ICEGOV – International Conference on eGoverment and eGovernance, 12–13 March 2009, Ankara-Turkey

Dr. Özgür Uçkan Istanbul Bilgi University


Abstract ...................................................................................................................3 1. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................4 2. TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND POLICY.........................................6 2.1. Social, Economic and Administrative Paradigm Shift .................................6 2.2. Information and Communications Technologies, Knowledge Economy and Governance ....................................................................................................10 2.3. Policy Convergence .......................................................................................12 2.3. Policy Interaction ...........................................................................................14 3. THE ICT POLICY MILIEU IN TURKEY...............................................................16 3.1. The Current Situation for National ICT Policy in Turkey ............................16 3.2. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey ..........18 3.3. Parties of E-governance: ...............................................................................20 3.4. Information Society Strategy ........................................................................23 4. CONCLUSION: Will Turkey be able to connect the line between the will, policy, strategy and plan? ....................................................................................29 BIBLIOGRAPHY .....................................................................................................31


Abstract The paper focuses specifically on the weakness of national ICT policy-making process in Turkey during the last decade, mainly on the failure of creating effective governance mechanisms in policy-making and its effect on e-government implementations. Participation of all interested parties and networking them are the keys of successful policy-making process. Turkey's excessively centralized governmental system displays a strong resistance against new administrative paradigms such as governance and its concomitant values, transparency, accountability and participation. A national "e-governance" strategy representing the mutual democratic and developmental goals can transform Turkey into a "information society" only by utilizing the most effective democratic participation in policy and decision making mechanisms. No strategy can be called "national" without effective participation of all interested national parties. Turkey’s so-called "national" "Information Society Strategy" and its "Action Plan" shows that the Government wants to see the "etransformation process" to consist of "e-government" actions only. This approach also puts the future of e-government in danger. There is no successful egovernment without e-democracy, and success is possible only through egovernance.
Key Words: Bureaucracy, Decision-Making, Democratic Governance, E-Democracy, E-Governance, E-Government, E-Transformation, Government Expenditures, ICT, ICT Sector, ICT Strategy, Information Society, Information Society Strategy, Innovation, Knowledge Economy, National ICT Policy, Network Governance, NGOs, Joint Governance, Participation, Policy Convergence, Policy Interaction, Policy-Making, Public Administration, Public Investment, R&D Policy JEL Classification: D73, D78, D83, D85, E61, H50, H54, H83, I23, I28, L31, L33, L38, L52, L63, L86, L88, L96, L98, O30, O32, O38, O39


1. INTRODUCTION In this conference about “e-government” and “e-governance”, this article aims to elaborate these concepts in the context of developing policies for national development through Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for the Turkish case. In Turkey, ICT and information society policies are generally perceived as a “strategy” concept. This is because the “strategy” concept which stands for some scheduled plans to achieve certain goals and the “policy” concept which sets objectives that constitute this strategy within an action framework are confused. Put in other words, Turkish policymakers usually deploy strategies without a set policy. By prefixing titles of strategies that are not formed by consensus with the “national” word, they try to cover such policy inadequacies. In fact, ICT strategies that can be appropriately called “national” are based only on National Information, Information Society, Knowledge Economy and ICT policies that warrant national consensus and interact with other macropolicies. When assessing national ICT policies one should consider policies relevant to such other basic domains. In this context, with due consideration of an unavoidable approach that designs ICT policies, like its very subjects themselves, to serve as an axis cutting across different platforms vertically, I will ascribe a special relevance to the concepts of “convergence” between policies and “interactivity” that enable participation in policy and decision making processes. Socio-economic dynamics that create technological and economic convergence are also effective in the policy and strategies world. As a matter of fact, the EU i2010 Strategy justifies itself by meeting the need of a “‘policy convergence’ response to a ‘technological convergence’“. In Turkey, when considering practical problems experienced in national ICT policy development processes, or, indeed, in any other area, the usual practice is to blame the “political will” that is blinded by the states of affaires and thus deprived of its projective capabilities. My own observations slightly differ from the received perspectives, both as an academician and a professional who advises several organizations including ICT NGOs. I think, for all parties including the “political will”, the most critical point of the policy and strategy development process and the logical cause of ensuing failure experienced at action planning, tactical and implementation stages, is “governance phobia”.


For a policy to be properly called as “national”, it must ensure the consensus of all organized parties that are related, to one or other extent, with the field of this policy. This is because, conceptually, “policies” are made to develop an action framework such that a “negative” situation confronted by an organization is overcome and “positive” achievements from that situation are obtained, or sustained gains are reached by a better management of a “positive” situation. The definition of the “situation”, the positioning of “positive” and/or “negative” potentials offered for the organization (in this case, the “nation”), and the setting of the strategy to be developed to make the existence of the organization as a whole sustainable, concerns all parties that make up the organization. The government is only one of these parties. The issue at hand cannot be managed, when not to create further problems, unless all parties concerned participate in the process. The idea that policy and strategy making is the government’s business, whereas consequences to bear is for the rest of us, is deeply rooted in the national psyche. So, as in the case with other duties, they are “dodged” whenever possible, simply because it concerns the government and not us. Turkey has been developing policies and strategies in a wide range of areas including science and technology, informatics, knowledge economy, etc. once the dawn of the industrial revolution was surprisingly conceived. Although they are all created “state-ly”, they were never realized. And a few that are “somehow” initiated were accomplished without a policy, strategy, and with “action plans” devoid of feasibility analyses. Indeed, it is arguable that they could be properly called “plans” just because such action plans were mere compilations of various disconnected governmental projects by different departments without any set direction and priority. As of today, their harvests can be freely observed without any need for further comment. While assessing Turkey’s ICT policy and strategy development process in this context, its governance phobia will be prioritized and a different framework will be proposed based on the national ICT strategies and underlying policies by properly explaining the positions of interested parties. This article is structured on the following outline: initially, the conceptual and practical framework of the national ICT policies as related with e-government and egovernance (network governance) will be briefly discussed; Turkey’s current state of affairs related to our subject will be positioned; the timeline of ICT policies and strategies in Turkey is given; the inefficacious standing of all concerned parties of egovernance is analyzed; and finally, Turkey’s policy and strategy development

