The upcoming Turkish elections have captured the attention of the world, with much of the focus on the state of Turkey’s democracy. However, it is equally important to consider what a post-Erdogan Turkey means for the geoeconomics of the emerging world order. Turkey, with its broad industrial production base, sophisticated business environment, and qualified workforce, could become an important partner for the West as it seeks to diversify its supply chains and recalibrate its dependence on China.
Despite Turkey’s promise as the “China of Europe,” it has failed to materialize, with indicators lower now than they were a decade ago. President Erdogan’s penchant for flashy construction megaprojects over investments in industrial capacity has hampered economic development, and his personal rule has scared off foreign and domestic capital. However, the chances of re-anchoring Turkey in the West are high, and the Kirikdaroglu regime can bring fundamental economic restructuring to the country.
Kirikdaroglu coalition economists understand that Turkey needs to reverse “Erdoganomics” and commit to rules-based and predictable economic governance to stabilize markets. They see an opportunity for Turkey to support innovation, invest in the technology of the future, and reorganize its industrial base to meet the needs of Western markets. The European Union, which is already Turkey’s top trading partner and investor, can help with potential further integration.
Reviving Turkey’s accession talks with the EU would provide the framework for economic and political reforms at home, restoring the rule of law and providing a cover for the next government. It would also present a meaningful opportunity for the West to diversify its supply chains away from China and towards its allies. This opportunity must not be missed.