The Turkish encounter with neo-liberalism: economics and politics in the 2000/2001 crises
Review of International Political Economy
387 - 408
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Turkey initiated an extensive dis-inflation program in December 1999 backed and supervised by The International Monetary Fund (IMF). The program aimed at decreasing the inflation rate to a single digit by the end of 2002. It exclusively relied on a nominally pegged (anchored) exchange rate system for dis-inflation and on fiscal prudence. In February 2001, however, Turkey experienced a very severe financial crisis, which deepened and continued to-date. The official stance is that the crisis was the result of the failure of the public sector to maintain the austerity targets and the failure to implement fully the free market rationale of globalization. We argue in this article that, contrary to the official wisdom, the current economic and political crisis is not the result of a set of technical errors or administrative mismanagement unique to Turkey, but is the result of a series of pressures emanating from the process of integration with the global capital markets. We further provide a discussion on the fundamental parameters of the Turkish politics connected with the crisis. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.