Adjusting to the virus in Turkey
17 January 2021
COVID-19 surprised everyone. Fareed Zakaria tweeted on April 10 that “it’s not right to call this a recession or even to talk about a Great Depression. This is a great paralysis.” Looking back, to what happened in Turkey this year, I think that is an apt description.
There is no breaking with Trump legacy
10 January 2021
China is an interesting country. I first visited it about seven years ago and was much impressed not only by the infrastructure of a developing country but also by the way Chinese industrial policy operates top-down. Greater respect for the might of that machine that is now changing the deepest parts of the Western state apparatus. As Trump is leaving office in total disgrace, I see no break from Trump’s legacy when it comes to relations with China. Better policies, perhaps, but the limits of engagement are there to stay. Let me elaborate.
Waiting for Mr. Biden?
04 January 2021
Henry Kissinger is 97 years old, and the diplomat behind the first American visit to the People’s Republic of China is urging his country to design a way to communicate with the Chinese state in a long-term, strategic fashion that is unaffected by electoral cycles. “You can say this is totally impossible, but if it is, we will slide into a situation similar to World War I,” he recently said. In the years leading up to the WWI, of course, the conventional wisdom was that war between the great powers was not possible. The lesson was never to make such assumptions, and jealously protect peace.
The case for optimism and ‘Green Deal Turkey’
27 December 2020
2020 was marked by the virus. Every day, we continue to learn something new about its character and mutations. Economies are slowing down, and people are losing their livelihoods with every wave. Are we going to remember 2020 with total dismay?
Turkey’s breaks with the past
20 December 2020
Dec. 17 was the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring. When young Egyptians flooded Tahrir Square all those years ago, I was fascinated. I thought change was in the air, that our region could change for the better in a very short amount of time.
Turkey to be in list of top 10 largest world economies by 2050
13 December 2020
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, passed away on Nov.10, 1938. Every year on Atatürk’s death anniversary, his successors visit his mausoleum to pay their respects and speak on the state of the nation. This year while paying his tributes at the mausoleum to commemorate the death anniversary of Ataturk, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “As we have ensured that our country reached its goals in many areas, so too, God willing, we will make sure that our country places among the top 10 economies in the world. I believe that will the greatest gift to Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.” Turkey is now at number 17. The president often speaks of the year 2023 as a marker for such goals. Looking at the basic economic indicators, I think that this would be doable. Let me elaborate.
Headwinds require more transparency
05 December 2020
If you are flying a plane, headwinds are a bad thing. According to one pilot manual, “they slow you down and require that you use more fuel to get to your destination.” That’s what I see in Ankara today, regarding the course correction of the economy. Headwinds are slowing down the process and increasing its cost.
COVID-19 is good for businesswomen
28 November 2020
You may have spent the day like any other, but the Thursday before last, November 19, was a special time of the year – it was women’s entrepreneurship day (WED). The United Nations has organized meetings on this day since 2014 to discuss the state of women who launch their own businesses. Perusing this year’s output of research, I was surprised to see information indicating that COVID-19 has not been bad for women in Turkey. Let me elaborate.
Course correction in Ankara
22 November 2020
In 1849, the historian Thomas Carlyle wrote, when discussing the discipline of economics: “Not a ‘gay science,’ I should say, like some we have heard of; no, a dreary, desolate and, indeed, quite abject and distressing one; what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science.”
Track change in Ankara?
15 November 2020
After Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, many said that she would do a “U-turn” away from the economic liberalization reforms she had promised. The iron lady would disappoint them. “To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the 'U-turn', I have only one thing to say” she said, “you turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning!”