Archive

  • October 2019 (1)
  • September 2019 (2)
  • August 2019 (3)
  • 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)

    Brexit is a bigger problem for the Turkish economy than Syria
    Güven Sak, PhD 13 October 2019
    I was recently asked how badly Turkey’s military operation in Syria could affect the already troubled economy. Could this move, my inquisitor wanted to know, be the last nail in the economy’s coffin? My answer was no. I think that the highly probable no-deal Brexit at the end of October could have a more negative impact than the limited operation in northern Syria. Why? Let me explain. [More]
    An Orwellian new Commission for Europe?
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 September 2019
    Ursula von der Leyen, the President-elect of the European Commission, announced the names of her commissioners this week. I was first struck by the name of the new job dealing with migration. It’s actually called the “Vice-Presidency for Protecting our European Way of Life.” I like how it specifies with “our European Way of Life,” rather than say, “the European Way of Life.” The Orwellian theme continues with the new commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement: Lazslo Tocsanyi, a dutiful follower of Hungary’s Victor Orban. I hope I’m wrong, but from the looks of it, it appears that the new Commission will be accepting identity politics as its core. [More]
    From Emrullah Efendi to Boris Johnson
    Güven Sak, PhD 01 September 2019
    The Brexit process started like a tragedy and with Boris Johnson as the British Prime Minister, it has turned into a comedy. I have to confess that it is getting funnier everday to watch the things happening in Great Britain. At the same time, the job of explaining to my foreign friends what is happening in Turkey is getting easier and easier. [More]
    Watching “New India” from Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 25 August 2019
    On August 5, India revoked Article 370 of its constitution, effectively ending the special status of Kashmir, a territory that borders on Pakistan and China. To guard against an insurgency backlash, the government flooded Kashmir – already one of the most militarized places in the world - with even more military forces, put a curfew in place, and cut off its communication with the outside world. By lining up the Hindu domination of India’s sole Muslim-majority region, it has also put in danger India’s secular character, which has been the keystone of maintaining harmony among the country’s diverse people. [More]
    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]