SAM Paper No 13:
Turkey and the OIC: Greater Economic Cooperation, Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Bilal Bağış & Dr. Çağlar Yurtseven

This paper aims to analyze potential future areas of greater cooperation between Turkey and the other OIC member economies. It then provides some specific policy recommendations. In particular, the paper aims to contribute to economic policymaking efforts in terms of the potential future areas of increased cooperation. Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has immense savings-holding accumulated over the past few decades. Human and physical capital potentials are extremely high. Yet, there are also huge economic disparities and extremely diverse demographic dynamics. This paper is built on the idea that a crucial strategy to boost economic development and social prosperity is an intense economic, financial and strategic integraton of the OIC members. In particular, countries with common historical, cultural and even religious backgrounds have much to gain from such specific collaboration efforts. In that line, this paper deals with opportunities and challenges regarding the strategic position of Turkey. It focuses on sectors in which Turkey has a comparative advantage within the OIC league. It further analyzes the reasons Turkey and the other OIC economies must cooperate and build stronger economic ties. The paper suggests that such a modern economic cooperation or a strategic union that is strengthened by historical, social and cultural roots is both inevitable and to the benefit of all parties.

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