Rates hikes are not the permanent remedy… We need to take alternative actions…

As we enter the middle of the trading week, we can witness that US-Turkey relations are progressing as fluctuating as current exchange rate USD to TRY.

At a panel I moderated last night, we talked with esteemed statesmen Mahfi Eğilmez and Işın Çelebi about how Turkey got here and what awaits us in the future. Conveniently located in Istanbul’s banking and business hub, Altınbaş University Gayrettepe Campus was bursting at the seams since we had to install two extra screens for participants who weren’t able to find unfilled seats in the conference hall.

I find it perfectly normal that people have showed such great interest in a panel offered by not one but three economists, especially considering the fact that the current economy is creating bed of nails for everybody. Interestingly however, we did not get too many questions about exchange rates and interest rates. Participants seemed more attuned to branding, design, innovation, technology, digital transformation, R&D, value-added, state & governance, and expectation management.

Maybe the reason why people were more focused on these current issues was the fact they knew the problems Turkey is struggling with right now actually have nothing to do with the economy. On the one hand, US government’s open hostility towards Turkey, on the other hand, speculations on foreign exchange regime and foreign exchange deposits have all revealed the “administrative” aspect of the skyrocketing USD/TRY problem.

“It never hurts to share knowledge…”

I must underline again that as of now Turkey is swimming in unfamiliar waters Mahfi Eğilmez and Işın Çelebi have also emphasized that hiking interest rates will not resole anything, thus Turkey will have to take other actions. In short, we have all agreed that urgent measures will not create permanent and lasting solutions unless the Government starts structural reforms as well as public saving.

Two distinguished academics of our University and their vast experience in government affairs made me think of an urgent action plan. Our Gayrettepe Campus will welcome Prof. Dr. Çağrı Erhan, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kasım Han and Dr. Eray Güçlüer on Thursday for an update on politics and diplomacy. By the way, I will moderate the meeting while I will be taking notes to further develop my own urgent action plan.

You might ask, “Don’t you ever share these ideas with the relevant persons?” Yes, I absolutely do as I always share them with you in the most transparent manner possible. And I hopefully think the fact that I am sharing my ideas or suggestions with you will not affect other parties’ approach towards them. The more people read my ideas/suggestions, the more people can adopt a larger perspective on them.

I will be sharing all of them with you on Friday.