The Other Matters


Hasankeyf

What a pity, sacrificing a place which has thousands years' past with a dam which has only 50-100 years lifetime.

First, we lost Belkis (Zeugma) and now it is the turn of Hasankeyf (Hısn-ı Keyfa).

Or have we lost our mutual mind?




The Bread "Lavas" (Lavash)

Have you ever known that Turkey had started importing the bread "Lavas" from China too? Free trade is a must, especially for removing the disequilibrium among the welfare levels of the nations… However, should even the bread "Lavas" be imported in a country like Turkey just because of its cheapness?

If Turkey is in the situation of importing even the bread "Lavas", it means that there are many things that should be thought about.

Probably, firstly, this matter should be taken into account by the importers of the bread "Lavas" who are in pursuit of getting short-term profits…?




Capable of Living Together

We should learn living together in Turkey by regarding each other's differences.

Unfortunately last events are so startling. There are some efforts aiming to lead conflicts among the peoples in Turkey through some artificial agendas.

Moreover, there are some classifications in the society such as secular-antisecular, supporter of prophet Hz. Mohammed (S.A.W.)-supporter of caliph Hz. Ali (R.A.), black-white, green-red etc... which are not positive behaviours.

We all need calmness…

It is a need growing the buds of peace and brotherhood instead of seeding grudge and hate among the communities.

Please let's have common sense and invite all people around us to coolness.

We should always bear in mind that we needed such an environment in the past, and need in the time being, and will need in the future.




Autumn Syndromes

Beginning of autumn in Turkey economy, depending upon the ending of holiday and starting of educational term, is a period in which production and activities almost in all areas increase. There become some floatings in financial indicators such as inflation-foreign exchange-interest-stock exchange in this process. Their positiveness or negativeness have close relation with politic developments as well.

Some people/institutions form various scenarios with the beginning of autumn in Turkey. Such negativenesses are described as "September Syndrome" and they are not in favour of Turkey since the outcomes of these scenarios anticipate a worse future in which there are more and too complicated problems.

It is so difficult understanding the efforts of such people/institutions to form those kinds of syndrome scenarios. Is not it better to offer more "hope promising measures" for removing the obstacles in front of economy instead?

As we are in the same ship, it seems better to offer necessary measures to take action for moving this ship (Turkey economy) in a more appropriate way.




Social Responsibility

Social responsibility could be based on two essences roughly:
1) Individual responsibility
2) Institutional responsibility

It is among the main duties of individuals and institutions, by considering the consciousness of “social responsibility”, to think about the problems faced and to find solutions accordingly for moving their society forward in terms of cultural, legal, political, economic aspects and so on. Otherwise, it is impossible mentioning about the society, in this context, mutual consciousness, and ideas.

Individuals and institutions in Turkey should be in aware of this fact and urge theirselves to behave accordingly as well. When doing this, however, they must avoid the behaviors that will harm the social structure, disturb the peace environment and result in reactionarism in all aspects. It is difficult having responsibility and fulfilling its requirements. But the important one, in spite of everything, is performing this.

We are obliged to behave as responsible individuals and institutions. Is there another way of progression free from doubt for much more centuries?




Domestic-Foreign Product

The traders in Turkey had been hesitating to reply the question 'What is the origin of this product?' as 'domestic' by recent times. Moreover, some of them could say 'It is not domestic but European' instead of replying as 'It is domestic', the product was domestic though. It is observed that there have been some considerable changes concerning this matter.

Particularly the entrance of Chinese low level products into Turkey’s market and the increase in the quality of Turkey’s products have played role in this change. It can be stated that domestic products are more quality than more of Chinese ones although they are less quality than more of European ones. As a matter of fact, nowadays, increasing number of traders in Turkey answer the question 'What is the origin of this product?' as 'It is not Chinese but domestic' without mentioning the word 'European'.

Of course everybody should be aware that this process may not last forever. Therefore, quality increase in the domestic production have to be carried on and the matter of 'brand making' should be given importance. Otherwise, reply of the question might be 'It is not domestic but Chinese'.




National-Nonnational Capital

Depending upon globalization, it is witnessed the swift movement of financial sources around the world. It is performed both in cash for 'interest, foreign exchange, and stock exchange market' and as non-cash for 'factory, workshop, and office'. The first one is short term whereas the latter is medium-long term. These are described as 'hot-cold money' as well. However, it is the latter one that has the main contribution for the economies.

Turkey has also become one of the attractive destinations in terms of medium-long term foreign investments due to its partial political stability, appropriate conditions, and proportionally low costs. Of course some people are in favour of these investments, some are against of though.

It is not wise to be in favour of foreign investment randomly, however, it does not seem the right way to be against of them too. Because Turkey has many problems to be solved, and solutions of some of them depend on the revenues that would be earned through those foreign investments. It is obvious that the foreign investments which will be executed in suitable terms-conditions are not harmful for Turkey. And the followings are some of the matters need to be explained as well:

* If we are against of foreign investments, should the nations of the countries in which our enterpreneurs have investments be against of them too? In this context, should our enterpreneurs who have investments in Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq return back to Turkey?

* If a foreign investor could not transfer a specified amount of her/his yield, could our investors not do the same for their country? Therefore, could our enterpreneurs in England, Germany, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria not transfer a specified amount of their revenues to Turkey?

