Two roads ahead of Turkey
13 August 2016
Spain, Venezuela and Turkey are very different countries. Venezuela is an oil exporting country, whereas Spain and Turkey are oil importers. Spain and Turkey are in Europe, while Venezuela is in the Caribbean. Spain became a European Union member in 1986 and Turkey is candidate for membership. Venezuela is in a different continent. Spain is still feeling the impact of the global financial crisis, sputtering less than 1 percent of growth. Turkey still has a solid growth rate of around 3.5 percent. Venezuela’s economy is in shambles.
06 August 2016
The night of July 15th was a shock that will reverberate for years to come. It came in the form of tanks and F-16s, nervous soldiers with guns, and a shadowy global network of underground agents. It was a night when Turks felt like the context in which their lives unfold every day could be ripped open by forces they scarcely understand. If we want to mend that context, we now have a responsibility to be resilient. Ankara’s various factions have been hard at work doing just that, and it’s time our friends in the West joined us.
Sympathy for the Turks
30 July 2016
After the attack on Istanbul Atatürk airport, there was sympathy for Turks. Brandenburg gate in Berlin was draped in our crescent and star, reporters talked about how heroic airport guards stopped the shooters. It felt a little bit like what the French have been getting after attacks in Paris and Nice. As simple as that sounds, it means something to people. We felt like we were part of a community.
Western leaders should visit Turkey to show solidarity
23 July 2016
There are two types of countries in the world: Countries where life is predictable and countries where it isn’t; dull countries and interesting ones. The basic difference between these two categories of countries is the strength of their institutions. The weaker your institutions, the higher the chance that your country is interesting. I live in Turkey. Life is very interesting here.
Turkey needs investment
16 July 2016
Turkish central bank has been releasing ODI to FDI figures. ODI means “outward direct investments” by Turks, and FDI stands for “foreign direct investments” from abroad, into the Turkish economy. The ODI to FDI ratio was around 15 percent in 2002-2007. The ratio has risen to around 37 percent in 2012-2016. For every $100 coming into Turkey, $36 goes out. That was $15 in 2002-2007, mind you. Both foreign and domestic investors just prefer not to invest in Turkey. That means they have no confidence in the country’s future.
Turkish citizens of Syrian origin
09 July 2016
There are two industrial countries in our region: Israel and Turkey. Israel has been transforming through external migration. Turkey has been transforming through internal migration. Both of those transformations have far-reaching economic and political dimensions.
Back to old Turkish pragmatism?
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.
Brexit has made Turkey more important to the West
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.
Just check the loan-to-deposit ratio
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.
The Bundestag decision is about German politics
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.