experience will be criticized in the context of the current operational “Information Society Strategy”, and different proposals by various parties, especially those by ICT NGOs, are reported. 2. TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND POLICY 2.1. Social, Economic and Administrative Paradigm Shift Knowledge is the most important economic input in production in today’s economy. “Knowledge-based economy”, or “knowledge economy” as it is widely known, is an economy that makes effective use of knowledge for economic and social development. The development of knowledge economy based on the value added as created by qualified knowledge is directly related to a national-scale economic growth and sustainable productivity. “Network economy” that is determined especially by the development dynamics of the ICT sector, is the vanguard of the knowledge economy. “Network economies” that emerged as a consequence of technological developments of the last century and are characterized particularly by the integration of global financial networks, disrupted existing market dynamics and competition strategies. This also affected national growth strategy dynamics in the ever changing world of global market shares. Exploiting technological development, especially the ratio of the ICT investments to the GDP, have been among the most critical factors of national growth dynamics (Shapiro and Varian, 1999:173–184). ICT has a direct impact on economic growth. This contribution proceeds, in one hand, with total ICT production including software and services, on the other hand, with productivity increase provided by the use of ICT in general economic activities. If one considers the “network effect” facilitated by ICT use, especially the impact of financial and foreign trade networks on the global economy, it becomes evident that this relationship is deeper than meets the eye. The expansion of ICT networks, advances in mobile communications and broadband technologies and as a result of them, developments in both B2B and B2C activities in e-commerce, are precursors for an increasing impact of ICT on future economic growth. Indeed, the impact of ICT use on total factor productivity still cannot be accounted of by existing measurement and statistical approaches. (Nordhaus, 2001; Castells, 1996:67–88)

However, there is a consensus about the fact that this contribution is especially due to development of new productivity models in business practices; increased productivity of production and distribution processes of products and services through ICT use; emergence of new business sectors and new organizational forms; improvement of workforce quality through newer lifelong education and professional training systems. As development becomes the necessary condition of global competitive advantage in the knowledge economy, factors such as the quality of communication lines, number of personal computers and mobile phones, and spread and bandwidth of Internet access are becoming more and more critical for the “national wealth”. Therefore, from the point of view for the developing countries, the state of the art of the ICT infrastructure and an equal opportunity for access to this infrastructure has become a subject matter for national policy making directly related to macroeconomical growth, productivity and more critically, development per se. But other factors that shape the macro-economical impact of ICT, that is, mechanisms such as availability of venture capital to finance innovative initiatives, existence of a flexible labor market and a suitable business climate fostering e-economy also play an equally important role. Other mechanisms such as inadequate access of individuals to the ICT infrastructure or excessive taxation on ICT products and services also determine the expansion of personal computer and Internet usage. In a similar vein, with the liberalization of telecommunications sector the cost of access to the networks decreases, or developed financial markets positively impact ICT investments and thus improve infrastructure capacity and terminal quality. Therefore, especially in the developing countries the impact of the network economy on growth and productivity is determined by a series of factors from relevant governmental policies to the level of investment undertaken by the business world on the human and social capital. “A national ICT strategy must be integrated into the overall development strategy of the country. It should assess the prospects and options for promoting the ICT industry, for using ICT in key sectors of the economy, and for empowering and networking all stakeholders in development. It should also systematically address how to use ICT as an enabling tool, in combination with other instruments, to address the two overarching goals of development: sustainable growth and poverty reduction.” (Hanna, 2003:23)


One of the most significant focuses of national ICT policies should be the objective of creating a milieu that would facilitate all citizens to take a fair and equal share of wealth provided by the network economy. Because, “building a dynamic information infrastructure, and a competitive and innovative information sector of the economy, that fosters a variety of efficient and competitive information and communications services and tools available to all sectors” of society is basic for the knowledge economy development. (World Bank, 2002:5–6) Exploitation of ICT to the advancement of national interests, development of network economy, transition to knowledge economy, or the transformation to an information society is impossible without taking effective measures to prevent inequality in the access and use of knowledge networks, that is, digital inequality and digital divide that emerges as a consequence of the former. Digital divide cannot be conceived simply as a problem that can be alleviated by providing access opportunities to ICT, expanding Internet penetration and increasing bandwidth. Required skills, usage autonomy, social support and information acquisition should also be targeted along provision of technical tools and means. Information society thrives on “information literacy” and “knowledge culture”. And this can be only achieved by the “social embeddedness of technology”. (Warschauer, 2003:202–205) To prevent the digital and cultural divide, physical, digital, human and social resources must be allocated in a fair and equalitarian manner, that is, functionality of and accessibility to the information and communication technologies, content development and information processing capabilities, information literacy and lifelong learning opportunities, and new organizational and social interaction models should be made available for the reach of anybody concerned. ICT should not be conceived as a “means” in itself but rather as a “sociotechnical network”. (Warschauer, 2003:207) Socially embedded technologies would transform the society as a whole through the sociotechnical network; therefore, they constitute the ultimate objective of the national ICT policies. The level of advancement of knowledge economy provides at the same time the concrete and measurable parameters of progress in the information society. The paradigm shift emerges when material inputs (raw materials, labor, machinery, purchasing power) are substituted by immaterial inputs (knowledge, content, process, social capital, and intellectual assets). Knowledge only creates value when its production, sharing and flow becomes global, uninterrupted, fast and integrated, put in other words, when managed on “intercommunicating” networks in a synchronized way. Network is, sharing...


It is not only the production, processing, or dissemination, but also the access, sharing and usage of information that creates value. The value added created by information validates itself within a network of circulation and not a production. The circulation process is the real source that feeds the added value. This circulatory network is global, uninterrupted and decentralized. The global information network cannot be centrally governed. The network precludes the very concept of the center. On the other hand, however, it is also true that knowledge creates a value only when it is connected to other knowledge and is synchronized and coordinated, that is, “managed”. This kind of network management is not based on a center but rather on “horizontal coordination” and could be properly called as management through interaction, management of participatory stakeholders, or shortly as “governance”. The new administrative paradigm of the “Information Age” is decentralized, multilayered, participatory, shared network governance, alternatively referred as egovernance. (Uckan, 2003: 17–23) Value added created by knowledge is directly proportional by its availability for sharing. The introduction of a competitive advantage facilitated by an individual, company, partnership, group, cooperative, city, district or nation whenever creating an optimal added value with a suitable knowledge management constitutes the essence of the “knowledge economy” paradigm. This economic paradigm is based on a direct administrative paradigm, or out in other words, on network governance. For knowledge economy has repositioned into the very foundation of competitive advantage the value that is created as a result of participatory knowledge management and optimal knowledge sharing, by transforming and making cooperation and competition relationships more flexible. Knowledge has a distinct structure than other economic values. Knowledge is a “public” value. The fact that knowledge can create value is only possible when it is shared. The head spinning circulation and perpetual motion set by ICT attracts both the market powers and public sector to an economy where knowledge creates economic value. However, transition to knowledge economy is only possible by adopting an economic, social and administrative paradigm rather than exploiting latest technological developments. It is merely a mirage to think that knowledge economy and information society can be realized by sticking to the centralist administrative paradigms of the industrial revolution and nation-states.


