• October 2018 (2)
  • September 2018 (3)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (2)
  • June 2018 (4)
  • May 2018 (3)
  • April 2018 (5)
  • March 2018 (3)
  • February 2018 (5)
  • January 2018 (4)
  • December 2017 (4)
  • November 2017 (3)

    Erdoğan’s call for restraint
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 September 2016
    Turkey is now coming back from a long bayram holiday, or I should say from a feast, in the Russian philosopher Bakthin’s sense of the term. “The feast” says Bakthin, “has no utilitarian connotation (as has daily rest and relaxation after working hours.) On the contrary, the feast means liberation from all that is utilitarian, practical. It is a temporary transfer to the utopian world.” I guess that is why he also describes the feast as “the primary and indestructible ingredient of human civilization.” It might be the result of the feast he is coming from, but your analyst is definitely in a positive mood today. [More]
    Low growth, bad politics?
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 September 2016
    The G20 Summit is to meet in Hangzhou, China this weekend, so be ready for a flood on global leaders’ meetings. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, started it off this Thursday. “We need forceful policies to avoid the low-growth trap” was the headline of her G20 briefing note. This is a reality check coming after the summer recess: either take measures to jumpstart growth, or get ready for rising populist rhetoric about globalization and its consequences. At the end of the day, economics doesn’t stay confined to its own world . It is all about politics in the last analysis. Low growth brings in bad politics, and bad politics is what has been eroding the stability of the global system. [More]
    Why Turkish boots are on Syrian Soil
    Güven Sak, PhD 27 August 2016
    Ten days after the failed coup, I was at a meeting with CEOs of international companies operating in Turkey. It was all about the domestic security situation. The CEOs said it was getting harder for them to bring even temporary R&D personnel into Turkey. “We need to bring around 2000 such people for short term assignments to the country and it has become increasingly difficult to do so,” said one. “This is not something directly related to the failed coup attempt,” he explained, “We have had this problem for the last year and a half.” He was talking about ISIL and the PKK. [More]
    Joe Biden is coming to Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 August 2016
    “Life punishes those who come too late” said Mikhail Gorbachev on October 7, 1989 to Erich Honecker, the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party in East Germany. Honecker resigned on October 18. It was him who predicted in January of 1989 that the Wall would remain for another 50 to 100 years. A broad range, yet grossly off the mark. Demolition off the Wall started in early November of that year. Honecker, like the rest of the USSR, was late in responding to the winds of change, and was swept away by them. East Germany is no more. [More]
    Two roads ahead of Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 13 August 2016
    Spain, Venezuela and Turkey are very different countries. Venezuela is an oil exporting country, whereas Spain and Turkey are oil importers. Spain and Turkey are in Europe, while Venezuela is in the Caribbean. Spain became a European Union member in 1986 and Turkey is candidate for membership. Venezuela is in a different continent. Spain is still feeling the impact of the global financial crisis, sputtering less than 1 percent of growth. Turkey still has a solid growth rate of around 3.5 percent. Venezuela’s economy is in shambles. [More]
    Erdoğan’s apology
    Güven Sak, PhD 06 August 2016
    The night of July 15th was a shock that will reverberate for years to come. It came in the form of tanks and F-16s, nervous soldiers with guns, and a shadowy global network of underground agents. It was a night when Turks felt like the context in which their lives unfold every day could be ripped open by forces they scarcely understand. If we want to mend that context, we now have a responsibility to be resilient. Ankara’s various factions have been hard at work doing just that, and it’s time our friends in the West joined us. [More]
    Sympathy for the Turks
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 July 2016
    After the attack on Istanbul Atatürk airport, there was sympathy for Turks. Brandenburg gate in Berlin was draped in our crescent and star, reporters talked about how heroic airport guards stopped the shooters. It felt a little bit like what the French have been getting after attacks in Paris and Nice. As simple as that sounds, it means something to people. We felt like we were part of a community. [More]
    Western leaders should visit Turkey to show solidarity
    Güven Sak, PhD 23 July 2016
    There are two types of countries in the world: Countries where life is predictable and countries where it isn’t; dull countries and interesting ones. The basic difference between these two categories of countries is the strength of their institutions. The weaker your institutions, the higher the chance that your country is interesting. I live in Turkey. Life is very interesting here. [More]
    Turkey needs investment
    Güven Sak, PhD 16 July 2016
    Turkish central bank has been releasing ODI to FDI figures. ODI means “outward direct investments” by Turks, and FDI stands for “foreign direct investments” from abroad, into the Turkish economy. The ODI to FDI ratio was around 15 percent in 2002-2007. The ratio has risen to around 37 percent in 2012-2016. For every $100 coming into Turkey, $36 goes out. That was $15 in 2002-2007, mind you. Both foreign and domestic investors just prefer not to invest in Turkey. That means they have no confidence in the country’s future. [More]
    Turkish citizens of Syrian origin
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 July 2016
    There are two industrial countries in our region: Israel and Turkey. Israel has been transforming through external migration. Turkey has been transforming through internal migration. Both of those transformations have far-reaching economic and political dimensions. [More]