Sanctıons and reform

Sanctıons and reform

Bülent Aydemir- KGK Vice President

As all humanity grapples with the devastation and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkey has extra problems to deal with and solve. If we outline these problems: sanctions against Turkey, which the United States and the European Union have put on the agenda; inside, which can be summarized under the heading "reform"; steps that need to be taken in the economic, legal and political sphere. "Why do the United States and the European Union want to impose sanctions on us?" Because the answer to this question has been given many times, I want to answer these questions: "I wonder if they will impose sanctions? Are we doing what we are supposed to do?"

In fact, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the answer to this question to some extent before his trip to Azerbaijan. He said he was no stranger to Biden, adding: “I’m someone who knew him very well during the Obama era. Let him take charge, and then we’ll sit down with Mr. Biden and talk about some things,” he said. As for EU sanctions, Erdogan, who used the phrase “the EU’s decision to sanction Turkey,” made clear his faith and self-confidence in Turkey. There’s no problem with that, but the background of the matter tells us other things. I don’t remember another period when foreign policy and domestic policy overlapped so much and influenced each other so greatly. I’ll try to summarize:


When it comes to reform in Turkey, someone immediately thinks about the release of names such as Selahattin Demirtas, Osman Kavala. When it comes to Reform, someone understands the change of names of alliances or parties that have been made alliance with. Another one understands the establishment of mechanisms such as the “Settlement Process” or new negotiations in the past, when it is called an alliance. Or, if we look at the issue from the point of view of economic management, he understands the change of the Treasury and Finance Minister, the head of the Central Bank, some names in the economic bureaucracy. No one comes out and asks: “Can’t this reform be needed by our ordinary citizens, who have no basis other than the law and the fair-square approach of the state?”.

Someone may have agendas that they are trying to impose on Turkey, but at the end of 18 years, when you come and say to the citizen, “We will reform,” you have to back this up. You really have to take reform steps and put it in front of society. Otherwise, it would be an election-oriented/day-saving approach that would have no equivalent in the circumstances we are in. In order to solve the problems in which Turkey is involved, it is necessary to take real reform steps, strengthen the law, establish unity and solidarity in the minimum clientele, strengthen institutional mechanisms, establish driver’s license-merit, fair approach-justice in all areas. In fact, there is no need to describe it as Reform; this is what it should be.


Turkey’s active and ambitious policy around/in the region, using its military capabilities as an instrument of foreign policy, constantly calling check as in a chess game and raising its hand as in poker, there is an indigestion created outside. I don’t deny it, but there is also one detail that strategists note. That is, the fact that it is not easy to fight so many enemies; it is required to have a robust-strong economic mechanism and strong reserves to fight on 5 fronts.

When your safe is in the negative and the other side knows it, you can see the rest in return for rest. As a matter of fact, the United States has used this weapon against Turkey several times immorally in the Trump administration, and it has received what it wants. Now, the United States, along with new President Joe Biden, wants to elevate the American Eagle, which leads the old global world order, to the position of chief actor. It aims to use the North Atlantic alliance-NATO for this purpose. NATO also does not hesitate to give the message “I am ready for this” with the new 2030 concept. The United States and the European Union want to prevent the suppression of China and the Asia Pacific, the encirclement of Russia, as well as the cracking of the Turkey-Russia alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean and Eurasia.

Although the interests of countries differ from time to time, Turkey may have to make a sharper choice in the upcoming process. In Syria, in Libya, in Karabakh, we have solved some issues with cooperation related to the conjuncture. A terrorist corridor was not allowed to form in the north of Syria, and this was made possible by the cooperation provided with Russia, as well as the struggle of the heroic Mehmetçik. But at the moment, the United States is settling in the region, not with the terrorist organization PKK, but with cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Germany, France and NATO member states in the Balkans, as well as agreements with these states. It is building new bases, building a military stack and demonstrating its power of influence by using NATO. And now he wants to spread that power on the field in an equation-changing way…


Let’s get to the bottom of it: the government is actually preparing for the new waves that will come both inside and outside, with its changes in economic management, preferences in ambassador appointments, and changes that it will make and has made in the bureaucracy. Reform discourse also forms the conceptual infrastructure or title of these new waves. If this remains only at the level of discourse, it seems unlikely that the government will be able to survive future waves undamaged. Well, what should be done?

– Reform has been bought by markets and citizens, but if it remains a hollow promise as in the past, an irreversible path will be taken. Reforms must be filled in, and they must be done for the greatful, suffering-faithful people of this country, because they have a right, not because someone wants to.

– The United States and NATO will make some demands from Turkey very soon. There are signs of that. Meeting these demands means that Turkey will stay away from the preferences and actions that are the subject of CAATSA sanctions, that is, to put it under the yoke of the United States and NATO with a more concise narrative. It means that Russia and Turkey are moving away from the partnership relationship in the field of defense-economy-energy. There may be pressure on Turkey to make a decisive choice.

– Turkey must ensure unity of the country and understanding, at least on issues related to the fate of the country, take a fair approach in all areas of economic and social life, take steps to address the concerns of individuals. Because every soul will be needed to fight the incoming waves.