Although commemoration events were organized in Paris for the 100th year of Armistice Day, which ended World War I, the intimate images of the countries of the Atlantic Alliance - that have transformed the world into a "fighting ring" of their fierce competition since 1880 under Britain's leadership - should not mislead you; the war is not over yet.
In 1880, while the capitalist system, under Britain's leadership, was rapidly shaping a competitive environment based on colonialism and industrial revolutions, Britain was highly disturbed by Germany's accelerating colonial movements in Africa and its industrial successes. In 1880, Britain, which produced 22.9 percent of global production by itself, was not bothered by Germany's 8.5 percent, France's 7.8 percent and the U.S.' 14.7 percent figures. In only 20 years, in 1900, while the weight of Britain decreased to 18.5 percent and that of France to 6.8 percent, Germany's weight increased to 13.2 percent and that of U.S. to 23.6 percent.
While Russia's share was 8.8 percent, that of the Ottoman Empire was around 1.5-2 percent. That's why, Britain, France, and Russia formed a secret alliance to stop Germany. With the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince by a Serb, and Russia's claim of protecting the Slavs, the process that led to the formation of the Allies and the Central Powers had started. All the countries had entered a heavy battle to grasp the opportunities of raw materials, oil, and the trade corridors from each other's hands, which would bring them the lead in global competition. Nationalism and militarism also fed this process. Germany tried to attain the leadership of the capitalist system in World War II for the second time. Britain lost the leadership, however, the winner was the U.S. It is not easy neither for Germany, which has lost both of the wars, nor for France, which has heard the U.S. say "If I had not intervened, you would have been crushed under German boots," to accept the hegemonic pressure of the U.S.
This is why, as the risk of losing leadership to China is increasing for the U.S. in the second half of the 21st century, it is becoming both frustrated and angry at Britain and global capital approaching China. For this reason, U.S. President Donald Trump reacted heavily to French President Emmanuel Macron's idea of establishing an army of its own for a "sovereign" Europe. On the other hand, Turkey, after the War of Independence, has been scaling up its position in global politics in the last 16 years as the playmaker country for Eurasia and as the new center of "power" of the new global political economy. As the economy and trade diplomacy between Asia and Africa is being reshaped, in the 100-year "endless" war, any equation or organization without Turkey is doomed to fail.
The agenda of 2019 and the 'cards' on the table
It is not difficult to already state that 2019 will be a tough year in terms of global issues. Global oil prices are one of these headlines. The longest series of decline in oil prices in history has come to an end with Saudi Arabia's decision to cut oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day, as well as its call to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut their output. However, U.S. President Trump, in his tweet, stated on Monday evening that he hoped Saudi Arabia and OPEC would not cut production and that the oil price should fall further. The U.S. administration, just to keep oil prices from rising, had kept eight countries, including Turkey, temporarily exempt from the Iranian embargo.
Experts say that Saudi Arabia's decision to cut production and exports will not have a sharp impact on oil prices. However, contrary to Trump's call, if the OPEC countries continue to cut production and exports, it seems that a new topic of global confrontation will arise. On the other hand, in England, the Brexit issue has brought Prime Minister Theresa May to the brink of resignation. May will not be able to pass the Brexit agreement through the British Parliament as it is considered to be compromised in favor of the European Union. It has been demanded that the agreement should allow Britain to be able to make its own trade agreements with the rest of the world and to allow it the possibility to regain control over regulations and legislation. This means that creating a new long-term relationship with China is desirable.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he welcomed Macron's statements about Europe's efforts to improve its defense capabilities; however, he added that this would also strengthen NATO if it were done in a way to strengthen transatlantic relations. In short, without creating tensions with the U.S., Stoltenberg emphasized that upon London's separation from the union, NATO's defense and Europe's security would only be possible with Turkey, which is of key importance in the fight against terrorism. As Turkey, if we correctly manage the current "compensation-discipline" period in the economy, it seems that the "cards" on the table will be opened in our favor.
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