A guide to understanding the reconstructed world order

“The West is losing its power, the East is getting stronger”. It is best to start by filling in this sentence that we have heard a lot in the last 20 years. There are no afternoon flights at Amsterdam Schipol Airport this week because there are not enough security and airport personnel. Germany has a similar problem. They even declared that they need 400 thousand immigrants every year in order to meet the personnel needs of all sectors. More importantly for Germany, with the aging population, the number of people to whom it pays pensions increases every year, the number of employees does not increase that much. Discussions on whether the retirement age should be 70 in the country continue these days. The oldest population in the EU is in Italy, while Spain supplies the labor shortage from South America. In England, agriculture and livestock, the service sector and the health sector stand with the arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania. After all, today, the goal of EU membership of all the Balkans, Ukraine and Georgia is an operation to close the labor shortage under the guise of lofty ideals such as the right of free movement and democracy.

The drought this summer and the energy crisis that emerged as Russia shut down the valves showed that a robust economy does not mean that you will get the product you want when you print the money. Here, Germany’s economy is stronger than the USA, but it is struggling to find natural gas to spend this winter. India’s cessation of wheat exports has chain consequences in both Berlin and France.

We are going through a period in which energy resources and a young population that can work are decisive in the story of the transfer of power from the West to the East. This is where the Shanghai Cooperation Organization comes into play. This organization, which constitutes 40 percent of the world’s population, has more than 30 percent of the global GNP. Four of the nine countries in the world known to have nuclear weapons are also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This organization does not seek to be a common defense organization like NATO or a single state like the EU. The organization has goals such as regional peace, especially good neighborly relations, joint fight against fundamentalism, organized crime and illegal immigration, and efforts to develop cooperation in science, culture, education, energy and environment.

Established in 1996 as the Shanghai Five to resolve border disputes, the organization today consists of eight members: China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Belarus, Iran, Mongolia are counting the days to become full members. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Nepal and Sri Lanka also take place as dialogue partners. This list says a lot in terms of underground riches, especially oil and natural gas. One step ahead is the much needed young population. Let’s pass China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, in Uzbekistan alone, those under 30 make up 60 percent of the population.

China was a country that imitated cheap and poor quality of every product 30 years ago. Today, labor costs in China are more expensive than in Vietnam or Cambodia, but Apple CEO said, “The production engineering they offer us is so valuable that we don’t think about going to another country.” For every Apple product assembled in China, the US pays only $6 and gets the lion’s share of software. That’s true, but we use more Chinese smartphones and computers now than 10 years ago. 40-50 years is a blink of an eye when habits change. Having and producing a population that produces is one side of the job, and on the other, there is the issue of finding markets to sell what it produces. Today, in Africa, where the economy is developing and the consumption gap is too high, China is far ahead of the USA. France’s attack on Turkey due to its activity in Africa should be read from this perspective. Those who have established a slave-master relationship for years may criticize China, which has established relationships by giving in Africa, and Turkey, which has established equal relations, but the result does not change.

Let’s come to the place where the zurna calls “zırt”. We know that the big target for the USA is China. They don’t even hide it. While presenting the 6th generation fighter jet, which they are currently under development, to the Senate, they say that they are after a plane that will not be caught by Chinese air defense systems, and that can fly from Guam Island in the Pacific to Okinawa Island in Japan. The unit cost of this aircraft will be as much as five F-35 aircraft. While the USA is preparing to settle accounts with China, it is waging its war of attrition on Russia through Ukraine and using the budgets and arsenals of EU states. On the other hand, it is trying to make NATO a part of its struggle with China. The invitation of Australia, which has nothing to do with the North Atlantic, to the NATO Summit in Madrid is a step towards this. The President of France has declared that he is against the business of targeting China, but the others have not made much noise.

China, which is aware that it will be its turn after the US has hit Russia economically and weakened it militarily through the Ukraine war, has realized that ignoring its historical problems with Russia will serve its own purpose. The most concrete proof of this is the Chinese President’s first departure from his country since the pandemic and his participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Samarkand. India is also attending the summit, which the US has ignored to get the S-400 to lure it to its side.

The rivalry between Russia and China, which started centuries ago, became the worst during the Soviet Union-People’s Republic of China, and turned into a hot conflict in 1969 due to the border dispute. In order to use this hostility, US President Nixon visited China in 1972, established an economic connection with Beijing with exemptions in white goods exports, and increased the living standards of middle-class US citizens. Washington has always wanted to keep Beijing on its side in its war with Moscow. In fact, in the famous CAATSA Law, there is no China, but Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The worst-case scenario for Washington today is for Moscow and Beijing to cooperate against it. Russia needs China’s economic power, and Russia needs energy resources to sustain China’s production power. Both countries are the target of the USA and naturally this pushes them to compulsory partnership.

I said at the beginning of the article; The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is neither NATO nor an alternative to the EU. If Turkey decides to leave NATO today, the Greeks and the Greeks, whose path to membership will be opened, would be most pleased. Then we see the view of Turkey, which has fallen into the position of occupying NATO territory of Cyprus. Turkey should now stay in all institutions in the West and at the same time strengthen its relations with the East. The most collective method for this is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The situation of the enemy brothers India and Pakistan, and the renewed conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia are the weak belly of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. On the other hand, the Taliban government in Afghanistan and their efforts to expel the regime are the ones who suffer. However, despite all the competition, we should not ignore the success of bringing India and Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Armenia under the same roof.

Changing the center of balance of the power will of course bring with it tremors and turbulence. In order to maintain its claim to be a geopolitical power, Turkey has to follow a policy that considers its own interests rather than the interests of alliances with both sides. Steps such as the mediator role and the grain agreement in the Russia-Ukraine war, which is even more possible today, are important. A period is coming when the pressures from the West on Russia to join the sanctions on Turkey will increase. Being forced to make an early and definitive choice in our effort to become a geopolitical power is not in our favor right now.