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Turkey at the Crossroads, Again:
Outlooks on Economic Policy, Energy & Governance

Summer 2016 Vol. 15 No. 2

From the Desk of the Editor
Süreya Martha Köprülü

“Since the last issue of TPQ, Turkey and its people have weathered a major assault on its fundamental freedoms. The botched coup attempt on 15 July 2016 marks a significant turning point in the country’s history and one which will have far-reaching implications for Turkey’s political and social fabric, foreign policy, economy, and its relationship with the Euro-Atlantic community.”

“As always, TPQ’s Summer issue primarily revolves around domestic and regional economic trends, with a particular focus on the post-July 15th economic climate. To that end, we are delighted to feature the economic visions of both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition party, the People’s Republican Party (CHP).”

“Our other authors take stock of global economic dynamics – including the regional energy game, climate change policies, and gender equality in the workplace – and their wider implications for sustainable development, stability, and prosperity. The perspectives in this issue are particularly relevant in light of Turkey’s 2015 G20 Presidency, and the progress it has made on each of its three priorities – investment, implementation, and inclusiveness.”

Overview of the Turkish Economy after July 15th
Nihat Zeybekci

TPQ Author

“We will work even harder to strengthen our economy thanks to the solidarity demonstrated against the coup-plotters and these projects and reforms will be implemented even more quickly.”

“The Asset Fund is a very important and strategic vehicle for taking advantage of the potential that Turkey has possessed in the form of long-term income, but has been unable to leverage until now. The Fund will be structured based on similar examples around the world, and as a significant foreign policy instrument, it will give Turkey a greater voice and more maneuverability in the international arena.”

“The treacherous attack of July 15th that threatened the future of our country was defeated because as a nation we laid aside our ideological and philosophical differences and our political views and stood in unity. From this point forward, our country’s economic future will be much brighter. Turkey will move forward with confidence towards its 2023 Goals.”

Escaping Mediocrity: Turkey at an Economic & Political Juncture
Selin Sayek Böke

TPQ Author

“The very polarized nature of our society is driven by politics and can only be resolved through a change in politics. Turkey stands at a political crossroads. Either it will continue with its polarizing politics and continue to undermine freedoms, the rule of law, and democracy, or it will rewrite a truly inclusive social contract.”

“At the end of the 14-year AKP economic model, one of the most critical structural problems of the Turkish economy is its heavy dependence on foreign funds, which leaves Turkey at the mercy of global business cycle conditions.”

“The institutional overhaul must address three main issues. The first and foremost is democracy and freedom, the second is establishing the rule of law and finally, redrafting the public procurement law/framework.”

Industry 4.0: Increasing Women’s Participation in the Workforce
Zeynep Bodur Okyay

TPQ Author

“At Kale Group, we believe in new technologies, digitalization, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, etc. But we believe more in people. For us, the key asset is people and providing them with the right tools so that they can reach their full potential.”

“For Turkey to escape the middle-income trap, it must be able to create a brand new narrative to further its progress towards prosperity and stability. It is impossible to design and achieve a success story by keeping 21 million women at home, excluded from the workforce in a population of 78 million.”

“Starting today, we must increase collective efforts to raise awareness and encourage more girls to enroll in STEM studies (technology, engineering, mathematics, and IT) in Turkey (…) It is essential that the current mismatch between technology and the Turkish education system is addressed urgently and as effectively as possible through changes in curriculum, and perhaps more importantly by changing attitudes.”

Brexit: An Opportunity for a Stronger TTIP
Tarkan Kadooğlu

TPQ Author

“The new reality that has emerged after the British referendum presents a great opportunity to adopt an innovative approach that would provide effective solutions to the issues at hand and create a rule-setting agreement that will shape the 21st century trade paradigm.”

“The last quarter of 2016 will be a crucial period for the Trans-Atlantic Trade Partnership (TTIP). Leaders from both sides of the Atlantic need to make bold decisions and take immediate action. Bringing third country participation back into the discussions will serve as a catalyst and provide much needed momentum and the innovative approach required to overcome the existing issues.”