* If Turkey does not have sufficient volume of saving and thus investment, moreover if the foreigners are not allowed to make investments in Turkey, how can the targeted revenue and economic growth be obtained?




Military Intervention and Policy, Economy, Law, Society

Turkey, as a country determined one of its aims as 'reaching the contemporary world', meets some difficulties in this process. In this context; some political, economic, legal, socio-cultural events may result in reverse conclusions to this understanding. Thus, Turkey becomes far away from the contemporary world. As of its results, a military intervention is also among such events, moreover, it is at the top of them.

Democracy, as one of the essential values of the contemporary world, is a managerial understanding which both developed and developing countries endeavour to adopt and apply. As a developing country, in Turkey too, this understanding is being settled. However, military interventions, as can be defined classically 'almost in ten year period', are threat in front of progression of democracy. Therefore, such interventions (right or wrong) result various negative effects and cause some vicious circles in political, economic, legal, and socio-cultural areas. To make concrete, some of the said negativenesses are as follows:

Political Negativenesses:
* There can not be long-life parties in political arena as it is in economic life in terms of lack or less of long-life companies.
* Long term political stability can not be constituted.
* Depending upon non-existence of long term political stability, powerful governments can not be formed and developments and dashes compatible with the expectations of a community who wants to integrate the world can not be obtained.
* Because of political instability, an environment may get ready for a new military intervention.

Economic Negativenesses:
* Following military interventions, substantial opposite movements may happen in short term. At first stage, such movements have negative effects on hot-cold money and some other negativenesses may follow them.
* Interest rates may raise severely and depending on such increase, the cost of investment increases.
* Outcome of these negativenesses are the decreases in investments and employment.
* Foreign investors have anxiety about their investments and thus, new investors are not willing to enter the market.
* The future expectations of the enterpreneurs may shift from positive to negative side.
* The peace between employee and employer may be damaged.
* Equilibrium in the monetary and capital markets is removed.
* Damages/losses in the economy may open a gate for a new military intervention.

Legal Negativenesses:
* Initially, the elected organs, the national assembly holding legislation power and the government holding executive power, are discharged, which means the infringement of rights of the community.
* Discharged people/institutions may be subjected to unfair treatments.
* Various parts/institutions of the community may be subjected to unjust behaivours.
* Spoiled internal peace environment as a result of unjust treatments may cause new military interventions.

Socio-Cultural Negativenesses:
* Positive expectations of society turn to adverse.
* Future intentions-plans may be given up or be postponed. For instance, marriage plans may be delayed or cancelled.
* Depending upon negative economic conditions, there may be a widespread 'unemployment psychology' which has very bad reflections in social life.
* Feelings such as grudge-hatred etc. may be grown in stratums of the community. Consequently; dialogue between the cultures, combination, and indulgence may leave their place to social indigestion, non endurance, and violation.
* These kinds of events may put a new military intervention on the agenda.

The number of such negativenesses may be increased. As a requirement of academical view, it can be said that a military intervention may be necessary in same cases. However, when considered in 'opportunity-cost analysis' and 'cause-effect relation', it should be emphasized that the negative sides of a military intervention is much more than its positive sides. They can not even be compared in the same manner. As a matter of fact, if there are some problems in a community, the solution of them should not be a military intervention but mutual understanding and co-operation of the people and institutions.

Last but not the least, beside the military managements holding power in some African and Latin American countries, let us note the countries preferred (?) military management in 2006: Thailand, Bangladesh…

In case of choosing (?) the same management style, all people and institutions have to evaluate very well in which statue Turkey will be perceived in the world.




Economic War

As of the middle of 2007, it is obvious that there are some efforts for dragging Turkey into a war. To a war (to a moor) which benefits are not clear, however, of which expenses are evident to a great extent…

Recently there are some struggles, that is wars, in various areas:

a) Military war:
Such a war is executed between the military forces of the countries and they are destructive. They are ‘hot’ wars and the victorious side also looses something absolutely.

b) Socio-cultural war:
This is a kind of war which can be described as ‘fights between the cultures’. Such wars appear as interventions against lifestyles. They involve imperial targets and can be ‘hot’ whereas can be ‘cold’.

c) Economic war:
This sort of war occurs as power demonstration in economic area with ‘cold’ characteristic and is related with machinery-equipment, accumulation of knowledge, human capital etc. of a country. By the advantages provided through such factors, it is aimed to be one of the leading countries in the world both in economic and political aspects.

Turkey has no luxury of participating in military and socio-cultural wars under these circumstances. However, if it is desired to struggle in anyway, it seems more reasonable to perform the economic one.

* We have no luxury of a military war since it seems endless in negative meaning.

* We have no luxury of a socio-cultural war, because as a country we have no imperial targets.

* In this case, it seems more reasonable that we should focus on an economic war. That is, we should allocate our machinery-equipment, accumulation of knowledge, human capital etc. for the struggle in economic area. Thus, we will be able to put our country into among the world leading countries in terms of economical and political sides.

This aim is compatible with the saying of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ‘Peace at home, peace in the world’ as well.

We do not want war, we say ‘NO WAR!’

