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  • Author: Bürge Elvan Erginli, Gamze Nur Çelik, Koray Özdil, Seda Akço Bilen
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The report “Local Recommendations for Access to Justice in Turkey” was developed under the project Enhancing Civic Participation and Confidence Building in the Judicial Reform Process and run in partnership with the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and Turkije Instituut, based in Leiden, Netherlands. The main objectives of the project are to identify, at a local level, the problems that prevent citizens in Turkey from accessing justice in judicial processes, to support local actors serving in the field of justice and law in turning identified problems into significant policy recommendations, and thus, to develop local recommendations for judicial reform.
  • Topic: Environment, Law, Courts, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Netherlands
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Mehmet Ünlü, Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, Zerrin Cengiz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Full membership to the European Union (EU) has been a major foreign policy aspiration for any government leading Turkey in the past three decades. Accordingly, Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999 and accession negotiations started in 2005. Despite this positive momentum, Turkey is pretty far from full membership perspective as of mid-2015. A decade after the start of the accession negotiations, both sides seem quite busy with their internal problems and the official negotiation process is left into limbo. Although the current political climate does not offer an optimistic look, Turkey’s full membership aspirations are still present. It is clear that Turkey’s membership is different from any previous accession especially due to the size and the demography of the country. However, it should be noted that Turkey deserves a fair treatment and evaluation from the Union if the membership criteria are fully met. Here we face the question of how to tackle socio-cultural prejudice and discrimination with regards to Turkey’s accession process.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Berkay Mandıracı
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Penitentiaries and penal policies have been one of the many areas subjected to changes in the context of the judicial reform taking place in Turkey over the last several years. Officials have been inspired to develop new policies in this field by a number of factors: the rise in the number of inmates and the resulting capacity problem; the inefficacy of outdated municipal prisons; and the need to support the resocialization of inmates through new penal policies. Efforts to increase the resocializing impact of the penal system in Turkey and the mentality transformation aiming at overcoming the historical baggage the penal system carries in Turkey are positive. However, these have not yet produced satisfactory results. This is why human rights violations in penitentiaries in Turkey are still continuing. This report argues that the general aim of the penal regime should be based on ‘resocialization’. Therefore, individuals after going through all stages of the penal process and after facing their crime, should be given the opportunity to fully participate in society again. With this perspective the report assesses the current penal reform process in Turkey and puts emphasis on the need for a holistic penal regime that focuses on resocialization of offenders in all penal stages and applies international human rights standards.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform, Criminal Justice, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Zerrin Cengiz, Pelin Yenigün Dilek, Ezgican Özdemir, Hande Özhabeş, R. Bülent Tarhan, Ayşe Üstünel Yırcalı, H. Ceren Zeytinoğlu
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: he Corruption Assessment Report for Turkey is the product of the research conducted by TESEV’s Good Governance program under the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) initiative. This report documents the agenda of the first phase of the SELDI partnership that spans 2012 through 2014. Along with presenting evidence on the degree of corruption in Turkey, the report analyzes the current legal setting and the effects of corruption on the economy. It emphasizes the importance of a free judicial system, the role of civil society, and the benefits of international collaboration in fighting corruption. The report also offers possible solutions to fighting corruption, focusing on the elements that make corruption commonplace.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel Khachatryan
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Daniel Khachatryan is a Hrant Dink Foundation fellow at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) within the framework of the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process Programme financed by the European Union. Khachatryan’s academic background includes studies at Yerevan State University, University of Oslo and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In this article, Khachatryan dwells upon the possible steps to be taken by the EU towars the South Caucasus in order to define its role in the region by focusing on the recent developments in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Daniel Khachatryan, Avrupa Birliği tarafından finanse edilen ve Hrant Dink Vakfı’nın yürütmekte olduğu “Ermenistan-Türkiye Normalleşme Süreci Destek Programı” kapsamında bursiyer olarak TESEV’de çalışmaktadır. Erivan Devlet Üniversitesi, Oslo Üniversitesi ve Tufts Üniversitesi’nde eğitimini tamamlamış olan Khachatryan bu makalesinde Azerbaycan, Ermenistan ve Gürcistan’daki gelişmelere odaklanarak Avrupa Birliği’nin Güney Kafkasya’daki yeri ve rolünü tanımlamak için atması gereken muhtemel adımlara ve mekanizmalara değinmektedir. Makale yalnızca İngilizce olarak yayınlanmıştır.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Nur Kırmızıdağ
