The economic and political crisis which Turkey faced during 1977-1980 was resolved by an orthodox stabilization program adopted early in 1980, immediately followed by conventional structural adjustment measures and the military coup realized on September of the same year. The Turkish experience with orthodox stabilization and structural adjustment incorporates a number of specificities and it will be useful to recall them briefly.
First of all, the striking element of continuity in basic economic policy orientation which lasted from 1980 up till 1089 without any significant reversals should be emphasized. The personal role of Turgut Özal as Vice Premier in charge of the economy during 1980-1982 under the military governments and Prime Minister during 1984-1991, was a determining factor in this respect. Reversals and hesitations as observed in Latin American experiences due to differences between rival monetarist schools or between populist and right wing political groupings played practically no role for almost ten years in Turkey. The political pressures which resulted in a switch back to populism in 1989 —a theme to be investigated in this paper— marked, in our view, a drastic shift away from the policy model adopted in 1980.