Justice and Development in the Marketplace: Business and Politics in AKP-Era Turkey
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Though market liberalization has certainly had a tremendous impact on Turkey, much of the country's recent success is due to the active role of the government in promoting economic growth. Whereas a multitude of divisions long stymied coordinated efforts between business and the state, the interests of Turkey's political and economic elites are now far more aligned and coordinated. This meeting of the minds is the result of a virtuous circle: networks of businessmen marginalized by previous governments were forced to develop independent of state assistance. Liberalization created new opportunities for these networks. Recent developments that many find troubling--such as the government's ties to religious networks and its preference for "Islamic" firms and business associations--are actually examples of a state, once far too autonomous from its society, becoming ever more embedded, and, consequently, better able to coordinate efforts with the business community.