Izmir Economic Congress Series

The first Izmir Economic Congress created a tradition about discussing Turkey’s economic situation and it become an organization to prepare a strategy for make nation’s economy better considering worldwide contemporary conditions. For this purposes Turkish government tries to make such economic congress almost every decade and it called as “Izmir Economic Congress”.

Izmir Economic CongressAfter 1923, 2nd Izmir Economic Congress gathered between 2-7 November 1981. Among 1923 to 1981, just like Turkey’s economic conditions, world economy was changed and also almost every single country, including Turkey, effected from 1929 Great Depression, which ruined United States economy. During Great Depression period, to reconstruct the economy, Turkey should increased import and export amounts.


Promoting firms to produce  standardized goods were the basic economic politics during this period. The relation between great depression and 2nd Izmir Economic Congress was about Turkey’s ignorance its clearing policy during 1929s and country’s attempt to calling the attention of foreigners. During 1981, fundamental changes took place in Turkish economic and social politics.  1980 Turkish coup d’état became the root of the decisions in 2nd Izmir Economic Congress. In Briefly, one of the coup’s most visible effects was on the economy. On the day of the coup, it was on the verge of collapse, with three digit inflation. There was large-scale unemployment, and a chronic foreign trade deficit.


İzmir İktisat Kongresi The economic changes between 1980 and 1983 were credited to Turgut Özal, who was the main person responsible for the economic policy by the Demirel administration since 24 January 1980. The strategic aim was to unite Turkey with the “global economy,” which big business supported, and gave Turkish companies the ability to market products and services globally.In 2nd Izmir Economic Congress main items of the agenda was about creating a realistic exchange rate regime, opening Turkish industry to foreign competition, encouraging foriegners about investing Turkey, decreasing tax ratios and also expanding floors about taxation. The lack of energy sector was also another discussion topic of this congress.

The 3rd Izmir Economic Congress  gathered between 4-7 June 1992 and its main subject was “ Turkey Towards to 21th Centruy”. In Turkey during 1990s, there were lots of tranformations could observed in social and economic conditions. Basically, the aim of this congress was creating a sustainable macroeconomic conditions, creating politics which could be used in long run and the importance about integration of politics for globalization. Following points were agreed during this congress: decreasing public deficits, achieveing economic growth without effecting inflation, improving social infrastructure and the need about free market regime & privatization.

Prime Ministry State Planing Organization was coordinate 4th Izmir Economic Congress in 2004, between 5-9 May. The main objective of this congress was about transforming Turkey to knowledge based society and having characheristics of developed countries in 21th century. Turkey tried to be a member of European Union since 1987 (full candidate status reached in 1987). For the purpose of concluding this process, in 4th Izmir Economic Congress participants also mentioned their perspective about EU membership and this was the main topic of this congress. Additionally during congress, they made strategies and offered solutions about following points: achieving high and sustainable economic growth rate, increasing competition and encouraging entrepreneurs, bring into action dynamics of regional developments, improving income distribution, struggling with poverty and targeting efficient managment among Turkey.

5th Izmir Economic Congress was gathered between September 30 to 1st of November 2013. This congress was the most crowded one of these congress series. Almost 4,409 people participated this congress including Turkey President Of Republic Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister Of Economy Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Prime Minister Of World Bank Jim Yong Kim. The main topic of this congress was “The Role of Turkey During Restructuring Period of Global Economy”.  Ruling party’s targets about 2023 was main topic which was discussed during congress. These targets were about economic growth and participants agreed in an idea which states that economic growth of Turkey must depend on growth in productivity. Secondly the quality of education services, manpower, technology must be improved and also there must me more investment to women for the purpose of healhty growth. Labor force and labor market also draw attention during congress and participants decided that government  must reform labor market. Households savings must be increased without effecting current inflation rates and credit system in banks must be strenghten immediately.



            Izmir Economic Congress gathered for the first time to find a solution Turkey’s ruined economic  conditions and than it continued as a tradition to discuss current economic era of Turkey considering world economies. This congress can be stated as deliberative council because participant are quite diverse and most of them represent society’s different economic areas. Such council also dominated in Japan and the difference between Turkey and Japan during this period was governmental structure.

Japan Deliberative CouncilJapan is conducted by parliamentary representative democratic monarchy  system. In parliamentary representative democratic monarchy system, where the minister of Japan is the head of government and head of cabinet that directs the executive branch. To keep a level head about country’s economic and social conditions, deliberative councel was established in Japan. There were about 200 deliberative councel (shingikai), each attached to a ministry; their members were both officials and prominent private individuals in business, education, and other fields. The shingikai played a large role in facilitating communication among those who ordinarily might not meet. Given the tendency for real negotiations in Japan to be conducted privately, the shingikai often represented a fairly advanced stage in determining policy. They are legal councels but they don’t have any authority about forcing government to consider their decisions or determinations. Izmir Economic Congress has such characteristics in Turkey. The similarity is obviously about characteristic of participants and the way of their decision making or discussion process. In 1982, deliberative councel in Japan made a significant decision about tax reform.   tax reform; a policy to limit government growth; the establishment, in 1984, of the Management and Coordination Agency to replace the Administrative Management Agency in the Office of the Prime Minister; and privatization of the state-owned railroad and telephone systems.In Turkey we cannot see such big transformation or enforcement in Izmir Economic Congress. As stated in 5th Izmir Economic Congress, decisions and discussing during congress will be implemented to Turkish economy. This sentence represent that strating from 1st congress many of those decisions could not applied to economy but as stated before Japan made this happen to use decisions made in deliberative councel.