Last week's commemoration ceremonies to mark the first anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt demonstrated to the whole world that Turkey made political history with the popular will on July 15, 2016.
The people's prevention of the coup after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call shows us that a new economic and a political period has started in Turkey. The participation of hundreds of thousands of people in these ceremonies in every province of Turkey was almost like a declaration of independence. The Turkish public once again cried out that they would not allow any harm to the rulers and politicians who they elected. First of all, I must note that the coup attempt that the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) wanted to stage on July 15, 2016 is the greatest terrorist act ever in the history of humanity. The people's resistance against this terrorist act, in which 249 people lost their lives and thousands of others were injured, and their prevention of the coup d'état on the same night was an unprecedented resistance movement and victory. In this sense, Turkey experienced an unprecedented example of democracy as well. This example, beyond any doubt, is also a significant lesson in democracy for other countries as well. So, I need to say that the Turkish public has started a new period started with this resistance and this period will not be confined to Turkey alone, but for the entire world.
When we look at the news reports and analysis pieces about the July 15 commemorations in the foreign media, we see a state of acceptance and the concomitant recognition of the legitimacy of the new era.
The "outside" world, especially Central Europe, did not want to recognize Turkey's new rise of independence under Erdoğan's leadership, claiming that the country is sliding into autocratic rule, and moreover, they looked down on this orientation, considering it to be a temporary state of drift under Erdoğan's leadership, and turned Turkey into a center of unfair attacks far from political criticism.
However, this new period, which has been embodied by Erdoğan's political identity, is a new form of political and economic paradigm and administration that the people from all walks of life, who prevented the July 15 coup attempt, set for Turkey, rather than Erdoğan's individual political stance.
The popular resistance on July 15, 2016 and the following Constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017 are now shaping this new democratic power.
Unlike the old one, this new form of power highlights the direct interests of the broadest segments of society, and therefore of the nation, rather than the direct interests of a minority in all economic and political decisions and basic orientations at home and abroad. This is exactly what the presidential system is.
Turkey's economic and foreign policies are being shaped in accordance with the interests of the poor and broad social strata at the bottom of the income pyramid, including the oppressed and middle classes.
Erdoğan introduced the motto that "The world is bigger than five," which speaks to this new foreign policy, to our political history. Also, I think the statement that Erdoğan most frequently reiterates in his speeches is "We do what the interests of the broadest segments require, not the interests of a small minority." Depending on this, Erdoğan complained about the "bureaucratic oligarchy" in the economy most. This is because the old system created a bureaucracy that served an oligarchy and struggled to concentrate capital and resources in certain centers.
The economic bureaucracy and economy-related institutions in particular functioned with almost a supra-party perspective and, regardless of who came to power, all governments maintained the same economic policies and understanding.
Here, the system had three main objectives. First, it aimed to smoothly transfer resources to the highest stratum of the income distribution pyramid by the state. Second, it aimed to ensure the highest level of relations between this segment, which resources were transferred to, and foreign capital circles and to transfer funds to the outside. Third, it aimed to form monetary and fiscal policies based on the idea of avoiding interruption in this concentration and transfer of resources. So, the concept of "anchor" came into fashion while communicating the current economic policy, such as the EU anchor and International Monetary Fund (IMF) anchor. Especially after the financial crises of the 1990s, those who were on the top of the international capital pyramid claimed that the framework of "optimum" monetary and fiscal policy was formed in developing countries like Turkey, and that if this optimum framework deteriorated, a new case of crises would be faced. In fact, what they call a crisis is the deterioration of their own situation in favor of those who are at the bottom.
This is a kind of new Pareto-optimal approach. Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) can be considered the father of Italian fascism. This is because, Pareto argues that society consists of two main segments: elites and masses. If elites want a stable administration, they should not pay attention to the superfluous needs of the masses and rule them with militarist methods, instead of with humanistic methods. Pareto crowns this political thesis with the following conclusion about the economy: The elites can ensure welfare in society, but how can we define this state of welfare and consider it to be the best - optimum - case? Here is the answer: Welfare is considered to be on the rise only if the financial situation of some improves, while the financial situation of anybody does not deteriorate. If the steps to be taken worsen the financial situation of some - in other words, if they deteriorate the financial situation of the well-heeled - this means you are moving away from the optimum state of welfare. The Pareto optimum is a basic approach used in inter-state politics as well. For instance, unless the situation in Germany worsens in Europe, the situation in Italy, Spain and Greece cannot improve. This is because the advantage of productivity is in favor of Germany. So, Germany is the elite, while the others are the masses. In this case, it is the most ideal solution to protect what exists and even to purge others.
However, the current situation of those on the top, namely the elite, will go bad and the masses will improve their situation by re-attaining what the elites took away from them. We are already watching this, with all the developed countries, especially the U.S., being far from their previous welfare levels. The personal distribution of income in the world will get better as the poor and developing countries like Turkey struggle to rise and we will head toward a new state of welfare.
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