“2023 is going to be a geopolitical junction year.”
This was one of the three statements that occupied my mind in the traditional press conference, which Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu organizes at the end of every year, and evaluates the passing year.
The Turkish national security architecture and Foreign Ministry are busy with so much work that even listing these takes time, let alone prepare a report on them.
Hence, major matters such as the Mediterranean, Libya, Greece, the Balkans, Ukraine-Russia, Afghanistan, the EU, and especially the U.S., Syria, normalization/mediation, the Turkic world (Organi-zation of Turkic States, Ne-w Asia, trio formats), Af-rica, “trench and cyber wa-rs” could only be expressed as “ strategic realities.”
I still had those three statements on my mind.
The other two were: “The new system’s labor pains,” and the “slack multipolar system.”
We built our own stage
“2023 is going to be a geopolitical junction year.”
We can consider the clash of the Republic’s centenary and the new global system’s labor pains a pleasant coincidence as well.
We shared a great deal for years in this column. Türkiye’s transformation in the last two decades, the timing of the world’s economic/political/military/social crises, Turkish foreign policy, and that is created a “form” change in the view of international relations.
As there are still those among us saying, “the world is still the same, these are conjunctural developments, the order will continue as is,” Türkiye took on their burden as well, and added it to the new system’s labor pains…
This hybrid development and the change of form it revealed not only cast a bigger role for some countries that were referred to to date as “medium-sized countries” – especially Türkiye – to perform internationally but also gave our country the opportunity to influence the course of the game on its own.
Some have difficulty describing the picture purely because they are confusing the present with Türkiye’s role in the Cold War period. In fact, the root cause of their mistake is associating Türkiye’s position in the U.S./NATO-Russia/Warsaw Pact tensions back in the time to Ankara’s position in the present-day East-West competition.
Türkiye had no role in the first one. It was nothing but a stand-in. Impacting or changing international dynamics was out of the question. It played its part in accordance with the scenario. This is the sad truth.
West’s real concern
We have no idea what the new system has in store. We are yet to decide on which path we will take at the geopolitical turn as well. We believe we must find our own path, in fact, we must make our own path.
The uncertainty is making it harder to decide, but we can currently see there are as many opportunities as risks. We are trying to avoid being blinded by the opportunities so that we don’t lose sight of the risks. Similarly, we don’t want to miss out on opportunities while trying to remain cautious. We are at the same time working towards equipping Türkiye with new world-compliant weapons and ammunition. In every field. Internal politics needs to learn team play as well. This is the most grueling part.
However, Western/U.S. hegemony, which left its mark on the last century, is diminishing. This is certain. Thus, a few countries want a greater share. Both financially and politically. They also have complaints and objections based on moral values – most of them legitimate. Justice seems to have become a major weakness for the West.
They, on the other hand, are insisting on continuing the “old order.” In fact, they are doing this despite being aware that “change is inevitable.” As a result, this leads to issues that will transform crises into wars.
Türkiye’s mouthwatering developments
The outcome may be an unexpected result! This is a likelihood that nobody is taking into account. The last century created giant companies with economic and political power. They are turning towards humanity’s most defenseless sensitivities.
The climate, pharmacology, technology, internet, social media, energy, health, nutrition, et cetera, are some of these. As a matter of fact, most have incredible influences/power overruling governments. Every ruling government/leader comes to power politically indebted. The majority of the deficit bills are also being held locked in these conglomerates’ safes.
The above-mentioned are generally considered the derivatives, complications, and many multi-functions of the current competitions and wars. But it’s not like that.
Türkiye has no choice but to have “its own, independent, self-sufficient pat-ents” in these fields as well.
It cannot disregard these areas while reinforcing its economic, political, and military order. Because, if “multi-polarity” is a sufficient and right determination – which really is questionable – then this is one of the new poles.
If we make the wrong choice, it is on us
For example, the war in Ukraine revealed sad experiences regarding energy dependency. We saw how inadequate “modern Europe” truly is. They are not quite attached to the U.S., paying four-fivefold the price for oil and natural gas. It has become helpless because it was blinded even to a simple fact like the sabotage of Russia-Europe transmission lines. Their people are unable to comprehend it either. But this “tactic” is not strange to us. It is one of that century’s classics.
Though, what is the “green” we are offered via “climate change” while the energy crisis is creating continental dependencies? What are the new energy transition impositions stipulating “payment” for amounts that are impossible to endure, while dooming us to conventional energy?
Their answers are ready: “You are in trouble now because you became dependent on the old energy, and in addition, the world is being polluted.” Nice, right? But, to whom are we going to pay the trillions of dollars to switch to this new energy?
This is a new species.
We are in the home stretch. The year 2023 is the threshold that will show us where we will go from the “junction in global geopolitics,” which is estimated to end within seven years. We are going to make choices in the economy, foreign policy, internal politics, and the new global system. The decision is ours. We can no longer blame them. This one is on us.