It is without wonder that the Turks of southeastern Europe are known as a stout population. In 1923 the Turks won a fierce war against a host of allies and Western European powers to secure its ancestral homeland. Many are wondering why Turkey and its tenacious leader has come to the fore. While economic and geopolitical indicators are certainly a factor, the greater denominator is the possibility of a new world order. One that does not include the continuous subjugation of economies and political bodies under the thumb of traditional “world super powers.”
Last week Turkey banned crypto currency a growing investment tool being explored around the world. While the move seems counterintuitive according to trend, Turkey well understands the power foreign-controlled currencies can have on an economy and a nation. Erdogan, Turkey’s President has already sacked two Reserve bank presidents, signalling his understanding of the currency war that is easily waged on small and sometimes large economies.
Asia is a prime example of what a currency war can do. While many Asian states are fairing relatively well now, that was not the case in the 1990s when Asian stock was flying high to fall flat. In 1997 Asia took a hit it could not sustain. In John Perkins renouned work, Confessions of an Economic Hitman,” he details the financial moves dark actors undertake to target emerging economies. In fact in an 2018 interview with Anadolu Agency he advises Turkey away from accepting IMF support and illustrates how the economic “hit” works.
One reason China has had less economic disasters is precisely because of its independence from such global economic mechanisms that could suddenly “crash” its economy. It is also a reason for many Asian state’s allegiance to it, despite new interest from elsewhere. Other economies are not so lucky, Perkins work illustrates how Africa, South and Central America and parts of Asia are heavily subjected to the “hit.” The hit can slow economic progress or stop it altogether, pushing companies out of business, upturning local populations and severely handicapping economic progress.
Nigeria briefly tried to slow down cryoto-currencies in its own economy before it was shouted down by mostly internet expats and a growing middle class desperate to find ways to grow wealth in the face of a worldwide pandemic. What many did not know, was that foreign cryoto-currencies have a similar affect as dependence on a foreign economic regulatory system: it puts power and control of the economy in the hands of outside actors. Nigerians in Abuja who invest in Bitcoin send their money to San Jose, California Native Roger Ver and co, who set up that company in Saint Kits and Nevis Caribbean Islands. An unusual location for a silicon valley entrepreneur–except the fact that the island does not levy direct taxes on personal income, capitol gains or even net wealth. The move seems to indicate, directors there are banking more on the value of the fiat invested than the crypto being sold.
Other economies are not so lucky, Perkins work illustrates how Africa, South and Central America and parts of Asia are heavily subjected to the “hit.”
Turkey has had strong year over year growth since 2000. The nation of 83 million people have seen both social and economic growth that has made it even possible to contemplate cryoto-currencies. “Real GDP grew by 5.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, completing a remarkable rebound in the second half of the year and resulting in a full year’s growth of 1.8 percent, despite economic fallout from the pandemic,” a World Bank report details.
Erdogan and his administration have been economy hawks guarding the nations economic future, even as it ventured into controversial geopolitical territory–daring to stand up against its former allied antagonists (US, UK, Greece, France and the UK among others). The drive for independence and self determination in the region seems to power the nation forward, in a similar way that former colonial states see a new kind of independence on the horizon as the decadent super-nations of the past begin to wane. There is then an opportunity, not just for the fighting Turks seeking to secure their economic and geopolitical future–but also a variety of actors across the globe who see a brave new world emerging. One that is free of the economic tinkering of the past. Doubtless, more nations will follow as we watch those long chafed under the unilateral international rules of the past break free.
Turkey has had strong year over year growth since 2000. The nation of 83 billion people have seen both social and economic growth that has made it even possible to contemplate cryoto-currencies. “Real GDP grew by 5.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020Word Bank, 2021
The sentiment is spreading like a fire unchecked, as many nations worldwide realize new alliances will produce better results for their economy and greater autonomy. The European Union has been mindful of the growing dash for economic and sociopolitical freedom from externally imposed normative and has gone on a campaign to proselytize Eastern Europe. If Turkey can find its voice and courage in a time of such great change it will be fascinating to see what other regions of the world shall do in the coming new future that awaits. The sentiment is here already, as the possibility of a future free set one’s own course socially and economically emerges.