Abstract

This paper analyzes the political-economic context of Jan Tinbergen's work as development planning expert in Turkey between 1960 and 1966. Tinbergen was brought in against the will of the Turkish government in early 1960, at the urging of the OECD and the IMF. After the military coup later that year he played a key role in the founding of the State Planning Organization as well as its institutional design. The organization was meant to represent neutral expertise above political parties, along the lines of a similar planning organization in the Netherlands. This article argues that from the very start the organization was a contested and politicized institution within Turkish politics, as well as within the international political context. It traces Tinbergen's only partially successful effort to navigate these tensions and create some autonomy for the organization. The article concludes with some reflections on how Tinbergen learned from his experiences in Turkey.

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