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Research on Public Trust in the Police in Turkey, is based on survey data collected on a large-scale sample representative of Turkey. The report provides insights on perceptions of the public with regard to effectiveness/performance, legitimacy of the police and thereby lays bare the level of trust different segments in Turkey attribute to the police. The report utilizes sophisticated statistical methods and, for the first time in Turkey comprehensive scientific models on police trust are being applied giving the opportunity to comparatively analyze the results. Thus the following questions are examined in the report: What is the level of public trust towards police? What are the main components of police trust in Turkey? In how far do police legitimacy and police effectiveness/performance affect police trust in Turkey? What are the factors influencing public’s perception of police legitimacy and effectiveness? How does public’s perception of police legitimacy and effectiveness affect cooperation with and compliance to the police? How does this perception affect public’s toleration of police misconduct? How does public perception of police legitimacy, effectiveness and trust change with regard to different demographic factors in Turkey (political affiliation, ethnic background, religious affinity etc.)?
  • Topic: Security, Law Enforcement, Democracy, Legitimacy, Statistics, Police
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Oytun Orhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: TESEV Foreign Policy Program and ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) in order to understand the effects of Syrian asylum seekers to Turkey, visited Adana, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Mersin and Kahramanmaraş respectively during four different field study trips in three months. They held series of meetings with municipalities, professional organizations, chambers of trade and industry, civil society organizations, opinion leaders, locals and Syrians. This report has been prepared in the light of the observations and data gained from these field studies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Refugees, Refugee Crisis, Syrian War, Public Policy, Services
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Luca Barbone, Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovsky, Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates of the VAT Gap for 26 EU Member States for 2013, as well as revised estimates for the period 2009-2012. It is a follow-up to the report “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member Statess, published in September 2013 (hereafter: 2013 Report), and to the report “2012 Update Report to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States” , published in October 2014 (hereafter: 2014 Report). As in previous reports, it was not possible to include estimates for Croatia and Cyprus, due to as-yet-incomplete national account statistics for the two countries. The VAT Gap is an indicator of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures, as it provides an estimate of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies as well as miscalculations. As the VAT Gap in this study is based on a top-down approach, it does not readily lend itself to be deconstructed according to industrial sectors or other criteria (territorial, professional), and can be best used as a diagnostic tool in the context of its evolution over time. As discussed in previous reports, the VAT Gap is defined as the difference between the amount of VAT actually collected and the VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL), in absolute or percentage terms. The VTTL is an estimated amount of VAT that is theoretically collectable based on the VAT legislation and ancillary regulations. This report calculates, for each country the VTTL on the basis of national accounts, by mapping information on standard, reduced rates and exemptions onto data available on final and intermediate consumption, as well as gross fixed capital formation, from national accounts and use tables. Thus, the quality of the VAT Gap estimates depends on the accuracy and completeness of national accounts data and use tables. The year 2013 saw a continuing overall unfavourable economic environment, as the GDP of the European Union was nearly stagnant. This contributed to a slowdown of nominal final consumption and of other economic aggregates that form the basis of the Value Added Tax. Six countries applied changes to standard or reduced rates in 2013, marking a relatively stable policy environment. During 2013, the overall VAT Total Tax Liability (VTTL) for the EU-26 Member States grew by about 1.2 percent, while collected VAT revenues rose by 1.1 percent. As a