The G20, a global showdown, and Turkey’s struggle… - İBRAHIM KARAGÜL

The G20, a global showdown, and Turkey’s struggle…

A global economic crisis will result in political crises, social explosions and geopolitical shockwaves…

This was the emphatic discourse being promoted around 2009 when the crisis struck in the United States and Europe. In reality, the crisis started in 2005 and 2006 but was covered up. The debates carried out freely outside the scope of official statistics contained warnings to the whole world of the impending social crises and geopolitical changes that would result from the crisis that struck at the heart of the global economy and affected many capital cities.

The accurate nature of these warnings is being realized today. The central economies, which have been trying to cover up this trauma of the 21st century since the beginning of the crisis, never sought a way to overcome the crisis with structural changes. This is because the existing economic system bestows extraordinary political power upon them and they can manage the world with that power. They didn’t want to lose that opportunity.

The reason for the inability to find a solution to the crisis, and refraining from doing so, was actually due to a political battle and calculations made by central economies with regard to political power balances. Otherwise their power would have been reduced, or at the very least, they would have been forced to share that power. In order to avoid this sharing of power they saw fit to let this traumatic situation continue.

DAVUTOĞLU AND THE G20 SUMMIT

In the meantime, they started exporting the political and social consequences of this trauma, and spread these civil wars, ethnic conflicts and social explosions far across their own borders. In this manner, they managed to put on hold the social anxiety present in the United States and the anxiety present in Europe. New conflicts were manufactured in the Middle East and our region was used to experiment with social upheaval models like the Arab Spring, and the public reaction to such upheavals was measured. In this aspect, the Arab Spring was a trial run for Western countries, or central economies, to assess scenarios of societal crises.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reminded us yet again of the possibility of economic crises being transformed into political crises, during our visit to Australia for the G20 Summit. Even if an image is being created that the crisis has been overcome, the reality is that the danger still exists; that the world is still in the grips of the global crisis; and that there are serious differences of approach between countries and economic and political blocs. All the summits held as part of what we know as the G20 have been about efforts by economic and political blocs to strengthen their position rather than to seek a solution to the crisis.

In fact, all G20 summits since 2009, instead of being about the global economy, have been of no use other than to show how fragile the global balance of power is and the intense competition to derive a larger share of that power. Nothing concrete has resulted from these summits other than clashes between new economic capitals and political blocs. Every summit provided hints of increasing disassociation. The central economies that sank during the 2009 crisis opted to overcome the crisis through the gains made by the rapidly growing mid-level countries. However, this canny behavior was not targeting long term and just like British Prime Minister David Cameron said, it carried a high risk of leaving the global economy exposed to the shockwave of another crisis.

Even if they are still concerned with the “non-politicization” of the G20, the world has long since identified this situation as a geopolitical crisis. Those opposed to the quest of creating an Atlantic-centered global system are concerning themselves with the creation of a new global order and rendering irrelevant the theses that view the Atlantic group as the uncontested rulers. This provides a visible scale depicting the prevalence and force of this clash.

THE WAR OF ORGANIZATIONS AND THE G20 WAR…    

Regardless of our focus on the war between organizations, ethnic battles and clashes in our vicinity, and scenarios to divide the country; the war is far deadlier and runs much deeper. The economic clash is resulting in the formation of new groupings in many regions of the world and these economic groupings are quickly transforming into political blocs. It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to see what all this will result in. These summits, rather than constricting the clash zones, deepen them even further and make the climate even more tense.

The transforming of the G7 into the G20 was a Western project to spread the cost of the economic crisis. However, this transformation did them no good and only assisted rising economies. Actually the solution was right there, but the problem was in their mindset. As long as they insisted on not sharing global power, the crisis would continue to strike the United States and Europe in ever stronger waves. They refuse to share power despite being aware of this. They are just delaying the inevitable.

This delay does not bode well. Ruthless calculations that could change the entire game plan through a showdown might lie behind this thought process of delaying by Western economies and political centers. Bear in mind that this showdown might be far wider in scope than the clashes we are currently witnessing on a narrow scale in the Middle East. This is because everybody is aware that no serious possibility exists on the horizon that could change the game plan in favor of the West.

An opportunity for a new discourse will arise as Turkey takes over the rotating presidency of the G20. Turkey wants to build a bridge between the world’s rich and other countries in opposition to the discriminatory thought of excluding all circles, countries and societies, and leaving them to fend for themselves. It is warning that if this bridge is not built then this discrimination might lead to irrevocable traumas.

WIDE AREAS OF ‘PLUNDER’

We need to grasp that all of the things being experienced in our vicinity; the identity-based conflicts that are impacting us as well; and the civil wars; are just sub plots of the global showdown. They are reflections of the wars over resources and markets and the political power struggles that result from that. This global showdown is the source that feeds all these ethnic- and sectarian-linked clashes. The Middle East is the scene of the toughest and most ruthless form of this showdown.

There is an inverted link between the public demand for democracy and freedom and the search for resources and markets by the central economies. In order to prevent the public from taking ownership of resources, the discourse for freedom is drowned out, the sickness of supporting authoritarian regimes continues, and new regimes under tutelage are established. A home-grown stance and discourse is punished. War is declared against countries and states that strive to head in this direction and try to develop a new political discourse. All of the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and North and Central Africa are seen as regions to be plundered.

Do not fall into the trap of defining as local misunderstandings the ISIL issue, the Kobane issue, events in Egypt, and the scenarios unfolding in Iraq and Syria. That would be a mistake. Such a viewpoint prevents a person from being able to see ahead and the damage will already be done if a person realizes this too late.

Many crucial indicators were to be found in the details of the G20 Summit such as Russia’s alienation; the future of Turkey and other mid-level high performing countries; the shaping of new power blocs; and what other regions will be next to face crises similar to those of the Middle East. I hope to find the opportunity to share these in more detail in the coming days.

THE ‘SHOULDER-BARGING’ CLUB 

The G20 is actually a club where members shoulder barge each other. At the moment they are just shoulder barging each other but if it continues in the same vein they will soon be slapping each other. It might even reach a point where they will have their fingers on the trigger.

Unfortunately, I feel that the world is headed in that direction. It would prove beneficial if we lifted our heads and looked past the regional problems that are blinding us. As Turkey, we grasp all this and are trying to create a new and strong political language to prepare ourselves for the future. There are many countries and states that currently lag behind in this regard and are only concerned with surviving the present. This is why we are facing constant attacks.

That is why what we have been experiencing for the last two years is a global struggle. This is why they have declared war against Turkey and its calculations for the future.    

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