Turkish main opposition leader unveils new vision to overcome economic crisis: Structural changes needed

Turkey’s main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has unveiled his party’s new economic program that aims for the industrial development of the country. Earlier this week, Kılıçdaroğlu appointed renowned economists such as Jeremy Rifkin and Prof. Daron Acemoğlu as his economic advisors.  

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has unveiled a new vision for Turkey’s economic recovery as the country has been battling one of its worst economic crises in years.

Kılıçdaroğlu declared the new program under the title of “A call for the Second Century,” in reference to the beginning of the second centennial of the Turkish Republic in 2023.

Addressing hundreds of party members at Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center on Dec. 3, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “I am unveiling the new system today. You will meet with our brain team beyond politics today. We are talking about 70 renowned people from the world and Turkey.”

Earlier this week, Kılıçdaroğlu appointed renowned economists as his advisors. Among the names are American economist Jeremy Rifkin, Turkish-American economist Prof. Daron Acemoğlu, Bilkent University academic Prof. Refet Gürkaynak, former chief economist of the Turkish Central Bank Prof. Dr. Hakan Kara, and founder of the Deep Poverty Network Hacer Foggo.

Kılıçdaroğlu said that the CHP’s new program will not only aim to “get the country out of the (economics) crisis.” “That will be relatively easier. We will overcome the (economic) crisis like a champ. What is essentially difficult is preventing that the country does not get into a structural crisis once again,” he said.

“Today is the day to change the country’s destiny. Because of this, we need to change our rulership understanding and approach. But the solution to this is not the approach of ‘Let one man go and let another man come.’ Should that man go? Yes, he should. Should the sole rulership end? Yes, it should. But that should be replaced with a new system that functions. We are not looking for a new one-man rulership.”

Kılıçdaroğlu said that 70 new experts have joined the CHP’s cadre and referred to them as the “brain team that is beyond politics.”

After Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech, Rifkin addressed the meeting via video conference, saying that Turkey needs an industrial transformation and he will help that happen. “I will provide scientific, technical and economic input. I will help that Turkey forms a comprehensive directional map,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Hakan Kara, an academic at Bilkent University, also addressed the meeting via video conference, saying that the country needs a “sustainable growth and income increase." “In the upcoming period, I will provide my technical opinions on how the main elements of a macroeconomic stability program should be, especially looking from the perspective of macroeconomic financial side."

Hacer Foggo said that Turkey is going through one of its most difficult periods and that it has not seen “such a bad management that does not care about the people this much before.” “The first aim of the CHP rulership will be to eliminate poverty once and for all,” she said.

The newly-appointed CHP economic advisors, including Prof. Dr. Acemoğlu, were expected to address the meeting in the upcoming hours.