Analysing and Solving Problems…

Based on my past experience in managerial positions, I can say that critical decision makers should adopt the following classification as problems accumulate:

  • External problems
  • Internal problems
  • Problems that occur as a side effect of our practices
  • Problems that we create ourselves and then eliminate in order to be strong in negotiation

First of all, even if the problem is caused by external factors, it is vital to take into account every possible development when making the risk plan. For example, it was possible to predict that the tensions between Russia and Ukraine would result in the admission of new members to NATO. Accordingly, the arguments should have been prepared in advance. It is not the right to say first, “Of course, why not?” and then “But on one condition”. When NATO’s enlargement was confirmed in the world media, Turkey should have proactively said its conditions using a positive tone. Waiting for the other party to take a step causes our answers to be interpreted as “reactive”. Meanwhile, the F-35 seems to have been shelved for the time being, while Turkey’s F-16 request is pending. It is unlikely that the Government can make progress about the solution of these issues until the elections.

Turkey’s standpoint vis-a-vis the tensions with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean is right. But now we are paying the price for letting things slide in the past. Making concessions on our rightful arguments, due to other matters, and raising and then lowering the tensions causes confusion. Being flexible is important, but determination comes with action, not with empty words. Turkey should not take a step back from its gains in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Syrian issue is linked with terrorism because Turkey’s internal security issues unfortunately extends beyond its borders. The never-ending news of terrorism and our soldiers dying on duty saddens us all. The failure to fill the power void in the region results in Turkey taking the initiative. Turkey has clearly explained to the United States, the creator of this disturbances, that it will not allow a “shanty” state in the region, that Israel is planning to use as a buffer zone against Iran. Unfortunately, we pay the price for this too, our soldiers are being killed while trying to provide security for us. But it looks like Turkey will not be backing down.

Turkey’s approach to the Russia-Ukraine issue has been correct from the very beginning. It took all the right steps so far. Although this diplomacy is being used as pretext, almost a lifesaver, to overlook commodity shortages, especially food and energy, it is not possible to be protected from rapidly rising hikes. Lifting of customs duties on some imported products can only work as a temporary measure. The Government should avoid an approach that will not alienate the producer from producing. Then we will have worsened an already existing problem.

The problems in the region led to a serious influx of refugees and uncontrolled migration to Turkey, which seems to never end. Turkey first “Russianized” and then “Arabized” in tourism and social life in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, it has become a habit of business owners to engage in the culture of the migrants from whom they make money. Remember, “You are who your customer is!” It looks like this will continue for a long time, as currently Turkey does not host many Europeans tourists. I’m afraid we might face an odd mixture, a mixture of Turkish, Arab, and Russian cultures, a synthesis that unfortunately gathers the most negative sides of each one. Let’s be ready for this.

The difference between a good manager and the right manager…

Now let’s see what our internal problems are: The election debates have started, and there are rumours about possible election dates. Some say that elections will be held in November, but this estimation seems unlikely unless the law changes. The way things are, May 2023 can be the earliest date. However, regardless of the date, an election atmosphere is descending upon Turkey. “. Almost everyone, including the government itself, are postponing dealing with problems because of the upcoming elections. Given the circumstances perhaps new loan campaigns may be a good idea to stimulate the economy.

One of the major problems that arise as a side effect of wrong monetary policies is obviously high exchange rates and increasingly rising inflation. The sales from the Central Bank reserves in order to slow down the exchange rates and FX-hedged Turkish lira deposits that put further burden on the Treasury also cause side effects. Tendency to stock up on goods and the deteriorating pricing behaviour increase price stickiness.

To overcome these problems, Turkey must be determined to implement realistically and scientifically produced solutions, instead of reacting to momentary situations.

A good manager correctly assesses the results and side effects of a practice. The right manager, on the other hand, anticipates the side effects before taking action, and decides accordingly.