We wish peace, only peace…

As Benjamin Franklin says; ‘There is no goodness of the war and badness of the peace’.




Sport Economics and Foreign Trade

Share of an economic sector in foreign trade is one of the elements considered in evaluations related to its contribution to economy. In this context, some evaluations can be made through import and export volumes of the sector. The general expectation is that export volume of the sector should be more than its import volume although they vary according to the characteristics of the sectors.

When sport, as a sub service sector, taken into account in terms of its share in foreign trade, it is not possible to make exact evaluations. The leading reasons for such a situation can be identified as follows:
1) These services are not considered in academic meaning,
2) They are not taken into account as sole fields of activity by theirselves,
3) There are some shortages in datas related to these services,
4) They are not executed in the frame of "import-export".

There are not complete datas on football, basketball, valleyball, wrestling, handball, swimming, tennis, karate do, tae kwon do, ju do, atletism, chess etc. in terms of their trade volume and share in foreign trade. However, the high volume of trade transactions executed by these activities can not be neglected.

In this context, for instance, football sector can be studied. As it is in all over the world, there are many foreign players in Turkey's teams. That is, a substantial volume of import is performed in this sector and the monetary dimension of these transactions might be on very high side. However, export of Turkey, that is transfer of players and trainers abroad, is very low and its monetary dimension is also so less that can not be compared with of export. Thus, it is apparent that materialistic contribution of these services to the economy is in less level. It shows that there are some shortages related to the matter.

If import expenses of an economic activity is more than its export revenues, it is necessary to take some actions accordingly. What can be done for this purpose?:
a) Either the import should be restricted,
b) Or the foreign trade gap should be removed by increasing export volume.

The first measure is not compatible with the liberal economic logic. Because, there is risk of reciprocation by other countries towards the first restricting country. Therefore, that country itself will also be affected negatively and its export will decrease too.

Then, the second choice seems better, that is export volume of the country must be increased. In this context, the revenue which will be earned by transferring sportsmen who will be trained in different fields of activity and the trainers abroad, will make significant contributions for the economy. For this purpose, there should be high quality products (sportsmen) that will lead competitiveness in the world markets and, by increasing the number of these sportsmen, they should be marketed-exported.

When considered in terms of 'representation', the best way for a country is activating in the world markets (leagues, championships etc.) through utilization of its own resources (sportsmen). However, as import can not be restricted, it seems more logical for an economy to make necessary production (by training sportsmen and trainers) and intensifying in their export. No doubt that all these activities should be executed in an institutional and systematic way for the greatest accomplishment.




Privatization of the State and Economic Development

Turkey launched with drastic changes in the new millennium. These years, together with intensive effects of global economic crisis, have been birthday of new beginnings in several areas simultaneously.

While Turkey, starting from the said years, has continued its economic privatization process intensively, privatization process in the phenomenon 'state' has been carried on as well.

The concept 'state' with the definition of 'the organization shape of people living in the same geography' has, somehow or other, not been able to be realized as desired for people in Turkey. As a matter of fact, when saying 'state', the following concepts are mentioned: the top, absolute superiority, solidity, unchanging, certain rules, elitism, etc.

There is a close relation between the privatization of state and economic development. It is very difficult to reach aimed economic development if a state is not privatized in terms of its institutional structure, that is, if it is not integrated with its people and the barriers between itself and its people are not minimized. As long as the integration between state and people is not obtained, it is almost impossible removing lowbreaking, bribery and corruption. Therefore, economic development could not be realized as desired.

What do people who are in peace with their states do? A few of them are as follows:
* First of all, the sense of 'posession' improves and in this context, the conscience of liking-respecting 'the country-the citizens' increases.
* Since there will be confidence in the state, the people will try to not involve in the lowbreaking, bribery and corruption.
* Tax payment will be at the highest level.
* In economic activities, the people will not act solely individually but also socially.
* Savings and hence investments will shift up as parallel to the raise in the income.

There have been many improvements in the privatization of the state, that is, in the integration of the state-the people in Turkey recently. Depending upon these achievements, brilliant GNP ratios are also realized. If this relation tends positively, Turkey will perform similar GNP ratios and reach wholly economic development.




Tourism, Environment and Saving

Tourism has the biggest share in the services sector in Turkey. According to Statistical Institute of Turkey (TUIK) and Central Bank of Turkey (TCMB), number of the visitors to Turkey is 27 million 215 thousand and the net revenue gained through this sector is USD 15.2 billion. Income of tourism sector has the most contribution in reducing the deficit of current transactions.

Although it is a vitally important field of activity for Turkey, there is a large amount of wasteful use of resources in tourism sector. In this context, there is wasteful of consumption in many items such as from food to water, from heating to cleaning. It is possible to witness the dimension of wasteful of consumption especially in the upper star hotels. Excessive consumption has a positive relation with environmental pollution as well. Therefore, some serious actions for preventing such negativenesses should be taken inevitably.

