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    Is February 3rd good or bad?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 February 2009
    I wonder whether anyone told President Obama to "Beware of the February 3rd". We cannot know the answer. If the two developments that happened on the third day of February 2009 are addressed in conjunction, the impacts reach even here in Turkey. The first development is that a bridge in Pakistan, Peshawar was blown up. All the traffic on the Khyber Pass was suspended for the third time in the last six months. Second development of the day was in Kirghizstan. President of Kirghizstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced that the Manas Air Base next to the Bishkek Airport, granted to the US was to be closed. There were problems between two countries arising from the lease contract. Thus, the issue of establishing an alternative supply chain for the NATO forces in Afghanistan became the core of the ag [More]
    When does protectionism become a legitimate argument?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 February 2009
    Two days ago British people were making a protest with the slogan "British jobs for British workers". The world is going through a process not we are unfamiliar with but we have forgotten for a period of time. This transition period will eventually end. The unknown element is what is going to happen at the end of the transition period. What is going to happen next is closely related with what we are going to do nowadays. What is going on? This is: The mechanism ensuring the functioning of the global economy with liberty is not working anymore. In such a period, there are two options ahead: We will either acknowledge that global crises require global solutions and introduce global measures along with the rest of the world or say "everyman will shape his own future". The fatalism in the latt [More]
    Okay, but what do the people living in Gaza thinks?
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 February 2009
    Have you ever seen Gaza? The first time I saw Gaza was in 2005. Israel had just retreated from Gaza. It was the times of the disengagement policy of Ariel Sharon. Gaza was under Palestinian rule. The initial impressions one could catch at a glance were: First, there was hung a flag with different color on top of each house. However, none of those flags was national flag of Palestine. Colors of flags varied from one neighborhood to another. Orange ones were al-Fatih flags, green ones were Hamas flags, black ones Islamic Jihad flags and red ones were Palestinian Liberation Front flags.  One would easily understand that he/she is walking around a more political part of Palestine as compared to West Bank. Gaze was divided from one neighborhood to another. Second, the areas named Organized Indu [More]
    Where does the difference between Korea and Turkey lie?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 February 2009
    Nowadays, figures pertaining to the economy are not as exhilarating as before. Export figures for January indicated a 28% decrease. Yes, the performance of Turkey is bad, but are the Asian countries shown as examples of export-oriented growth model performing better? No, they are not. Recently, January export figures for Korea were also announced; exports of Korea have diminished by 32.8%. What is the result? Korea, one of the export leaders of Asia, is experiencing a trade deficit just like we do and more importantly for the first time since the Asian crisis of 1997. Then, where does the difference between the Korea and Turkey lie? [More]
    We are at a point where foreign policy will determine economic policy
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 February 2009
    The world has become a strange place. We are right in the middle of a global economic crisis that has deeply affected all of us and that tends to affect even further.  The global crisis originated from the US. What would you expect in such a condition? You would think that "the US hegemony has come to an end", wouldn't you? However, the reality does not seem so and also does not seem to evolve in that direction. President Obama keeps saying "we are done, we are ruined" all day long, but the present tendencies indicate that the US is still an important economic actor. We are rapidly entering a new environment. If you are wondering how the US will manage to preserve its importance in this new economic environment, please go on reading. [More]
    “For God’s sake, what aspect of this crisis psychological!”
    Güven Sak, PhD 31 January 2009
    Doomsday Superstitions Catalogue; Entry No Two: "For God's sake, what aspect of this crisis psychological!" Since the international banking crisis hit the shores of Turkey, a form of explanation that is not even slightly related with the reality began to spread around. Whenever you say the word "crisis", people, with the common pedantry of those who does not know anything, take the lead and say "hey, that is totally psychological" even before you start talking about the measures needed to be taken. They assume such an attitude as if there is no problem in reality and you had a sort of a nightmare so that all problems will disappear once you wake up. Or, as if the problem will disappear completely right away if you do not ever mention it. Well, this is not the case. The people thinking that [More]
    It is not normal that Washington is more important than New York
    Güven Sak, PhD 29 January 2009
    We are in an interesting period. We are under influences that we are not used to face. It might be quite dangerous to get excited upon each development and try to react to each new development. Periods of crises are not periods for rapid action at all. The approach that shall be pursued is to limit actions to the highest extent possible and try not to waste energy. The important thing to do in busy days with different news flowing in every second is to focus on the question of the day. It is crucial to find out the question of the day for avoiding to get excited by every single development. So, what is the question of the day nowadays? A finding by an American friend summarizes the question of the day: Washington being more important than New York is not a situation we are used to see. Let [More]
    Turkey has taken the first measure against the crisis with the BRSA regulation
    Güven Sak, PhD 27 January 2009
    I have good news. We just saw that Turkey has the ability to be proactive. The first right step to tackle the crisis is taken. Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) has broadened the framework of the Reserves Regulation. First of all, it is the first time a public authority takes an action oriented towards the real problem. Secondly, Turkey has for the first time introduced a pro-active measure. This measure, though necessary, is also not sufficient. Now, it is time to take rapid new steps towards the required direction. If you are wondering what we are talking about, please keep on reading. [More]
    Is height enough for success?
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 January 2009
    What is the secret of success in life? Is it the chemical process a fetus is exposed to that determines the future? Or, is what we call success is just the ability to take the opportunity, which is an ability that proves itself in any case? Of course, the mentioned "ability to take the opportunity" is not a gift of the nature, but it is to be nurtured.  But, how is it possible? How can one attain the ability to take the opportunity?  In fact, what Joseph Nye, an international relations professor at Harvard University defines "smart power" is exactly this "ability to take the opportunity" and is nothing but the product of a series of skills. And, nowadays, it is the "ability to take the opportunity" that Turkey needs. [More]
    Obama era is a window of opportunity for Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 January 2009
    Today is a historic day. President Obama will begin his term as the President of the United States.  Though Israel's latest Gaza operations will force Obama to make immediate foreign policy decisions, the new President will most likely have to focus on economic issues. Expectations are quite high and the problem is more serious than any other that we have ever faced. While immediate foreign policy decisions are forcing the doors, we will see that domestic decisions for the economy will in fact be foreign policy decisions. And the task to shape a new global economic architecture will be carried out by the administration that is to take the office. By this way, a change in style will take place. This is what is going to happen, regardless of whether it is desired or not. We are standing just [More]