Archive

  • August 2019 (2)
  • July 2019 (2)
  • June 2019 (4)
  • May 2019 (6)
  • April 2019 (3)
  • March 2019 (4)
  • February 2019 (2)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • December 2018 (4)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (3)
  • September 2018 (3)

    What and who is this safe zone for?
    Nihat Ali Özcan, PhD 18 August 2019
    According to a statement by the Defense Ministry, deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, arrived in Turkey on Aug. 15. The reason for his visit is the matter of the east of River Euphrates, which has been occupying the agenda for a long time, and technical preparations for the to-be established “safe zone.” In other terms, his visit is to decide what will be done militarily for the safe zone and the establishment of the “Joint Operations Center.” [More]
    An FTA would be a good idea, Mr. Graham
    Güven Sak, PhD 04 August 2019
    It was in the papers this week: for the first time in history, the number of $100 bills have exceeded the number of $1 bills, and apparently, 70 percent of those $100 bills are outside the US. Why? Because people want to safeguard their hard-earned savings in climates of extreme macro policy uncertainty. Turkey is one such example, where after a brief hiatus of stability, Mr. Benjamin Franklin’s likeness is back in fashion. Why? [More]
    How to make Syrians more invisible in Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 July 2019
    There are around 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, and nearly half of them are children. That number plateaued this past year, but we in Turkey’s big cities didn’t really feel them. In the last few months, it’s as if the visibility of Syrians has increased. This shows up in public opinion surveys too, where people list Syrian refugees as one of the country’s top five issues. Why? I see three reasons. [More]
    What Europe should know about North Cyprus
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 July 2019
    Last week, Turkey saw its first current account surplus in 16 years. That would be cause for celebration if it wasn’t due to the Lira’s rapid depreciation, and the deep recession we’re in. The era of constructive ambiguity in economic policymaking has abruptly ended with the sacking of the governor of the Central Bank. Markets are now clear about the kind of institutions they are dealing with in Ankara. This of course, will not help the recession, no matter how rapid the impending rate cut is going to be. So success stories are hard to come by these days. [More]
    The lessons from Turkey’s election season
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 June 2019
    Turkish politics will be on a much-appreciated break this week, as President Erdoğan makes his way to Osaka for the G20 summit. The Istanbul rerun is over. After Japan, President Erdoğan will be hosted by President Xi in Beijing, and all together, he will be away from Ankara for about 10 days. Turkey’s Parliament is also in summer recess. So this is a time when Turkey’s political class can get some distance from their routines, and maybe even deign to think ahead a little bit. [More]
    Of Turks and Americans
    Güven Sak, PhD 16 June 2019
    Winston Churchill once said that “you can count on the Americans to do the right thing,” then he added, I presume with a smile, “after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” It isn’t any different for the Turks, I may add. [More]
    The G20 can save the world once again
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 June 2019
    Marx and Engels famously started the Communist Manifesto with the words “a specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism.” Crypto Anarchist Timothy May was less Euro-centric, beginning his 1992 Crypto Anarchist Manifesto with the words “a specter is haunting the modern world—the specter of crypto anarchy.” I would say that the “modern world” today, is anywhere with an internet connection. That’s a lot of people of a lot of different cultures. [More]
    Half of Turks are still not working
    Güven Sak, PhD 02 June 2019
    In 2018, the Turkish lira depreciated by 39 percent against the US dollar. That was followed by steep increases in unemployment and inflation, the combination of which yields a 60 percent increase in Turkey’s so-called “misery index.” In other words: people are hurting. [More]
    The S-400s from a different point of view
    Nihat Ali Özcan, PhD 26 May 2019
    We are passing through a period that is both interesting and unpredictable. One of the developments that this opinion stems from is the incident of S-400 air missile defense systems that have been occupying Turkey’s agenda. We are witnessing the change of character of a problem that is on an “operative” level and concerns military security. In other words, the problem you decide to solve by purchasing high-level air defense missiles can rapidly and unexpectedly turn into problems of “perpetuity.” [More]
    Time to enhance the customs union: Analysis
    N. Murat Ersavcı 22 May 2019
    Everyone seems to agree that the time has come to expand the customs union between Turkey and the European Union. A quarter of a century has gone by since it was launched at the start of 1996. At the time it was considered as a step forward to the full political and economic integration of Turkey into the EU. [More]