Turkey in 2023 will be a member of the EU
DR. AKKAN SUVERWe are on the eve of a new year. Turkey is drawing raising figures in many areas as a result of its general direction, especially internal politics, general economic performance and the implementation of consistent policies. At the end of 2012, the economic data that are being declared about Turkey’s economy indicate various aspects. On one hand, the raise in the credit ratings and decrease in inflation reduced the current account deficit, improved expectations, and lowered interest rates and finally improved industrial production. On the other hand, there is the interrupted budget balance, slowed development rate and increase in unemployment. The implemented economic policies reduced the current account deficit and through reduced risks increases in the credit ratings are observed, but the fact remains that a recession in the capacity to create employment is being experienced as well.
Turkey, primary trade partner of Europe
Although a slowing trend is observed in our growth rate, if we are to take our economy’s average of 5.3 percent growth rate in the last 10 years into consideration, we will see that an average of 5.3 percent growth rate in the last 10 years with the global economic crisis is an important accomplishment.
There is economic and financial hardship in Turkey’s primary trade partner, Europe. If Turkey is not part of this hardship, I think it is based on the record growth it has practiced.
About how this growth has been managed, I believe this is because of Turkey’s efforts, increasing every day, with all of its institutions through common wit and a common action plan.
Today Turkey, because it embraced an export-oriented strategy, is a world state which delivers goods and services to all the countries of the world. This is just another measurement of Turkey’s growth and increasing brand value. The main dynamic that ensured this measurement is the importance Turkey ascribes to high technology, innovation, research and development and especially banking.
In the meantime I would like to add that, as a civil initiative it is our conviction that, in the field of exports we should lean toward lower-weight, higher-value situations.
Multiculturalism, the guarantee of peace
In accordance we embrace and hold in high regard the fact that, as a peace and prosperity project based on multiculturalism, the European Union has been deemed worthy of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
U.S. President Barack Obama, in his victory speech after the presidential elections, stated that the greatest wealth of the United States is its multicultural structure. This is the most valid measurement of value today. For that I believe, the perspective of the European Union is essential for the peaceful survival of multiculturalism, and I think that Turkey’s need for the EU is no less than the EU’s need for Turkey.
With Turkey’s EU accession, the values of Europe and the riches of Asia will come together side by side through a West-East synthesis. This new mindset will spontaneously create a dialectic outcome which will precipitate integration. Because the European Union is a peace project shaped by universal values, with Turkey’s membership it will contribute to world peace and become a global actor to realize its dialectic. In the meantime I believe we are going to accede to the European Union eventually. It is a matter of wind, who can guarantee that one day the European Union will not need Turkey?
The importance of NGOs toward 2023
On the other hand, I have to state with importance that there is a great responsibility for NGOs in the negotiation process with the EU. I believe Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its republic in 2023 as a full member state of the European Union. I say with our civil society identity, we must prepare for the responsibility of 2023 through thinking with wide vision, putting macro goals before us and starting right away.
We have common values. These common values are being shaped through the road map that Atatürk has drawn for us. This road map is clinched with modern civilization level, republic, secularism and rule of law and crowned with democracy, human rights, our territorial integrity, our flag, our language and our religion.
When our membership is realized, Europe, which will breathe with us, will experience a new Renaissance socio-culturally, numerous values and ideals along with democracy, human rights, pluralism, secularism and a liberal economy will spread from the Middle East to the Far East in peace. Turkey’s 2023 vision is to enlighten the darkness by the lights of the republic as an environment of peace and stability.
This enlightenment will be shaped in the hands of our young people who are idealist, learned, experienced, strong and well-nurtured. By the way, we must clinch education as well if we are to enter the 100th year of our republic. We have spread the consciousness of environment, fight with corruption and poverty, family planning, prevention of migration and defeating unemployment through production mobilization. Turkey will reach its targets if we sustain the political and economic stability we have achieved in the last 10 years.
While drawing the road map of 2023, with responsibility to educate the youth, who are the assurance of our future, to cherish the retired, who have served our country, and to take care of our sick citizens, we have to aim to share the wealth and prosperity. For in the 100th year of our republic, more advanced, more civilized futures must be our goal.
Dr Akkan Suver is president of the Marmara Group Foundation.