In a government that identifies its political power with construction and even the growth of the construction industry itself, house prices have risen dramatically. In fact, it should be called a surge (soar) and not an increase in English.
The fluctuation of inflation in the Turkish economy, as well as the increase in energy prices, the raw material crisis caused by the war and global uncertainties, the depreciation of the Turkish lira triggered by political crises, are all important factors in the rise in real estate prices.
However, as I mentioned in the introduction, we are going through a period where segments of society, which can be considered the country’s middle class, have refrained from even planning to buy a home and have carried over, during a period in power that prides itself on building and doing.
The government uses global factors as an excuse, but in a strong and stable political administration, the economy would not be so affected by global factors. It must also be admitted that the AKP is, of course, the dominant factor in such an increase and events. However, these problems have also occurred in different periods of power or coalition over the past decades. And when it was at its tightest, power shifts were happening.
As is known, military coups have been effective in some of the power changes in Turkey. However, while focusing primarily on the strategies of the military elites and their place in Turkish politics, the social consensus of these periods and what they meant was not taken into consideration. Even if we looked at it, we cannot say that it is a dominant approach.
For example, in the Turkey of the 1950s and 1960s, the state and the powers of the time distributed a share of the enormous rent generated in the city around an unspoken social contract to those who migrated from the village to the city and millions of people seeking employment in the city. By tolerating slums and the informal sector. I guess Turkey’s political and economic system allowed for a model of the informal sector ranging from housing to street vendors and allowed people to jump the social ladder. This consensus was on the verge of breaking down in the 1970s, and the 1980 coup came as a result of various fluctuations.
In the Özal years, a new mechanism for distributing urban rents resulting from the understanding of the free market came into effect, and a new mechanism for distributing urban housing and rents, different from slums, was established.
During the AKP period, this model was transformed into an effective and systematic policy under the protection and patronage of the state, and the field of urban rental and housing was expanded. As growth records broke in Turkey, construction became the dynamo of growth and this dynamo created a whole new social contract that the government would be proud of. It is not in vain that those in power “After we arrived, there was at least one car in every house or you could own a house” he said, pointing to the business model that dates back to 2016.
Housing, car, household appliances are objective and measurable indicators of well-being. Even with credit and borrowing, such a rise and also a welfare gain was questioned during the AKP period. This consensus, which had important short-term results, created an important network of rents. This network, in which everyone got rich by keeping a corner of the rent – but power decisions were at the center – somehow resembled the unforgettable titan system of the 90s.
However, this model brought great inequalities in the medium and long term. Yes, there were owners. Millions of citizens, who could not own a house or a car before, never lost their faith in the AKP when they saw a bit of prosperity with this model created by the AKP. Because he reigned, one way or another, and they had won. However, the perception that these families are somehow in power during their children’s period has disappeared. The government once did something, but under current conditions young people experience deep inequality, poverty and insecurity. The social contract established by the AKP in its first 10 years no longer works for them or their parents. Their parents don’t know it, but the young ones do. This is why they have great anger.
This is a time when it takes decades of savings to buy a house, to buy a car, to have basic necessities, and even if it can reach those levels of savings, saving becomes meaningless in very little time because of inflation and dreams. – middle class dreams – collapse.
The old consensus is dead. What will the new consensus be?
What social strategy does the opposition envisage?
Moreover, what are the metropolitan municipalities doing in the face of this situation where the rent of the city has arrived?
Let me end with a conclusion from France.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Lost But Won. Even if he loses, it means he won.
It is a very ideal concept for the movement La France indomptable, which had a significant impact even though it won the votes of almost 8 million French votes in the elections held in France and arrived third in the elections and was eliminated in the first round.
This political movement, led by Melenchon, also proposes a political program on the housing problem and says: “Even to dream that you have to sleep somewhere, everyone has the right to decent housing.”
Today, those who have become impoverished and precarious in Turkey cannot even dream anymore.
The goal is to make them relive this dream. This is the job of politicians and especially the opposition, not real estate agents.