Over the past decade, Turkey engaged in two lines of criticism against the world order: First, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a famous speech five years ago to stress that the United Nations Security Council reflected an unjust status quo and called for change.
According to Erdoğan, the U.N. Security Council was the product of the post-World War II order and aimed to protect the interests of the victors. The right of permanent members to veto any decision made it possible for them to determine the fate of all other nations. Erdoğan challenged the idea of permanent U.N. Security Council membership and the veto rights of permanent members. Instead, he proposed a new set of rules, under which all member states would take turns. His motto was straightforward: "The world is bigger than five." The Turkish president, who raised the same point at the U.N. General Assembly several times, will travel to New York again to attend the U.N. General Assembly's opening session and make his point again.
Yet Erdoğan isn't alone anymore. The U.N. system comes under fire as the international order collapses, rules are replaced by arbitrary actions, international law is ignored and all global players, including the United States, pick power over righteousness. Most recently, U.N. General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak joined the chorus to call for a reconfiguration of the U.N. Security Council according to the realities of the 21st century. Similar calls will be made at the General Assembly opening session. After all, the world order has collapsed and the Security Council cannot solve any problems in the world.
Turkey's second line of criticism is directed at the international monetary system. Today, the country encounters certain economic problems and takes necessary steps to stop the devaluation of the lira versus the greenback and stabilize the markets. One of those precautions is to limit the use of the U.S. dollar in Turkey. For this purpose, Turkey urges its trade partners to use local currencies in international transactions. But this isn't new. In fact, Erdoğan has been advocating this solution for years. He brought it up in past meetings with various foreign leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a matter of fact, there has been a five-fold increase in the use of the lira in exports since 2010.
More countries are now on board. Most recently, Russia's minister of economic development criticized Washington's trade wars and announced that Moscow and Beijing would start using local currencies in international trade. Soon, German and French politicians could start making the same case because all players are unsettled by Washington's trade wars.
Here's why I'm telling you this story: Many countries are moving closer to Turkey's position on two key issues. It wasn't that nobody else knew what the problems were. They just didn't want to talk about them. Turkey acted courageously and openly criticized those problems, as it has been vocal about Syria and Jerusalem. The question isn't if, but when the rest of the world will join the Turks in their bold criticism.
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