Is Turkey Backsliding on Global Competitiveness and Democracy Amid Its EU Bid in Limbo?

44 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2020 Last revised: 22 Jul 2020

See all articles by John Taskinsoy

John Taskinsoy

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

Cemil Kuzey

Murray State University - College of Business

Date Written: July 10, 2020


Turks have been around for thousands of years, who have established many states and empires in the “land of Turks” referring to Anatolia (Asia Minor) and the Eastern Thrace. The life of Turks, previously in the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia, commenced in the interior of Asia Minor when Seljuqs defeated the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071 (Malazgirt in Turkish), which also meant the start of Turkification of Asia Minor. After the six century long reign of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), Turks were introduced to democracy when Mustafa Kemal abolished the Ottoman Empire in November 1922 by overthrowing Sultan Mehmet VI Vahdettin and established Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923 (The Grand National Assembly elected Mustafa Kemal as President in 1923). After the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (November 10, 1938), Turkey has constantly faced instability-inflicting developments (i.e. coup d'état, coup by memorandum, failed coup attempts, lack of fiscal and structural reforms, political turmoil, ineffective coalition governments, social unrest, chronic deficits, and repeated economic, financial, and currency crises. Turkey’s remarkable economic and democratic performance (6% YoY GDP growth between 2002 and 2007) was halted by endogenous (increasingly dictatorial/authoritarian rule, dysfunctional politics, negative developments in the rule of law, human rights, basic fundamentals, and the Judiciary/legal system) and exogenous factors (the 2008 global financial crisis originated in the U.S.; Cyprus’ veto chapter 15 of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations; prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of the U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson of terrorism charges for taking part in the 2016 failed coup attempt; Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 defense system; Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program; the U.S. imposed sanctions/tariffs on steel imports from Turkey; repeated attacks on Turkish lira and the subsequent currency crisis).

Keywords: Global Competitiveness Index; EU Accession Negotiations; Turkey; Economic Growth

JEL Classification: I10, I18, J2, O31, G12, E42, C40, Q5, Q32, Q54, H23

Suggested Citation

Taskinsoy, John and Kuzey, Cemil, Is Turkey Backsliding on Global Competitiveness and Democracy Amid Its EU Bid in Limbo? (July 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

John Taskinsoy (Contact Author)

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) ( email )

94300 Kota Samarahan
Sarawak, Sarawak 94300

Cemil Kuzey

Murray State University - College of Business ( email )

652 Business Building
Murray, KY 42071-3314
United States

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