2.2. Information and Communications Technologies, Knowledge Economy and Governance Increasingly, each social, economic, political, administrative action thrives more and more on communications and concomitant interaction opportunities. Economic networks where services, products, market information are created, disseminated, shared and transformed into economic value; “political networks” focusing from regulations to creation of a competitive climate to solutions to most basic problems and thus to formation of a business environment; social participatory networks that enable lifelong education and fair and equalitarian sharing, and thus development; and finally, innovation networks that research, develop, project, fund and put knowledge into practice, all help the formation of the value creation process through knowledge. Socio-economic-political value and impact pass through these networks and becomes culture. Optimal transformation should not be expected to occur without proper interaction of networks based on this knowledge. The operation of such networks is possible only when policies -created to achieve specific objectives targeting common benefit in a certain field- are “enabled” by the synergy stemming from due participation and consensus by all parties concerned. Without such networks no value can emerge that would be shared. The impact of a network and its productivity develops directly proportional with opportunities enabling the free and fair participation of stakeholders in a given field. This follows a decentralized model of interaction. A model that thrives on partnerships that form the nodes of the network and on horizontal coordination mechanisms shaped by consensus which itself is achieved through communication between stakeholders... The way that leads to the transition to knowledge economy and thus the creation of information society in a country is based on multiple party partnerships in decision making, policy and strategy building, and all kinds of productive processes; partnerships that involve all stakeholders such as the government, the public sector, the business world, the NGOs in their all incarnations, civil initiatives, labor unions, academia and media, that is, partnerships covering all organized sections of the society and thus increasingly promoting the citizens to get organized, and in parallel transforming the structure of the society... Radical transformations are observed also in organizational and administrative models. The new administrative paradigm of the information age eliminates the conventional antagonism between competition and cooperation. The digital infrastructure based on the Internet communication and online activities transform

decision making, managerial and service providing models. This transformation places the interconnectability potential of network structures at the base of social relationships and business environments, and thus makes competition and cooperation possible within the same time-space framework. “Governance must ensure that complex networks produce socially desirable results,” because governance is “directed influence of social processes.” (Atkinson, 2003:20–21) When information creates value by circulating and being shared on networks, the economic and administrative model that would shape the knowledge economy and information society should be based on network structures. “Networks are a social coordination mechanism as an alternative to hierarchical bureaucratic organizations or pure interest based organizations subject to market forces. The horizontal coordination between network structures facilitates participation of involved parties and increases the social benefit coefficient.” (Uckan, 2003:18) In network-like structures, the realm of social governance based on consensus and in search of a decentralized coordination is usually referred to as the “network governance”. Because of its “networking capabilities” of ICT, it is also called “e-governance”. Egovernance, too, is a kind of governance that allows parties to interact within the decentralized networks leveraged by ICT. In this article, however, because we have been elaborating the subject matter of political governance on the notion of a “network”, we prefer the former term of “network governance”. The dominant orientation of this governance model is to evolve around interconnected interests that must be coordinated and balanced, and its mode of interaction is the multi-party agreement between the public players, private sector and civil society stakeholders. In that respect, network governance is, by its very essence, decentralized, based on horizontal coordination, and constitutes a flexible and participatory governance model. Like the simple fact that a network is facilitated by the mutual relationship and interaction of nodes that make up the network, network governance itself is as effective as it offers to its stakeholders opportunities for democratic participation. Public administration shaped by centralist paradigms is no more deemed to be applicable. It has been both unproductive and ineffective economically, defying citizens’ participation and control, and prone to mismanagement and corruption; therefore, a public administration that does not offer any more social justice and benefit must be reinvented, and the code name of this paradigm shift is “governance”.

A democratic network governance based on a participatory, decentralized and horizontal coordination where interests and responsibilities of all stakeholders are balanced, offers the most suitable governance model for knowledge economy and information society. Some of the biggest forces clashing with this paradigm shift are economic relationships based on competition and are obsessed with the winner/ loser dichotomy of the industrial society and the out fashioned mindset of the centralist vertical organizational model. This situation especially lingers in Turkey where centralism and hierarchies are deeply rooted. Administrative models and accompanying mindsets that allow possible win/win outcomes for all parties are yet to be formed. Although this participatory partnership model still has not found its place on the collective mind, serious demand-side statements are being made especially targeting productivity and efficiency that can be offered by knowledge economy paradigms in both public and private sectors. Whereas the public sector tries to imitate the private sector, the latter is increasingly more active in areas that involve public benefit. Multi-party organizations such as nongovernmental organizations and civil initiatives are closer to the decentralized administrative model as a consequence of their very nature. Currently, there is only a single player of administrative process at work with which governments, institutional structures and cultures can interact: a decentralized gigantic information network that interconnects all networks with horizontal coordination... Such an information network can be neither managed nor could a social and economic value be created unless it is realized on a participatory basis. For sharing knowledge is sharing power. 2.3. Policy Convergence “Convergence” means coming together of technologies and undergoing fusions, creating thereby new technological platforms. The example par excellence would be the new generation mobile phones. Telephony, picture camera, pocket computer, mobile Internet, audio/video player, game console, GPS, etc. are all bundled in a single product. Technological convergence shapes, in one hand, consumers’ expectations, on the other hand, it facilitates different media to mix in. Consequently, one can also talk of media (content) convergence where Internet, television, radio, movies and printed media fuse together. In this context, convergence is, alongside

mobility, one of the most important trends in technology. Most people understand convergence in terms of the network effect and the interoperability principle necessitated by it. The EU has initiated a conceptual debate with its i2010 programme when updating its Lisbon objectives: “policy convergence”. The reasoning behind this approach is based on the fact that science and technology becomes the prerequisite of development and competitive advantage; that the phenomenon of constantly increasing interaction and convergence between different economic sectors and social development areas that are otherwise only observed between scientific and technological disciplines are similarly applicable; and therefore on the necessity of different policies in these areas to interact with each other and offer a holistic mechanism. The failure of achieving the set goals by the Lisbon Strategy is interpreted as caused by, among others, the lack of interaction among different policies. EU which is essentially a “network state”, the need for an “institutional and regulatory convergence” is more obvious because the gap due to such institutional and regulatory issues between the member countries and the necessity to close it are clearly understood. Consequently, to proceed to the next conceptual step of policy convergence comes quite naturally. This same mechanism is valid for any other nation, as this institutional and regulatory gap underlies all kinds of macro issues in such countries; therefore, they should focus on developing policy convergence between every macro policy issues. Developments in the information society and media sectors modify the nature of global competition and “technological convergence” emerges as a significant trend in itself. Different technologies, different implementation areas and different media undergo the aforementioned fusion. EU’s “i2010” strategy is aiming, in essence, to counter the technological convergence with a “policy convergence”. (Commission of the European Communities, 2005:3; i2010 High Level Group 2006:5) As technological convergence is bound to bring distinct aspects of our life into an intersection, policies to be produced to improve our lives should interact with each other stronger than ever. For in real life, growth does not proceed separately from labor, as does productivity from environment, education from innovation, or health from culture. Concepts in this list are interchangeable or new ones can be added as need arises. It is true that science-technology policies and especially ICT policies cannot deliver their time-transforming capabilities unless interrelated with basic policy areas such

