Tansu Chiller at the top of the political Olympus of the Turkish Republic: Is it easy to be the first?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Head, Department of Economy and Economic Geography of Asian and African Countries, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS RAS)
Address: 11/1, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 3

The article analyzes two periods of stay in power in Turkey of the leader of the center-right True Path Party Tansu Chiller. These episodes are interesting as the first experience of a female leader in the highest state posts in the Republic of Turkey.

During the first episode, T.Chiller headed the government, during the second, as Deputy Prime Minister, she represented her party in the coalition government formed jointly with the pro-Islamic Welfare Party. Thus, in this case the experience of a woman leader in a high state post was combined with the initial testing of joint governing with the party of political Islam.

From the point of view of the results achieved, both periods turned out to be quite contradictory. Having failed to reverse some previously established populist trends in economic policy, doomed in the long term, in particular, having failed to direct the country's economy to financial liberalization, Chiller continued to follow the path of achieving short-term goals, trying to protect the power position of her party at the current moment. As a result, in 1994, financial crisis prepared by the excessive implementation of a stimulating fiscal policy since the late 1980s broke out in Turkey. Being in coalition with Necmetin Erbakan, T.Chiller supported in fact a departure from the post-crisis stabilization program and return to the policy of real wage growth.

Thus, during the reign of Chiller, the expected update in the country's economic policy did not occur, but this reign should not be emphasized as quite unsuccessful. Rather, it was carried out in accordance with previously established traditions and represented a continuation of the game according to the previously established rules.

KeywordsTurkey, Tansu Chiller, True Path Party, Prime Minister, coalition government, Welfare Party, Necmetin Erbakan, economic policy, populism
Publication date24.03.2022
Number of characters30562
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