You Don’t Have to Be Freewheeling to Love Free Markets
A fascinating article (gated) about the Turkish economy from today’s Wall Street Journal includes this morsel:
When an Islamist-leaning political party took charge of Turkey six years ago, this vibrant Mediterranean resort town [Antalya] feared a bumpy ride for a local economy driven in part by booze and bikinis.
Today, says Ahmet Barut, a hotel magnate here, the only real question is whether the town can sustain an unprecedented economic boom. He’s not keen on the teetotaling habits of the governing party’s leaders, nor the headscarves worn by their wives, but he applauds a key part of their record: “They are good at economics.”
From tourism and tomato growing to car making, Turkey has prospered far more under an Islam-tinged government than it did under some previous, ardently secular administrations more in tune with the often decidedly un-Islamic ways of many Turkish businesspeople.
We are well aware of the Turkish appetite for bikinis. Consider the Turkish cover of Freakonomics: