Does Turkey have a role to play in the new world order?
ÜNAL ÇEVİKÖZThe terms of the Trans-Atlantic Partnership are being re-defined after the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the coming to power of Donald Trump in the United States.
It is also obvious that the backbone of these new terms will be mainly defined by the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. This is one of the reasons why Theresa May last week took the initiative to be the first guest of the White House under the new president.
For the United Kingdom, the terms and conditions defined by the European Union were not only becoming too regulatory but also too restrictive. The 21st century will not witness the end of globalism, but it will present an opportunity to transform it.
The European Union, although it has become a major component of post-Second World War peace and stability in Europe, has also proved to be weak in adapting itself to the emerging multipolarity of the post-Cold War environment. Maybe this was due to hasty enlargement rather than visionary deepening. Either way, the U.K. detected the structural hindrances inherent to the bureaucracy of EU to becoming a globally competitive actor and chose to become an actor on its own.
The U.S., on the other hand, has become too exposed in the multipolar setting of the post-Cold War environment. One would have expected the center of globalism to benefit from its advantages the most.
On the contrary, the United States did not become a beneficiary as it had been intended to. Maybe it was due to the rapid and presumptuous self-declaration of becoming the homeland of virtual monopolarity. Perhaps it could have been better to pursue a visionary transition to loose multipolarity, which could have guaranteed a more peaceful and stable global order, free from unexpected moves to change political geography through military power. Such an approach could have reassured the basic principles of the United Nations, particularly respect for territorial integrity.
Now there is a chance to rebuild what has been undone. The U.K. will look to establish a new set of economic and trade relations not only with its former single market partner EU, but also with a number of many other partners through bilateral arrangements. The U.S. will be one of them. Turkey, apparently, will be another.
The U.S., meanwhile, will not only try to re-define the terms and conditions of former multilateral trade, commerce and investment partnerships - such as TPP, NAFTA and the unborn TTIP – but it will also look for several new bilateral FTAs with global partners. The U.K. will be among them.
Contrary to what many predict, the new parameters of global trade and commerce will not be defined to be a function of extreme protectionism. The new matrix will require better governance, better leadership and better partnership. The rich will have to realize that the less rich deserve a more egalitarian cooperation in the new global trade relationship. The less rich will have to realize that they need better governance and full respect for the rule of law, free from any kind of overt or covert corruption.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, in her address to the Republicans in the United States, underlined the need for reform of the existing international organizations. She reiterated, however, that those organizations have not become obsolete. They have become the main bulwarks of world peace, security and stability in the 20th century. The need today was their adaptation, not their obliteration.
This is the reason why she publicly confirmed President Trump’s consent to the fact that NATO is and will continue to be the main instrument of sustainable Trans-Atlantic and Euro Atlantic security architecture. This is also a strong commitment to the new Trans-Atlantic Partnership tacitly emerging not only in the global trade and commerce relations but also in the field of security.
The fact that May’s visit to Turkey followed her visit to the United States hints that London may straddle Washington and Ankara in the new Trans-Atlantic and Euro Atlantic Partnership.
Turkey may play a strong role in the new environment if it is able to abide by its republican fundamentals, as defined in its current constitution. A drift away from those basic tenets of the very existence of democratic pluralism would not only make Turkey a liability, it would also put its own security and stability at risk.
Turkey has a role to play in the new emerging world order if it wants. Let us hope that common sense will prevail.