as macroeconomy, sectoral priorities, foreign trade, regional development, education and labor. For these two areas crosscut all basic policy issues vertically. Science-technology and ICT policies are not affecting only the policy areas but also the policy makers and institutions at the implementation level by bringing them closer and interacting them. If interaction at policy level is precluded, applicability of policies is jeopardized and human and economic development targets are missed. Policy making processes should be redesigned as to incorporate “convergence”, “interaction” and “governance” concepts along the basic developmental targets. 2.3. Policy Interaction The concept of “policy interaction” was developed to describe circumstances where, for example, policies from different areas are brought into interaction to obtain more extensive solutions; policies at different global, national, local levels are allowed to interact to offer a more consistent and sustainable action platform; and policies of different parties focused on the same target are fused together as to support a more comfortable framework for action. For instance, clustering policies for software and services sectors could be coordinated at the global, national and local level as to create more effective solutions to both resourcing and market problems; or, to promote a strategic sector by the political will, sectoral members, representatives of businesses targeted by the sector, and industry and trade, finance, science and technology public authorities can convene together and strive to establish the most effective platform ensuring the optimal benefit between policies of different areas among these concerned parties. As a consequence of its leading position within the network economy, the ICT sector has a strategic role in terms of knowledge economy, i.e. national economy as a whole. On the other hand, ICT also entails a strategic significance, as it possesses a transforming power for the society by offering added social value. These fact alone positions ICT related policies necessarily into an interaction zone with other policies that target all social and economic layers at national level. This interaction is reciprocal by the very essence of the underlying concepts. To elaborate, for example, whenever the agricultural policies interact with ICT policies, the level of human development is elevated, in one hand, with the exponential development of the agricultural sector built upon the opportunities offered by ICT, and on the other, on a wider scale, the embeddedness of ICT in the daily lives of the agriculturally employed population.


Maximum interaction should be secured between these ICT policies and macropolicy issues such as public administration reform, economy, foreign trade, industry, energy, science-technology-innovation, agriculture, health, education, security, EU integration; and micropolicy and strategy issues such as clustering, SMEs, FDI, VC, technoparks and technology development zone, regional development, public procurement, taxation, industry-academia cooperation, PPP, etc.. Policy development is a process that includes both vision and principal objectives and basic implementation channels. Objectives and channels must comply with each other. To give an example, a certain objective for an increase in employment and creation of added value cannot be reached without an improvement in labor quality and accompanying productivity increases in businesses that would necessarily demand such improvements, and properly securing the employment system. We can interpret this situation as an interaction between objectives and channels during the policy development process. The concept of “implementation channel” entails, as its very name implies, “implementers”. Therefore, this policy interaction necessitates both interaction between implementers of different channels, and also the implementers to accept and absorb set objectives. Either case presupposes during the policy development process the existence of interactions -based on network governance- both between decision makers and implementers, and between implementers of different channels. ICT is a strategic sector that should not be measured by parameters such as the economic entity it represents, or the business volume and employment it creates. For socioeconomic benefits and transformations that take place within its immediate sphere of influence offers values far beyond these parameters. Therefore, national ICT policies should be in interaction with other macropolicies and directly affect all organized power focus, and all actors of the social and economic life. Unless ICT policies are developed by all concerned parties and in a participatory way, the ICT sector cannot fulfill its strategic functionality to provide any significant national interest. Policy convergence and interaction leads to the (ICT-based) “connected” or “networked” governance as a global trend in all e-strategies, including e-government and e-democracy mindset. (UN, 2008)


3. THE ICT POLICY MILIEU IN TURKEY 3.1. The Current Situation for National ICT Policy in Turkey The constituents of a national ICT policy can be listed as follows: ICT industries, liberalization of the telecommunications sector and its regulation, the National Innovation System, ICT use in governmental and public sector (e-government); a social policy to meet structural changes (social inclusion), protection of private information, intellectual rights, the right for access to information (know right), legislation on cyber crimes. Several policies and strategies have been developed or are still developing in Turkey within the last decade. Partial support for offering incentives aimed at ICT industries is also present, however, no radical and systematic development can be observed that embraces the industry as a whole. There is still no strategy and action plan for software and services. Since 2004, the liberalization process of telecommunications is still ongoing, progress is visible, but still targets are not met. Practically, the monopoly is still prevalent. The fact that the 3G licensing has been realized in recent months is good news in the direction that the monopoly can be somewhat given up. The recent legislation of Electronic Communications Act can have a positive impact on the liberalization process, however, it is yet due. The R&D Act introduced in 2007 can be interpreted as an indicator of a slight progress in the National Innovation System, however, no signs of industry-academia cooperation, microinnovation at firm level, clustering strategies for the innovation of SMEs, or promotion of a venture capital sector are visible. Since the issue of e-government is one of the priorities of the current government, considerable achievements are made in digital governmental services. By making use of a good deal of public resources since 2000, redundant projects are finally eliminated and a certain maturity attained. Recently the “e-Government Portal” has been introduced and thus the system’s integration accomplished. But on the “client” side, there are seriously big problems for both the business world and citizens regarding services. Similarly, the structuring of e-government does not help much the public administration to make some progress in the direction of governance. For e-government is conceived as a mechanical modernization project in Turkey. As to social inclusion, some effective strategies have been developed especially by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transportation. Achievements are made to computerize and bring the Internet to schools. Other rapid developments are in progress that aims to offer more public access points to the Internet and to enhance universal access. However, all such

