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  • November 2017 (3)
  • October 2017 (4)
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  • June 2017 (4)
  • May 2017 (3)
  • April 2017 (8)

    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]
    What happened to Turkey’s 99 percent?
    Yasemin Satır Çilingir 13 June 2016
    When the Occupy Wall Street protests began in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park five years ago, the catchiest slogan was “We are the 99 percent!” The rationale behind the protests was the share of income and wealth of the richest percentile in the U.S. and the inequality of distribution. Since 2000, the richest 1 percentile of the U.S. society owns around 37-38 percent of the total American wealth. At the turn of the millennium, Turkey’s wealth distribution was almost identical to that of the United States; the richest 1 percentile of our society owned 38 percent of the total wealth in Turkey. If I was to say, “today’s situation is quite different; the share of the top 1 percentile in Turkey is around 55 percent, and Turkey is competing for world leadership,” would you be happy that Turkey i [More]
    Turkey: Perspectives on Eurasian integration
    Selim Koru & Timur Kaymaz 12 June 2016
    It has become a cliché to speak about Turkey as a “bridge between East and West”. The country was indeed part of the historical Silk Road, and many of the country’s settlements were founded along the route, roughly 35 kilometres apart from each other – a day’s distance by caravan during the road’s heyday. But the Silk Road collapsed six centuries ago, and the 10 million shipping containers travelling from China to Europe are, today, almost all transported via maritime routes. The shift from a land route to a maritime route represented a huge change for East–West trade, and it may be changing again. [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]
    Turkey is losing its natural resistance against ISIS
    Hilmi Demir, PhD. 09 May 2016
    ISIS does not have a strong base in Turkey. Claiming the opposite would be an exaggeration and does not reflect reality. Foreign fighter numbers in Syria also prove this. The number of fighters from Turkey who joined the war in Syria is estimated at 2,000-2,500. Moreover, it cannot be said that all of them joined ISIS. [More]