Actually, these kinds of negativenesses are available not only in Turkey but all over the world in different quality and quantity. As a matter of fact, realizing these negativenesses, many hotels are taking some measures for reducing wasteful of consumption. For this purpose, they encourage the clients for consuming less water, cleaning materials etc. Some hotels, considering the matter in terms of "corporate responsibility", follow related policies. For instance, one can see these kinds of warnings in the increasing number of hotels:
"Hotels all over the world, on a daily basis, are washing a large quantity of towels with a massive quantity of cleaning materials, which tends to pollute the environment. Should you wish to contribute to protection of the environment, kindly hang your used towels on the towel rock to indicate that you will re-use them and place the towels you want to be changed in a suitable place."

Tourism businesses in Turkey should also take necessary actions for preventing the wasteful of consumption. In this context, the following measures can be taken:
* The customers should always be kept informed for less consumption.
* A less consuming tap system should be installed.
* The water in swimming pool should be cleared instead of being changed frequently.
* The principal of "sufficient choice" should be applied instead of "multi choice" in the meals.
* A minimum level polluting heating technology should be preferred.
* In the room; soap, shampoo etc. should not be replaced unless they were fully used.
* More than one usage of the towel etc. should be encouraged.
* Less energy consuming lighting materials should be used.

It is possible to keep more of tourism income in the economy by decreasing the expenses through taking such measures.

As an essential reality; either we finish our resources quickly by going on excessive consumption, or we sustain for a longer period by optimum use of them. It is completely up to us…




Bread and Waste

Bread is one of the main food items with the highest share in household's consumption in Turkey. As one of the main food items, its price elasticity of demand is low (<1). Therefore, upward or downward changes in its price does not affect its consumption.

Since bread is one of the main food items and has a certain share in the butgets of low level income households, increase in its price is a matter of objection in Turkey. Parallel to raise in the population of a family, the significance of bread goes up in the budget.

As of middle of 2008, there have been some alterations in the production and price of bread. In this context, some standards were set for unit weight of bread. Pointing at increase in the expenditures, some arrangements in its price were made as well. Thus, the price increases resulted objections again.

Beside the objections to increases in bread's price, there is a crucial point which almost removes the rightness of such criticisms; waste... Unfortunately, there is a huge waste in bread consumption in Turkey.

Bread wastage is available at commercial entities such as restaurant, hotel as well as at school, dormitory and especially at home. The most interesting of all, bread is wasted not only in areas where high level income people live but also in places where low level income families live. As a matter of fact, there are certain amounts of bread left in rubbish tips. Moreover, one can see remainings of bread, simit (roll of bread in the shape of a ring), flaky pastry, pie etc. thrown in the streets.

Reactions to increases in bread's price should be deemed reasonable, however, the dimension of waste is extremely important. Waste prevention is not possible only by warnings of public-private institutions but advices of parents to their children are also required provided that they personally care about the matter.




Aquatic Struggles

Shortage in water parallel to climate change and global heating interests everybody closely. Everyone both lacking and in excess of water are affected or will be affected in one way or the other. Countries lacking water are already been affected negatively. However, countries in excess of water will also be affected indirectly soon. Because if these countries could not agree on the same point, an aquatic war seems inevitable. Therefore, sustainable consumption of water does not concern only the people of countries lacking water but also those in excess of water.

Some measures to be taken in this context in terms of state-institution and household are as follows:

a) State:
* This matter should be taken into agenda in international debates before aquatic struggles start.
* Agreements concerning sustainable consumption of water should be undersigned by all countries and measures must be taken accordingly.

b) Institution:
* Technologies for removing or minimizing the water leakages should be used.
* Technologies for recylcing water at maximum level must be used.
* Intensive informative programmes (written, verbal, audio-visual) for safe consumption of water should be organized.
* Necessary technological preparations for obtaining water of drinking-irrigation from the sea should be done.

c) Household:
* Water must be consumed as needed. It should be understood that water is no longer an item which can be consumed as much as desired by paying money.
* Water saving equipments (tap, laundry-dishwasher machines etc.) should be used.
* In the bathroom, one should not use basin or its usage should be minimized.
* Water in a 2x4x1.5 meter pool corresponds to the need of a 4 person family for one week. Therefore, one should give up using pool or its usage must be minimized.

By "The Law of Scarcity" in the Economics, it is asserted that "rare items are valuable" and example of diamond and water is studied. In this context, it is stated that water is less valuable although it is a very basic requirement for human being whereas diamond is more valuable which is used only for personal satisfaction. It seems that one day all diamonds in the world would not be able to reach the value of even a small drop of water. Therefore, everybody should do his/her best for sustainable consumption of water before that day comes.




Derivative Gains and Global Financial Crisis

The world has been facing a new crisis as of middle of 2007. It is unknown when this global economic crisis of the new millennium will leave its place to a recovery process.

It is obvious that one of the leading factors causing this crisis is the money called as "hot" (indirect capital movements) which has no direct connection with productive activities. This is a monetary flow aiming only gains through triangle of interest-foreign exchange and stock exchange markets. It is a flow that countries benefit from, which in fact they are affected negatively.

In today's world economic system, any country is solely unable to put restrictions into flow of "hot money". Whenever a country has such an attempt, those who are dealing with "hot money" ruin its markets. There had been similar events in 1997. As will be remembered, since Thailand wanted to restrict indirect foreign investments, a huge amount of money was withdrawn from Thailand markets in a short while. Same events were witnessed in South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines as well. A good example can also be given from Turkey. Whenever a government tries to put tax on "hot money", same movements happen.

