acemoglu58_Chris McGrathGetty Images_turkeyearthquake Chris McGrath/Getty Images

To Reconstruct Turkey, Rebuild Its Democracy

Turkey's massive death toll from the earthquakes in February attests to a much larger problem. From an overly powerful construction lobby and endemic corruption to the steady erosion of democratic institutions, it is clear that the country now needs a thorough political and economic transformation.

BOSTON – The devastating earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey (and at least 7,000 in northern Syria) in February have exposed deep-rooted problems in the run-up to potentially epochal presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14. Turkey, it is now clear, needs more than a change of government; it needs a fundamental transformation of its politics and economy. That means confronting the hugely powerful construction lobby and attempting to rebuild the country’s flailing democracy.