Until the 2008 global financial crisis, the U.S. thought that it knew Turkey well and kept it under control. It seemed that Turkey joined hands with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when it needed to restructure its economy; it borrowed loans from the World Bank when it made infrastructure investments; it procured weapons and ammunition from the U.S. when it needed them; and it fulfilled all of NATO's expectations and acted together with the Atlantic Alliance in international organizations in which it has been a member since they were founded. It was thought that Turkey would always remain like this.
Then, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, serving as the prime minister at the time, said "one minute" in Davos on Jan. 30, 2009 and Turkey parted company with the IMF. On the contrary, the IMF wanted to loan $5 billion to Turkey, who had came to talk about nuclear energy, satellite systems and air defense systems with economies such as China, South Korea and Russia and implement projects in these areas.
In 2012, foreign direct investment stocks by U.S. companies in Turkey was at $1.3 billion, while total investments by Asian companies were at $2.4 billion. In 63 years from 1954 to 2017, direct investment stock by the U.S. reached only $1.8 billion, while investments by Asian companies exceeded $4.2 billion, with Chinese companies alone reaching $1 billion.
Also, the group of countries led by Russia reached $5.3 billion and African countries reached $2.5 billion. During this period, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS intensified calls for stronger cooperation. In September 2014, Erdoğan said "The world is bigger than five" and no operations, treachery and invasion attempt could stop Turkey's rise and increasing "playmaker" role in Eurasia under Erdoğan's leadership.
The U.S. has gone into a panic with Turkey's growing importance in world politics, its ability to eliminate both local and global tutelary powers one by one, and its consolidation of national sovereignty. While global economic politics is being restructured, new poles are emerging and Turkey is creating a versatile and multi-layered diplomacy network; effective measures taken to strengthen the economy and Turkey's new story and new strategic plan will foil the "economic operation" which is the last trump card of the U.S., as long as we are on alert and act in unity and solidarity.
Turkey's 'global challenge' skill
When the U.S. came out victorious after World War II as an economic power that represented half of global production as well as the indisputable leader of "asymmetrical order" and capitalist system, it led the founding of the U.N., the IMF, World Bank, GATT and NATO, which are the representatives of international economic political order, under its own coordination and disposal, thus declaring its "global" patronage.
It also turned the U.S. dollar into a global financial power. This lasted until the 2000s when the global economic political system became acquainted with new rising attraction centers. We have left behind an 18-year period that was totally reflected on world politics and global trade.
In the meantime, even though the G20 club, including the new rising attraction centers, came together at the call of the U.S., the Eastern-Southern Alliance initiated the unavoidable rise of the Pacific and "Southern Hemisphere" along with BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization against the Western-Northern Alliance, in other words the Atlantic Alliance.
In this process, in addition to being seriously disturbed with Russia and China coming to the fore as global power centers, the U.S. was not also pleased with Germany and France's desire to become a new economic, monetary and military powers under an EU-centered "One Europe" project since the 1990s. For this reason, the U.S. is extremely pleased to see that the "One Europe" ideology has been seriously damaged by the U.K.'s Brexit decision, and Donald Trump chastised Germany and France for military inadequacies with arrogant statements at the last NATO summit.
The issue which has appalled the U.S. and which it cannot understand is Turkey's "global challenge" skill. Turkey weathered many crises by rising from the ashes like a phoenix from the Ottoman period to the Republic, and does not know what colonialism is since 1071.
On the contrary, it has been the founding country in the whole institutional infrastructure of the new world order created post-World War II. For this reason, it has always been known to be the most important ally and a part of the Atlantic Alliance. The U.S.' strategic error is that it thinks it can constrain Turkey with threats or blackmail. However Turkey has always taken a tough stance and become influential in global diplomacy throughout its history.
Over the past 16 years, Turkey has tripled its national income, exported 20 percent of its $860 billion in value added, granted $32 billion in humanitarian aid on its own and made history with its hard power, the Turkish Armed Forces, and with its soft power, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Turkish Red Crescent, Yunus Emre Institute and Maarif Foundation.
Turkey inspires and encourages the oppressed in the global system. We can read a lot into Turkey's "global challenge skill," which has been solidified with Erdoğan's vision and leadership, the level that this skill will reach under the new presidential system and, as the president puts it, the codes of jealousy and anger for Turkey's deepening relations with globally-rising power centers.
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