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  • December 2018 (4)

    The silent backdrop to the election
    Güven Sak, PhD 29 April 2018
    Turkey is heading into snap elections in less than two months. A glance at the headlines tells us one thing: Afrin is out, elections are in. You can tell a lot about a country by headlines alone. Since 2002, Turkey has had four parliamentary and one presidential election. Issues of identity play a role in these things, but then, as now, one factor is vital: the economy. As in 2002, it’s the current unsustainable state of the Turkish economy that has brought the elections to the fore. Let me elaborate. [More]
    “Soft revolution” in Armenia: A Historical Day for Democracy, Justice and National Unity
    Diana Yayloyan 25 April 2018
    For the past week, Armenia’s capital Yerevan has been witnessing unprecedented demonstrations. Thousands of people are taking to the streets in protest against the reelection of former president Serzh Sargsyan - it is important to make a note that "former president Sargsyan was elected for prime-minister post". The demonstrations started on April 13, in opposition to Sargsyan’s nomination for prime minister, and gained momentum when on April 17, he was elected Armenia’s prime minister based on the 77 Parliament votes with no abstentions. [More]
    Plunging Lira, early elections
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 April 2018
    President Erdoğan surprised everybody this week by rushing the country into early elections on June 24. That’s in two months, mind you. Why this rush? I think the unbearable and uncontrollable plunge of the Turkish Lira is the major culprit. [More]
    Why did Halide Edip give her son a Japanese name?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 April 2018
    Presidents Erdoğan, Putin and Ruhani were in Ankara last week to talk about Syria. Their photo has been plastered across the news for much longer than is typical for this sort of thing. Western friends are puzzled and a bit upset, like someone who has just heard that their long-lost friend joined a drug cartel. Bob Menendez, a senator from New Jersey and ranking member of the powerful Senate Foreign Affairs Committee had a more mature attitude. [More]
    The Turkish Lira is plunging despite high growth. Why?
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 April 2018
    Turkey had a record growth rate of 7.4 percent in 2017. As of April, the lira has depreciated by 8 percent in 2018. This trend, it seems, will continue. Can we say that record growth has made the Lira more vulnerable? And if so, why? [More]