The summit between Turkey, Iran and Russia that took place in Ankara this week was an important meeting that reflected the changing balances in the region. The long-standing, constructive talks between Turkey and Russia were finalized at this summit. We will see the economic impacts of these talks, including the ground-breaking of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, in the near future.
Turkey's cooperation with Russia on nuclear energy is a strategic step that concerns energy and is also the first and largest, most constructive step toward a new and permanent path for Turkey and Russia and the region in all aspects. Akkuyu will pave the way for new cooperation in a number of fields, with energy taking the lead, as well as the energy it will produce.
On other fronts, energy routes to reach Europe from Russia, especially the TurkStream natural gas pipeline and the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which Turkey has developed for Caspian resources, will reinforce regional cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey. The inclusion of strategic energy producers like Iran, apart from Azerbaijan, in the SGC, will re-establish energy balances first in the region and then around the world. Agreements in all other areas, apart from trade in local currencies and energy, will pave the way for a new and continuously growing welfare economy in the region and will positively affect Turkey's exports in the immediate future.
The West, especially the U.S., can no longer maintain its energy domination in the region by only upholding its own interests. Moreover, outside of energy, the trade cycle and control of new trade and market areas are being taken back by their true owners and coming under the control of the region's countries. In fact, it was U.S. President Donald Trump who first saw this. Trump, who is actually a businessman, acts exactly like that. He said twice in the past two weeks that he wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria: "We will have, as of three months ago, [spent] $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 17 years. We have nothing, nothing, except death and destruction. And as you remembered - in civilian life - for years I said keep the oil, I was always saying keep the oil. We didn't keep the oil. Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision. And I said, well, if you want us to stay, maybe you're going to have to pay." This tells a lot, including the economic impasse
the U.S. is experiencing and that the U.S.'s current foreign policy that needs to soon change is waning. As such, what Trump says is true and will happen soon.
The U.S. is no longer able to deploy troops in other countries; print money based on this power and finance its deficits by selling treasury securities. Trump simply calculated what the dollar-based trade in the region and concomitant globally rising U.S. political power has brought to the U.S. now that it has spent $7 trillion over the past 17 years. The result is not pleasant for the U.S. at all. On the contrary, it is losing political power while dollar-based trade is continuously declining. Iran is also getting stronger and sharing the region with Russia. Moreover, energy routes are coming out from under U.S. control. Apart from Israel and Saudi Arabia, there is no other country to blindly do what the U.S. says. And this is what Trump has implicitly accepted, saying that the U.S. has to withdraw now.
The same is true for the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region. China has responded equally harshly to the recent U.S. protectionism. We all know that China will give the main response by financing the U.S. less and melting its dollar reserves. Therefore, what is happening in the Middle East now is the world's quest for a new economic order.
In this context, Turkey will no longer continue with the economic prescriptions of the previous century that tell of the U.S.'s failed domination. China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) project means establishing a new world order and new trade system starting from and based in the Far East. New trade and energy routes are now being built in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia, with Turkey as the center.
The results of Turkey, Iran and Russia's summit in Ankara on Wednesday and the press conference afterward should be assessed in this regard. Depending on all this, the Turkish economy will maintain its strong growth in 2018 as it did in 2017.