progress is limited to a “mechanical” perspective that is primarily concerned with computer and Internet penetration, broadband enhancement, realization of network ready standards, etc.. Still, no policies are developed that would embed technology socially. On the regulation side, for example, the Data Protection Law is on the table for the last ten years awaiting to meet demands of several government institutions that compete to introduce their own versions of exceptions. As regards the intellectual rights, the situation looks relatively better; not on the regulatory side but on the implementation side there are some problems but they are solvable. In 2004, the Access to Information Act has been introduced but it is already inapplicable as it is almost completely left to authorities to interpret it the way they like. Amendments to the Turkish Penal Code have been introduced to address cyber crimes, but they still vague and wide open to interpretation. Turkey still did not sign EU Cyber Crime Convention, therefore, international cooperation face serious problems. However, it can be said that provisions for not signing the Convention may have partially their point. In 2007, Law Number 5651 “of regulating the internet transmission issues and combating the crimes which are conducting by internet transmission” was introduced and chaos ensued. Access to sites like Youtube and Google Groups is almost impossible, and this regulation made Turkey a member of the league of censuring nations. Beyond Law 5651, there a series of other problematic regulations and by means of a court decree, it is extremely easy to block a certain site. These regulations, introduced either to comply with the European legislation or on their own agenda, offer more problems than solutions as they are still shaped with perspectives based on a centralist administration paradigm. The national “Information Society Strategy” and its concomitant action plan that would coordinate and bring all ICT policies and strategies into interaction, and converge them with other national policies, are introduced in 2006. In 2005, the “eTransformation Turkey Executive Board” was formed that included some ministers and public institutions as decision makers, whereas ICT NGOs were only invited as observers. It is this board who endorsed the strategy document. This topic will be examined in detail below. Turkey has been developing continuously policies, strategies and action plans in the fields of, first, science-technology, and then ICT, since the adoption of “planned development” paradigm of 60s. To interpret this outlook, one can say that there is a good deal of serious effort to develop a national ICT policy, without much success. Here the problem stems not from “instrumental” issues such as a lack of resources, know-how, infrastructure, access to technology, etc. It is completely one of a mindset. One I prefer to call a “governance phobia”, the result of complete “political

inadequacy” which usually materializes in terms of insistence on a centralist administration tradition, a distrust in the business world, in NGOs, in academia and in its own citizens, and trying, instead, to cover up (the lack of) participation with image making operations... Unless policies include all concerned parties, they are destined to remain just as documents; a mechanism, that repeats itself over and over. Unless all concerned parties are included in this process, you cannot expect social demand and mobilization emerge on its own. Is the culprit, then, only the bureaucracy and public authority? Does not have the business world, labor organizations, academia, NGOs, or the initiativeless citizen herself any responsibility? The answer is, unfortunately, yes, as long as they do not claim actively participate and remain content with sharing the same centralist administration culture. The fate of the ICT sector itself or any ICT related subject in Turkey is bound within the confines of an inward looking agenda as if it is not the business for the rest of the country. The interest of both the politicians and the society is evoked only when there are elections, some grandiose activity, the integration problem with EU, or some complaints regarding Ataturk, pornography or hate speech on the Internet. This sector has not been successful in persuading the society, politicians and the business world that a fully competitive, easily accessible and innovative ICT sector would be the leading force for national development. By the same token, the same sector cannot express itself as a powerful socioeconomic player just because it cannot secure the necessary physical or communication synchronization between different organizations and networks. For it has its own share of governance phobia which has become the hallmark of the whole country. 3.2. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey Although ICT related policies in Turkey have been almost always developed synchronously with the rest of the world, unfortunately, they did not yield the desired objectives. It will beneficial to list the milestones of this policy development process. TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) was founded in 1963. In 1966 TURDOK (Scientific and Technical Documentation Center of Turkey) was established. TBD (The Turkish Informatics Association), Turkey’s first ICT NGO was founded in 1971. The 1st National Information Congress convened in 1976. TUBISAD (Turkish Informatics Industry Association) was founded as a sectoral organization in 1979. In 1983, BTYK (Supreme Council for Science


and Technology) was founded. In 1986, TÜVAKA (Universities and Rearch Institutions Network of Turkey) was created. In 1986, Ege University, Yildiz University and Middle East Technical University /TUBITAK developed the Internet infrastructure (EARN connection). In 1990, BYK (Supreme Council for Informatics) was founded. In 1991, to fund ICT related R&D, TTGV (Turkey Technology Development Foundation) was founded. Between 1991–1993, the TRNET (TR-Grid) infrastructure was developed. In 1993, TUBA (he Turkish Academy of Sciences) and in 1994, Türk Patent Enstitüsü (Turkish Patent Institute) was founded. TBV (Turkish Informatics Foundation), another ICT NGO was founded in 1995. In 1995, the 1st Internet Conference was held. In 1997, ULAKBIM (Turkish National Academic Network and Information Center) was founded. The same year TBD founded KamuBIB (Union of Public Data-Processing Center Manager) and ODTU (METU) founded the Institute of Informatics. In 1998 TUENA (National Information Infrastructure Master Plan of Turkey) was conceived but it did not materialized. In 1998, the 9th Transportation Council Telecommunication Commission Workshop was held. In 1998, ETKK (E-Commerce Coordination Comittee) was founded and delivered critical reports. In 1998, the Internet Advisory Board and Kamu-Net (Public-Net) Supreme Council were formed. In 2000, Information Technologies and Policies Special Expertise Commission’s Report (within the VIII. Five-Year Development Plan) has been issued. The same year, TUBITAK led the Vision 2023 efforts. In 2001, ICT NGOs came together to form the BSTO (ICT NGO Platform), however, it did not lead to anything substantial. IvHP (Internet and Law Platform) was founded, and it made important contributions to ICT based legislative regulations. The same year Turkey became a member of “eEurope+” initiative and started “eTurkey Initiative”, and developed short term action plans focusing on egovernment. In 2002 the 1st Informatics Council convened. In 2003, the Communications Council was realized. TBV reported sectoral priorities to the Prime Minister. In 2003, the new government announced the e-Turkey Transformation Project and convened the E-Transformation Executive Board. Also State Planning Organization Information Society Department was founded. Next year, in 2004, member NGOs of the Executive Board founded the NGO Watch Committee for eTransformation Turkey Executive Board and started delivering reports. In 2004 Izmir Economy Congress convened and significant documents related to knowledge economy, information society, science-technology, R&D policies were submitted. World Bank issued Knowledge Economy Assessment Study of Turkey. ICT NGOs submitted the Alternative Information Society Strategy Initiative to the Executive Board. 2nd Informatics Council was held. TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association) convened the 2st Innovation Congress. In 2005 National Innovation Initiative was created. In 2006, the Information Society Strategy and its Action Plan were realized. In 2007, TUBISAD made an Open Announcement


