The Justice and Development (AK) Party has been in power since Nov. 3, 2002. The economic position that Turkey has achieved in this 15 year-period is the result of the AK Party’s struggle with deep-rooted habits. The Turkish economy has not faced an economic crisis for 15 years thanks to the practices that the AK Party has persistently carried out without shying away from change and transformation.
In this process, the international conjuncture, as well as the demands and expectations within the country, have determined the AK Party's economic roadmap. Despite heavy and difficult interventions such as the Gezi Park protests, the Dec. 17-25 judicial coup and the July 15 coup attempt, all of which took place at certain intervals, the AK Party maintained this road map and carried on.
In other words, the process of change is not specific to the present, but is one of the founding principles that has kept the AK Party in power for 15 years. Now, the AK Party is in a process of change and transformation, taking into account both economic and political dynamics regionally and globally, and in line with domestic demands and expectations.
Strong economy is the guarantee of Turkey’s power in the region
Turkey's strong economic structure has been the main factor in eliminating many interventions from 2002 to 2017. In fact, some tried to determine Turkey’s political agenda by targeting the economy many times. Therefore, strong economy is important for both Turkey's political stability and its influence in the region.
In order to boost this power and sustain it, we need to quicken the steps toward the determined targets without any delay. The most important of these targets is to make Turkey's economic production structure technology-oriented so that it can produce high added value.
It is now inevitable to make changes in the production structure of all sectors, from the defense to the pharmaceutical industry, from automotive to construction products and from information to transportation. This change will be reflected in the increase of domestic production and the rise of the added value of export products.
Another sector is energy. Whenever a strong move was made in energy in the past 15 years, some tried to create a crisis before or during this move. It is not accidental that the launching of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) coincided with the Dec. 17-25 coup attempt. This is also true for what happened after the accelerated energy cooperation between Turkey and Qatar.
The more effective the energy project has been, the greater the intensity of the intervention. TANAP's smooth progress, investments in wind and solar energy as well as in natural gas, and the TurkStream project means that Turkey can sustain its own energy supply security, and it is the central country in energy especially for EU countries.
Likewise, the Silk Road is a project that will turn Turkey’s geographical position into an advantage, just like its position in energy. In addition to being a transit route for the international trade, the Silk Road project will also be a powerful move to make our country a prominent trade hub.
Change and transformation rely on social support
All these are the steps that will shape the next 15 years of Turkey. The importance of each of these steps, why they are necessary, and where they will take our country needs to be clearly explained to the public. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's communication with the people is the most effective force in preventing the attacks that Turkey has been exposed to in the past 15 years.
Now, the most important support in planning and shaping Turkey's next 15 years will come from this power, namely social support. What needs to be done for change and transformation, goals and national interests that will be achieved in the final stage must be explained to the public by means of effective communication and implementation tools such as social policies.
Under the leadership of Erdoğan, the AK Party has acted with the support of the public in the change and transformation which will happen in political, economic and social areas. Turkey's success in the economy and political stability in the past 15 years has been achieved thanks to this support.
Therefore, public support and the fulfilment of their demands are the sine qua non of the change and transformation initiated toward 2019.