Archive

  • January 2018 (2)
  • December 2017 (4)
  • November 2017 (3)
  • October 2017 (4)
  • September 2017 (5)
  • August 2017 (4)
  • July 2017 (5)
  • June 2017 (4)
  • May 2017 (3)
  • April 2017 (8)
  • March 2017 (4)
  • February 2017 (4)

    Back to old Turkish pragmatism?
    Güven Sak, PhD 02 July 2016
    There were more news coming out of Ankara this week than many Western countries have in years. Some of it was good news, some of it less so. In the thick of it, I see two strands of policymaking, two tendencies in decision making that I will call HQ1 and HQ2. [More]
    Brexit has made Turkey more important to the West
    Güven Sak, PhD 25 June 2016
    The Brexit campaign made a big issue about the unlikely scenario of a Turkey imminently joining the EU and 80 million Turks suddenly migrating to their island. At least some of the “leave” votes on Thursday must have been cast due to that fear. And paradoxically, Brexit made Turkey more important. Why? Because it has destabilized post-1945 Europe, and I think Turkey help re-stabilize it. Let me elaborate. [More]
    Just check the loan-to-deposit ratio
    Güven Sak, PhD 18 June 2016
    I believe that Turkey belongs to the West, because despite everything, it shares certain values we usually refer to as Democracy, the rule of law, liberty, you name it. But if that is too abstract for you, and you want a more concrete link, look no further than the balance sheets of Turkish banks. Our country’s recent reliance on domestic demand to boost growth has only made that link stronger. [More]
    The Bundestag decision is about German politics
    Güven Sak, PhD 04 June 2016
    Germany is Turkey’s number one trading partner, and Turkey is among Germany’s top 10 trading partners. So we are important to each other. There are many German companies here, and they are well integrated into our market, and of course there are millions of Turks in Germany, with many entrepreneurs and corporate warriors among them. [More]
    Turks care more about democracy than visa free travel
    Güven Sak, PhD 28 May 2016
    Have you seen the Kadir Has University’s latest Survey of Perspectives on Turkish Foreign Policy? Well, I find its results rather interesting. 55% of Turks thinks that Turkey needs to be more active in the Middle East. Further, around half thinks that in the post Arab Spring atmosphere, US is the most powerful country in the Middle East. Yet the American activities in the region are perceived as a security threat; 41% of Turks states that the US is not to be trusted. Overall, negative evaluation of the US has increased to 67% this year. [More]
    China’s slowdown and Turkey’s window of opportunity
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 May 2016
    China is changing, and the world feels its shock waves, far and wide. This process does hurt the Turkish economy, but much less so when compared to other emerging economies. I hear lots of complaining in Ankara and Istanbul. But I think if Turkey plays its cards well, the benefits could outweigh the costs. [More]
    Why Turkey is no Brazil
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 May 2016
    Political tensions are high, both in Brazil and Turkey. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s President, was impeached this week. Yet Turkey is no Brazil. Let me explain. When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was the President of Brazil, I used to make comparisons between him and Erdoğan. Why? First, they both came to power in 2003. Erdoğan became the Prime Minister and Lula the President. Second, they both come from poor backgrounds, having journeyed from the so-called “periphery” to the “center”. Third, both Brazil and Turkey have become more inclusive countries under their leadership. [More]
    Executive authority and political leadership: Where the twain shall meet
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 May 2016
    Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had a choice this week: Either define a modus operandi for cohabitation a la Turca, or step down. He chose the latter. Davutoğlu had the opportunity to help shape the new normal after the first popularly-elected president took office. He did not use it. Given our current constitutional setting, a president elected by slightly more than 50 percent of the popular vote and a prime minister elected by slightly less than 50 percent of the vote could only mean trouble.  Why? Let me explain. [More]
    What Gazans need
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 April 2016
    Gaza has many problems. Yet when the UN asked nearly 16,000 displaced Gazan households what type of information they wanted more of, they responded with some predictable things, like updates on checkpoint crossings, the security situation, issues relating to food or water. But one problem that overshadowed all others was that Gazans seemed to be chafing under the never-ending reconstruction of their small territory. They felt like they didn’t know what was going on. 92 percent of Gazans would like to be more informed about what is happening in the reconstruction process. The status of crossings, commonly thought of as the most important aspect of Gazan daily life, by comparison, only 64 percent want more information about. This was in the April report of the United Nations on Gaza. [More]
    What Gaza needs
    Güven Sak, PhD 23 April 2016
    I first visited Gaza in 2003, which was only 10 years after the Oslo Accord. The late Ariel Sharon was either about to, or had newly announced his plans for Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. It took him a while to convince everybody to take Israeli settlements out of Gaza. Disengagement started in 2005. [More]