addressing all political parties. TUBISAD submitted its Software Strategy to the Executive Board. TIM (Turkish Exporters Assembly) organized an “Innovation” Conference. In 2008, TBV, TBD and TUBISAD gave presentations to the Executive Board delineating the expectations of the sector, policy improvements and project prioritizations. Alas, none of these ventures ended up as desired. I already diagnosed the problem in the public domain as one of “governance phobia”. The problems on the other side of the business world, NGOs, and civil initiatives consist of a series of issues such as ineffectiveness, lack of communication, lack of coordination, the inability to build power alliances, a lack of self-image as a relevant player, and missing functionalities such as monitoring and pressure building. 3.3. Parties of E-governance: I already diagnosed the problem in the public domain as one of “governance phobia”. The problems on the other side of the business, labor, academia, NGOs, and civil initiatives consist of a series of issues such as ineffectiveness, lack of communication, lack of coordination, the inability to build power alliances, a lack of self-image as a relevant player, and missing functionalities such as monitoring and pressure building. The private sector in Turkey is able to create very little global competitive advantage within its own entire playground. The business world is unable to create inter- or intra-sectoral power alliances. It also cannot create an effective governance network neither in itself, nor with its natural allies such as NGOs, academia, international organizations, etc. It also cannot develop a network relationship with its counterparts such as the government, EU, the Turkish Military, labor union, etc.; worse, it even cannot become a “counterpart”. This is all because the business world does not develop industrial policies. It is thus unable to meet its mission to act as the leading governance force to develop national policies. It cannot transcend beyond simple gains such as sharing the existing market, or tactical considerations for some potential profit yet to be offered to it by the very power focus who do not consider it a “counterpart”. A private sector that creates value added must grasp that wealth ensues just because of qualified social capital and public-private governance network, and should thus act accordingly.


Labor organizations in Turkey do not play a role for the transition to the knowledge economy and information society in compliance with their own functionalities. It is understandable that they perceive the dynamics of the knowledge economy, especially the ever increasing role of technology in production, as a threat. But exactly because of this, should not they participate in the whole process more actively to protect the rights of workers and to be present as one of the parties during the formation of knowledge based workforce? The labor organizations, much like the bureaucracy, seem to be living within the last centuries’ paradigms. There are isolated groups within these organizations that make intelligent strategic proposals, but they do not seem to have much influence on management cadres. Labor unions are fighting much of the time for relative improvements on workers’ income and existing rights which would not have much structural impact on employment. Labor organizations should develop policies that would focus on strategies to address the changing nature of employment, workforce training, the transformation of the unqualified labor – which becomes increasingly unemployedto qualified labor especially for the agricultural sector, a fair system for the new knowledge based workforce, and to formation of value creation for the unprotected parties, where they should also make us of their traditional cogent pressure power. It is immediately evident what the Academia did not do as one considers the impotency of the innovation dynamics, the inertia of the science and technology policies. The Academia, who paid the price of political tensions that have been lingering since 60s by losing its autonomy, has become unmanageable with the centralist administrative maladies. The price of this obstacle is easily observable in all fields: the academia, naturally the leading engine of innovation and R&D, does not have the mindset and financial resources to produce and manage knowledge; it cannot develop a governance relationship with the private sector as it did not create the flexible environment necessary for an industry-academia cooperation, in the first place, and thus cannot transfer qualified knowledge and human capital; it abuses technopark-like makeshift structures borrowed from global models for unearned profits by neglecting its primary responsibilities and thus shoots itself in the feet; on one hand, it dodges its responsibilities regarding improvements that must be introduced for a smooth transition from high school education to higher education, and on the other, by lowering the quality of education, it negatively contributes to the army of unqualified human resources; it neglects its responsibilities to be one of the parties in producing policies for national education, science and technology, and innovation, just because of its inertia and ineffectiveness; and thus, the most important player in the formation of the environment for “lifelong learning”, one of the pillars of the knowledge economy and information society, becomes a lame duck.


Finally, as innovation is attempted to be managed from centralist mechanisms such as the Academia, national resources are irrationally exhausted. In today’s world, for the creation and success of national policies, the participation of NGOs that represent various sections that make up the society, is a major determinant. Because of the dominance of the centralist administrative paradigms in Turkey, the NGO movement lagged in providing itself a sufficient dynamics for development. Most of the time, both economic and social NGOs reflected this centralist administrative paradigm onto their own administrative mechanisms and thus became ineffective. It is quite natural that NGOs are “interest groups”; however, Turkish NGOs were unsuccessful in transforming this “interest” to sustainable benefit in their relationship with the political establishment just because they preferred, instead, opportunistic sharing arrangements with it. NGOs, with a fundamental functionality to secure the democratic participation of parties they represent, or put in other words, of being a “monitoring and pressure group” and by managing the information flow and making their view sufficiently communicated, have had difficulties in fulfilling these responsibilities in their relationships with the government and bureaucracy because of such conflict of interest. Then they became ineffective in transforming the process of creation of economic and social policies to a governance relationship. It is frequently mentioned that a society is governed by those whom it deserves. The weakness of the nation-state, the crisis or the representative democracy and searches for more direct democracy mechanisms makes citizens’ initiative more contingent than ever in national policies. As NGOs in Turkey are pretty new and do not originate from genuine citizens’ initiative, their administrative mechanisms reflect the centralist administrative paradigms. Civil initiatives cannot prosper. The public interest has confined itself to sensational, transient and contingent events. They behave as if tomorrow never would come. In each election, memories of recent past are easily forgotten, and only then when daily livings are at stake, they raise up their voices. All these are really not sufficient to make people “citizens” and, a society. What all of these parties without much initiative did not do, suggests at the same time what they should do. There is a good deal of things to be done “together” by all concerned parties. First of all, they should get rid of the centralist power illusion in their own institutions and honestly display a governance model compatible with their own field of activities; this is a prerequisite to enter a “legitimate” stakeholder relationship with other parties. Only then they should create, within an effective and

all encompassing framework, a real national policy which addresses priority targets –by, again, first abandoning all policies, strategies, action plans that have been previously produced by some party but have already passed beyond their shelf life as no consensus could be secured upon them; and then, propose the strategy that would transform this policy to a roadmap in harmony with global conditions; then, establish, within a governance framework and at a legitimate platform, the coordination and implementation mechanism of the strategic process which is stratified in the context of different parties and targets; then, create the action plan with the concomitant feasibility and risk analysis studies- which would let, according to the set strategy, prioritized projects materialize; and then, form participatory superstructure mechanisms to control and improve this process by evaluating global, regional and national conditions and making projections in compliance with the national policy, but also going beyond that, establishing independent watchdogging mechanisms including members from NGOs and academia. The prerequisite factors for this process to become a real step forward are effective participation, transparent management, fair sharing and a consensus as wide as possible. Stated somewhat differently, unless you share knowledge and power, and deploy a real governance system, you cannot build the future of a country. 3.4. Information Society Strategy The “Information Society Strategy 2006–2010” document and its attached Action Plan, prepared by the international consultancy firm Peppers&Rogers who won the SPO bid, was approved by a Decree of High Planning Council dated 28/07/2006 and upon its publishing in the Official Gazette Nr. 26242 became effective. (DPT, 2006–1; DPT, 2006–2; SPO, 2006) Although indisputably an “official” one, does this document deserve to be called a “national” one? For as long as two years, the “e-Transformation Turkey Executive Board” which is expected to govern activities regarding Turkey’s transformation to knowledge economy and information society, seems to be the administrative body for the “Information Society Strategy”. As participation of NGOs and business associations was solicited for board meetings, we first imagined that an important step was made in regards of “governance” -the unavoidable administrative model in etransformation processes- we suddenly realized -and awakened- that his was just a PR operation and not a participatory invitation. Participating NGOs, i.e. TBD (Turkish

