The Political Economy of Privatization in Turkey: An Evaluation

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Abstract

This chapter presents a political economic analysis of the privatization movement in Turkey. In terms of pace and volume, the privatization experience in Turkey can be examined in two different periods. In the period 1985–2003, privatization amounted to only 8.2 billion dollar, while it reached approximately 36.4 billion dollar in the period 2004–2009. The radical transformation in the privatization policies of Turkey is worth analyzing from a political economy perspective. To this purpose, first, the historical background to privatization in Turkey and the circumstances leading to liberalization and privatization policies will be examined. Second, the factors influencing the privatization process such as objectives, strategies, and the effects of economic, legal, institutional, and political conditions will be discussed. Analysis of the privatization experience in Turkey reveals that factors such as legal and institutional structures, political will, unstable macroeconomic conditions, ideological resistance, and rent seeking activities shaped the privatization movement and its consequences.