Lesson from elections in Turkiye
When the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty from 1987. was unilaterally abandoned by USA in August 2019., new reality started to influence global politics. Supported by forthcoming pandemic Covid-19 which became threat to mankind, not only for health but also for normal culturally inherited everyday practices new reality entered gray zone by painting our future to an even paler shade. Few months after pandemic endangered each of us Russian President Putin issued an article written by himself on the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War (“The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II”). Surely, he had a reason to address us compering lessons from that time to ours. Main lesson which permeates whole article is Western circumvention of historical facts, and then obfuscation of one’s own responsibility. Historical reminiscence served to Putin to emphasize “injustice” against USSR which modern Russia is aware of and not willing to repeat. In a nutshell, Putin was ready to confront. Essentially? He knew he’ll need to confront.
Just a few days before military operation in Ukraine started I submitted my article to AA English (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/analysis-no-ordinary-geopolitical-issue/2511447) explaining that war in that Eastern European country is representing turning point in international relations and probably the eve of new world order. With all its calamities, atrocities and suffering war in Ukraine should be minor issue during the global relocation process. Accumulated financial power by Eastern powers, social development and overreach the US in critical industries (IT, military, high tech etc.) gave them open space to build its own networks all around the world. What additionally helped China and Russia to increase their global influence was the loss of support for liberal ideas due to the dictatorship of the liberal paradigm. I used the coin “dictatorship of liberal paradigm” few years ago to describe Western aggressive interference into the cultural codes, customs and beliefs of the others. The serious response by “others” is showing that dominance of liberalism is over, and the most probably global dominance of USA too.
This long introduction has a meaning. The world that arises in the opposition of Western powers against the East is not a conflict between good and evil, and therefore it is not a conflict that requires determination. Something more of goodness on one side does not mean a lack of the same on the other. As well as evil. What is really needed in this period of time is the emergence and the growth of the third bloc. In this sense, the policy led by President Erdogan is a good guide for many countries, especially in the Middle East, as to how they should approach the challenges of the global transition.
Rejecting the role of a proxy who will sacrifice itself to make one of the world powers living and feeling better is more than a good start, and regional integration based on common interests is a logical sequence. In addition to the fact that there are serious tensions between the countries of the Middle East, there are also similar views. It is quite interesting that Muhammed bin Selman announced in 2018. the processes that will make the Middle East the new Europe. It is precisely this integrative vision (if that statement is understood as an appearance of common market, mutual currency and mutual culture) and the sovereigntist policy of Erdogan that can bring about the much-desired change in the area of the Fertile Crescent that has been waiting for more than a century.
As a deeply materialistic civilization, this global one of ours, will put to the test every attempt at a different worldview by exposing it to its own parameters of growth, development and possibility of duration. However, what it would have to reckon with is the idea of a man and a community that can achieve happiness within its own revitalized parameters. It is less important whether it will be called; a return to the roots, a reinterpretation of tradition or an adaptation of basic values to modern times, it is more significant that the worldview will grow enough that will be far enough away from the dictatorship of the liberal paradigm as well as from autocratic rule.
Taking all this into account (of course, and much more than the above mentioned) it is clear that the newly won second term of President Erdogan represents an essential challenge to his politics. The approach of “zero problems with neighbors” established during Davutoglu’s time as Minister of Foreign Affairs could have its success in the coming time if integrative processes in the region take off. Positioning the region as a supranational political and cultural entity (I would add an economic one) will reduce negative foreign influence, but also stabilize all states in the upcoming multipolar arrangement with all its vagaries that are already looming.
There should be no doubt that such a development would also stabilize the internal political conditions, or above all the economic conditions that Turkiye has been facing in recent years. For Turkiye, this is of course the primary question, how to restore the financial potency it had, for example, in 2012. But let’s not forget. With its geostrategic position, Turkiye connects the four corners of the world, and with its heritage, it is obliged to think and act more broadly.
Gulf countries are playing a key role in possible/desirable resurrection of the Fertile Crescent. Among them Saudi Arabia is of the highest importance, not only because of Holly Places but also because of integrative vision announced by Muhammed Bin Selman. Deepening ties with Turkiye by involving Egypt in crucial multilateral talks KSA has potential to secure inner middle eastern cooperation which will lead to positive moves regarding security, economic stability and cultural flourishing.
In the end, isn’t the visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s to Ankara good opening for mutual collaboration?