Informatics Association), TBV (Turkish Informatics Foundation), TÜBİSAD (Turkish Informatics Industry Association), have since then been submitting, via a “Watch Committee” they formed, regular reports about the weaknesses of this process. (eDonusum Turkiye Icra Kurulu STK Izleme Komitesi, 2004; 2005) Criticism focused on the inadequacy of juridical legitimacy of the Executive Board, and relatively, the fact that it lacked executive power and suffered from governance phobia. That criticism was appropriate became clear during the preparatory process of the “Information Society Strategy”. We were debating the necessity and inadequacy of the strategy, when we faced, surprisingly, a fait-accompli with the SPO bid that eventually picked a company to draft it. Later, evaluation of the draft was solicited to obtain NGOs views on it, however, once collected, they were readily neglected. For without giving a proper response to these views, the draft document was hastily approved lacking NGOs any contribution. The transparent, i.e. the public debate only began once the document was thus approved. SPO which was initially just the “secretariat” of the “Executive Board”, became the actual “owner” of this “strategy” and thus the “general coordinator” for information society activities. The model offered by the Executive Board -whose own juridical legitimacy is debated- under the heading “Organizational Structure and Governance Model” (DPT, 2006–1:43–46; SPO, 2006:43–46) clearly reflects what the bureaucracy understands from “e-transformation Turkey”: “e-government”, with the most mechanical interpretation of the word, just e-government. A “Council of Transformation Leaders” is offered; but it also is limited with public participators. NGO and business world “leaders” are not mentioned at all. Whereas SPO is promoted from “secretariat” to “coordination position” and “ownership” the role of NGOs is demoted to “consultancy” and “communication support”. Even further, as if it was not enough that the newly created “SPO Directorate General for Information Society” became the “owner of the strategy”, all key responsibilities from resource allocation to monitoring and control -via Turkish Statistical Institute- have been delegated to this institution. As if “separation of powers” was not a principle! Whereas the most criticized subject with the Executive Board is the virtuality of the “governance structure”, suggestions made by them are quite ironic. Other units that are part of the administrative model are also confined to the public sector only. So are all articles of the “Action Plan” which itself lacks a feasibility and risk analysis.


It is quite ironic for this document to speak about an “e-transformation mobilization” which projects a bigger import than export in ICT and especially in software, and which, with targets it proposes, draws a picture for Turkey well below the “EU i2010” standards! In this model which does not harbor anything worth than the mechanical modernization of the public sector, not a single word is mentioned regarding how the business world and related NGOs will participate in the “governance” platform, the very essence of governance. The attached “Action Plan” does not include any action in that regard, either. (DPT, 2006–2) Probably, whenever “governance” is mentioned, it is the one among the public institutions. Accordingly, “information society” must consist of knowledge management in the public sector only! Is not etransformation a national movement that should encompass the whole society including its economy, culture and organization? The most basic problem with the strategy document is its perspective for the process which is called an “e-transformation” and includes subtitles such as “social transformation”, “citizen-focused services transformation”, “ICT adaptation by business”, “modernization in the public administration”, “competitive, widespread and affordable communication infrastructure and services”, and “improvement of R&D and innovation”. Apart from the question that these subtitles can ever sufficiently cover a large spectrum concept such as “information society”, the suggestion that a mobilization effort that would transform the society with all its parts and institutions is limited to public sector modernization already gives a concrete idea about the “success” of this strategy! The “information society” becomes an abstract and hollow concept unless handled with its socioeconomic aspects. “Information society”, which should accompany the concept of “knowledge economy”, is a concept that qualifies societies which create value in producing, sharing, disseminating and using information, and shares this in a fair and equalitarian way. In that respect, it is clear that the subject matter of our information strategy is not the “society”... For example, all proposals related to “social transformation” are limited to “ereadiness” standards such as the development of the information infrastructure in schools, promotion of Internet and computer penetration, providing public access opportunities, Internet security and content development. (DPT, 2006:21–24; SPO, 2006:21–23) Social transformation calls for more than just being “ready” to the information society. Will young people who take the basic computer education and

have access to the Internet both in their schools and in public access points, will be ready with this bare formation for the knowledge economy? One needs a radical educational reform to create the social capital that would comply with the knowledge based employment: that is, a flexible education system properly structured with the model of the “lifelong learning”, which also aims to develop one’s knowledge related capabilities... Applicability of ICT implementations to the business world and emergence of a globally competitive ICT sector are among the prerequisites of knowledge economy. Instead of offering alternatives for opening the ICT sector to full competition, the document creates yet another new Turk Telekom model. No suggestions are made to give national sectors priority in public procurement. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the document projects software and services export of only $407M for the overall ICT sector with an expected size of $9B in 2010. Probably because it is expected that the status quo will be maintained in spite of its extremely negative impact on the sector, a domestic market is envisioned that is totally import-oriented! (DPT, 2006:14–17, 26–29; SPO, 2006:14–16, 24–26) The attached action plan also harbors significant flaws. For funding of most actions public-private partnership is assumed, however, no financial model is given for this structure. The cost of the proposed actions is expected to amount to YTL5.3B and half of it will be paid by the operations themselves and by citizens. However, there is no clue as how these resources will be created! (DPT, 2006–2: 3–7) Proposed actions interact with each other by their very nature. However, related integration projects, risk analyses and interactive feasibilities are not given! All actions are about the public sector, and merely a compilation of the existing achievements. No prioritizations for requirements are made. For innovation and R&D issues which were “forgotten” during the preparation phase of the document but later adroitly picked up from relevant TÜBİTAK studies and thus were attempted to be properly made up for, no concrete initiatives are proposed. Neither the legal infrastructure of the innovation, nor the industry-academia cooperation, nor financial models that will pave the way for innovation and entrepreneurship… (DPT, 2006–2: 40) Since all visions offered in the documents are positioned with respect to the EU’s existing averages, and because EU Lisbon Strategy’s “i2010” criteria are simply avoided, in any case, the picture drawn for Turkey is poised to lag behind the European standards. With such a strategy, Turkey can only become an “information market” and not an “information society”. The concept of “information society” envisioned in the “Information Society Strategy” has a reductionist impact on both determining strategic priorities and proposing relevant actions. (DPT, 2006–1:3–18;

