Will Turkey's new presidential regime, in which the president is to be elected by the public for the first time, change the global stance, policies and vision of Turkey? If Erdoğan is elected president, will this change cause serious fractures in the economy and other fields? I think, nowadays, this is one of the most frequently asked questions both inside and outside the country. This question, along with a wrong answer, circulates around as a good example of disinformation. To me, the thesis that Turkey will head toward an inward-looking state-central economic model, in the case that Erdoğan becomes president, is some of the worst disinformation about Turkey recently; a point of view which is wrong in many aspects.
Contrary to this claim, if we are to mention the economy of Erdoğan's presidency, we have to talk about a new growth model, which prioritizes an open economy with market-friendly and anti-monopolistic regulations. This new model indicates the emergence of a new commonwealth that will positively affect both Turkey and neighboring countries. Here, the concept of "commonwealth," which means the common welfare of the people, is a new description of development and enrichment. Without any doubt, this enrichment has nothing to do with the colonial commonwealth that was established with looting and bloodshed by Britain from the 18th to the 20th century.
A few days ago, during an interview with Daily Sabah, I answered the question of which path Turkey's economy will pursue after Erdoğan becomes president. I said, "If Erdoğan becomes president, his economic vision will cover nearby geographies, from the Balkans to Middle Asia and may bring prosperity to those regions as his economic vision is based on fulfilling mutual interests and cooperative development." Well, this new path may be in the form of a regional cooperative development and, therefore, during Erdoğan's presidential incumbency, Turkey will build up an outward-oriented economy rather than an inward-oriented one, as opposed to a general idea.
The financial figures coming from the eurozone show that even if the expansionary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) comes into play and operates effectively in the upcoming days, apart from southern Europe, France and Germany will also be exposed to a very serious recession. As the ECB president Draghi voiced many times, the European economy is too weak to recover without a strong intervention.
Well, what could be this strong intervention? Actually, this question is synonymous with the questions of what this means for Germany and what Merkel seeks in China, as the three of them have the same answer: Merkel went to China to sell weapons and to seek cooperation with China on defense. Germany wants to go back to the Nazi era in terms of its arms industry. A military Keynesian economic model is one of the solutions for Germany today as it was in the past. For the time being, Merkel's Germany seems to have adopted this as a way out. For the countries that have difficulty in reaching markets and energy, there are two options to get out of crisis. The first one is they will consent to a new integration by following a compromising and participative policy peacefully; which corresponds to the aforementioned commonwealth.
The second one is Germany's Reich policy, which adopts assaultive and militarist Keynesianism. This sort of economy pushes up profit rates rapidly in conventional sectors. However, paradoxically, it also accompanies a self-enclosed situation. This is what Germany overtly does today, as it gives up the idea of the EU's expansion and strives to consolidate the EU based upon itself and France. It may be followed by a new strategy of war and chaos beginning from the Balkans and spreading over Poland and Eastern Europe (new Balkanization). With this strategy, Germany will inevitably turn these countries into its peripheries once again. So far, the greatest ally of Germany in this strategy has been Russia. Germany and Russia have almost paralyzed the eastern European countries by imposing high prices with Gazprom and hindered their industrialization speed. As is known to many, Germany faced problems with the energy market even before World War II.
Germany wanted to solve these two problems by resorting to Nazism. This is what we call the Third Reich. Germany's new strategy (Fourth Reich) is a shy Nazism. In order to implement this shy Nazism, Germany brought Juncker to the presidency of the European Commission. With Juncker's presidency, the alliance between central Europe and the U.K. has come to an end and they are facing a political division that is of the same kind as seen before World War II. A union, whose economic capital is Frankfurt and political capital is Strasbourg, is the one between two dominant nation states and it is far from comprising the entire Europe. With this attitude, the EU is over now as it is excluding eastern and southern Europe. This is the way that heads to war, which the whole of humanity, and Europe in particular, has experienced many times. Then, this is not a true way of getting through the crisis. Getting out of the crisis is only possible by pursuing an expansionary policy and embarking on a quest of new unity.
As opposed to the current one, New Europe will expand toward its east by including eastern and southern Europe and Turkey. This is the only solution to fix the crisis, by creating integration between energy markets and providing mobilization of human capital. Undoubtedly, this means a new union that will be centered upon Turkey.
The integration of far eastern markets with the EU markets will be possible through the new Silk Road which will be developed by Turkey on high-speed railways. So, it is possible to say that the Southern Gas Corridor, which will transport Caspian, Iraqi, Iranian and Levantine energy sources to Europe, and the new Silk Road are sister to one another. These new routes of energy and trade will provide a big integration between Europe and Asia as well as being the only alternative to the Eurasian Union.
The Eurasian Union, which is newly being developed by Russia, will be more comprehensive and stronger than the Tsardom of Russia and the Soviet Union. This union will encapsulate Kazakhstan, old territories of the Soviet Union and Belarus and will expand over the north including Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. It will also intercept northern energy routes. It will also cover the lands of Eastern Europe, Ukraine, the Black Sea and Anatolia. Recently Russia has promoted the idea that Turkey should allow the South Stream pipeline project to pass through Turkish territory. This union contains all the alternative markets and energy routes to the southern gas energy corridor and the new Silk Road. The alternative to the southern gas corridor, which begins with the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) and is followed by the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), is the Southern Stream. The Trans-Siberian railway is the alternative to Turkey's new Silk Road, which will originate in China and reach Europe via Turkey's sea and railway routes, passing through Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran and through the Mediterranean and Anatolia.
At this point, Turkey is more advantageous as this route will reach Europe via two ways through Turkey: by sea, passing through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles and by railway transport using the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
This integration may bring a customs union and transform into a monetary union later on. It will also be the center of a power exchange, which will be established by Turkey in the near future.
Without adopting such an expansionary policy, Europe cannot overcome the crisis and cannot reach energy centers and markets. Erdoğan's presidency means democratic political stability and a new regional commonwealth, which is important for Europe as well.