When Ottoman's conquered Istanbul, bringing an end to the Middle Ages, Europe was in a grave panic. The continent had to go through substantial social-economic and socio-political changes. On the social-political aspect, feudality, in other words, the hegemony of feudal lords collapsed and centralized kingdom, thus absolute monarchy took hold. A statist political model required a statist economic model. Mercantilism was born and so was the philosophy where trade is put first and the government controls the economic model.
In mercantilism, if you want to be a leader, you have to lower your manufacturing costs, enter the market with the best price, and have a powerful army and navy to protect your interests. European governments institutionalized colonialism and imperialism to reduce raw material costs and slavery to lower labor cost. This model was then adopted in America.
Mercantilist philosophy's "economic power-political power-military power" model is still alive. But, thanks to the "power of information" this triangular structure got out of the Western countries' control in the 2000s.
After political colonialism ended in the '50s, the internet and digital era terminated the "economic colonialism" sustained by the Western countries on the developing nations until the 2000s. That is why the U.S.'s "dollar threat" was not effective during the Jerusalem vote.
Today developing economies challenge the developed countries with "innovation and technology." Drones that cost $100,000 in 2007 fell to $700, 3D printers that were $40,000 dropped to $700, industrial robots from $550,000 to $20,000, the cost to produce 1 kilowatt of solar power dropped from $30 to $0.16, 3D sensors from $30,000 to $80, cost of smartphone components fell from $450 to $10.
The success of developing economies in the "digital era," led by the Asian economies, brought down the philosophy of the colonialism economy. As stated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, colonialism, "the miserable perception that sees a drop of oil as more valuable than a drop of blood, plays us against each other to exploit the resources in Africa and Islamic countries," is now fighting for its life.
A digital era and education mobilization led by Turkey can make the Islamic geography an important partner in
the global economy-politics in the "age of reason."
For the future of Africa, let's accelerate the "digital transformation" to clench our role in history as Turkey, the center of gravity of the Afro-Asian hinterland.
Turkey, the new guardian of universal values
We are now going through an important junction or breaking point in world politics. As we leave behind the 54th anniversary of the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fight of the international organizations to entitle the equal and un-transferrable rights and dignity to all members of humanity is not going well.
Since 1949, Turkey is in a humanitarian struggle to make sure universal values are enforced. We have attained an economic and governmental ability to carry out efforts for the universal values at a global scale only in the last 15 years.
While the Emerging Seven (E7) group of countries, that Turkey is also a part of, is concentrated on efforts at a global scale for the adoption and protection of universal rights, the radicalization and extreme right in the G7, suffering from weight erosion in the global economy-politics, has reached a level that is worrisome for the whole international community.
The proactive politics Turkey pursued during the last Jerusalem tension, the agreement and declaration following the extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, then, the successful alienation of the U.S., who made a historic mistake in the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, and the adoption and protection of universal rights, have put Turkey forward with the E7 group.
The Trump administration's policies towards the world economy, the protection of the environment, fundamental human rights, and the rising extreme rightist movements in Europe all deeply worry the leading developing economies.
The calls of the E7 countries, including Turkey, against measures to possibly hamper international trade towards keeping the global trade liberal coming forward. We live in a world where the number of people who left their homes because of civil war, natural disasters, extreme poverty, and hunger surpassed 40 million, where the number of people who left their country exceeded 25 million, and where every minute 20 people become refugees.
For more than 65 million refugees, the efforts of the world's strongest economies, primarily that of the European continent, are at the level of "collective hypocrisy," which greatly worries other nations like Turkey, who have fully dedicated themselves to the cause.
The recent Jerusalem tension has led to a sincerity test for the countries in the Islamic geography and acted as a "litmus test." Turkey's latest success deciphered countries in both our region and global politics, and thus 2018 will be, in these terms, a year Turkey improved its protectorate and mediation power in the region.