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Business Implications of an Evolving Emerging Economy: The Case of Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: January Term,
Spring Short Term
Cost Estimate January Term
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 3
Language(s) of Instruction:
Class Status:
Graduate, Undergraduate Open to non-GW students: Yes
Level of Immersion:
Short Term Abroad
Program Description:

Business Implications of an Evolving Emerging Economy: The Case of Turkey 

Is this program for me? Turkey1

The course is about the business implications of the Turkish economy’s evolution over the last decade, which was the last chapter of the transformation that started in early 1980s. Turkey has been one of the fastest growing emerging economies in addition to being located in a geo-strategically sensitive region. Early in the new millennium, in the wake of the home grown 2000/01 crisis, Turkey has implemented its own macro-economic and political reforms, put public sector finances under control, reduced its high and volatile inflation considerably, and stabilized the business environment. Consequently, it has recorded high growth rates, and attracted significant amounts of FDIs. This transformation has had sizeable impact on the way the business is done by both locals and foreign companies. Nevertheless, Turkey still suffers from many of the inefficiencies that are common in emerging economies such as lack of institutions and rule of law as well as widespread practices of corruption and nepotism. There are three specific areas that are, in my opinion, important in terms of understanding the business implications of the Turkish economy’s evolution over the last decade.
First of all, Turkey’s growth has been primarily financed by external funds, increasingly short & medium-term financial flows from other countries, due to insufficient domestic financial savings.  Thus, the nature of financing is a significant constraint for the sustainability of growth, distinguishing Turkey from some other emerging surplus economies such as China and Russia. From an international business perspective, Turkey has been a highly attractive market for foreign lenders and portfolio investors. During high growth years foreign financial institutions did not hesitate to invest in Turkish assets. The growing size of global liquidity, and never ending appetite for emerging market assets made this process even more appealing. However, it seems those days are over because of the recent developments taking place in both the Turkish and mature markets. The global financial crisis has almost ended, and the interest rates in developed markets are likely to rise and money invested in many emerging markets is expected to return to mature markets. On the Turkish front, the growth rates have come down while inflation rates have gone up, and most importantly, political instability has visibly increased. The first project team will focus on the overall health of the Turkish economy from a foreign lender’s perspective, and make a decision about renewing a US$500 million loan to a major Turkish bank.
Secondly, the high growth rates led to a sizeable increase in GDP and per capita GDP over the last decade.  Coupled with consistent efforts by the Government to improve income distribution, this had led to a visible expansion of the middle class in the country. The growth of the middle class has been one of the main drivers of urbanization, housing boom, mushrooming shopping malls, and increased domestic consumption, therefore consolidating the domestic component of growth. However, following more than a two-fold increase in per capita income in six years, Turkey’s per capita income has virtually stagnated around $11,000 for the last six years. This is called “middle-income trap” in economic literature. Turkey faces serious challenges to overcome this trap, and move forward. The second project team will make a decision on behalf of a major US retailer whether investing in Turkey is a good business decision in light of the above outlined background and future prospects of the economy.
Finally, it is argued that a considerable portion of the “borrowed” funds has been channeled to real estate investments that are not contributing to the long-term productivity of the Turkish economy in addition to creating a real estate boom that can jeopardize Turkey’s future growth. However, there are others claiming that Turkey’s real-estate boom cannot be compared to that of Spain or Ireland because the bank financing is limited, and driven essentially by urbanization and growing middle classes, not speculators. In the current Turkish context, real estate sector is subject to a heavy central and local government involvement, and known as a sector with various corrupt practices. The third team is expected to focus on the future of the real estate sector and advise a mid-size US real estate company to partner with a Turkish company in jointly developing a major commercial (office & shopping mall) project in Istanbul.

Course Objectives

  • Develop a better understanding of an emerging economy with its strengths and weaknesses 
  • Evaluate the risks & benefits of doing business in an emerging economy
  • Contrast the particularities of the economy in general and financial sector in particular in an emerging deficit-economy with those of mature markets
  • Assess the significance of growing middle classes in emerging economies that are gradually becoming the main drivers of global consumption
  • Analyze the role and risks of real estate investments in emerging economies

Academic Credit

3 credits are awarded for successful completion of this program.  Students will be enrolled in the course IBUS 6297.

This program has been approved to fulfill elective credit within the following MBA Concentration:
Global Management

Undergraduates applicants, consult the following document to see how this opportunity fulfills degree requirements:
For Undergraduate Applicants_WinterSpring2015Short-TermAbroad.pdf 


Application Deadline: October 1, 2014

On-Campus Dates
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 4:30 - 7:00pm
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 4:30 - 7:00pm

Overseas Dates: January 3 - 10, 2015


Graduate students and open to qualified undergraduates.

GW Professor

Abdullah Akyuz ( - Adjunct Professor of International Business


Click HERE for cost estimate.

Information Session

Thursday, September 25
6:00-7:00 PM
Duques Hall, room 652

View a live recording of the information session HERE.  You will need to enter your GW Net ID (your GW email address without the and password to access the recording. 

Additional Information

DRAFT Itinerary_Turkey_Akyuz_W15.pdf

DRAFT Syllabus_Turkey_Akyuz_W15.pdf


This program is administered by Global & Experiential Education in The George Washington University School of Business.

Feel free to contact us at 202.994.0767 or with questions.

Helpful Links

Eligibility & Payment (GWSB Graduate)
Withdrawal & Refund Policy (GWSB Graduate)
Cancellation Policy for Short-Term Abroad
Health Insurance for Short-Term Abroad
Pre-Departure, Health & Safety Orientation for Short -Term Abroad
Non-Participant Accompaniment