Reasons to believe in Turkey
Mr. Erdogan has a problem, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. Because of his past success and achievement in running Turkey, the media take his words seriously. If Western politicians make populist statements, hardly anybody takes any notice and the voters are happy. But when Mr. Erdogan talks about segregating sexes in student accommodation in Turkey, it becomes world news. The lack of press freedom contributes to this negative image.
However, Turkey has always proved to have robust institutions that have stabilized the country. Some of these, such as the Supreme Court, seem to have been weakened and made more dependent on politics. But the judicial system is still working.
Proposals for new laws indicate that the executive will gain more power to appoint judges and prosecutors. There is likely to be stronger control, approaching censorship, over the internet.
These changes may sound worrying, but do not forget that Turkey is a large country with a tradition for stable institutions. It also has a sizeable and growing middle class and their role cannot be ignored.
We can assume that Turkey will remain a stable country despite of this perceived “bad news.” The economy has had staggering growth over the last ten years and, logically, had to consolidate to slower and steadier growth. Turkey has good companies, a skilled workforce, a young and growing population, increased purchasing power and moderate debt.
These are all good news and we should be optimistic in the medium term for Turkey – despite its current negative perception.