In the 1990s, when the Cold War ended and the residues of bipolar tension disappeared, we observed an operation for regional transformation on a global scale. While Germany and France expanded the EU project's sphere of influence in the name of a united Europe, the U.S. consolidated the whole American continent. China, on the other hand, accelerated its positioning from the Central Asian republics and Iran to Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. After Russia wasted the years from 1991 to 2000 with then President Boris Yeltsin, current President Vladimir Putin has utilized the last 17 years well to balance China in Central Asia and the Far East. It preferred to level NATO's border reaching Ukraine and Georgia with the U.S.'s push by partially invading both countries. We have spent the last 25 years following many wars, civil wars and humanitarian tragedies in the line extending from the Balkans to the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya, sometimes sadly, sometimes grieving.
Now, lean back and imagine the position of the countries and regions I listed above in the global economy, their never-ending chaos during the last 25 years and their political and economic uncertainty and collapse. From this human tragedy, a position is created for the U.S. in terms of both the global energy war and to prevent actors such as China, Russia and India from stretching to Africa. Whereas in the early 2000s the national income of the whole of Africa was below $1 trillion and the per capita income was lower than $1,000, now we are discussing a national income that will reach $8 trillion in 2030, $16 trillion in 2060, and a per capita income that will surpass $6,000. The Qatar blockade, the Jerusalem provocation and the latest events on the Iranian streets are all positioned on the address of the next global battle for Africa. In the Afro-Asian hinterland, the move laid out by China with the Belt and Road initiative toward an opportunity to create a $21 trillion of additional value can also render Turkey a $3 trillion economy. Iran, Iraq and the Gulf countries will also benefit from this.
This is the essence of Turkey's calls to unite and not fall into a trap. A probable Saudi Arabia-Iran war and the whole Gulf being drawn into this chaos would bring the daily transport of 20 million barrels of oil from the Strait of Hormuz to a standstill. In this case, Europe and Asia would have to ring the door of the U.S. All that we are going through is a war for Africa from 2030s to the 2060s as a product of the U.S.'s new position in the global energy supply. Let's not forget that the Great Wall of China can be seen from the streets of Iran and Turkish Cyprus's Karpaz Cape.
The signal toward normalizing relations with Europe
The year 2018 will be one that, as much as it will offer important opportunities for the Turkish economy and business world, critical macroeconomic issues will also be closely followed. To begin with, the relative recovery in EU economies and the fact that European Central Bank (ECB) will sustain monetary expansion for a while longer, accompanied by calls to normalize political relations with Turkey, primarily from Germany, all indicate that it is possible for Turkey to increase its exports in 2018. At this point, the empty leadership chair bred by Germany that could not yet form a government is filled by French President Emmanuel Macron, who says that they now expect a different Europe and that Europe should accelerate. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with Macron in Paris is vitally important to strengthen economic and political relations.
European companies have been successful in separating political tensions Turkey has with some European countries and their business relations. The $157.6 billion export record Turkey broke in 2014 with European business world's supply of Turkish goods was met in 2017 with $157.1 billion, a 10.2 percent increase in comparison to 2016. The increase of production in manufacturing to its highest month after month for 11 months and for the last three months shows that exports will continue to contribute to production and growth in 2018, and that Turkish economy will surprise with its gross domestic production growth in the year ahead. At this point, the issue we should be careful about is that the recovery of global commodity prices regarding the improvement in the world economy starting from 2017 will again cause pressure on global inflation in 2018.