The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second-largest international organization in the world. Although almost half a century passed since its foundation, its lack of a strong effect in the global and economic arena is a great inadequacy for Islamic society.
Most of the OIC's member countries are considered weak in terms of economy. However, among these countries there are some that have rich energy resources. Sixty percent of the oil and natural gas reserves of the world are owned by OIC member countries.
Yet it is seen that this wealth is not reflected to the entire organization. Although the OIC has energy-rich member countries, many member countries have problems accessing energy. The OIC seems to be an energy market where those who demand and supply energy unite.
Another contradiction is, the countries that have rich energy resources do not keep the revenues, namely the capital, inside the OIC countries. The countries that have capital, rather than evaluating their capital inside the countries in the group for the development and strengthening the OIC platform, prefer other countries.
It would not be wrong to say that every OIC member country has been acting in accordance with the interests of their own agenda.
Perhaps the reason the OIC has not been able to become integrated like the European Union is that member countries do not have a common agenda.
As the EU countries prioritized the formation of the EU, unfortunately OIC members seem to be quite far from this approach.
While the OIC's area of influence should expand and its level of influence should increase with the economic network to be established or reinforced by Muslim countries, they are transferring their economic potential to non-OIC countries. I think this is the main factor preventing the OIC from being the common voice of Muslim countries and societies.
Rather than forming a common and strong profile under the umbrella of the OIC, OIC member countries and future member countries prefer to use the financial opportunities offered by the Islamic Development Bank. This prevents the OIC from having an integrated structure.
OIC CAN RESOLVE ITS LEARNED HELPLESSNESS UNDER TURKEY'S LEADERSHIP
What does the OIC do, what is its mission and goal, what kind of a future does it imagine for Islamic countries and Muslim society?
The fact that these questions are being asked is an indication that the structure of the OIC and the vicious circle in which it is caught up has started to be questioned.
Unfortunately, the impact level is quite low in the economic and political arena of this 57-member organization in which the uniting force is Islam. But we have an opportunity to resolve all these problems ahead.
The 13th session of the Islamic Summit Conference will be held in Istanbul, and Turkey will have the term presidency for two years.
The expectations from the OIC under Turkey's leadership are high. Because the example of Turkey with the transformation it has undergone in the last 14 years is an important symbol.
Also, Turkey's taking severe responsibility in the Syria issue, compared to the inactivity of other OIC members, strengthens the example of Turkey in the eyes of other countries.
What is expected from Turkey is that while leading to develop a solution for the problems of the organization during its OIC presidency, it will give a strong voice to the Muslim geography. To find the answer to why the OIC could not integrate for almost half a century, before asking what the solution may be for the existing problems.
In a period when the global economic power balance changed and international institutions have been questioned, the OIC has to increase its prestige in the global economy with a new motivation.
In order to do this, the OIC, embodying many institutions and corporations, has to be reorganized.
At the end of the summit announcing the “OIC-2025: Program of Action” document and drawing the road map for the next 10 years is a sign of change.
The substantiation of these topics, which also stood out at the “Developing Economic and Cultural Relations Between Organization for Islamic Cooperation Members, Opportunities and Challenges” conference organized by the Foreign Ministry's Center for Strategic Research ahead of the OIC summit, will strengthen the Islamic community's position against Western countries.
OIC members should set aside their differences and unite at the center, Islam, which is their common denominator, and act with a common agenda. It is in this way alone that the OIC can put forth the vision expected from it.