İzmir Economic Congress

views updated


Turkish economic summit meeting, 1923.

Convened in February 1923 during a recess in the Lausanne Peace Conference, the İzmir Economic Congress consisted of more than 1,100 Turkish delegates representing agriculture, trade, artisans, and labor, as well as top political leaders, including Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The resolutions adopted were referred to as the Economic Pact (Misak-i Iktisadi), signifying that the government considered them as important as the previously promulgated Turkish National Pact (Misak-i Milli), which enunciated the goal of political independence. These resolutions proclaimed the intention of developing the nation's economy by relying on the free activity of Turkish entrepreneurs. Foreign capital was to be welcome provided it adhered to Turkish law. Monopolies were opposed. Thus, the congress inaugurated a phase of reliance on private enterprise. This phase ended after the consolidation of the republican regime and the onset of the worldwide depression in the late 1920s. It was replaced by a concerted policy of state initiatives on the economy, including ownership and operation of major enterprises.

see also atatÜrk, mustafa kemal; turkish national pact.


Bianchi, Robert. Interest Groups and Political Development in Turkey. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

frank tachau