Recently I found out that the endless discussions that I have with my dear friend Ozan about the development path Turkey should follow is a part of a 200 year old debate involving free traders and protectionists. Ozan's on the side of an import substituting industrialization and I on the side of free traders - I found out accidentally that one of the strongest voices of protectionists is Dani Rodrik, an Istanbul-born Turkish Jew from Harvard. Another topic that I discuss often with Ozan is football -word discussion is not appropriate here since we don't "discuss" we just talk about our love for Besiktas. So when I read an article from Mustafa Denizli, an ex football star turned journalist, which was protectionist in nature I wanted to bring it up here on my blog and gather your opinions. I think it serves good to demonstrate pros and cons of both approaches to development.
In Turkey various different broadcasting companies broadcast almost all the European football leagues - some are also showing Brazilian League. Ozan is a enthusiastic follower of the games. At the same time the Turkish football teams are suffering from lack of supporters watching the games. Denizli argues that as long as the supporters are bombarded by foreign football games on TV they will not go and watch the domestic games on TV. I disagree. The foreign competition should push the clubs and the federation, who are in such a mess to gather their act together and present the supporters a decent competition. Also the good football that the young footballers watch on TV encourages them to be better players.
Speaking of football, things are going relatively good in Besiktas. We qualified for the Champions League after 4 years after beating F.C. Zurich 3-1 on aggregate. We got 10 out of 12 points in the league. The supporters of Besiktas continued to use the stands as an area to demonstrate their opinion about local and global issues, in a country where NGO's are failing. Recently they opened banners protesting the dam to be built in south east Turkey which is to flood an ancient city, and the the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is nice to know that football is still not just football (or worse money as the industrialists want it to be)