Negativenesses which happened worldwide just as following the meeting of G-8 countries in October 2008 to find a remedy for USA based global economic crisis and their decision on "taking some mesaures to settle the markets", confirm this tendency. Following the resolutions of this meeting, dramatic decreases in stock exchange markets, sharp increases in forex, and upward tendency in interest rates occured. These kinds of movements seem to be messages of "hot money" dealers worldwide as if they mean "do not intervene us, otherwise our response will be awful!". Therefore, necessary actions should inevitably be taken for these persons and institutions.

If a country solely can not take any action against indirect capital movements in today's integrated economic system, all countries should act together. For preventing negativenesses and reaching a healthier structure, a new global financial order is required. In this context, some certain measures should be determined under the frame of UN or IMF/WB or a new established international organisation. However, all countries with no exception should obey the rules stated. Otherwise, the fate of such a new financial order will be likewise of Bretton Woods in 1970s. G-20s came together in a summit in November 2008 and declared that they took some global measures on financial markets and the World economy. However, for more success, all other emerging economies should be taken into the decision makers pool concerning the global economic issues as well.

If necessary actions are taken, negative effects of current global financial crisis will be minimized. One of the measures to be taken can be restrictions for derivative investment tools. Such a decision can be made especially for all derivatives which have no direct relation with productive activities. For instance, there are many derivative investment instruments on the mortgage although it is a simple collateral based real estate credit system between a bank and its customer. These instruments do not have direct connection with production but are operated on this simple bank-customer relation. They can be depicted as artificial financial tools. Therefore, whenever a tiny negativeness happens, both institutions which establish these financial instruments and their buyers may go bankrupt.

There is only one address for those (persons, institutions, even states) aiming to gain money from money without any production, that is through fictitious activities: global economic crisis... Thus the success lies under the measures to be taken globally and obedience of these actions by all countries.




Periods for Global Economic Crises

Periods between global economic crises are very interesting. When the crises happened as of 20th century are taken into account, it is witnessed that the period between each crisis decreases almost geometrically. This tendency can be confirmed when the deepest ones are examined, many global economic crises happened in this period though.

The main global economic crises happened as of 20th century are as following:
a) 1929 the Great World Depression
b) 1973 OPEC Petroleum Crisis
c) 1997 South East Asian Crisis
d) 2008 USA Mortgage System Based Financial Crisis

The periods between these crises are more or less as below:
1) period between a and b: 44 years
2) period between b and c: 24 years
3) period between c and d: 11 years

As it is seen, there is gradually decreasing periods. Moreover, these periods are almost geometrically, that is, the following period is approximately half of the previous one. Thus, this trend shows that the next crisis is not very far.

Essentially, current financial crisis is not based only on the mortgage system but also several reasons. Therefore, it can be said that, considering above mentioned interesting relationship, unless all these reasons are removed, a new crisis might be faced before midst of 2010s. This should not be regarded as an astrological approach, however as an observation from the past to the future. Because, current global financial system is not sustainable and necessitates some draftic changes. Thus, if necessary actions are not taken, the result seems obvious presently.




Turkey and Petroleum

Importance of exploring petroleum in Turkey has increased after 2000. Particularly, exploration activities has been expedited in the last few years. Recent news indicate that reserves have been found in a significant numbers of the oil wells under exploration.

It is an important development finding petroleum in a level that will provide a certain support to the Turkey's Economy. However, it is inevitable that some new problems will ocur after finding the petroleum. Thus, some necessary actions should be taken from the time being. Major potential problems and related offers for their solutions are below:

* After petroleum is found in a country, oil prices decrease and it causes increase in automotive demand. If such a demand could be directed to the domestic automotives instead of imported ones, unexpected deficit in foreign trade and, depending upon this, deficit in the current accounts will be prevented. But, when this demand is directed to the domestic automotive, the industry should also be encouraged to progress itself.

* A problem of not refining and purifying the petroleum in international standards may ocur. Therefore, waste of petroleum used in the wehicles and industry may harm the lives and the environment. As a matter of fact, lung infections are witnessed in some countries. Some of African countries are example for such happenings.

Finding petroleum is not the only solution. To tell the truth, many problems ocur after that. Therefore, the success is not to find petroleum but to use it appropriately.




Stimulus Package of 2009 in Turkey
The investment projects that will be supported in regional and sectoral basis have been formed considering statistical regional units classification (IBBS)-Level 2 determined by Ministerial Resolution no 2002/47020.

26 sub-regions in IBBS-Level 2 have been classified into 4 main regions in terms of stimulation by using Socio-Economic Development Index (SEGE). These 4 main regions are as following in context of stimulus package in force to decrease the regional development differences.