SPO, 2006:3–17) As one sees the “Knowledge Society” as a natural consequence of ICT access, spread and use, it is quite understandable to be content with a “strategy” that limits the government’s priority responsibilities with a relative ICT development that comprises formation of a mechanical e-government system. Alas, issues at hand are not that easy! To use a dynamic such as “knowledge” to promote a country’s social, economic and cultural development, a more complex targeting system is needed. Information society and knowledge economy targets simply mean an effective integration of the country with the information transformed global economy; sustainability of growth and productivity; creation of global competitive advantage by giving domestic market dynamics a manageable stability whereas increasing the foreign trade volume with a value added focus; realizing a fair and equalitarian human and economic development by creating new and profitable knowledge intensive employment channels, and making the innovation culture the driving force of entrepreneurship, and thus promoting a qualified, flexible, knowledge based and continuously learning social capital. Whereas ICT access and spread of use was not sufficient for even the activation of ICT opportunities and infrastructure which is just a dynamic part of this systemic whole, how can one expect it to carry the society to information? The concrete and measurable parameters of the information society are related to the performance of the knowledge economy. On the contrary, the parameters used on the document are a far cry from measuring the information society and the performance of the knowledge economy; they are comprised simply of “e-readiness” standards related to ICT penetration. Information society and ICT policies and strategies are developed for a long time in interaction with strategies for transformation to knowledge economy as foreseen in the national information policies. The reductionist approach of the strategy document yields the same result in all subtitles which themselves short fall to explain the information society. As part of social transformation when “focused competence” is the issue, one expects a “lifelong learning” model that produces people in compliance with the knowledge economy; but alas, what you get is “basic level ICT courses”! (DPT, 2006–1:21–24; SPO, 2006:21–23) When the subject is ICT adaptation by business, one expects knowledge economy models that target improvement for business operations, or offer legislative infrastructure that support models which promote productivity in SME business processes; once again you end up with computer ownership, Internet

access, e-trade promotion... (DPT, 2006–1:25–28; SPO, 2006:24–26) As one reads the subtitle “facilitating business transactions” one readily is tempted to think about concrete measures for cost reduction, promotion of ICT solutions for productivity, entrepreneurship and innovation; however, it promptly becomes clear that, all the fuss is about “reducing costs for doing business with the government”. The document talks about promoting exports but it does not mention finding a solution to the techno park conundrum, making, with the help of sectoral and regional clustering strategies, entrepreneurship and innovation dominant factors in added valued creation, nor emphasizes it other ventures that would offer advantages to national sectors in public economy with defense industries at the front! The document targets an ICT supported “modernization in public administration”, however, it does not mention an “e-governance” model that complies with the information society and knowledge economy paradigms in public administration; it seems having forgotten that e-government is simply a mechanical modernization without e-democracy. (DPT, 2006–1:33–36; SPO, 2006:32–34) Law is the weakest chain in the strategy document. Except taxation and public procurement, it does not show up much. To the contrary, information society and knowledge economy can only thrive on a suitable legal infrastructure. This infrastructure is a complicated system from education to employment, public administration to trade, or election system to health; and the determination of the prioritized targets within the legal map can be only secured by figuring out the national benefit upon a legal risk analysis and with the help of a responsible legalization process which is also transparent to the participation of all concerned parties. (Türkiye Iktisat Kongresi 2004 22. Calisma Grubu, 2005:44–46, 82–85) The strategy document seems to be incapable to fit the bill without recourse to information policy, knowledge economy and law. To balance the public-oriented inclination of the Information Society Strategy, an Information Society Co-Strategy may be necessary, to be developed by the participation of all significant actors of economic and social life and led by the ICT NGOs. Priorities of this strategy are developing an effective policy networking, assuring the telecom liberalization (EU regulatory package), developing social embeddedness of technology, improving legal and institutional environment, improving business environment and investment climate, strengthening dynamics of ICT sector, creating competitive advantages of software and ICT services industries, developing effective public, private, and mixed financial models, assuring integration of ICT to the macro and micro innovation mechanisms, and finally, triggering


national mobilization for e-Transformation Turkey Initiative (in harmony with the EU i2010 Programme). 4. CONCLUSION: Will Turkey be able to connect the line between the will, policy, strategy and plan? In her relationship with EU, Turkey has entered since October 2005 into a slowdown, stagnation, or even inertia. When a public spirit stigmatized with the EU tiredness –which itself was also foreseeable and should be managed appropriately but fell likewise victim to indoor politics- is added to the equation, the inertial mood goes deeper down. It is clear that the integration process with EU means more than joining a club, and should be assessed as a jumping board that would create the necessary momentum for a quantum leap for human and economic development by offering a platform with global standards. But to assess it you have to manage it. And to manage it you have to have a “policy”... Strategy follows, and tactics is merely a detail. But as the government is trying, by playing the game with a tactical mindset, to postpone the unavoidable, that is, evading a power share with the society, all barriers seem to be too high to overcome. On the contrary, Turkey is having a historical moment. Economy, social infrastructure, culture... The country must trigger a quantum leap by synchronizing, integrating and coordinating, that is, by “governing” the power channels in these basic axes. A national ICT policy means at the same time a “national development policy”; for “transition to the information society and transformation to the knowledge society” targets make up the latter’s backbone. In Turkey, the process from creation of this policy to its implementation within a governance regime must be designed as a national mobilization effort to be carried out together with the political will. Improvement of the national information factors –technology, innovation, quality and competences- of Turkey is of outmost importance regarding the promotion of both the productivity and achievement of sustainable, long-term economic growth targets. We must hastily adjust our development policies in parallel to knowledge economy paradigms.


Turkey is at a vital crossroads. We are confronted, thanks to the administrative impasse due to our insistence on the centralist administration heritage, with a danger of skipping the global paradigm transformation and to be excluded from the global information flow. We must get rid of the “governance phobia”. National benefit can be attained only by producing, processing, sharing and managing knowledge, that is, by being a global player. And promoting productivity, creating qualified employment, securing a sustained growth, obtaining national competitive advantage and making development sustainable, is only possible with the introduction of knowledge economy. Knowledge, with policy, creates economy.


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