“Due to the specific nature of EU-Turkey economic and political relations, the exclusion of Turkey from TTIP would exacerbate trade imbalances, and the potential negative economic impact of the Agreement will be deeper and broader than it will be for other interested third countries. It must be also taken into consideration that any negative outcome triggered by a ‘TTIP without Turkey’ will also hurt EU and US companies operating in Turkey.”

Active Citizenship & Political Movements in Europe: The Evolution of Political Representation
Yves Leterme & Sam van der Staak

TPQ Author

“Modern politics has seen a renewed discussion about the balance between active political participation by the citizens and their representation in politics. Much of this debate centers on a dilemma: too much citizen participation is unsustainable, while too little participation creates a gap between citizens and their elected governments.”

“The transformation of protest movements into political movements has made the latter resemble political parties. Many movements have taken on some of the traits of traditional parties, such as fielding candidates for elected office and formulating public policies, while abandoning other tasks such as traditional membership recruitment.”

Energy Security, Climate Change & Sustainable Development
Mithat Rende

TPQ Author

“The [economic] crisis of 2008 aggravated the already existing institutional problems faced by our economies and societies. As painful as this was for the world, this situation also forced us to seek new ways and approaches to create a more inclusive, resilient, and low carbon economy where all segments of our societies are able to live in dignity.”

“As the energy sector is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, the solution for sustainable growth and development is building a better energy mix and reducing the share of fossil fuels. Nuclear energy, which offers significant advantages, can play an extremely important role in this regard.”

Could Turkey Become a New Energy Trade Hub in South East Europe?
Ünal Çeviköz

TPQ Author

“The normalization of relations with both Israel and Russia opens up new horizons for upgrading Turkey’s role in this region. Notwithstanding the many multifaceted aspects of Turkey’s foreign policy implementation in its immediate neighborhood, energy may also become a new tool in this new environment. Turkey can assume a more responsible role in East-West energy trade as well as in assuring Europe’s energy security.”

“Turkey, by itself, is not a significant actor that affects global energy strategies. Yet, its geographical location and its need for energy imports, particularly in the field of natural gas, make Turkey a key partner. This partnership should be transformed into an active strategy by transforming Turkey into a trade hub rather than a passive strategy that limits its potential to a transit country.”

Women’s Economic Empowerment for a Sustainable Future
Özlem Denizmen

TPQ Author

“The female economy is a force to be reckoned with and is presented as the largest emerging market, with the global income of women predicted to reach a stunning 18 trillion dollars by 2018. Globally, more women than men are in institutions of higher learning, women make 80 percent of all buying decisions, and reinvest 90 percent of their income in their families (more than twice what men do).”

“We need to remove the barrier to women’s access to capital and minimize if not eliminate prejudice against women and their capabilities with regards to money and finances. Social prejudices and stereotyping put women in an unpleasant position when it comes to how or even whether they feel they should deal with money in the first place.”

Can Resolving Cyprus Hold the Key to Regional Energy Cooperation?
Constantinos Adamides & Odysseas Christou

TPQ Author

“The Turkish-Israeli-Cypriot triangle is particularly complex, with bilateral securitization relations ranging from completely desecuritized (Israel-Republic of Cyprus (RoC)) to securitized albeit with a desecuritizing tendency (Turkey – Israel) to deeply securitized (Turkey-RoC).”

“The deeply securitized relations between the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and Turkey do not allow for much optimism for any form of hydrocarbon-related collaboration, or indeed for a hydrocarbon-induced negotiated settlement. On the contrary, further securitization is likely as Turkey will probably continue to react strongly and negatively to any attempts by the RoC to exploit its reserves, making hydrocarbons yet another area of contention and a pretext that exacerbates the incompatibility of the two sides’ positions even further.”

