• May 2020 (5)
  • April 2020 (3)
  • March 2020 (6)
  • February 2020 (3)
  • January 2020 (4)
  • December 2019 (2)
  • November 2019 (3)
  • October 2019 (3)
  • September 2019 (2)
  • August 2019 (3)
  • July 2019 (2)
  • June 2019 (4)

    Much ado about nothing
    Güven Sak, PhD 31 March 2019
    That’s how I see things in the financial markets this past week. Why? There’s nothing there about economic policy. It’s all about politics. Turkey is going to the polls this Sunday. In Shakespeare’s play of the same title, a great fuss (“much ado”) is made of something insignificant. There are unfounded claims of the hero’s infidelity and the unfounded claims that two characters are in love with each other. All about eavesdropping, hearsay, spying and critique of other people. The Turkish economy too, is a play about deception and self-deception. [More]
    In banks Turks trust
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 March 2019
    Looking at the economy these days, there are things that I understand and there are things that I have difficulty in understanding. The recent rapid rise in retail foreign exchange (FX) bank deposit accounts speaks of volumes, if you ask me. Just this week, the government decided to raise the witholding tax rate on interest income from FX accounts. Let me explain what I am hearing, and why all this is important. [More]
    All eyez on Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 March 2019
    In December 1995, the American rapper 2Pac (Tupac Amari Shakur) was on MTV, talking about his new album. “It's called All Eyez on Me. That's how I feel it is. I got the police watching me, the Feds... everybody's looking to see what I'mma do now so All Eyez on Me.” That’s what it feels like in Turkey these days. [More]
    Conservative debates in Turkey and Germany
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 March 2019
    “The times they are-a changin’” sang Bob Dylan in the 1960s. That got to me sometimes. Aren’t they always “a-changin’?” Isn’t that what time is? Not necessarily. The course of human events can slow down and speed up. There is a good argument to be made that today, urbanization and technological innovation are accelerating things faster than at any point in human history. For people who think of themselves as being “conservative,” it makes things complicated. That is why I find debates among conservatives more interesting and more important these days. [More]
    Turkey as Einwanderungsland
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 February 2019
    I see two important trends shaping the future of the global debate: the first is population aging and the second is migration. It’s an old story in a new setting. People in developed parts of the world are getting older, while young people in poor places are trying to get away from their circumstances. I see a global role for countries like Turkey in shaping the solutions to these problems. Let me explain. [More]
    Time to re-engage with Iran
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 February 2019
    Have you heard of the testimonies of US intelligence chiefs at a Senate hearing last week? They all said that Iran is not trying to build nuclear weapons. It seems like very good news for our troubled region. Looking for short-term policy implications? It’s time to re-engage with Iran. So the Europeans, together with Turkey, were right and the US and Israel were wrong in their policy recommendations. [More]
    Why Brexit is important for Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 08 January 2019
    Brexit discussions has turned into a farce in the UK. If we consider the referendum itself as a tragedy, Prime Minister May’s handling of the Brexit process has turned it into a comedy. Currently, there is a whole new discussion on how Brexit should be carried out. Interestingly, the current discussions are all UK-centric. However Brexit is more important for Turkey than you may imagine, therefore how they see this process through with the UK is so very important for the EU, too. Let me explain. [More]
    Is it just another election season?
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 December 2018
    This week minimum wage has increased by 26 percent while household natural gas and electricity prices have declined 10 percent. The President himself has made the announcement. These can be thought kind of a new year’s present for the nation. Turkey is going to have its municipal election in March 2019. You may say that it is just another election season in Turkey? I tend to disagree. This time is different. [More]
    Why is the US-China confrontation heating up?
    Güven Sak, PhD 23 December 2018
    About ten years ago, it was the Americans who started funding projects to revitalize the old Silk Road - the land route connecting China to Europe. I specifically remember how an American official told me not to waste my time with projects on Israel-Palestine, and to look more closely at Central Asia. People were doing things like sending test containers over silk road train tracks, just to see how much time it would take. Projections at the time made a striking case. Companies – many of them American – were going to reorient their supply chain logistics according to this plan. [More]
    China to operate the new port in Haifa
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 December 2018
    It’s that time of the year again, when we look back and think about all that’s happened in the past eleven months. So here’s a question: what was the most significant strategic event of 2018? Let me tell you my favorite in the Middle East. In July 2018, the management of the first part of the new port in Haifa was transferred to the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG). Despite President Trump’s ferocious anti-China stance, Israel still decided to give SIPG a 25-year strategic perch in our region. I think this is very important. Let me tell you why. [More]