Archive

  • 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)

    Turkey and Germany need to increase bandwidth
    Güven Sak, PhD 23 July 2017
    “How dare you consider vacationing in Turkey with my children?” said a wife to her husband in the back of a Berlin taxi. At least that’s what the driver – who was of Turkish origin - told me afterwards. This driver was anxious, eager to talk about what he and many others feel is a growing anxiety between the Turks and the Germans in that country. [More]
    Why do Turks smile less than before?
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 July 2017
    “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark” says Marcellus in the first act of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Living in Ankara, I can relate to that. Gallup’s 2017 Global Emotions Report was recently released and I can see an interesting trend. Every year, fewer Turks answer the question “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” affirmatively. Last year, half of the respondents said they had smiled or laughed on the previous day. This year, it’s just 38 percent. [More]
    ‘Unbelling’ the cat in Cyprus
    Güven Sak, PhD 02 July 2017
    In Aesop’s Fables, a group of mice get together to discuss how to rid themselves of the danger of the cat. After much discussion, they decide to put a bell on it, so that they can hear it when it approaches. Who though, the question then becomes, will bell the cat? The moral of the story is that it is relatively easy to agree on what should be done, but much harder to make the sacrifice when executing the task. [More]
    Is Turkey growing faster in 2017?
    Güven Sak, PhD 25 June 2017
    “People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made.” So said Otto von Bismarck, the great German statesman of the 19th century, according to legend. [More]
    Qatari investments in Turkey: An urban legend
    Güven Sak, PhD 18 June 2017
    The sudden embargo on Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates perplexed us all this month. It was a half-baked regional response to the half-baked American ideas presented during President Donald Trump’s recent visit. The tiny Qatar is probably going to resist a bit to preserve its dignity, but will eventually have to bow to the powers that be. The Turkish response to the crisis has been more clear-cut. Ankara stands by Qatar, its seemingly closest friend in the region; that much is clear. The motivations for that stance are more interesting. Why is Turkey so vocal on this point? [More]
    Trump's Paris decision is bad for technological development
    Güven Sak, PhD 04 June 2017
    No wonder Elon Musk left his advisory role in the Trump White House. Trump’s Paris decision is not only bad for life on this planet, but also for the pace of technological change. In spite of the Bannon Royal Family and Republican factions in the Trump White House, none of them seem to be concerned with the economy or technological development. That is bad for us all. [More]
    The Middle East needs pluralism, not deeper trenches
    Güven Sak, PhD 28 May 2017
    When I was in Kabul years ago, I was positively surprised to see a branch of the Agha Khan Foundation working on building a cellphone network. Last week, the foundation established the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. Its objective is to create a global platform for comparative analysis, learning and dialogue on the importance of diversity, both in Canada and around the world.  I see this as a very timely endeavor - and very important for the Middle East. Anyone looking for a way to integrate the Middle East into the global economy first needs to focus on how to instill an appreciation of pluralism there. [More]
    Still serious about that wall, Mr. President?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 May 2017
    The United States has a 3,300-km border with Mexico. President Donald Trump ran on a campaign promise to build a “big beautiful wall” along it, and though he seems less enthusiastic about it these days, he still hasn’t backed away from the project. [More]
    Why are all these Japanese people coming to Turkey?
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 May 2017
    It isn’t easy to be an optimist in Ankara, but I must admit that I am one. Still, even I was surprised the other day when I saw a list of Japanese companies operating in Turkey. The Japanese are known for thinking thoroughly before taking action. Yet the number of Japanese companies in Turkey increased from 62 in 2007 to 188 in 2016. [More]
    This time it’s different
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 April 2017
    Turks voted 51.4 to 48.6 percent in favor of the executive presidency. Here you have another evenly divided society, you may say by looking at the sheer numbers. Yet this time there is a difference. Let me elaborate. [More]