Baska Bir Sey Degil, Biraz Saygi!

Turkiye’nin epeyce batisinda yasamanin avantajlarindan biri de, saat farki sagolsun, ertesi gunun gazetesini geceden okuyabilmek. Dezavantaji ise sinirden kacan uykuyu bir an once yakalamaya calismak. Dun gecenin uykukaciran odulu Akif Beki’nin Radikal’de cikan “Bahsis Devrimini Baslatan Yazi” adli calismasina gitti.

Yeme-icme yazarlarinin zannediyorum “hadlerini asip” “yuksek siyaset” yazmasina icerleyen Beki sazi eline almis, “orta sınıf halka ve onun sıradan dertlerine nasıl yabancılaştığını” gostermek icin Turkiye’nin kanayan yarasi olan bahsis sorununa egilmeyi uygun gormus. Tam isabet.

Titreyen bir ekonomi ve aylardir cereyanda kalmis bir dispolitikanin ulkeyi yataklara dusurdugu bir donemde polis siddeti ve gencecik insanlarin olumleriyle kapkaranlik bir yazi geride birakan Turkiye’nin orta sinifinin en buyuk problemi elbette ki bahsis muessesesi.

Zira Turkiye’de hanehalki harcamalarinin %6’dan az bir kismi bahsisin anavatani olan lokanta hizmetlerine gidiyor (TUIK Istatistiklerle Turkiye Raporu, 2012: 87). Bu da Akif Beki’nin ulke gercekleriyle ne kadar yakindan ilgilendiginin acik bir gostergesi.

Ulkemizde orta sinifin ikincil dertlerine bakalim. Mesela, Iskur’un 2012 verilerine gore lise sonrasi (onlisans, lisans, master, doktora) egitim almis kayitli issizlerin tum issizlere orani yuzde 18,8. Yani, her 5 kayitli issizden 1’i en az iki-yillik universite mezunu, yani orta sinifin bel kemigi olarak gordugumuz kisiler. Gecelim. 2013 Temmuz ayi verilerine gore benzinin litre fiyati Avrupa’nin en zengin ulkeleriyle karsilastirildiginda bile Turkiye’de daha pahali: Hollanda’da litresi 1.8 euro olan benzin Turkiye’de 2 euro. Ote yandan Otomotiv Distributorleri Dernegi’nin raporuna gore Agustos 2013’te otomobil satislari yuzde 21 artmis. Orta sinif yeni aldigi arabasini simdi daha pahali benzinle doldurmak zorunda belli ki.

En ufak bir arastirma yapilmadan kaleme alindigi belli olan bu yazinin bilgi ve mantik eksiklikleri de cabasi. Ornegin Amerika’da hesaba %10 bahsisin otomatikman eklenmesi buyuk bir genelleme. Birincisi, otomatik olmayan, musterinin takdirine kalan bahsisin kabul goren orani Internal Revenue Service (ABD’de vergi sistemini duzenleyen kurum) verilerine gore %16, buyuk sehirlerde bu oran %20’ye kadar cikiyor. Ikincisi, cogu yerde % 10’un daha da ustunde olan “otomatik bahsisler” esasen bahsis degil “servis bedeli” (service charge) olarak adlandiriliyor ve genellikle buyuk gruplar halinde gelen (6 kisi ve uzeri) musteriye uygulaniyor. Bahsis muessesesinin Amerika’da bu kadar yaygin ve nezaketen-zorunlu olmasinin en buyuk nedeni ise bahsisin “gelir” (income) olarak gosterilmesi. Hatta kimi isletmelerde maas tamamen bahsis uzerinden veriliyor—fakat bunun hakkinda maalesef sadece anekdotal bilgim var.

Amerika’da taksiciye, barda bira sisesi acip musterinin onune koyan barmene bile bahsis verilirken Turkiye’de kebapci cikisinda tabakta birakilan 2TL’nin sosyolojik analizini yapmaya kalkismadan once biraz arastirma yapmak fena olmazdi. Bahsis muessesesi var mi, yok mu, varsa kalksin mi, bahsettigimiz ulke gercekten Turkiye mi anlayamadan biten bu yazi okuyucuyla alenen dalga gecmenin utanc verici bir ornegi.

Baska bir sey degil, okuyucu olarak istedigimiz biraz saygi!

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MYTHS ABOUT THE TURKISH ECONOMY

hurriyet

June 8, 2013

By Ege Cansen, originally published in Turkish

The Justice and Development Party, nay, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came to power at the end of 2002.

For more than a decade, Mr. Erdogan (R.T.E.) has been ruling the country as “one man.” There is a widespread rhetoric that Turkey has been showing a miraculous level of economic development during the 10 years under R.T.E. This rhetoric is not just prominent in Turkey but elsewhere too. Is this a true statement or a myth? I would like to dissect this argument from a critical viewpoint today.

Myth #1: Per capita income has increased by threefold.

Wrong. The truth is that per capita income has increased by 45 percent in 10 years. The math behind the “threefold increase” is in fact a translation error caused by using the current exchange rate of the U.S. Dollar. National income and growth rates are calculated by using the country’s national currency. Whether the national currency appreciates or depreciates against the U.S. Dollar does not affect the growth rate. For example, whereas 100 Japanese Yen was equal to 0.94 Dollars on June 9, 2008, it increased to 1.32 Dollars on October 24, 2011. In other words, the Japanese Yen appreciated by 40 percent against the Dollar and the Japanese per capita GDP –which in reality did not show much increase—increased by 40 percent when calculated by using the Dollar’s current exchange rate. No Japanese Prime Minister has bragged about it, however.

Myth #2: Our gross national income has increased speedily during the 10 years

Wrong. The average growth rate of the last 10 years has been 5 percent. This is roughly equal to the average growth rate of the 80 years prior to this period. Nothing has changed. Growth is fixed to five percent for three years in order to prevent the increasingly flaccid current account deficit from inducing a devaluation crisis.

Myth #3: The Turkish economy became the 17th largest economy in the world

It did not, because it always has been. Even in 1993, Turkey was the 17th largest economy in the world with its gross national income. Sometimes it moved up along the scale one notch, sometimes it moved down. Turkey’s ranking has not changed 19 years later, in 2012. In other words, it is the world’s 17th largest economy. This will not change in the next 10 years either.

Myth #4: We zeroed out the IMF debt, we became a debt-free country

This is the epitome of lying with incomplete statements. The most unsuccessful outcome of the AKP’s economic policies is the enormous increase in foreign debt. (On the other hand, this is the reason why the myth started off in the first place.) Our foreign debt has increased from 130 billion Dollars in 2002 to 337 billion in 2012. The trend continues. Our country has never incurred this much foreign debt at any point in history. The IMF debt has been cleared by borrowing funds from foreign banks as their due dates approached. This is all that there is to it.

Epilogue: Myth, enchantment.