Archive

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    Why 2016 is going to be a crucial year for the G20
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 December 2015
    I was in Beijing last week. I was lucky because there was a breeze throughout my stay. Without it, the sky is gray throughout, and the smog makes you cough incessantly. Beijing’s population was around 10 million in the early 1990s, with only one ring road to connect the outskirts. The population doubled in the past 25 years, and now Beijing has 6 ring roads, with the 7th one to be built soon. It will be around 1000 kilometers, I was told. So China has changed. The iconic bicycles of the 1980s have disappeared, and the cars that replaced them have poisoned the air. Beijing might be the most egregious case, but China’s other urban areas aren’t very different. That is because China’s leaders made a tradeoff. They chose job creation and growth at the expense of urban sprawl. Why did it have to [More]
    The Russian in Turkish Public Consciousness
    Selim Koru 07 December 2015
    The young man across from me is leaning back in his chair, stretching his chest. “After all these years, we’ve shot down a plane.” His eyes widen. “And brother, it’s a Moskof plane!” He looks up to the blue sky, smiling, letting the thought sink in. [More]
    The Chinese 4 “i”s to the 3 Turkish “i”s for a G20 more relevant to the developing world
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 December 2015
    Turkey’s G20 Presidency ended with the Antalya Summit last month, and the Chinese year has already begun with the release of the document “China G20 2016: G20 Summit 2016, China” that underlines its priorities for 2016. Looking back at the Turkish G20 priorities document released approximately one year ago, one remembers the 3 i’s - inclusiveness, implementation and investment. The Chinese raised the stakes to 4 i’s. The document states “China, assuming the G20 presidency for 2016, stands ready to work together with all members towards an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.” What does that mean? If you ask me, the Chinese document says that the G20 is becoming more relevant for developing countries. In 2016, China will continue with the trend - initiated by [More]
    'Russia may retaliate against Turkey by using terror organizations'
    Nihat Ali Özcan, PhD 30 November 2015
    Turkey's downing of a Russian military aircraft due to it violating its airspace became a major discussion topic in news media around the world. Moreover, Russia's possible response to Turkey and the consequences of this incident on the Syrian civil war and international politics in the medium-term is still unknown. Daily Sabah talked to Associate Professor Nihat Ali Özcan from TOBB University of Economics and Technology (ETÜ) and discussed the consequences of this incident. According to Özcan, Russia's violation of Turkish airspace was not due to either inadequacy of the pilots' training or technical inadequacy. On the contrary, he asserted that Russia wanted to test Turkey's reaction, the speed of decision-making processes and to what extent Turkey's allies would support Turkey. However, [More]
    Shooting down the Russian jet a symptom of Turkey’s central malaise
    Güven Sak, PhD 28 November 2015
    Ever since Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 on its border with Syria, I have been thinking about the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident between Israel and Turkey. In many ways, the jet incident is to Russia what the Mavi Marmara was to Turkey. Russia’s demands for an apology made the cases all the more similar. The only difference is that Russia understands this is not about legality, but rather about saving face. [More]
    Why is Turkey’s export performance going down the drain?
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 November 2015
    G20 Antalya Summit is now over. The G20 Circus has hit the road from Antalya to Hangzhou in China. The next performance is due in November 2016. The G20 offers a good opportunity to follow up on the global agenda. Never mind those commentators who say that ISIS has become the top item in the global agenda. ISIS was just the current affairs flavor of the global agenda debates this year. It simply served the purpose of salt, pepper or paprika in a dish. In fact, the global agenda is much more extensive and more comprehensive than ISIS. The slowdown in world trade constitutes one of the important issues in the global agenda nowadays, which, obviously, affects Turkey as well. Our exports go downhill, according to dollar-based statistics. Let’s take a closer look at the figures today. [More]
    When will the asymmetry in G20 agenda get a fix?
    Güven Sak, PhD 19 November 2015
    What would be the impression you’d get on G20 if you followed the G20 summit through the Turkish media alone. Imagine you’d never heard of it. Imagine you’re trying to figure it out for the first time by following the Turkish media. You may have thought that G20 was an organization company that brought leaders to Antalya for bilateral get-togethers. Or that it was a tea party event bringing together the leaders. But this simply demonstrates Turkey’s status in the face of the global agenda, to be frank. [More]
    The EU Progress Report and Fiscal Transparency
    Emin Dedeoğlu 19 November 2015
    As you know, the EU progress report was released last week. It may have escaped your attention in the report but it would seem that fiscal policy is not on the EU’s radar all that much. It would be understandable if it wasn’t. No immediate problems strike the eye in the budgetary balance and the debt stock in terms of fiscal discipline. In a section consisting of a single paragraph, it says a) that the annual budget is drafted as a part of the medium-term budgetary framework, b) that fiscal discipline is maintained despite the lack of a Fiscal Council and c) that the budgetary transparency is adequate. The only criticism is that revolving funds remain outside the budgetary process. [More]
    Would every Syrian asylum seeker become another Naim Süleymanoğlu?
    10 November 2015
    All the news stories over the past few months stir our emotions. Emotions take the lead in the debates on the current state of affairs in the country. Syrians rank high among the critical issues reigned by emotions. We face a migratory influx comprising millions of people that leave their homes behind and go seek a new life that promises safety and possibly higher welfare. The government spokesperson said a few days ago that there are 2.2mn Syrians in Turkey. This migration flow started in 2011. We assumed back then that the inflow was temporary and the neighbors we hosted would return home once the situation in Syria was normalized. But as we approach the end of 2015, the dominant viewpoint today is that Syria will never recover to its old self, that millions have lost their homes into th [More]
    The devil you know
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 November 2015
    Turkey went to the polls on Sunday, and we found out that the desire for a change, which was obvious in results of June 2015 elections, had turned into a fear of change. Voters who were slipping away from the AKP rushed back, giving it a landslide victory. [More]