Omnibus Bill and Getting Back to Normal…

The omnibus bill that recently passed the Parliament is apparently shaped by different motives and purposes and covers a number of diverse topics.


It stands out as a law designed to provide solutions to different issues, including tax payments, banking regulations, social benefits, and registry amnesty, and to take precautions against problems that may arise soon in Turkey. This law reminds me the communication tax that was enacted after the 1999 İzmit earthquake. At that time, I said to the members of Government:

“When we pass such laws, they become permanent after a while, and they will have negative side effects on the economy”, which unfortunately turned out to be true and most of the taxes that have been levied after the earthquake became constant.

Today, however, we have a much more complex problem.

For a long time the Government has been using the omnibus laws to eliminate or postpone the daily problems. However, so many regulations and laws have been enacted that I don’t know how we will fix them when we need to. The laws, or rules that we have put into effect to help us in difficult times had to be abolished when the situation was improved. Once we start revoking those laws, we will be struggling to determine which one to start with. So many bills and proposals were made into laws that now no one could possibly remember the older versions of these laws.

“ How Will Everything Get Back To Normal?”

The ancient Greek philosophers warned the humanity that if governments introduce laws to restrict the rights of the citizens, they have to give them freedom in another way to prevent conflict. However, in Turkey, laws and regulations are made tougher and more restrictive, while some laws that cover matters that must be dealt with seriousness and responsibility are made softer. If liberal democracy is not fully implemented, then there is no point in criticizing whether free market rules are followed in economic practices.

I am not worried about the fate of the basic rules of liberal economics, my concern is rather about the fact that markets, and market actors are gradually moving away from the principles that should possess, which would eventually lead to distortions in pricing behaviour and the measures taken to address them would unfortunately create unexpected side effects. This is the exact situation that Turkey is facing right now.


So, softening the laws so as to enable people to act in accordance with market realities may save the day, but if the changed conditions are not restored, corruption will be inevitable.