A novel instrument of regional development in Turkey: Izmir development agency
Akın, Burcu (2009) A novel instrument of regional development in Turkey: Izmir development agency. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1276465 (Table of Contents)
In Turkey, due to centralized state tradition, regional development has been kept in background and priority has been mostly given to national development. Regional development has been grasped as an extension of national development, thus top-down policies, which ignore the dynamics of each region, have been applied. However, these policies have not been successful and have created deep socio-economic disparities between the regions. With Turkey's highly motivated accession bid to EU, at the end of the 1990s, effects of Copenhagen Criteria have been influential in the country. Europeanization process obliges amendments in many parts of Turkish polity as well as the administrative structure of Turkey. The process favors bottom-up, decentralized policies where regional actors become more active in the decision-making mechanism. Therefore, Europeanization challenges the existing centralized state structure of Turkey, and triggers a transformation where dynamics of governance may prevail. With regards to this, a break in the logic of regional policy has started to occur in Turkey; new instruments of regional policy are introduced. In this context, the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) was established and 26 NUTS 2 regions were formed. As a novel attempt, 26 Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), which are derived from NUTS 2 regions, will be generated in Turkey. It is an innovative attempt, because for the first time, with the Law on The Establishment and Duties of Development Agencies, regional level, which devolves some responsibilities of the state to regional level and promotes region-specific policies, is institutionalized in Turkey. Institutionalization of the regional level is a step towards the multi-level governance model of the EU, in which the regional level may interact with the EU without the interference of the central government. In this respect, two RDAs were established in Turkey and Izmir Development Agency (IZKA) is one of them. IZKA is chosen as one of the first RDAs in Turkey, since Izmir has already experienced a RDA structure, under a non-governmental organization (NGO), and has an active civil society, where NGOs, chambers of commerce and industry, universities and other regional actors are ready to cooperate with a RDA in order to develop the region.
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