result, the overall VAT Gap in the EU-26 saw an increase in absolute values of about Euro 2.8 billion, to reach Euro 168 billion. As a percentage, the overall VAT Gap stayed constant at 15.2 percent. The median VAT Gap rose by 1.6 percentage point, to reach 13.9 percent. In 2013, Member States’ estimated VAT Gaps ranged from the low of 4 percent in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, to the high of 41 percent in Romania. Overall, 15 Member States decreased their VAT Gap, with the largest improvements noted in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia. 11 Member States saw an increase in the VAT Gap, generally of small magnitudes, with the largest deteriorations in Estonia and Italy. This report also provides new and expanded evidence on the Policy Gap for the EU-26. The Policy Gap is an indicator of the additional VAT revenue that a Member State could theoretically collect if it applied standard rate to all consumption of goods and services supplied for consideration. We provide here estimates of the Policy Gap adjusted to take into account items that could not easily be taxed even in an “ideal” system (imputed rents, public goods, financial services). The results moderate views of the relative importance of reduced rates and exemptions in reducing the revenue potential of VAT, and suggest that better enforcement remains a key component of any strategy of improvement of the VAT system. The results of this report and the underlying data were presented to Member States in advance of publication and discussed on several occasions with the representatives of Member States. Deviating approaches and views of Member States are noted in the relevant country section in Chapter 3. The authors are grateful for the constructive cooperation and helpful input of Member States.
  • Topic: Economic growth, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Innovation, VAT, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Maya Grigolia, Lasha Labadze, Pavol Minarik, Alena Zemplinerova, Marek Vokoun
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: This report has been prepared in the framework of the project “Transfer of know-how to small and mid-size businesses” of the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) and USAID. It summarizes the conditions of the SME sector (small and medium size enterprises) in Georgia, identifies the main problems in their development and provides recommendations for further interventions based on the Czech experience, existing literature and a survey implemented among SME stakeholders. Georgia generally receives favorable evaluations of its business environment. It ranks high in indices of economic freedom and is among the top countries with respect to ease of starting and doing business. On the other hand, the SME sector suffers from several problems. The most serious obstacle to SME development seems to be in the area of finance; access to finance is difficult for SMEs and the cost of credit is high. Human capital and innovations are among the weak points of Georgian SMEs as well. The different shortcomings of the environment and markets call for different interventions. The paper is roadmap of concrete activities – it contains a set of recommendations to support SMEs development drawn on three different sources: first, the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship policy, second, the Czech experience and know-how in the SME sector, and finally, the ideas of local experts and stakeholders generated during interviews and workshops. Activities and recommendations have been divided into “generic,” which relate to a particular determinant of business environment and have an impact across industries and sectors such as access to financing, education, developing skills training, R&D, innovation, export strategy, start-ups, and those which are “sector-specific,” such as banking, health and agriculture. Political stability, the main problem in Georgia, is beyond the scope of possible interventions.
  • Topic: Development, Reform, Business , Economic growth, Institutions, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Monika Blaszkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The design of the euro area Quantitative Easing (QE) programme raises the question of whether insufficient liquidity in the bond markets will reduce the impact of the programme and lead to market volatility. While estimates suggests that scarcity of around €102 billion may arise over the life of the programme, to date the QE programme has met its monthly targets and bond market volatility has been managed. Questions also arise in respect of the fact that risk is not fully shared on up to €738.4 billion to be purchased over the life of the programme. Partial risk sharing raises the spectre of defaulting central banks exiting the euro system, and existing members being unwilling to bear associated costs, and thus the future of the euro area. However, estimations suggest that, at present, all national central banks should be able to bare losses stemming from sovereign debt purchases under the current round of QE. This report was prepared within a research project entitled Sovereign bond purchases and risk sharing arrangements: Implications for euro-area monetary policy, which received funding from the European Parliament.
  • Topic: Finance, Economic growth, Banks, Trade, European Central Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union