Originally appeared on Bosphorus Consulting on 02 April 2014
Added to this, reliable access to the Internet and social media sites is hugely important as a key infrastructure component of an economy wishing to diversify. The sort of companies that Turkey would like to attract more of, for example, technology and international finance, rely ever increasingly on the Internet, and they want Turkey to promote Internet use, not restrict it. A report by Boston Consulting, “Turkey Online: How the Internet is transforming the Turkish economy,” (February 2013) illustrates just how significant the Internet is in transforming Turkey’s economy. Ironically, the Internet sector of the Turkish economy is outpacing GDP growth significantly, making it a key driver of Turkey’s economic growth (CNBC“Big opportunities in Turkey’s digital economy,” 16 August 2012).
With these issues in mind, it is of added significance that restrictions to Internet access have been cited as further reasons for concern with regard to Turkey’s economy (The Financial Times “Turkey clampdown on internet adds to economic woes,” 12 February 2014). At the same time, such actions threaten Istanbul’s reputation as a world-class city able to attract creative, highly-educated professionals and almost certainly call into question Turkey’s seriousness in transforming the city into an international financial capital.