AKP  VP promises structural reform agenda

Turkey’s austerity program has made significant progress in tightening monetary policy. Much needs to be done on the fiscal side to bolster the crusade against soaring inflation. Economy czar Mehmet Simsek promised more budget cut measures. In the meantime, the most important pillar of any austerity program, namely structural reform have been scarce on the ground.  President Erdogan’s assertion to adopt ‘Ankara Criteria’ hints at the AK Party’s reform agenda, with Vice Chairman Efkan Ala assuring commitment to comprehensive reforms, reports Turkiye newspaper, a conservative Turkish daily.


President and the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s prior assertion about the possibility of adopting Ankara Criteria in lieu of the Copenhagen Criteria has set the stage for significant developments within the AK Party, signaling a proactive approach toward reform initiatives.

The Vice Chairman of the ruling AK Party Efkan Ala has affirmed this commitment, highlighting a comprehensive reform agenda across various sectors.


Ankara Criteria: Erdogan’s assertion sets stage

The AK Party has intensified its endeavors to enact the transformation process Erdogan outlined following the outcomes of the local elections.

During his speech at the General Assembly of the Parliament last October, marking the commencement of the 2nd Legislative Year of the 28th Term of the Turkish parliament, Erdogan articulated a resolute position concerning Türkiye’s EU accession journey.


Erdogan underscored Türkiye’s dedication to democratic principles, justice, and freedoms, stating: “We will persist in our path, even if it means adapting the Ankara Criteria, if required, alongside the Copenhagen Criteria.”


Comprehensive reform agenda

In the 4-year period without elections, serious reforms will be implemented for both the party and Türkiye.

Ala emphasized the AK Party’s readiness to tackle challenges head-on, aiming to implement structural reforms to enhance predictability and foster progress.


He outlined the forthcoming period as one of substantial reforms, with the upcoming year designated as the “gold year” and the subsequent one as the “silver year.”


“Reforms will take place in many areas. They will be simultaneous, multidisciplinary, nuanced reforms,” Ala underlined.


The scope of reforms encompasses diverse areas, spanning from economic policies to legal frameworks and public governance. Ala underscored the importance of seizing the opportunity presented by a period without elections to undertake meticulous and thorough work, addressing issues ranging from food security to administrative efficiency.


Asserting a commitment to swift action, Ala outlined the multifaceted nature of reforms, covering aspects such as free trade, business freedoms, capital mobility, corporate governance, competition policy, employment, education and agricultural development.


Ala stressed the necessity of a permanent constitution to underpin the sustainability of reforms, signaling a rapid and comprehensive reform process aimed at enhancing market predictability and opening avenues for Türkiye’s progress.


He emphasized the government’s determination to navigate regulatory changes effectively, facilitating Türkiye’s advancement and ensuring the continuity of reform efforts.



Copenhagen Criteria

The Copenhagen Criteria signify the conditions the EU set for new members to meet at the Copenhagen Summit on June 22, 1993, marking the EU’s acceptance of eastward enlargement. These criteria are divided into three groups: political, economic and adoption of Community legislation.


It serves as a comprehensive framework for evaluating the readiness of aspiring EU members, ensuring that they possess the necessary political, economic and legal foundations to integrate effectively into the Union.



Ala didn’t state a deadline for the unveiling of the said reform measures, but it is believed that economy impresario Mehmet Simsek wants to incorporate them into Turkey’s Medium  Term Economic Program, up for revision in September.


As demonstrated in India, meaningful structural reforms not only underpin sustainable development, but increase the attraction of the economy to financial and FD investors.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.