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)

    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]
    PACE should save Turkey’s Europeanization process
    Güven Sak, PhD 23 April 2017
    President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likes to say “the world is greater than five,” referring to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC.) Many of us would agree with him, as the UNSC’s makeup really is Orwellian. “All nations are equal. But some nations are more equal than others,” it basically says. [More]
    The coalition to end all coalitions
    Güven Sak, PhD 16 April 2017
    Turks like to vote. They have tasted the freedom of a ballot booth, a place where you face yourself, and make a decision about your future. But we hate coalition governments. Anyone who was around here in the 1990s and before would tell you that the horse trading after elections is unbearable, and that it should be done away with if possible. How far are we willing to go to abolish that kind of uncertainty? [More]
    How is Turkey to be governed?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 April 2017
    On April 16, Turkey is going to the polls to vote on a hotly debated constitutional amendments package. The country has had referenda for constitutional amendments before now, but this is going to be the first one to change the system of government as a whole. [More]
    Erdogan Goes for the Death Blow Against Turkey’s Bureaucracy
    Selim Koru 14 April 2017
    On the night of June 16, 1826, blood ran on the streets of Istanbul. Mobs of the sultan’s loyalists raided buildings belonging to the Janissaries, hunting down anyone affiliated with the group. The Janissaries had once been the elite fighting force that spearheaded Ottoman armies. By this time, however, they were also a vested interest group occupying key positions in business and government. They had de facto power over government policy and had deposed more than one sultan who displeased them.But when their 1826 coup went south, Sultan Mahmud II sought to extinguish their political power once and for all. In what came to be known as the “Auspicious Incident,” thousands of Janissaries were killed and many more went into self-imposed exile.Nearly two centuries later, in April 2016, Preside [More]
    ‘Come on, this is not Turkey’
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 April 2017
    “Human beings are pattern-seeking and storytelling animals,” said Edward Leamer, a professor in economics. That is after all, what science is also about; you look for patterns and tell coherent stories about them. Today, let me tell you about a couple of persistent patterns regarding the Turkish economy. [More]