Unsustainable Turkey

Unsustainable Turkey

Davos 2016 started on Jan. 20. There are eight main themes to be discussed this year. All of them are either directly or in-directly related to technology, innovation and R&D. Topics include the rise of the robots, medicine, climate change, inequality, terrorism, the migration crisis, market turmoil, Europe and cyber-crime. 

This is the reality of the world and we are far from it. Turkey is too busy with its construction industry. We fail to see the bigger picture. The world leaders see a future where water is scarce, medicine is hard to find, jobs are highly sophisticated, security is at risk and markets are extremely volatile. Turkey sees a future where every empty square meter of land is being used for construction. 

The very interesting thing is the fact that the government and some private institutions are doing their best to reverse this trend as well. But somehow Turkey is fixed on construction. None of the biggest conglomerates’ are doing hardcore research. The number of patent filings and the number of original technologies hitting the global markets is pathetic. The quality of education is mediocre and it is getting worse every year. 

While the current situation is such, the government is, on one hand, issuing amazing incentives for companies who are trying to do R&D and who want to sell high-end products and services abroad but on the other hand, the same government is increasing pressure on academicians because of political reasons. 

Matters of innovation cannot be understood with only one dimension. You cannot claim that if you give money to any person, they will become innovators. That’s exactly what is being done in Turkey. That is also the reason why we cannot produce technologies for our future problems. When our competitor countries will be using robots, we will also be buyers of robots… and drones, self-driving cars, mini hydrogen batteries, etc. 

This is not sustainable and no amount of money created by selling our land would be enough to acquire these technologies.