In the last couple of weeks, Turkey has witnessed many hot issues in both the foreign and economic fields. The depreciation of the Turkish lira, the deepening rift with the U.S. and getting closer to Russia are just few of them. The root cause of the very developments is now the most commonly asked question.
To start, the crisis with the U.S. was triggered with the arrest of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson for having ties with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK. Additionally, Washington furthered the rift and declared imposing sanctions against two Turkish ministers over the Brunson case. Following, Turkey announced in retaliation that it would freeze the assets of two senior U.S. officials.
The Brunson issue is important for the U.S. for the upcoming midterm elections in November. U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to get the evangelical votes in the elections and in turn is playing a game over the case and attacking Turkey.
On the other hand, the Turkish lira was then hit by the U.S. administration's controversial actions. Speculators and manipulators have led to a dollar crisis in the country. In a way, Turkey is facing a new sort of war – purely an economic one. Trump has also threatened Turkey with more sanctions, as he has with China, Mexico, Iran and Russia.
The Turkish government has been already aware of the U.S. attack and it decided that it would not take a step back even in the face of such threats and sanctions. Following a versatile and multilayered diplomacy, Turkey has taken sufficient measures and focused on its economic development. The new strategy plan is likely to foil the economic operation, which seems to be the last trump card of the United States.
Nowadays, Turkey is also busy handling several other issues in foreign policy and developments around its neighbor countries, particularly Syria. With its four ministers holding a meeting, called the Reform Action Group, with EU representatives last month, Turkey has stepped into a new era with a comprehensive reform agenda. The gathering contains vital points for the future of Turkey's development. As Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, one of the participants of the meeting, said in a joint press conference, Turkey will focus on the negotiation chapters and the EU concerns in the upcoming period.
Turkey-EU relations were tense for last three years and now they has a chance to normalize. The reasons for this normalization may include the migration crisis and the trade issues. The United States' reactionary economic attempts pose a threat not only against Turkey but also all other European countries. The global economic system is in great danger with Trump's unpredictable policies. The chaotic atmosphere, created by Trump, may be the trigger behind the betterment of Turkey-EU relations.
Besides, other countries like Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia also want closer ties with Turkey. The Syria issue, energy cooperation, trade deals and economic relations obviously played a big role in this approach but the U.S.' controversial policies also further it.
There is a wide discussion that many countries do not want to trade with the U.S. dollar anymore. Seeing that the U.S. administration is using its currency as a bargaining chip, countries are looking for other ways to maintain their trade connections. Such steps have already angered Trump and led to great criticism among anti-Trump politicians and voters in the U.S.
The world is now facing a major transformation with Trump causing a lot of trouble in the international system. Now, we have Trump and his team versus the rest – who are against his reckless policies and initiatives.
* Undergraduate student in the Department of Economics at Yıldız Technical University