Sabri Ülgener and Ahmed Güner Sayar: A Line in Turkish Economic Thought


Sabri Fehmi Ülgener and Ahmed Güner Sayar are two of the most eminent figures to be recognized through their economic and cultural studies in modern Turkish thought. They have generated remarkable ideas about relative economic underdevelopment in Ottoman-Turkish society, controversial economic policies within capitalism, and the existence of two principal veins in the methodology of economics. This paper aims to ascertain Ülgener and Sayar’s approaches toward the different dimensions of economics and to review the points upon which they agree and disagree in this regard. On the problem of economic underdevelopment, they can be said to generally focus on cultural elements and to have asserted the essence of Sufism to be distorted. They can also be said to have not fallen into any sharp differences over capitalism’s liberal or interventionist policies. On the methodology of economics, they agreed about the need to have an a posteriori character within the scope of the explanatory nature of economic theories. Additionally, they focused on the sociology of economics using the verstehen [German: to understand] method to comprehend human typology in economics through its various aspects. The research findings indicate these two men to have been the architects of an original line in Turkish economic thought by showing consensus on principles and method, despite disagreements on the details.


Turkish economic thought Sabri Ülgener Ahmed Güner Sayar Ottoman-Turkish society Economic liberalism Keynesian economics.