AKP Deputy General Chair Numan Kurtulmuş, speaking of an economic attack on Turkey originating from the US, stressed that the world was in a different era and described this as being one of “economic wars.” Kurtulmuş set out what needs to be done going forward in the form of a “four-area plan.”
The countermeasures that Kurtulmuş described as a “four-area plan” include reorganizing relations with the European Union, completing rapprochement with China in the medium term and maintaining existing relations with Russia. As to the fourth area, Kurtulmuş stated, “The structural reform and change that Turkey has needed to undertake until now internally needs to be accomplished in the economic area.”
As reported in an article by Habertürk’s Muharrem Sarıkaya, Kurtulmuş made the following comments:
“We managed to withstand the first economic attack within rational economic rules, but this is not enough.”
This is how my chat started with the AK Party’s new second man, Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmuş, who has an academic career in the field of supra-industrial transformation and human resources management.
I inquired as to the means that had been used in the “economic attack” and recalled criticism that “it had happened because structural change had not been accomplished internally.”
He first noted that the attack had been launched through Asia.
He said they had witnessed how the US had stoked up tension in the evening and in the morning had started rapidly unloading the Turkish-lira indexed paper they were holding onto the Asian markets in an unexpected attack.
This was not all and he stated they had identified conduits that were speedily discharging dollars from Turkey. Saying, “They launched an attack at a totally unexpected moment for us from a totally unexpected place for us,” he continued:
“The essential matter was the perception that showed success in surmounting the initial attack and this was accomplished. Now the exchange rate must be lowered to a certain level and kept there. But, the essential point is to increase production and for measures supporting the ability sell it on the international market to be taken without delay. And the economic administration has gradually started to take them.”
He stressed that, along with the economic attack on Turkey originating from the US, the world is in a different era.
Kurtulmuş gave it the name of “trade wars.”
He recalled the US’s recent tussles with Russia, China and Japan and even next-door Canada.
Concluding, “US President Trump is testing Turkey in this war environment,” he continued:
“Trump is quizzing Turkey saying, ‘Are you on our side or on the opposing front in this war?’ The economic, political and theological have all piled on top of one another.”
He then himself attached a name to it:
“It’s called the ‘testing Turkey operation’.”
He listed what needs to be done going forward, describing it a “four-area plan.”
1- RENEWED APPROACH TO THE EU: Relations with the European Union should be reorganized. The signals emanating from the EU are positive and this in practice creates positive signals for the economy. We must immediately eliminate conflict-provoking factors that create tension with the EU.
2- CHINESE RAPPROCHEMENT: Rapprochement with China must be completed in the medium term. China also attaches great importance to the “new generation, new path” project. An important stage has been reached in relations and this year a large number of Chinese tourists have started to come. The tempo must be increased going forward and progression must be speedy.
3- RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AND THE USA: Existing relations with Russia must be maintained. Regional cooperation can be developed. And it is developing.
An end must also be put to the enigma over the PKK and PYD with the US. The Manbij business is going well in military terms. But this must not be sufficed with. Of course, trading in national currencies, a new gold-based monetary system, Turkey’s BRICS membership intention and the development of Russo-Chinese relations may have caused consternation to the US. But, the US can never break off its ties with Turkey. What must not be forgotten is they are no longer dealing with a Turkey at its beck and call. Relations must be re-established accordingly. A Turkey weakened in the region will be of no good to the US and it must also see that it will lose many of its resistances in this region.
4- STRUCTURAL CHANGE: I attach importance to the fourth area. Turkey must accomplish in the economic area the structural reform and change that it has until now needed to undertake internally. There remains no scope for putting this off any more. It must be accomplished at once.
These are the perspectives and proposals of Prof. Dr. Kurtulmuş who last weekend took his place as the AK Party’s “second man.”
Everyone needs to see the following point to which he himself attaches great importance:
“In this period in which the most severe of trade wars is being experienced, everyone in the country must take steps that lead to being strong. Otherwise, the outcome is certain.”