Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proudly describes Istanbul’s newly opened Marmaray railway tunnel, linking Asia and Europe beneath the Bosphorus, as “the project of the century.” But as a series of increasingly larger and more expensive engineering feats are unveiled, observers are wondering whether Turkey can actually afford the price of progress?
Coal mining is among the more hazardous occupations in Turkey, underscored by a mishap earlier this year that claimed eight lives. But economic necessity is keeping the country reliant on coal, and pushing miners to risk their lives.
Having tripled the size of its economy over the past decade, Turkey is invariably held up as an economic success story. But behind this outward tale of success lies a much darker backstory, one featuring a deepening income gap and crimped workers’ rights.
At first glance, the Sultan Beach Hotel near the Turkish resort town of Bodrum looks like any other seaside resort with its swimming pool, sun chairs and people sipping cool drinks. But a closer look reveals that there are no women to be seen poolside and not a drop of alcohol.
One of the defining achievements of Justice and Development Party’s tenure in power in Turkey has been forcing the country’s once omnipotent army firmly back into the barracks and out of political life. Yet the military's economic power has been largely left untouched.
At Köksal Yılmaz’s fish stall along the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul’s Bostancı District, bream and sea bass are as popular as ever. But the days when most of his fish came from these waters are long gone.
To get a sense of the scope of Turkey’s youth unemployment problem, you don’t have to look much further than downtown Istanbul’s inexpensive cafes, which are invariably jammed with 20-somethings during working hours.
Turkey has long hoped the Southeastern Anatolia Project, known as GAP, could act as an engine for economic development in a majority Kurdish area. The question now is whether the project can get into gear fast enough to save the region from an agricultural crisis.