Archive

  • August 2020 (1)
  • July 2020 (1)
  • June 2020 (4)
  • 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)

    Yes, Turks feel the impact
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 May 2019
    “Is the guy on the street feeling it?” someone asked me this week. The “it” here refers to the economy of course. His intention, I gather, was to understand why the governing bloc failed in Istanbul, as well as Turkey’s other major cities. Is it the economy or ideology? I tend to think that economy was important, and it’s going to be more so from now on. [More]
    All the reserves in the world will not suffice
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 May 2019
    Rulers have to live with their decisions. There is a point in Shakespeare’s famous play where Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking. She has recently plotted with her husband the murder of Duncan and Macduff’s family, and though this has given them power, she is now ridden with guilt, and maybe regret. [More]
    Why I am optimistic about Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 May 2019
    Turkey may look vulnerable to you. When President Erdoğan was elected back in June 2018, you could buy a dollar with 4.71 Lira. Now it costs around 5.97 Lira. This means that the Lira has depreciated by around 27 percent in less than a year against the dollar. Yet there are solid reasons to be optimistic about Turkey. [More]
    The EU’s hot air balloon and Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 April 2019
    When it comes to global politics, we all know that the European Union (EU) is in a sorry state. One of its three most powerful members is leaving, its inbred establishment is besieged, its Eastern edges are slipping into despotism. It lacks a cohesive foreign policy framework: 2016 Global Strategy to make the EU a global actor has yet to be implemented. Why? It’s as Seneca said “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Without political leadership, even the best of plans is useless. [More]
    Migrating from Turkey’s governing block
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 April 2019
    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action” writes Ian Fleming in Goldfinger. Since I am not James Bond, I’m inclined to replace “enemy action” with “pattern,” but it works just the same, and for me, the 2019 election in Turkey was that magical third time. Let me explain. [More]
    Next time it will be the economy
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 April 2019
    There are two types of countries in our region: countries where you know the results of an election before votes are counted, and those where you have to wait for the tally. Some may have had their doubts about where Turkey placed in that categorization, but last week’s vote clarified things. Democracy is still breathing in this country. Good for us. [More]
    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]