogue: Reflecting on the Theoretical Framework and its Application on Turkey Bibliography