Turkey has started to execute the presidential system as of yesterday. Monday’s oath-taking ceremony and the new Cabinet have made history as one of the most important beginnings in the history of the Republic. In this sense, July 9, 2018, has gained an exceptional place in the history of Turkey.
It was inevitable for Turkey to take this historical step and switch to the presidential system. Moreover, it was perfect timing for Turkey’s transition. As the well-known maxim says, “It was early yesterday, it will be too late tomorrow, and it is high time today.” I do not know whether this maxim explains this historical step taken by Turkey, but I can say that “tomorrow would be too late” for this transition.
First of all, the historical stage that compromised the great crises and wars and the entire Cold War period of the 20th century and the period of nearly two centuries starting with the first industrial revolution (late 18th century and 19th century) that was shaped under Britain’s colonial leadership is coming to an end now.
First, the shock waves of the industrial revolution came to the European side and then the destroyed walls of the Cold War came to Europe’s rescue. The “iron curtain” countries, and East Germany in particular, were annexed by the central countries of Europe, and this historic transition delayed the crisis for the EU for a while. However, for Europe, this time is also over. Do not doubt that Britain’s Brexit process will be followed by the southern European wave. Italy, Portugal, Spain and even France cannot continue with the monetary and fiscal system that is in place in the EU today.
The euro did not actually emerge as a currency that ensured the monetary integrity of the EU, on the contrary, it had two functions: First, the Bretton-Woods system, which was developed after World War II and which had the dollar as its general equivalent (basic reserve currency), has come to stumble and the euro assumed the function of a crutch for the dollar. Second, as the savior of Germany, which was thought to shoulder the burden of the “iron curtain” countries, and East Germany in particular, the euro currency system assumed the function of a tool of monetary exploitation and sovereignty within the EU.
Thus, a concept called the eurozone emerged, and from the beginning, this concept defined an EU under the hegemony of Germany, with the exception of Britain. It was certain that such an EU would begin to unravel with the first economic crisis and insistently ostracize strong axis countries such as Turkey. Indeed, it was so; first Britain declared the Brexit process – the fate of which is at the mercy of Turkey. This is because Turkey has grown stronger with the presidential system, and its decision-making mechanisms and state reflexes will not cause any delay now.
From this point of view, Turkey’s new era which started yesterday can be seen as a new era for the EU as well. The same is also true for organizations such as NATO and the U.N. which were formed under the U.S. leadership after World War II to a large extent and which grew mature under Cold War conditions, and for the paradigm represented by these organizations. This historical step taken by Turkey is a chance of renewal for the political and economic paradigm that was established after World War II and that no longer fulfills the requirements of present time.
Pacific Asia’s economic rise, which became clear in the late 1990s and continuously accelerated is gearing to come to Eurasia through Turkey. Therefore, Turkey is one of the economic and political constructive countries for the “One Belt One Road” which China names one of the largest transformative projects of the century. On the other hand, Turkey is the sole country that will carry the energy resources of Russia and Asia Minor countries to the European mainland via the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Anatolian peninsula.
The basic dynamic of the new industrial revolution is based on the horizontal sharing and dissemination of technology and the intense demand for it. As such, countries such as Turkey, which have young and dynamic population components and which have easy access to technology and even reproduce it are advantageous in this period. Turkey’s presidential system is convenient for capturing this economic dynamic and developing institutions and the investment environment that will directly turn it into a production potential.
We can easily say that had Turkey switch to the presidential system a bit later, it would have missed the train to the new industrial revolution.
In this regard, let us not continue old habits in our comments about the cabinet that was announced yesterday. In the old parliamentary system, most of the time, people were ahead of the system. For example, the ministers who managed to overcome the wall presented by the “bureaucratic oligarchy,” with their personal initiative and political vision, succeeded. Now the system itself is doing it.
The newly created presidential institutions promise a dynamic mechanism of state functioning.
From this point of view, institutions should be discussed rather than names in the new system. For instance, the Strategy and Budget Directorate within the Presidency is such an institution. This institution will make the budget and undertake the functions of the old Development Ministry (formerly State Planning Organization – SPO). To the purpose, economy-related ministries (ministers) have been determined in accordance with Turkey’s new road map that is aimed at bringing fundamental solutions to the country’s structural problems.
As for the first steps in the economy, the economy is undoubtedly the first priority agenda item. I expect strong steps to be taken towards permanent structural solutions to major structural problems, particularly inflation and unemployment, and an urgent reform program to be announced. The steps to maximize the harmonization of monetary and fiscal policies have already begun and they will continue to accelerate.
May the new period bring luck for Turkey and all the oppressed nations… This step is also the step for peace and welfare. Happy peace and welfare period!