The Atlantic alliance's historic test

Published 27.07.2019 01:09
Updated 27.07.2019 01:10

Turkey refraining from entering World War II was a very good decision for improving its economy, focusing on productivity following the War of Independence and fortifying the foundations of the established republic; however, the fact that we then spent the 1940s following practices with fascist influences and deepening statism instead of paving the way for the real sector led to us to lose the opportunities provided by the choice I previously stated.

In this period, the fact that we also wasted many developmental moves based on domestic-national production, especially in the fields of aviation and defense, due to suggestions by the Atlantic alliance – to which we were invited in 1945 – is another source of sadness.

The moves toward industrialization in the 1950s and '60s and the precious efforts put in to going beyond being NATO's agricultural warehouse were, unfortunately, interrupted by military interventions. In the 1970s, on the other hand, Turkey came back from the verge of disintegration with the left-right conflict and the externally plotted tactics of chaos and division. Until the early 2000s, Turkey was pushed to play the role that was deemed appropriate by NATO when it was "invited" to do so.

Following imperial, or in other words colonial, logic, the fact that Turkey sat at the table, as an effective and powerful partner in international economy-politics having equal rights, a country whose strategic value is indisputable, could never be accepted. The Atlantic alliance could never internalize the new position of rising economies such as Turkey, India and China, which always had weight in world politics since the first century and were among the primary production centers of the world's economy.

Since the Cold War ended, in the midst of uncertainty in the unipolar world and in the middle of asymmetric threats, Turkey has led many humanitarian operations stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia and from Africa to the Middle East with both its hard power, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), and its soft power, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Kızılay, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the Yunus Emre In​stitute and the Maarif Foundation, in the field to ensure international security and to repeatedly remind the world it is the largest actor in Eurasia.

Today, it is no longer possible to fit Turkey into a tight mold. The role that the Atlantic alliance tried to impose on Turkey for more than 70 years until the end of the 1990s is over. In the 2000s, Turkey has solidified its position as an equal and playmaking country at the table. NATO is now facing a historic test with Turkey. The consequences of making a senseless choice in the age of reason will be heavy for them.

Right move from the CBRT

In the field of economics, areas such as monetary and fiscal policy are open for discussion. They are the most difficult areas for the majority of economists to agree on. Having said that, the statement of professor Asaf Savaş Akat is of critical importance: "Monetary policy is a primitive economic instrument." I associate this expression with the struggle of the first men obliged to hunt a large animal to eat. Thus, if we compare inflation or macroeconomic imbalances to an animal to be hunted, you cannot get results by tickling it with a feather, or in the case of the economy, fine tuning monetary policy.

On the contrary, you have to stab it in the heart to make sure the market clearly understands the message of the monetary policy. The essence of our occasional technical criticism of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey's (CBRT) senior management and the Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) decisions were the steps taken for fine-tuning at the right time since it might weaken the net effect stemmi

ng from the monetary policy decision, greatly delaying its reflection on the macroeconomic balance. Hence, in accordance with the spirit of monetary policy theory, the CBRT stabbed the issue in the heart at the MPC meeting yesterday.

On a global scale, while the leading central banks have already brought their monetary policy path closer to the soft side, a 6-to-6.5-point interest rate cut has started to take shape during CBRT meetings the other day and in September. The CBRT, similar to expectations that the market prefers to state, could have made the cut 2.5 in the meeting the other day and 3.5 in the September meeting, or half and half. The CBRT, at the right time with the right move and without any delay, deemed it more appropriate that the first tranche of the cumulative discount of 6-6.5 would be 4.25, thus not delaying the potential positive impact of such a critical step to stimulate the market, growth and employment.

It is clear that if the CBRT had not taken this step, the increase in foreign receipts due to the high real interest rates of the Turkish lira, especially by the end of the summer, would negatively affect the export of goods and services from Turkey, which continue to break records. Therefore, the CBRT took the right step for Turkey's international competitiveness. The messages following the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting reaffirmed the CBRT's decision. Next week, the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting will also support this right step.

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