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Rotten trees prop each other up

Turkey has been suspended on the brink since February 22 when the government floated the lira and ended the 14-month stabilization programme supported by the IMF. The new programme has not been finalized and until it is Turkey will drift in semi-darkness.

The February crisis is unique in that it has hurt all segments of society - from the army to the well-heeled - and deprived the government of virtually all support. Even normally complacent organizations such as TUSIAD, the association of Turkish industrialists and businessmen, which is normally low key in its criticism of the government, and the chambers and bourses association of Turkey (TOBB) are clamouring for political reform. Turkey's allies and international banks have also raised their voices in its favour.

It seems to be universally understood that there can be no advance with the present political system, which is characterized by inefficiency and corruption.

Economic change cannot take place if it is not preceded by a political overhaul. However, Turkey is not fully democratic and change has never come from the bottom. There is no mechanism to effect change. Political leaders are chosen virtually for life.

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