Economic administrators for G20 countries who gathered in Germany last week have failed to make a significant decision.
However, even strategic issues that are not cited in decisive texts in such periods can tell us current trends. Protectionism has become an indispensable topic in all G20 decision texts and also, free trade on a global scale has become the most talked-about and cited issue in the summits.
This time, there was no positive reference to free trade and there was no warning against protectionism. This undoubtedly shows us that we are entering a dangerous path. I think U.S. President Donald Trump's insistence on protectionism has come to gain credibility and it is creating a new trade war. The deregulation of free trade and the violation of the previously identified global legal framework in this area will first harm those violating these rules.
The West cannot stop developing countries that are rapidly keeping up with them in economic development through protectionism. This could have been possible in the previous century but in a time when technology is rapidly spreading and information sharing is becoming a part of the economy, the prevention of the free movement of goods is intensifying the systemic crisis into the center of that system.
In other words, protectionist decisions made by developed countries highlight self-sufficiency in developing countries that produce and commercialize the technology in the medium and long term, causing a severe demand weakness for the West.
For instance, developing countries are intensively importing smart phones, computers, and tablet computers from the U.S., and these imports concentrate on certain brands.
However, everyone is now producing such goods, including software, apart from brand names. Therefore, if there is a showdown in the end, there will be no consequence where everyone will lose. Consequently, the losing party will be the West, and particularly the U.S., which uses technology rent with brands.
This new trade war is increasingly becoming malevolent. For instance, I do not think the U.S. and U.K.'s cabin ban on laptops and tablet computers on inbound flights from Turkey and Gulf countries, in an attempt to hit their airlines has anything to do with domestic security.
This is quite a strategic decision aimed directly at preventing passenger traffic centered in these countries and preventing the major cities of these countries from becoming the centers of global economy. It is quite striking that this decision was made soon after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the U.S.
Of course, we cannot say that the Turkish Airlines (THY) and Istanbul's third airport, which has been a severe headache for Germany, in recent years, were on the table during the Trump-Merkel meeting. Even if they had been discussed, it would not have been officially revealed to the press.
The third airport project in Istanbul will make Istanbul the world's new business and finance center in addition to London, New York and Frankfurt.
Moreover, it is obvious that the increasingly growing Islamic finance market will choose Istanbul as its capital city instead of London. Therefore, this decision also includes Islamic countries, which are the center of the petro-dollar system, outside of Turkey and is a message that the West has conveyed via the U.S. as it does not want political and economic recovery in the Islamic world under Turkey's leadership.
It is unacceptable as it nourishes Islamophobia and presents Muslims as terrorists without any discrimination. It is inevitable the petro-dollar system will be resolved with new financial architecture based in Istanbul.
Certainly, this is not something that the West can want or easily accept. The one feature of the THY which distinguishes it from other airline companies has a great part in this: It is a global company that does not have state subsidies, 51 percent of which is publicly held and it has American funds among its investors.
This protectionism, which has been unlawfully applied to such a company, is an unreasonable decision that fuels the functioning of the market and punishes U.S. investors.
The U.S. and U.K.'s decision against Gulf countries goes against their own interests and the functioning of the global economy.
One of the main pillars of the dollar-based Bretton Woods system, which has collapsed now, is the petro-dollar system that has been under construction since the 1970s.
The petro-dollar system has nourished the U.S.'s global financial power and maintained it so far. The U.S.'s global financial power can no longer survive, as Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, do not want to go on with this irrational system.
The U.S. had better accept this fact and focus on new policies that can replace this system; otherwise, we will enter a period in which everyone will lose.
In this regard, the U.S.'s unfair and unlawful decision on commercial protectionism, which was made on the pretext of security, will undoubtedly create a boomerang effect for U.S. and Western economies. Certainly, Turkey will take measures and impose sanctions against these unfair and arbitrary decisions.
I do not think American global companies operating in Turkey are happy with this decision. I hope U.S. companies, especially those with operations in Turkey and working with Turkey, will react to the decision.
If the U.S. behaves like this to Turkey, its most important ally in the region, irrespective of law and normal market regulation, it will firstly harm itself. I hope this wrong decision will be soon revised and annulled. If the U.S. and U.K. want to consolidate domestic security, they must provide unconditional support to Turkey's struggle with Daesh in Iraq and Syria, support Turkey's stability and avoid Germany's politics that is based on a Balkanization and a civil war strategy like in the pre-World War II period which will harm them too.