Do you believe in COVID-19’s transformative power?
05 April 2020
It seems like a deep thing to say: Nothing is ever going to be the same again. The times they are-a changin’. I don’t like it. Are we talking good change or bad change? And aren’t things changing all the time anyways? Sometimes we notice, sometimes we don’t, and it seldom has to do with the suffering people go through.
The price of a leaderless world
31 March 2020
In times of great crisis, there are always those trying to leverage suffering for personal gain. It is the job of government to try to prevent that from happening as much as possible. In the 1918 flu epidemic, the United States put an 80 percent tax on all profits above 8 percent to prevent war profiteering.
Lessons from Turkey’s refugee crisis for dealing with COVID-19
22 March 2020
Any economy, be it rice farming or high finance, relies on people working together. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an abrupt stop to this. Countries around the world are now rolling out economic measures to protect jobs and economic activity until we find a way to start back up again.
20 March 2020
As a Turk, every time I visit Gallipoli and the Straits of the Dardanelles, I am reminded of the way in which history touches our lives. Gallipoli touches my own in several ways. Both my wife and I are among those who lost members of their families.
Just how bad is COVID-19 for Turkey's economy?
15 March 2020
Last week, the only thing Turks were talking about was Idlib. The coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, was an exotic news story from distant lands. Since the outbreak has been classified as a pandemic and taken over the global news cycle, our object of existential anxiety has shifted overnight. Turkey has proven itself ready so far, with only two documented cases of the virus and no deaths. Still, the virus has entered the country, and its spread is inevitable.
Unpleasant refugee arithmetic with the EU
08 March 2020
The issue of forced migration and internally displaced persons (IDPs) is perhaps the most defining problem of our age, and the civil war in Syria is its most typical case. It is very difficult to deal with because it is a regional problem that can only be addressed through global cooperation. Yet our European partners so often seem to be forgetting this simple truth, and try to wish away the refugee crisis at their door.
EU without Turkey
06 March 2020
Without Turkey, Europe just doesn't look right and in the long run it probably won't work. The idea of Turkey as an active player in the life of Europe is a relatively new one for people in Europe. Because Turkey industrialised much later than most of the countries on the north side of the Mediterranean, it was for many years just a bystander.
Why Brexit is an Opportunity for Turkey
16 February 2020
Brexit, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson likes to say, is done. The British have about a year to negotiate the deal that will determine their future relationship with the EU. The form Brexit takes will have significant repercussions for third parties, Turkey being only one of the many. I believe that Brexit to be rather fortunate for Turkey. Let me explain what I mean by that.
Europe’s geopolitical power and Turkey
09 February 2020
Someone asked an awkward question the other day: “What does a geopolitical commission mean for Turkey?” He was talking about the new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s plan to boost Europe’s geopolitical weight. Her priorities briefing says that “such a Commission will have a political agenda in which reinforcing the EU’s role as a relevant international actor, and trying to shape a better global order through reinforcing multilateralism, is to become a key priority [‘A stronger Europe in the world’].” I think this would be good for Turkey, but awkward.
Trump's Israel-Palestine Plan is a patchwork of failed attempts
02 February 2020
Looking for something positive happening in Turkey lately? Well, Wikipedia is back as of January 2020. It was shameful that for years we had to use workarounds to use the encyclopedia of the digital age. Thanks to the Constitutional Court in Ankara, it is now easier to search for information in Turkey.