Rapid Developments in East Med Gas
Charles Ellinas

TPQ Author

“The outcome of [the discovery of the Zohr natural gas field] is a dramatic reversal of fortunes for Egypt from gas shortages to self-sufficiency and exports. This impacts the hopes of its neighbors Israel and Cyprus, and their plans to export gas to Egypt. Not only is this commercially challenging, but the markets for it may no longer be available.”

“The development of the Leviathan gas field is strategically important for Israel. At present, 60 percent of its electricity is generated by one gas field, Tamar (280 bcm), one platform, and one pipeline. This poses a threat to Israel’s energy security, requiring the development of Leviathan as a matter of urgency. But for this to happen, Noble and its partners need to secure exports to make such a project commercially viable. This is where Turkey comes in as an option, but this decision does not need to be made until next year.”

About Time: Defending Democracy and the Fight against Corruption
E. Oya Özarslan

TPQ Author

“A quick look at international indices provides a very clear picture of the democratic measures Turkey needed even before the coup attempt. On nearly all international indices – from Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and the World Justice Project’s (WJP) rule of law and open government, to Freedom House's freedom of the press – Turkey has been on the decline for the last couple of years.”

“A true fight against corruption has two main elements: making reforms for better governance policies, such as transparency, integrity and accountability, and reducing the impunity in corruption-related offences. These should be the main pillars of any assessment of Turkey's performance in this fight.”

Warming a Frozen Policy: Challenges to Turkey’s Climate Politics after Paris
Ümit Şahin

TPQ Author

“Although Turkey’s National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan recognizes that climate change will cause temperature increases of 2.5-4 degrees Celsius all over Turkey and 5 degrees Celsius in the inland regions, as well as related socio-economic impacts, Turkey’s position on international negotiations and national actions regarding mitigation and adaptation are disproportionate both to Turkey’s vulnerability and its rising emissions.”

“Under the Paris Agreement, every country can determine its own contribution, and reviewing mechanisms can be implemented according to these nationally determined emissions reduction targets. This makes the importance of Turkey’s special circumstances quite outdated and singularly related to climate finance debates, which also remain controversial.”

The New Geopolitical Game in the Caspian Region: Azerbaijan-Turkey Energy Relations
Volkan Ş. Ediger & Duygu Durmaz

TPQ Author

“Immediately after the emergence of five littoral states as a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Caspian Sea became a very high priority for some states and the petroleum industry because it contained one of the largest yet untapped oil and gas reserves in the world. There have always been two major challenges to overcome in order to fully exploit these reserves: (1) accurate assessment of the basin’s resources, and (2) the geopolitical struggle between major regional and international powers.”

“Whether Turkey will be able to realize the objective it has pursued for so long of becoming an energy hub remains dependent on the future of Turkish-Russian relations and on the future of Turkish Stream in the coming years.”

The Unprecedented Aspects of the Greek Crisis
Panagiota Manoli

TPQ Author

“The amount of financial assistance offered to Greece has been the largest ever offered to a national economy. It is estimated that between 2010 and 2018, the euro-area countries and the IMF will have committed almost 300 billion euros to Greece, representing more than twice the annual budget of the EU in 2015 and more than 120 percent of Greece’s GDP in 2010 before it started to shrink.”

“Though the economic and institutional aspects of the unprecedented nature of the Greek crisis are important, one should not overlook the wider political repercussions. The Greek crisis shook confidence in the European integration process, starting a discussion of democracy and sovereignty at both national and European levels.”

Dubai: An Exemplar of State Capitalism
Paul Thompson

TPQ Author

“The interlocking ownership of Dubai Inc. blurs the line between the assets of the ruling family and that of the state, and is run by a small handful of individuals who are key members of Dubai’s political inner circles and close associates of the ruler.”

“The interlocking ownership of Dubai Inc. blurs the line between the assets of the ruling family and that of the state, and is run by a small handful of individuals who are key members of Dubai’s political inner circles and close associates of the ruler.”

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