When will Turkey rank among top ten globally?

I get this question a lot. And every time, I try to provide the best answer possible without offending anyone. While doing this, I never forget to combine mathematics and experience with the good judgment.  

According to an econometric research conducted by Dr. Talha Yalta, whom I felt tremendously proud to work with even for a short period of time, Turkey’s current economic model can only help Turkey take the 15th place in World GDP Ranking in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, even though Turkish economy manages to achieve a growth rate of 8%. Even with a high yet achievable growth rate (6%), we still fail to rank higher than the 16th place in 2023. 

Accordingly, Turkey should switch to a totally different economic model so as to rank among the World’s Top 10 Largest Economies towards 2050. 

According to OECD, World Bank and IMF data, it is mathematically proven that Turkey with its current economic model will still remain a G-20 member even in 2030.  While Saudi Arabia, currently trying to handle the Khashoggi incident, is expected to rank right below Turkey, Spain will rank right above Turkey. Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, India and China, on the other hand, will be way ahead in the competition. The same data interestingly tell us that Nigeria will take the 19th place, right above the Netherlands. But, we shall see where Nigeria will stand in 2050 according to the same statistics.

“Don’t worry, keep working…”

According to a PwC report, World’s Top 10 Largest Economies in 2050 are projected to be emerging economies led by the following countries:

COUNTRYGDP (Trillion Dollar)

As seen in the table above, in terms of economic growth and value-added activities, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria will most likely develop faster than Turkey over the upcoming period. Turkey’s GDP in 2050 is projected at around $5.2 trillion. According to this, there is a high probability that Turkey will continue to be a member of the G20. Again, I would like to point out that Turkey’s current economic model will not allow Turkish economy to rank among the World’s top 10 economies in 2050.

All these calculations are naturally made based on USD. It’s not an easy thing to predict which currency will rule as the World’s reserve currency over the next 50 years. It’s only natural to conduct such studies based on USD in order for researchers can develop a clearer perspective on the issue. However, another study carried out by the World Bank shows that the US Dollar has a relatively brief history compared to the overall history of “reserve currencies”. To be more specific, US Dollar remains rather insignificant with 50-60 years of history, considering the Byzantine Gold which sealed the 4th–12th centuries. As a matter of fact, only a total of 6 reserve currencies dominated the World since the 1071 Battle of Manzikert leading to the mass movement of Turks into central Anatolia. US Dollar has the shortest history so far.

In short, when we analyse the World Economy based on today’s dominant reserve currency, Turkey ranking among the World’s Top 10 Largest Economies seems like a remote possibility.