Posted 28.06.2012 14:35:00 UTC
Updated 07.08.2012 14:26:20 UTC
Professor Dr. Ramazan Gözen of Yıldırım Bayezıd University
There were two major subjects on the agenda of the G20 summit which convened in Las Cabos,Mexico on June 19-20, 2012. One of them was the euro crisis which still continues to rock the global economy and the other the gangrenous Syria crisis.
While an agreement was reached regarding the euro crisis, nothing tangible was decided upon about Syria. Although the leading actors of the decisions taken at the summit were the United States, Russia, China and the European countries, Turkey was also among those in the forefront of that process.
The talks Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had with US President Obama, US Secretary of State Clinton and Russian President Putin were very important. Those talks closely concerned not only Turkey and Turkish foreign policy but also world economy and security. That Turkey is one of the actors contributing to finding a solution to the problems which dominated the summit has presented an interesting picture both in trems of the point Turkey has reached today and the transformation the global economic policy has undergone.
The factor which really outstands in this context is the shift of role where the economic problems of the EU countries and Turkey are concerned. In line with a decision taken at the G20 summit, IMF members will each l make a contribution so that loans may be extended to the heavily debted EU countries in a bid to underpin the eurozone. There are two points which need to be stressed in this decision.
One of them is the need on the part of some EU countries to resort to the IMF and use foreign financial support as they are not capable of overcoming their sovereign debt crisis with the help of Brussels, which shows the poignant point a gigantic economic structure such as the EU has stopped at. The reliance of the EU on G20 loans means a serious transformation in terms of global economic policies. It is so serious that the EU countries and their organized system have relapsed to their " foreign loan taker " status , which they last had in the post Second World War period. This dramatic picture given by the EU countries which have become the architect of capitalism, the industrial revolution and modernity since the 15th and 16th centuries is the exact reflection of the crisis that Europe is in the clutches of, and of how the world's economic and political centre has distanced itself from Europe.
This crisis is unfortunately very significant in that it shows the ill-fated point the EU Project has arrived at. But what is more significant is the weakened role of the EU countries in world politics, the Syria crisis in particular. France, Britain, Italy and the other European countries which showed remarkable agility in stepping into the Libya crisis have failed to grit their teeth and been marked with inaction in the Syria crisis. The reason underlying that attitude is not that Syria is a country not catering to their interests but because they have been reduced to an inadequacy in terms of economic, political and strategic capacity. That also gives us a clue about the direction world economic policies and centres of power are shifting towards. The European countries which shaped the world and the Middle East in the 18th and 19th centuries are now obliged to play second fiddle to at least the US, Russia and China.
The role played by Turkey and the effect it made within the context of the G20process has become more visible. Turkey decided to make a contribution of $5 billion to the IMF to help resolve the euro zone crisis and held comprehensive talks with Obama and Putin on how the Syria crisis can be sorted out. Turkey has shown with its performance at the summit that it has become an actor capable of contributing to the settlement of global problems.
While it has until recently been a country getting loans from the western countries and international organizations such as the IMF, it has now become a creditor extending loans to the European countries and the IMF. It is obvious that the contribution Turkey is to make is not comparable to those by the other countries and it does not prove Turkey has a stronger economic capacity, but it makes Turkey a country closely concerned with and making contributions to global economic policies and security.
That concern on the part of Turkey cannot be explained solely by Greece and Syria being its neighbours. The concept best defining Turkey's position is the global actor status. This definition is the result of the sum of activities Turkey has carried out in the last decade in international relations in a bid to find solutions to global economic, political and other problems .And those solutions do not span peaceful channels.