BY: İbrahim Karagül*
Even though it seems unclear at the moment, this new power domain is very soon going to lead to striking changes. We are going to witness serious changes in the position of many countries. We are going to see countries go outside their classic pattern and reformat themselves according to the new situation.
There are no alliances but a few countries
The new power domain or order will, similar to the previous ones, take shape through a tighter center power domain and a few determining countries, not through multiple partnerships, the super-national structures formed after World War II or through Atlantic-based one sided interventions.
In other words, there are less states. The European Union is not included as a power; Germany, France and the U.K. are included. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is not included as a circle, but Turkey is included as one of the founding actors. The economic-political alliances and partnerships in Asia are not included, but China, India and Japan are.
The U.S.’s one sided theories are down the drain
Perhaps later on South Korea, Indonesia and Australia will also be included. The unions in Latin America are also not included, but later, countries like Brazil and Argentina will also join this founding domain. The African Union is not included but maybe Nigeria will be later on.
What I am trying to say is that after World War II, the status quo is all over the place. You are probably going to say that this is old news, but the global order projects led by the U.S. and Europe post-World War II have also gone down the drain. The new period is the declaration of the failure of these projects. This signals that the U.S.’s one sided dominance theories have completely collapsed.
As a matter of fact, Russia and China’s counter-theories to negate the Atlantic alliance have also lost their old effect. It seems like the sharp differentiation between the Atlantic and Asian powers is being reshaped in the new period as a more sharing relationship. This is where the change is. This is what’s new.
The world’s last chance before a major catastrophe ensues
Perhaps the covert power struggle will continue, perhaps the East-West differentiation will become deeper. Perhaps this new approach will also fail within a few years and be tossed aside. But what is being tried right now, the goal tried to be achieved without making any geographical differentiation and by overcoming old scores will be the world’s last chance.
This last chance also gives no result in a world which all higher power formats have failed, and will most likely lead to a catastrophic event that will wreak havoc on the world. That is when there will be no winner of this event or in the outcome.
There needs to be extra emphasis on this “last chance.” There is a trust crisis in all international relations and it has long passed the threshold to respond to treatment. All of the alliances are either collapsing or are going through a rapid disintegration process. The United Nations included, no top structure has any influence left over the family of humanity. Therefore, it is no longer possible to build a new top structure with these structures. Most have reached the end of their term and will be eliminated.
Be prepared for change in internal affairs discourse
In the new period, democracy and human rights discourse will no longer be as provocative and exciting as they used to and they will no longer be given prominence. Bilateral or international climates will no longer be formed based on these values. Security, stability, remaining standing and accumulating power will be the dominating topics. Countries’ destiny will be determined through resources and power – so will the quests for power.
Many countries will run from the responsibilities they had assumed in the past and brush them off. Because they are going to see them as forced labor. Political discourse is going to change radically not only in international relations but also in internal affairs. Countries will give prominence to their historical identities and claims rather than their political and ideological identities.
These identities are going to restrict the areas of influence in the design of internal affairs and in foreign affairs. The imperial past of some countries, the regional plans of others and the past political wealth of some other countries will be given prominence in all platforms aimed at the future.
Is Turkey going to be able to find a seat at the table?
Turkey’s desire to take place at this small table needs to be analyzed well. It should be encouraged and facilitated in its efforts to join the founding countries. Old, memorized discourse needs to be rid of and new things need to be said, new definitions need to be made according to the new situation. Turkey needs to mobilize to prevent the founding actors from being left outside the power game and to help it gain even greater prominence in the 21st century.
I would say, watch the diplomacy, discussions, agreements or disagreements between the U.S., China, Russia and Germany very closely these days. I would say, pay extra attention particularly to the discussions that take place in May. I suggest you pay attention to the dialogues between U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Chinese administration.
I would suggest you go beyond regional matters like Syria and try to see the kind of center power relations they are trying to establish. Understand the shaping of the new international power and be prepared for what is to come.
Surprising traffic: Trio meeting in China after Sochi
I am personally trying to understand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s contacts throughout May within this context. Turkey is restoring relations while it is also trying to enter the newly forming center domain.
I believe that the Trump-Putin-Erdoğan initiative, the powerful leaders are going to be a lot more determining in the shaping of the new world than we once thought. Because as far as I have been watching, this is the direction the world is headed in.
The Putin-Trump and Merkel-Trump meetings are taking place before Erdoğan’s Sochi visit. Hence, the elements outside the economic frame in Turkey-Russia relations are presenting world-scale nature and the topics discussed by the two countries are also being discussed with the U.S. and Russia. The Russia-China-Turkey trio meeting is going to take place in China. Then immediately after it, the Trump-Erdoğan meeting and later the NATO summit in Brussels will follow.
Initiative through leaders, not institutes
A new international climate, new initiatives that push aside all doctrines through founding countries and powerful leaders is starting to gain prominence. I guess this matter needs to be discussed thoroughly. We will see a lot of the details and concrete examples of this in time.
We need to read well the new network of relationships, the new power game, quest for power, Turkey’s struggle to avoid shock, to avoid having to say in the future, “Where did this come from?”
A lot is going to change
I see from now that a lot is going to change, a lot of statements are going to be restructured, that the old political understandings in Turkey are also going to weaken, and that memorized identities will become corroded. Be prepared for big debates in Turkey as well.
What’s even more important is that if this new initiative fails to ease off regional and world problems, a great catastrophe is going to hit the entirety of humanity because there will be no other initiative option left.
*Ibrahim Karagül is a Turkish writer and journalist. He is the editor-in-chief of Turkish Yeni Şafak newspaper.
(Published in Yeni Şafak Turkish newspaper on May 5, 2017)