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    The lessons from Turkey’s election season
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 June 2019
    Turkish politics will be on a much-appreciated break this week, as President Erdoğan makes his way to Osaka for the G20 summit. The Istanbul rerun is over. After Japan, President Erdoğan will be hosted by President Xi in Beijing, and all together, he will be away from Ankara for about 10 days. Turkey’s Parliament is also in summer recess. So this is a time when Turkey’s political class can get some distance from their routines, and maybe even deign to think ahead a little bit. [More]
    Of Turks and Americans
    Güven Sak, PhD 16 June 2019
    Winston Churchill once said that “you can count on the Americans to do the right thing,” then he added, I presume with a smile, “after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” It isn’t any different for the Turks, I may add. [More]
    The G20 can save the world once again
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 June 2019
    Marx and Engels famously started the Communist Manifesto with the words “a specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism.” Crypto Anarchist Timothy May was less Euro-centric, beginning his 1992 Crypto Anarchist Manifesto with the words “a specter is haunting the modern world—the specter of crypto anarchy.” I would say that the “modern world” today, is anywhere with an internet connection. That’s a lot of people of a lot of different cultures. [More]
    Half of Turks are still not working
    Güven Sak, PhD 02 June 2019
    In 2018, the Turkish lira depreciated by 39 percent against the US dollar. That was followed by steep increases in unemployment and inflation, the combination of which yields a 60 percent increase in Turkey’s so-called “misery index.” In other words: people are hurting. [More]
    The S-400s from a different point of view
    Nihat Ali Özcan, PhD 26 May 2019
    We are passing through a period that is both interesting and unpredictable. One of the developments that this opinion stems from is the incident of S-400 air missile defense systems that have been occupying Turkey’s agenda. We are witnessing the change of character of a problem that is on an “operative” level and concerns military security. In other words, the problem you decide to solve by purchasing high-level air defense missiles can rapidly and unexpectedly turn into problems of “perpetuity.” [More]
    Time to enhance the customs union: Analysis
    N. Murat Ersavcı 22 May 2019
    Everyone seems to agree that the time has come to expand the customs union between Turkey and the European Union. A quarter of a century has gone by since it was launched at the start of 1996. At the time it was considered as a step forward to the full political and economic integration of Turkey into the EU. [More]
    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]
    A change of political arena in Idlib
    Nihat Ali Özcan, PhD 16 May 2019
    During these days, when domestic policies are occupying the agenda, interesting developments are happening in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia, are continuing to push the frontiers of Idlib by downgrading armed groups. It is clear that this is not an exchange.  As a result we see that there will be humanitarian, military and political consequences. [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]