Who will occupy the center now?

Dünya Executive - - POLITICS - HASAN CEMAL

T24.COM

MAY 18

I went to Davos for the World Economic Forum meeting with President Suleyman Demirel at the end of January in 1994. There, I heard constant chatter behind the scenes that Turkey had a prime minister who was trying to fight inflation by lowering interest rates. “Is this a joke,” people asked Turkish speakers at some of the panels, not without irony, “or is it true?” Finally, a crisis occurred in Turkey. When it hit, in 2001, the value of the Turkish lira was badly reduced and the suffering of the prescripti­on applicatio­n began. But the economy could not recover because fundamenta­l reforms had not been done. Along with economic instabilit­y, weak coalition government­s fed political instabilit­y. Turkey had accumulate­d a lot of problems. As it hurtled toward the crisis, the political center literally collapsed. Erdogan and his AK Party, who won the elections alone at the end of 2002, began to fill the gap. Now skip to 2018: A prime minister who was trying to defeat inflation with low interest rates a quarter century ago, Tansu Ciller, has become the object of mockery. But Erdogan is in the same situation today. And Turkey is still accumulati­ng problems. A big gap has opened up in politics again. This is a gap created by the collapse of Erdogan. Who will occupy the center now?

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