The Pacific-Atlantic battle and Turkey
In the 1750s, representing the beginning of the first Industrial Revolution, the Third World was comprised of China and the Indian subcontinent, and the Ottoman Empire was producing 73 percent of the world’s goods and services, while Europe’s share was just 23.2 percent, and the U.S. was only carrying a share of 0.1 percent.
Over the next 150 years though, boosted by the “steam revolution” between 1830 and 1860, Europe increased its share to 62 percent, and the U.S. was at 23.6 percent, but the Third World’s share was largely diminished to just 11 percent.
China’s share in global manufacturing was just 2 percent in 1978. In 1950, the lone share of the U.S. rose to some 53 percent. It was the most powerful hegemony in the capitalist system, the West and the Cold War. It carefully created an international economic sphere under its own control, based on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, the U.N. and NATO.
In the beginning of the 1980s, while the Atlantic, the alliance of the U.S. and the European Union, was in control of 52.4 percent of the world’s production of goods and services, China and India’s shares totaled a mere 5.3 percent. Today, however, that share has risen to 25 percent while the U.S.-EU’s share has fallen to 39 percent. The OECD’s Global Economy 2060 report shows that the share of the China-India duo will go up to 39 percent and that of the U.S.-EU duo will fall to 30 percent by 2030.
It is projected that the China-India share will increase to 46 percent, while the U.S.-EU share will come down to 25 percent by 2060. In international reports, the return of Asia is discussed with statements such as “the sun rises again in the east.” The rise of the Pacific plateau while the Atlantic plateau sinks has become the number one agenda of the global political economy.
Pivot country: Turkey
A new Pacific-oriented game is being set up in the political economy of the world and as Russian President Vladimir Putin is aware of this, Russia is in an effort to deepen relationships with both China and India. The existence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is therefore reinforcing this collaboration. Turkey, on the other hand, stands out in the midst of this change of the global center of gravity, as the pivot country to alter Eurasia’s faith. The choices by Turkey and India will result in lasting outcomes in this shift of the center of gravity.
So, what is the Atlantic up to? It is almost paralyzed. Paralyzed to end or even say anything against the terrorists in Turkey and in the region around it. Sometimes, there is a feeling as if the group was trying to halt this shift of the center of gravity by letting chaos last. Whereas what the Atlantic wing should do is to craft more embracing policies, supporting Turkey’s role in the region, having grasped Turkey’s importance.
The Pacific wing, however, was quick to put the Atlantic wing’s mistakes to good use. Turkey was granted the status of a “dialogue partner” in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and has become the first non-member country president of the Energy Club for 2017.
Turkey, the president of SCO’s Energy Club
The SCO’s Energy Club was founded in 2013 with the participation of the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Belarus, and Sri Lanka. The club aims to develop dialogue on energy security between its member nations, update strategies, and increase opportunities for collaboration in the sector. The member nations of the SCO correspond to 36 percent of the electricity production of the world, 23 percent of natural gas production, 20.8 percent of crude oil, and 60.2 percent of coal. The member countries realize 28 percent of the world’s consumption of natural gas, 25.2 percent of petroleum, and 65.1 percent of coal consumption.
It is indicated that the Energy Club will assume an important role in the implementation of the decisions on energy taken as part of the “Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation,” signed by the SCO’s heads of states.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has stated that Turkey’s presidency of the Energy Club, which involves countries with the highest share of energy production and consumption in the world, would contribute to more robust execution of Turkey’s energy strategies and deepen its cooperation in the energy sector. Turkey’s term presidency, at a time where global energy strategies prevail regarding the struggle between the Atlantic and Pacific powers, might be a significant warning for the Atlantic wing to quickly review its policies and manners towards Turkey.
The fact that the 45 countries most affected by climate change have decided to “fully convert to renewable energy as soon as possible” at the UN’s Climate Conference held in Marrakesh should not go unnoticed.
The countries in question are aiming to completely abandon the consumption of fossil fuels and diminish their carbon emissions and will update their national plans accordingly. They intend to achieve this by 2020.
It looks like the agenda of the SCO Energy Club, under the presidency of Turkey, will be busy.