April 2, 2019 Print

Atlas Network’s Turkish partner, Freedom Research Association (FRA), recently produced a free-market video that reached 650,000 views in its first week. Realizing the vast potential that video production presents for the libertarian movement, FRA openly challenged the claim that the 1980s economic crisis was a result of capitalism. As previous participants of the Atlas Leadership Academy, FRA continues to lead the charge in Turkey for liberty.

For the Turkish group, the video could not have come at a more opportune time. With the government gradually shifting towards more authoritarian rule, rising inflation of 25 percent, and a currency that is being rapidly devalued—the Turkish economy appears to be on shaky ground. FRA’s members feel that major institutional reforms that favor classical liberalism are needed now more than ever.

“Structural reforms have recently become the big talk in Turkey,” said FRA’s Executive Director and Atlas Leadership Academy alum Medeni Sungur. “Turkey obviously needs a strong structural reform initiative to get back on the freedom and prosperity track.”

The video stresses the importance of the free market, as well as the need for private property rights and the rule of law in order to ensure a properly functioning market. Sungur feels that the video is an important step in educating the public on classical liberalism, in an attempt to reverse the illiberal course that he sees Turkey taking. “Turkey has financed its significant economic growth in the last 10 years primarily through the excessively easy credit in the world,” Sungur explained. “Despite Turkey’s free fall in the major indices demonstrating institutional quality in Turkey, foreign investment kept flowing. Those exceptional conditions are now gone. With the exceptional window gone, Turkey needs to get back on a reform track to be able to grow.”

With the video proving to be such a success, FRA has its sights set on larger, more long-term institutional changes. Turkish citizens are beginning to demand structural reform, and the video is an opportunity to spread the virtues of classical liberalism, while simultaneously educating the public on the current shortcomings of the Turkish economy.

Moving forward, the goal is to bring together policymakers, media members, and citizens to adopt the necessary structural changes to make Turkey a freer, more prosperous society. Turkey’s current trajectory does not dishearten Sungur, who sees limitless potential in his home country. “Turkey historically is a respected member of the international community and possesses the intellectual capital to be able to define and implement those reforms,” Sungur remarks. “FRA is taking the initiative to bring together the country’s leaders to stand up for the fate of their country.”