FIRST REGION
  • İstanbul
  • Ankara
  • İzmir
  • Bursa, Eskişehir, Bilecik
  • Kocaeli, Sakarya, Düzce, Bolu, Yalova
  • Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli


  • SECOND REGION
  • Adana, Mersin
  • Aydın, Denizli, Muğla
  • Antalya, Isparta, Burdur
  • Balıkesir, Çanakkale (exclusive of Bozcaada, Gökçeada districts)
  • THIRD REGION
  • Zonguldak, Karabük, Bartın
  • Manisa, Afyonkarahisar, Kütahya, Uşak
  • Konya, Karaman
  • Gaziantep, Adıyaman, Kilis
  • Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye
  • Kayseri, Sivas, Yozgat
  • Kırıkkale, Aksaray, Niğde, Nevşehir, Kırşehir
  • Samsun, Tokat, Çorum, Amasya
  • FOURTH REGION
  • Trabzon, Ordu, Giresun, Rize, Artvin, Gümüşhane
  • Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl, Tunceli
  • Kastamonu, Çankırı, Sinop
  • Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt
  • Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır
  • Mardin, Batman, Şırnak, Siirt
  • Ağrı, Kars, Iğdır, Ardahan
  • Van, Muş, Bitlis, Hakkari
  • Bozcaada and Gökçeada districts of Çanakkale

  • As will be seen, the provinces Trabzon and Şırnak are in the same region. Below, there is a comparative evaluation of some datas for them.

    Trabzon has population of 748.982 according to 2008 records. It has an airport, a seaport, 4 organized industrial areas (in the districts Arsin, Beşikdüzü, Vakfıkebir, Akçaabat), and a free trade area.

    Total GDP of Trabzon (2001) (in current prices)
    1.809.313.498.000.000.-TL
    GDP per capita of Trabzon (2001) (in current prices)
    1.824.075.743.-TL
    Source: http://www.tuik.gov.tr

    On the other hand, the population of Şırnak is 429.287 according to the same records. It has only a roadway. It has only one organized industrial area which has been built in 2009 however, has no active production/manufacturing plant yet.

    Total GDP of Şırnak (2001) (in current prices)
    279.010.752.000.000.-TL
    GDP per capita of Şırnak (2001) (in current prices)
    773.356.408.-TL
    Source: http://www.tuik.gov.tr


    GDP as per Economic Activities

    Province
    Year
    Activities
    Value
    (Million TL)
    Sectoral Share(%)
    Development Rate(%)
    Trabzon
    2001
    Industry
    294.081.379
    16,3
    78,1
    Şırnak
    2001
    Industry
    4.737.140
    1,7
    26,5
    Source: http://www.tuik.gov.tr

    Considering that the datas in the Ministerial Resolution No. 2002/4720 are from the year 2001, one can see the gap between the industrial datas of these two provinces.

    Moreover, when comparing these two provinces in terms of transportation facilities, one of the most important elements in the investment decision process, the negativeness of the matter becomes obvious. It is very meaningful that Trabzon, as having air and sea ports as well as being a logistic base in roadway crossing point, and Şırnak with only one roadway are in the same classification.

    As this is the case, considering from the profit side, it is almost impossible that one who make an investment decision selects Şırnak instead of Trabzon. Therefore, no need to be an astrologer to say that Şırnak can not attract investments under this stimulus package.

    It is seen that the same provincial relationship is available in all regions formed. Some examples for this unfair classification are as following: Düzce-Kocaeli in 1st region; Burdur-Antalya in 2nd region; Kilis-Manisa in 3rd region.

    As will be seen, it is clear that the statistical modelling used in the stimulation system needs to be developed. It is necessary that this statistical modelling should be revised, a fairer regional classification should be formed and a convenient stimulation method should be applied.




    Steel Sector during the Crisis and Turkey

    The sector has made the best profit in its history until September 2008 since average prices of steel increased up to USD 1,200-1,500 per metric ton which caused the sector to be caught by the global economic crisis with huge amount of stocks assuming that the price increase would continue in the same manner. Moreover, the sector has been caught by the crisis during the investment process.

    During the deepening of the crisis, steel sector has faced chain problems due to reduction in the credits and difficulties in the collection of debts. On the other hand, there have been sharp decreases since steel consuming sectors such as automotive, durable goods, machinery, ship, and construction also caught by the crisis. In an environment where demand decreased, and depending upon this, sales reduced, and maturity of debts came, the prices have gone down till USD 300-400.

    Some of firms in the sector could survive by taking top level saving measures and decreasing labor force during the crisis. The firms which reduced their expenses at once and applied saving measures were able to survive. However, those which could not take required measures in time had to stop their activities.

    Most of steel traders has omitted taking necessary measures and, in this context, they have accummulated lots of stocks through short term financing assuming that price increases and huge amount of sales would go on as they were in 2008. These companies, beside the negative effects of the crisis on their institutions, chose reducing the prices to survive which eventually forced them to terminate their businesses.

    Automotive and construction sectors has met some problems which caused obvious effects on the steel sector since these are among the most exporting sectors. Although the measures taken by the government has relatively prevented the stagnation, the main positive effects of them has been felt in late 2009. In this context, steel prices has gone up to profitable levels and tended to increase gradually.

    The investments which have been stopped during the crisis are reaching to their previous levels and, parallel to this development, the employment is also increasing. It is observed that full capacity manufacturing have started in steel sector as of late 2009 and the manufacture of first half of 2010 has already been ordered.




    University and Regional Development

    In a report by the World Bank (The Challenge of Establishing World Class Universities by Jamil Salmi, Training Director, the World Bank, Washington D.C. 2009), it is expressed that it would be wiser for universities to provide their resources, knowledge and experience for the development of their regions rather than to endeavour to become a world class training institution by using high budgets.

