The future roadmap for Turkey


Parties of the right have long dominated Turkish politics. A social democratic party has triumphed in only one election and that was 44 years ago, in 1977. The right has gained mass support by recasting class conflict as culture war. People who, in other countries, would form the base of support for centre-left parties, peasants, workers, and those in the lower middle class have rallied to populist conservatives who appeal to their religion and their resentment of the urban elite. The results in last both elections were a repetition of the previous ones with regard to voting patterns, and the winning and losing blocs. Furthermore, the results once more confirmed the dominance of nationalist-conservative base among the Turkish electorate; a large base which continued to be consolidated by Erdogan. However, there seems to be a shift towards Turkish nationalism inside the dominant bloc. The OBOR presents a historic opportunity for Turkey to expand its already strong position in the region and is the most ambitious economic-political project in modern history. The initiative involves plans for monolithic infrastructure projects spanning a vast network of seaports, railroads, highways, airports and other infrastructure to create new trade routes across Eurasia. Among the most important ambitions that the OBOR represents is China’s attempt to bring trade routes back to the Eurasian continent after three hundred years of Euro-Atlantic domination of trade routes. This is where Turkey comes in. It lies in a geostrategic ally important location that connects Europe, Asia and (by sea and air) Africa. Thus, Turkey lies on the shortest route for China’s ambitious plans to create a Eurasian trading network.
Turkey is the largest economy in the region with an upper-middle income economy and has a strong record of growth over the past two decades. This gives Turkey a strong bargaining position to ensure its own interests are taken into account alongside Chinese ambitions.
The OBOR also provides the opportunity to pursue political and economic interests abroad via the OBOR in a strategic, long-term approach that will centre Turkey as the premier economic power in its own region.

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