The world economy is looking for a way forward in the face of an unprecedented wave of change and crises. I am deliberately using the words change and crisis side by side here. The argument that “we are all in the same boat” is null and void now. In fact, the exact opposite is true. For a long time, the crisis of developed countries has been narrated as the crisis of a systemic global crisis. In fact, this narrative is true neither in current nor in historical terms.
The most fundamental crisis of the system started in Europe in the mid-19th century. Then, all the crises that led to world wars in the 20th century were the crises of developing countries. It is no secret that these crises were the tussle between developed countries on technology and market places. However, for more than two centuries since then, despite all these crises, the West has not lost the wealth it attained first through mercantilist colonialism and then through the glorious breakthrough of “efficiency” of the Industrial Revolution.
This is because eastern and southern countries were condemned to a process of increasing colonization and impoverishment. The cycle of the economic underdevelopment of countries that we now call “developing countries” by large continued throughout the 20th century. With the exception of the movements such as the Non-Aligned Movement, which remained weak and were overshadowed by the Soviets during the Cold War period, eastern and southern countries were the carriers of the West-originated crises and the peoples of these countries were impoverished with the economic policies imposed on them for the sake of the West’s welfare.
Unlike what is told, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was not the “end of history” for the West, but paradoxically, a development that would break the vicious circle of the developing countries of the East. This is because we were about to meet a new politics, moving away from a bipolar world to a multi-polar and multi-option one.
The new politics, which goes beyond the traditional, Industrial Revolution-patented and Western right-wing and left-wing politics, has just begun blooming in Eastern countries on the eve of the greatest crisis of the West since the Industrial Revolution.
In fact, Europe has begun giving the first signs of the end of national socialist (racist) and traditional social-democratic (left) politics with interesting and cyclical “inventions” such as the “Green” movement, which are outside of two mainstreams. Before long, these movements spontaneously fizzled out as marginalized moves, pushing Europe into the arms of national socialism with the crisis again.
This is the main historical axis of the tension between Germany and Turkey. This is the Mesut Özil issue and the resistance to Mesut Özil as an honorable immigrant.
On the other hand, as of the late 1990s, Pacific Asian countries, especially China and South Korea, came to experience developments, making us to question the West’s economic hegemony which was thought to never end. China’s new overseas expansion in a market-friendly way and South Korea’s technology and education-intensive rise caused first production and then technology centers in the world shift to the East. The U.S. had to reconcile itself to this rapid rise since the Pacific region was financing the U.S.’s huge deficits with its surpluses. Now, however, the Pacific-U.S. equilibrium is ending under the name of “trade wars.” And this is the first precursor of the great crisis.
Let us move on to Eurasia – our part of Asia. In this process, under President Vladimir Putin, Russia made the world adopt a decisive perspective which was not as exciting and market-friendly as the one in Pacific. At this point, Turkey made it clear that it would complete this picture under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and leave its mark on Eurasia as a unique founding country which qualitatively differs from Russia.
The Erdoğan rule which has survived thanks to great popular support and despite all kinds of conspiracies since 2002 has eventually turned into a transformation/revolution for Turkey and the region with the June 24 presidential elections.
The Erdoğan line in Turkey is also expanding as a permanent public movement and is dragging all the outdated political structures/movements which try to compete it into a crisis and is wiping out them. This is natural because these politics are the archaic structures of the last two centuries.
Now, Erdoğan is attending the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit as the term chairman of Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
BRICS and others need a new and unique development line more than ever. It is crucial that the BRICS structure be the most important economic and political platform first of G-20 and then of the world by encapsulating Turkey and Latin American countries starting from Mexico.
In South Africa, Erdoğan will propose that countries do trade with local currencies and develop a new currency system apart from the dollar. This is at the same time a proposal for a new political and economic order and restructuring.
BRICS has $4.5 trillion in foreign exchange reserves and holds 43 percent of the world’s population, which is the youngest and the most dynamic in the world. In this sense, if these economies act together with Turkey, we will see that the current transformation is a new development path for developing countries.
For example, the idea that BRICS collects their foreign exchange reserves in a pool and creates a common Development Bank will be an initiative almost equal to Archimedes’ principle of leverage that moved the earth.
It is crucial to urgently take steps that will transcend the Bretton-Woods monetary system and Western-centric trade system. This BRICS summit, attended by Erdoğan, is of historical importance. These steps will not be only a way out for developing countries, but also will prevent the crisis coming fast to the U.S. from Pacific Asia and reduce risks that threaten the future of the system.