CEMİL ERTEM

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CEMİL ERTEM
January 09, 2013, Wednesday

A letter from the US

The article I wrote last week, “The year 2013: Turkey-EU-Russia; the crisis and integration pendulum” (Dec. 30, 2012), examined the path and strategic positioning of Turkey against the EU and Russia in the coming years.

The column in question specifically places importance on Turkey strengthening its position in the Middle East as well as African hinterlands. I believe this column attracted attention since the Middle East and North Africa were taken into consideration along with the EU when talking about Turkey.

I received an email, a contribution to the article, from the US. It was a cry of frustration. “Enough is enough! See what's happening and arise to the situation.” Below you will read a striking analysis of Turkey, the EU and the region sent by this reader from the US whose name shall remain undisclosed. I will only say that the sender of this letter is a board member of a large firm looking to invest in Turkey who hopes that the country will achieve the place it deserves. So, I present to you an analysis of Turkey from the eyes of a “foreigner” who, I believe, is more concerned about our country than many of us are, and rightly so.

“Turkey needs to be wary of Europeans and Russians ‘bearing gifts'. … For all of the fantastic growth and nationalistic fervor within Turkey, it is necessary to understand the diminishing returns to be found in alliances big and small with countries which really do not want Turkey to succeed.

“The question then is what does Turkey seek, desire, and dream of; and how do these emotions connect to reality.

“The evaluation of German desires to be completely dominant in Europe and beyond is a sage vision; though, the timing needed to achieve their goals is greatly impeded by the lackluster performance of their economy over the past three years. Germans moan and complain that they are carrying the relatively poorer nations of the eurozone on their backs! But, they forget that without these consumers, their economy would have long ago stagnated towards atrophy. But your evaluation of the need for the eurozone to expand to the East is correct. They need cheap labor and more consumers. The difficulty will be that as soon as the EU attempts to impose a unified currency upon its new members, the process of lower growth will begin immediately, and within 5 to 10 years there will be more nations like.

“Does Turkey want to be part of this cycle?

“Turkey is a rising star, but it is nowhere large enough or independent in all of its needs to survive. Turkey is two or three generations away from being sufficiently founded in a broad-based social and economic pact with its people to stand as equals within the European community. The EU knows that, and that is why they are currently courting Turkey to join before Turkey can stand up to them. The powerful and elite of Europe do not want equals joining them, they seek new consumers and raw materials from Turkey and Eurasia.

“It is far more productive and better serving all of the people of Turkey, that Turkey does the following:

“1) Stop privatizations which supply short term windfalls, yet guarantees long term pillaging of the economy which in the end could lead to a new economic chaos. Develop a disposition and understanding of the historic Turkey which as you stated is uniquely positioned geographically as well as within social history to be once again a center of commerce and trade that has the ability to bridge social conflicts between the ‘Christian Club' of the West and the Muslim nations of the world as well as the natural resource rich non-Muslim nations of Africa. Historically Turkey traded with all areas of the world without the irrational fear of ‘social contamination' from nations of different faiths. And in modern times, there is a new Mercantilism based upon controlling trade routes rather than the recourses [sic] which passes through them, and only Turkey can plan that game well.

“2) Turkey already supplies consumer goods to most of the Muslim world and is developing the ability to choke the flow of energy east and west and north and south. Turkey has the most powerful military in the region and it can project its will as needed. Turkey can be the regional peacemaker. The US will back Turkey in most all ventures that it might consider, except for making war on Israel and there is no political, economic or even social benefit from that conflict. As the great peacemaker of the region, Turkey can control all of the conflicts regarding Israel and even force Egypt to once again become a contributor to the social and economic progress that it has demonstrated.

“3) Turkey must reform its banking system and legal system so as to make money and loans available to all levels of society, and to make justice equal and transparent to all both foreign and domestic. Within one generation, Turkey can become an emerging financial center, housing and investing the vast wealth of the Muslim world, and guiding the reinvesting of these funds into growing the prosperity of all levels of society. As well, by supplying access to justice to all, the ripples of discontent and the seeds of terror are smoothed and all classes develop a ‘stake' in the continued success and propagation of the Turkish social, economic and political experience. Turkey can make alliances, both public and private, so that there are strong forces which are watching its back as it learns to effectively flex its muscles and spread its wings to shelter and embrace its neighbors.

“Turkey needs more than a nationalistic fervor; it needs a series of parallel plans for action, and the will to become again, a nation [that] rules for the benefit of its entire people. … Anything less, and Turkey will miss those opportunities of an alliance of civilizations with Turkey drawing and lifting up its neighbors towards greater heights and prosperity.

“The chance is there. … [W]ill the ruling party grab the ‘golden ring' on behalf of its people and thereby achieve prosperity and a glorious future for all; or will the ruling powers continue to scoop the small change that is scattered in the streets?”

Now, can you call the author of this letter a “foreigner”? We are speeding ahead in a world where boundaries are melting.

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