Ali Riza Güngen will discuss financial inclusion in Turkey and the political ramifications of growing household indebtedness. His book Politics of Debt: Financial Inclusion in Turkey traces back the process of policymaking and locates financial inclusion within a shift in the developmental outlook in the 21st century.
Dr Güngen will elaborate how recent credit campaigns helped Justice and Development Party governments navigate across the troubled waters of the Turkish economy and created further controversies at the same time.
As in many other cases in the global South, creating more aware financial consumers is a prominent goal of the financial inclusion process in Turkey. The Turkish case has two peculiarities: the non-commercial character of the microcredit sector, which is partly organised by the state; and the state’s proactive role in Turkey’s financial transformation. This article analyses how the global financial inclusion agenda has been adapted for the Turkish context. The strength of Turkey’s financial infrastructure motivated policy-makers to focus on financial consumers, with the state intervening to spread further the financial modes of calculation. The article argues that the financial integration of large segments of Turkish society creates conundrums which cannot be easily overcome.
Ali Riza Güngen is Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics at York University
Shana Marshall is Assistant Research Professor of International Affairs and Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington University