The Historical Roots of Entrepreneurship in South-Central Anatolia in Turkey
The economic development in one region or locale can be associated with and explained by socio-cultural and socio-spatial factors. This premise is well-supported by an institutional and historical analysis. The increasing number of works on social embeddedness and formation of entrepreneurial culture highlight again a well-known phrase of institutional economics: history matters. Economic growth in one region can be closely associated with broad historical processes and initial advantages. The Turkish case offers a suitable context for this institutional analysis outlined above. The initial advantages that are most evident in the irreversible development trajectories of the commercial centres like Istanbul and Izmir are also expressive in the emerging regional and sub-regional growth centres like Anatolian Tigers. Anatolian Tigers refer a number of new growth centres that put up a good and consistent performance in manufacturing industry since the 1980s. Two Anatolian Tigers, Konya (well-known) and Karaman (less-known) locating in South-Central Anatolia constitute the geographical scope of this paper. The sub-region of Konya-Karaman is not only delineated by normative criteria but also defined historically and geographically. This makes the area a historical region of established commercial culture. Konya is an important regional centre of commercial, industrial, agricultural and service activities in Turkey especially with its nationally strategic industrial establishments and grain production. Since the 1980s, Konya has experienced an important development in the manufacturing industry. Karaman that is an important industrial and commercial centre of Central Anatolia at both provincial and urban levels is commonly not known or termed as an Anatolian Tiger but it displays a number of historical peculiarities (administrative, socio-economic and geographic) are crucial to comprehend the historical roots of recent commercial and industrial development of Tigers and other redeveloping centres in Anatolia. In the re-emergence of Konya and Karaman as regional growth centres, locational, social and political factors contributed positively to the perpetual socio-economic development in Anatolian Seljuk, Karamanogullari, Ottoman and Republican periods. In conclusion, from the perspective of institutional economics, this paper examines the role of historical-geographical factors in the formation of an entrepreneurial culture in the sub-region of Konya and Karaman.
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