Istanbul rapidly declining in indices

Istanbul rapidly declining in indices

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said they considered Moody’s rating cut important: “We take the rating cut seriously. We will make an effort to increase our rating in the medium and long term.”  

Naturally, one’s mind is confused. If you listen to the top administrators of the state and their “yes men,” this could a conspiracy of the Gülenist movement, or the product of the “superior mind.” Their envy about the third airport in Istanbul is another possible reason, of course. 

However, the deputy prime minister and the most experienced economist in the cabinet said they took this seriously and will work to improve it. 

There is no need to think about which one is right. The deputy prime minister knows that those people he has to convince for the future of the country’s economy think rationally and he speaks their language. The others are playing for the stands; with their heroic and epic discourses, they are trying to prevent people from noticing the visible collapse in the economy. 

It is obvious that in the process of distancing itself from democracy and transforming into a Middle Eastern dictatorship, Turkey has rapidly lost its credibility in the world. We were once the “rising star” of the world; now even the stores on Turkey’s most popular streets are closing.  

In the 2016 survey of the Global Financial Center Index, Istanbul went down to 57th place. For the past three years, Istanbul has been falling back regularly in this index. The reason is written in the same report: Corruption cannot be prevented; laws are not equally applied to everyone; tax laws are not simple, just, transparent or predictable. Taxing is used as a weapon to punish those companies that the government dislikes. We are also quite behind in terms of knowledgeable, well-trained and competent human resources compared to our rivals.

And the government does not lift a finger to correct these but when it comes to delivering speeches, they boast that Istanbul will be the “World Finance Center.” 

It looks to me that their real aim is not Istanbul or anything; they only want to create extra profits with “coupon” lands that have hiked prices due to a finance center to be built nearby.  

The irresistible taste of OHAL  

The National Security Council (MGK) recommended that the state of emergency (OHAL) should be extended. This is no surprise, at least for me. 

The president was given a taste of this. He was giving the signals of this outcome; you wouldn’t of course expect a daring cabinet minister to come out and say, “But we had promised to wrap this up in a short while,” during the MGK meeting he presided over.

Another sign that the president would not give up this practice easily came one day after the MGK, on Sept. 29. In his meeting with heads of neighborhoods and villages, he said, “Not even 12 months may not be adequate.” He took a vote with the headmen and he highlighted that the state of emergency would be extended for at least a year. 

Note these sentences he used while explaining the benefits of OHAL: “In the southeast, you were not able to go out on the streets at certain hours. Now, is there anything like that? No, there is not. Are there any trivialities such as strikes or boycotts? No, there are not…”  

What he refers to as trivial things such as strikes or boycotts are rights that are not even a topic of discussion in a democratic country.

The government that defines these rights as “trivial” will also suspend other rights during the state of emergency; this is their true intention. You should prepare yourself for a state of emergency regime maybe to be extended all the way to the next elections.  

This was the most practical way to form a one-man regime without changing the constitution. The Fethullahist insurrection on July 15 provided this opportunity and now he is using it. 

It seems that “democracy” will not be visiting this land for a long time.