The Syrian civil war is still haunting the region by spreading instability, danger and new conflicts. It has been clearly seen that it is not only a burden for neighboring countries but also for other global powers. As such, the U.S., Russia and some European states have been a part of the Syrian puzzle, trying to adjust their policies to regional realities since the very beginning of the war. However, the U.S., with its miscalculated actions such as backing PKK-affiliated non-state actors, has failed to remain an influential actor in the region. Meanwhile, Russia and the EU states could stay active by cooperating with regionally-powerful actors like Turkey.
Recently, the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France held an official meeting in Istanbul on the Syrian war. Its meaning and message was more than crucial for the whole world. The priority of this meeting, beyond any doubt, was to produce a political solution to the Syrian issue in light of the developments in Idlib, and in a way, to reinforce the Geneva and Astana processes with new players and to smooth the way for a political solution.
As a country which is influential in the field and knows its own mind about the political solution, Turkey's active role in the Idlib question, after Operation Euphrates Shield and the Afrin offensive, has enabled the world to reach the current point.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who went to the summit in a powerful position, wants the world to take a breath of fresh air regarding Syria by meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. Even though the summit did not bring about any major decisions, the step taken is very important.
In fact, there are dozens of burning problems that are still unresolved, such as the implementation of the topics addressed at the Turkey-led Astana and Sochi summits, ensuring Syria's territorial integrity, drafting an inclusive constitution that covers all the ethnic elements, preparing for a fair election, dealing with the immigration problem that concerns millions of people, expanding safe zones including on the eastern side of the Euphrates, combating uninterruptedly with terrorist organizations like the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh without any discrimination and reconstructing war-torn cities.
Interestingly enough, the U.S. and Iran, the two important players who have largely played a role in these problems and rendered them inextricable, as well as the Syrian regime, were absent in this meeting. One reason for this is that these players are challenging the political solution in Syria for different motives, while the other reason is that the U.S. has threatened major countries of the world with economic sanctions. Now everyone knows the fact that the U.S. threat is of particular concern to all countries.
Therefore, the Istanbul Summit addressed not only the Syria issue, but also the U.S. embargo. This is because the world is going through an upheaval and is on a new quest. All the global institutions from the United Nations to the World Bank have lost their functions. Unfortunately, neither the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, nor the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), nor the EU project, nor the U.S., which is said to be the boss of the global order, are producing answers to this quest.
The world is on the verge of a deep political and economic fracture just before World War II when those conditions produced fascism, leading to some of the most painful days in world history.
Now, the U.S., the pioneer of the post-fascist system, wants to overcome the entrapment of international relations by withdrawing into itself on the one hand and by imposing economic embargoes on the other hand, under the ultra-nationalist Trump administration. In fact, nationalist movements are making a breakthrough not only in the U.S., but also in other countries of the world. The racist-nationalist movements especially in the EU countries are suppressing central political structures and blocking them. So, they resort to withdrawing into themselves like the U.S. While the states feel threatened, there is a situation in which the world is going back to the period of nation-states. What is worse, due to the fear of a new wave of refugees and global terror, borders are being tightly protected and walls and fences are being built. In a sense, the nation-state paradigm is considered to be a way out in the face of globalization.
Well, is it possible to stop globalization at a time when industry is gaining a new dimension? Will the world overcome this chaotic process by withdrawing into itself or by establishing new formulas, new unions and equal relations?
The secret is hidden in the argument "The world is bigger than five," which Erdoğan has been insistently reiterating in recent years. At such a critical time, the solution can be achieved by increasing meetings and producing new political formulas, rather than becoming more withdrawn.