People talk about China and India when speculating on the next century, but neither country had much standing in world politics 50 years ago.
It’s beneficial to remember that, back then, almost 90% of total global production was handled by only five countries. However, the balance has shifted in our time and production has mostly transferred from West to East, a trend that will almost certainly continue.
China and India have become the centre of production, which eventually will have political and military outcomes. But the Achilles heel for both countries is their energy poverty. This makes them dependent on foreign sources for energy and inevitably pushes them towards Russia. If you also take the energy resources of Iran into consideration, you can complete the equation here. But, of course, one should not perceive this as an absolute, as it was in the cold war years.
In each step of this process, the benefit is decisive, not the ideologies. All these powers are not only in competition, but also in cooperation with each other. Centered on Erdoğan, the fascist bloc in Turkey feels close to the regime mentality of China and Russia despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member.
There is nothing hard to understand here. Just like any other despotic regime, the ruling power in Turkey wants to get rid of elections, the judicial review and the political review by the parliament and to guarantee its existence in the long term.
But it’s not easy, and this is where the fascist bloc centered on Erdoğan faces problems. Turkey is incredibly dependent to the West in terms of it economy.
The general perspective for this can be summarised as follows: the West has turned Turkey into an open market. But it’s not that simple. This is not something you can explain with pre-packaged comparisons.
Let me tell my own opinion: Turkey spends what it earns from the West on China and Russia!
How does it do this? Exports to Western countries account for almost half of Turkey’s exports. For example, in 2019, Turkey’s exports to Germany amounted to more than $15bn, and exports to the UK were more than $10bn. The fifth on Turkey’s major export list was the US with more than $8bn.
On the other hand, even though Russia is just beside Turkey, it ranks as 17th on Turkey’s export list with $2bn. No matter how hard Turkey tries, it just cannot reach the export numbers it aims for with Russia. China is even further behind Russia with Turkey’s $2.58 exports to the country.
When you look at Turkey’s import numbers, however, you see a whole different picture. Turkey’s imports from Russia in 2019 topped the list at more than $22bn. China was the second on the list with more than $18bn.
When you look at those numbers, you can see that Turkey actually has become the open market for China and Russia.
There is a major imbalance in the trade of both countries, and Russia solves all tension with Turkey through violence. Yet, Erdoğan and his administration acts as if everything is all right with Russia. There is only one explanation for this: the regime in Turkey cannot continue on its path with western standards of democracy and doesn’t care too much about the decisions made after the EU Summit on 25-26 March. The West can not work closely with the fascist bloc in Turkey in the long run.
AKP-MHP fascism (the alliance of the Justice and Development Party and Nationalist Movement Party) has already broken the wheels that facilitated cooperation between West and East; they have been explicitly isolated from the West for a while now. In order to overcome this loneliness, the regime in Turkey tries to move closer to the the Shanghai Five (which consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) but it finances its national economy over its economic relations with the West.
It has long been known that a country like Turkey with limited military and economic capacity cannot continue this way, but now this has been revealed at the highest level. AKP-MHP fascism cannot continue with fake reforms, they are in a jam both domestically and internationally. Erdoğan and his party have expired and are playing for extra time.
Turkey will not be able to overcome the financial and economic crises, or its international isolation, until the ruling power is replaced.