    Actually, it is not possible for all universities in each country to become world class ones since it requires very high budgets. It is obvious that such a target is very difficult to be reached especially for the universities in developing countries. Therefore, as stated in the report, it seems more reasonable for such universities to allocate their possibilities for the regional development.

    Contribution of the universities for regional development shall be possible through the links they establish with the agriculture, industry, and services sectors. Without any distinction among the departments, it will possible to reach such a target for a university through its all undergraduate and graduate programmes.

    In this context, initially the following action plan can be formed:
    - Preparing main economic sectoral inventory of the region,
    - Determining main needs of the sectors which can be met by the university,
    - Preparing an inventory of fields of specialization of the academicians in all undergraduate and graduate programmes.
    - Orienting and using these resources for the benefit of the region.

    It is necessary for a university to provide its possibilities for the benefit of its region rather than waiting for the region to apply itself in this respect. For this purpose, it seems better for a university to launch the initiative. In this context, a university should have an intensive relation with chambers of agriculture-industry-services, regional development agencies, and other sivil society instititutions in its region. Thus, through such links, it will be easier to reach desired regional development targets.




    Public Employment and Vicious Circle

    As in many countries, public employment is a complicated matter in Turkey too. Unfortunately, almost in all periods of political powers, a significant change is being executed in public sector.

    In business life, while principals such as expertise and competence should be taken into consideration, these are sometimes neglected in public sector. However, some ideological approaches may come into effect instead. But it must also be stated that it is asserted that sometimes such changes are being done due to inefficiency etc. of the employers in the public sector.

    Well, what is the consequence?
    An evident cleaning in each new term of political power, of course not only by the central government but also by the local administrations. As if this matter is regarded as a revenge and, therefore, each new political power employ those who are near to their ideology and exclude the others who are far from their political thoughts. Thus, such a vicious circle continues.

    Well, what is the social reflection of this situation?
    Happiness in those who are employed; and distress, hurt, and hopelessness in those who are excluded. So, it brings up new probabilities of conflicts in the society, and people may become enemy to each other.

    If the changes sources from the inefficiency etc. of public employers, the sole way should not be excluding them and recruiting the new ones. Instead, the problems could be minimised through a strict inspection system by following an efficient employment policy. In that case, such social problems could be avoided as well.

    Moreover, these should be kept in mind:
    Political power is temporal. The world shall turn around in any case. Thus, without causing unhappinesses and hurts, an employment policy which let everybody lives in peace and prosperity should be implemented.




    Modernity and High Buildings

    There are a lot of symbols for modernity. According to some it is 'science-technology', 'clothes and finery' to some whereas it is 'unlimited freedom' to some. And it is 'high buildings' according to some others…

    As in almost all countries, one or whole of all these symbols is/are used in Turkey too. Especially the last one is being expressed by some people obviously. According to such people, high buildings are very significant symbols of modernity and development. As a matter of fact, almost in all cities of Turkey increasing number of high buildings are being constructed. Population of people who live in these buildings are also increased parallel to these constructions.

    When approached through economic logic, because of scarcity of land in the big cities, presence of high buildings can be understood; however it is very difficult to understand the construction of high buildings in the cities of Anatolia which has relatively wide lands. Some of the problems sources from high buildings stated by specialists are as follows:
    a) Some medical and psychologic problems may occur in those who accomodate in the high buildings,
    b) Alienation in the families of these buildings may happen,
    c) Neighborliness relations may weaken.

    Except these problems;
    - As the buildings ascend, there may be imbalancements in the silhouette of a city. Such buildings especially result in contradictions to general characteristics of a historical city.
    - High buildings harm the surrounding buildings both in construction process and afterwards. In this context, for instance, sceneries of current buildings are obstructed and their right of sun is vanished.

    It seems beneficial that those who think high buildings are symbol of modernity to review their understanding.





    Global Hunger and Poverty

    Hunger is a gradually increasing global problem. Number and percentage of undernourished persons in the World as of periods are available in the table, below:

    Period
    Number of Persons (million)
    Share in the World's Population (%)
    2006 - 2008
    850
    13.0
    2000 - 2002
    836
    14.0
    1995 - 1997
    792
    14.0
    1990 - 1992
    848
    16.0
    1979 - 1981
    853
    21.0
    1969 - 1971
    878
    26.0

    http://www.fao.org/hunger/en, 03.01.2012

    FAO's best estimate of the number of hungry people for 2010 remains at 925 million.

    Some quotations from the report "The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI)" jointly prepared by United Nations' three Rome-based agencies [UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP)] and introduced on 10 October 2011, Rome are as follows:
    - Food price volatility featuring high prices is likely to continue and possibly increase, making poor farmers, consumers, and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity.
    - Demand from consumers in rapidly growing economies may increase, the population may continue to grow, and further growth in biofuels may place additional demands on the food system.
    - Food price volatility may increase over the next decade due to stronger linkages between agricultural and energy markets and more frequent extreme weather events.
    - Small, import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, are especially at risk.
    - The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) include the reduction of the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half by 2015. If the MDG, however, is achieved by 2015 some 600 million people in developing countries will still be undernourished.
    - Governments must ensure that a transparent and predictable regulatory environment is in place, one that promotes private investment and increases farm productivity.
    - Food waste in developed countries should be reduced through education and policies.
    - Food losses in developing countries should be reduced by boosting investment in the entire value chain, especially post-harvest processing.
    - More sustainable management of the natural resources, forests, and fisheries are critical for the food security of many of the poorest countries.
    (For more info: http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en)

    Considering these info, we wonder if Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was right to some extent when asserting the Principle of Population.





