Local civil society groups, academics and students have organised an alternative conference, Critical Voices on the World Bank and IMF and the World in Crisis, at Bilgi University in Istanbul, shadowing the official meetings taking place this week.
The conference is providing some refreshingly different perspectives from much of the programme at the official conference centre. Yesterday saw presentations on the IMF and its role in Turkey, as well as other emerging and developing countries. Professor Erinc Yeldan gave a detailed analysis of the impact of IMF conditions on Turkey, where inflation has been pushed down, but interest rates continue to hover high, unemployment is soaring and the public debt is huge. He pointed out that the Fund’s growth model is based on capital inflows and a growing financial sector, not growth in the real, productive, job-creating economy.