As far as I can see from all that negative comments and criticism, this consulting firm issue still remain unclear, causing everyone to give emotional reactions. Let me explain in for you one more time.
If a company hires a consulting firm in time of need, this means that the said company trusts neither its internal information flow not the technicians that interpret this information. This lack of trust can be either revealed by company executives or by those who want to become partners at the company or those who are willing to provide loans to the company.
Let me now take a look at the bigger picture and explain what this means at government level:
I almost lost the count of it but we all know that a number of top government officials, including former minister Mehmet Şimşek, have been declaring since the beginning of 2017 that the inflation would go down soon. Inflation never went down. On the contrary, it kept going higher. Given the fact that the analyses released by Ministers are shaped through the information provided from the bureaucrats, this shows that the information at hand were misinterpreted even the expectations were managed incorrectly with a populist approach.
“Taking advice from others is not a bad thing…”
Another example I’d like to give you involves Turkish Foreign Trade Regime which was literally messed up because of protection measures that have been in effect since August 2014. Despite constant optimist statements by Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, current account deficit kept hitting record highs. The negative impacts of import restrictions and additional customs duties on the inflation were overlooked by the Government, while sharing in the successful performance of exporters. At this point, a number of industries in Turkey today, especially footwear manufacturing, which have been provided with constant support through protectionist measures, are currently in serious financial trouble. As a side effect, foreign sportswear brands started to have hesitations in sponsoring Turkish National Teams. Playing sports, exercising, trying to keep up with digital life and many other emerging technologies became exorbitantly expensive. Import duties were reduced despite the strong presence of several sectors in Turkey, including iron and steel industry, not to mention additional taxes on goods that are not made in Turkey. Government’s answer to the growing number of complaints from the trade world was a simple “You have nothing to worry about”, which clearly proves that the Administration has mislead the public using populist approaches, let alone misreading the data in hand.
The third example I’d like to give you involves this “public saving” issue, which is constantly spoken by everybody yet nothing gets done to improve it. We are facing a public sector that has become prone to run primary deficits, even budget deficits, not to mention its inability to pay interest. To be honest, the New Economic Programme (YEP), the replacement of the MTP, involves any measures for promoting public and national saving, which is a clear indicator why fund providers are hesitating to provide funds. According to those in the know, mega projects may be suspended any time, however, people are concerned that they may be put back on track again once more funds are received. It is matter of time that populist approaches may start playing crucial parts in the game.
So, I think we should find it perfectly normal that those who are not willing to provide funds to Turkey want something, some institution (if not IMF) to place their trust; because, rhetoric has always had its impacts on the private sector as well as on the public sector. As the majority of companies, that earn large amounts of revenue, get government contracts, they too have greatly supported the campaign for building the “biggest, largest, widest, deepest, longest, highest” structures for Turkey. Turkey’s debt grew bigger and bigger while we were madly busy with erecting hotels, hospitals, power plants, shopping malls… Now, a third party is requested to tackle the problems.
That’s just the way it is. As a matter of fact, Government had worked with consultants before, in the 1980s and 1990s, which is perfectly normal. Look at the bright side, at least, the Administration has finally decided to use other people’s brains and perspectives after a very long time…