    Lessons from Japan

    In fact, there a lot of things to learn from Japan people who have presented many models to the world. 10 things of which stated below are those happened during 2011 earthquaqe/tsunami:

    1. The Calm
    Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

    2. The Dignity
    Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

    3. The Ability
    The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn't fall.

    4. The Grace
    People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

    5. The Order
    No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

    6. The Sacrifice
    Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

    7. The Tenderness
    Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

    8. The Training
    The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

    9. The Media
    They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No sensationalizing. Only calm reportage.

    10. The Conscience
    When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

    Source: Internet




    Dunning-Kruger Effect

    The Dunning-Kruger effect or syndrome is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.

    David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude;
    "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".

    The phenomenon was first tested in a series of experiments published in 1999 by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of the Department of Psychology, Cornell University. They noted earlier studies suggesting that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.

    Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
    * tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
    * fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
    * fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
    * recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

    As a result, the less an individual knows on a subject, the more s/he has self-assessment as if s/he knows everything on the subject which prevents recognizing his/her own incompetence.

    Dunning has since drawn an analogy (the anasognosia of everyday life) with a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability because of brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.

    Dunning-Kruger syndrome could also be adapted to the business life and be summarized as follows:
    "Novices overestimate their performance, experts underestimate their performance."

    In this context, it can be inferred that;
    "An incompetent person who believes that s/he has a very good performance, never minds of praising himself/herself and what s/he is doing. Moreover, s/he does not mind of stepping forward and desiring any duty what s/he in fact can not perform. Contrarily, s/he believes that everything is his/her own right."

    However, this ignorance causes a big pushing power professionally. 'Minus' is changed into 'plus' in terms of career. As a result, 'the incompetent ambitious' always rises more speedily everywhere. On the other hand, learned and competent individuals do not step forward due to their humbleness and they do not desire higher positions by themselves, however, wait for being appraised. But they are hurt when awaiting and, thus, draw themselves back more and more.

    Justin Kruger and David Dunning were awarded Ig Nobel Prize of Harvard University in Physcology in 2000 for their paper on "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments" published in 1999.

    Resources:
    * Justin Kruger, David Dunning, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments", Psychology, 2009, 1, 30-46, Published Online December 2009 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/psych).
    * Wikipedia, "Dunning-Kruger Effect", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect, 03.01.2014.
    * Other internet sources.





    Sustainable Tourism Development and Cittaslow Philosophy

    Obsolescence and depreciation of historic heritage, destruction of natural resources/splendour, and degeneration in socio-cultural values have compelled individuals, institutions, and societies all over the world to take some counter measures. In this context, initiatives are launched and various organizations formed. Of such movements, none are independent of sustainable development and, in this context, of sustainable tourism development.

    As one of these initiatives, Cittaslow was conceived as a movement to prevent or slow the negative effects of the processes of modernisation such as loss of historic heritage, swift consumption of natural resources and a decrease in renewal capacity, oblivion and/or neglect of socio-cultural values and, in this context, traditions. When considering this side of the coin, Cittaslow, consisting of an Italian word 'citta' and an English word 'slow', meaning 'slow city', can be assessed as a philosophy.

    This philosophy, aiming, as it does, at constituting places which are at peace with their history, nature, and socio-cultural values, is directly related to STD because of such features. In fact, all cities which adopt and practise this philosophy are simultaneously implementing sustainable tourism development.

    For more information please visit:
    Mehmet Behzat Ekinci, "The Cittaslow Philosophy in the Context of Sustainable Tourism Development; The Case of Turkey", Tourism Management (ISSN: 0261-5177), Elsevier, V.41, 2014, p.178-189.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2013.08.013





    Modern Silk Roads

    Transportation is a major factor in trade. Commercial activities can be increased in parallel to improvements in transportational infrastructure. The Silk Road functioned in this manner historically and played a paramount role in the development of international commerce. In this context it proved vital in the execution of intensive commercial activities, initially between Asia and Europe, and later in Africa.

    Although the Historic Silk Road lost its significance in the late 17th century, it is currently being revitalised. In this context economic and political collaboration between nations is sought through a variety of initiatives - the so-called New Silk Roads. Major among such initiatives are oil-natural gas pipeline projects (OPP-NGPP), Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA), the Northern Distribution Network (NSR-NDN), the Trans-Korean Railroad with the Trans-Siberian Railroad (TKR-TSR), and the Gulf-Asia Model. Many countries are actively involved in most of these and endeavours to benefit from their potential advantages.

    For detailed information please refer to:
    Mehmet Behzat Ekinci, "The Silk Roads from the Past to the Future and Their Interactions with the Foreign Trade of Turkey", Avrasya Etüdleri, Issue: 45, TİKA, Ankara, 2014, pp.7-42.