Table d'hote

Ali Gunertem
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US foreign policy entered a difficult period with some countries after September 11, 2001. France and Germany lead those countries, but Turkey is also among them.

The restructuring of the balance of power in the world gained momentum after September 11, 2001. Before the attacks the superpowers were the USA, a weakened Russia and the EU, which was trying to find itself. Today these parameters have changed and there are some new candidates trying to become superpowers. The list of superpowers today is the USA, the EU, which is still trying to find itself, the big closed box which is China, and India.

The USA does not see the EU as a competitor in this power group. Some commentators appearing on US television believe that under the umbrella of NATO, the US can protect the peace in Europe for years, and that Europe would be thrown into turmoil if the US were to withdraw its forces from its European bases (Maybe this is what US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld meant last year, when he mentioned the old and the new Europe).

The US public is aware that economic power in itself is not enough to become a superpower. China and the nuclear-powered India are more likely to become the new superpowers. In a state, where new technologies are tested in war, and stocks are renewed, the US has a 40 - 50 year head start on the other superpowers. Now let’s discuss what all this means for Turkey.

In these days the very important and multileveled transatlantic US- EU relationship and the US-Turkey relationship have become an ordinary, day-by-day interaction. In the long run, within the new formulation, it will become impossible for both sides to foresee where they are heading. In the short term, they are trying to figure out what they can do day by day. The main reason for this is the lack of confidence between the US and the EU as well as between both these political entities and Turkey. Without real trust, daily “a-la-carte” agendas are being prepared.  The parties involved look at the issues from that perspective. But, neither for USA nor for EU nor for Turkey, is the current situation without an element of pure chance. Turkey naturally sided with the EU in the formation of superpowers and took a big step towards joining the union by starting the open-ended negotiations toward accession, which will take 15 years.

This step, which seems natural geopolitically, could be more balanced, if Turkey could stay close to USA. The US - EU relations were in secret competition for a long time. The competition between the Euro and the US Dollar is an indication of how the power balance might change in the future. I foresee that the US will be on the winning side in this economic war, because the young, consuming and producing US is in a better position in the world markets than the old Europe, which produces only luxury merchandise. The young Europe is still in development and is cooperating with the US.

If we look to the developments from this perspective, it will be more beneficial for Turkey to interact with US with a more extensive menu rather than take the “a-la-carte” approach. Turkey should, without counting on the support of the EU, put its advantages on the table and choose the most beneficial policies, without being emotional.

(April 2005, 16th Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07