What does ‘The world is bigger than five’ mean?

BY: Özlem Albayrak*
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also emphasized that the ongoing security issues around the world and extremist violence needed to come to an end. Qatar Amir Al Sani stated that the conflict in Syria and Libya needed to be resolved as soon as possible. French President François Hollande said in an interview he gave to journalists that convoys were attacked, people were dying from starvation and chemical weapons were used in the region, adding that the situation in Syria was a black mark for the international society. Most of the other leaders spoke on similar issues.They all just spoke, like some normal viewer, unlike the leaders of nation states around the world. They spoke in a tone suggesting that they couldn’t do anything to end the chaos in certain regions and the mass deaths occurring. The only thing they did do was express their sorrows and worries… The speeches were conscientious, so their speeches made them feel content. But that is about all.

The issues President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan touched on were the same too. Erdoğan touched on issues like the refugee crisis, developments in Syria, Iraq and Palestine. But these weren’t the only issues Erdoğan discussed. Once again, he emphasized that the structure of the U.N. needed to change, that it was good for nothing and that the world was bigger than the five countries trying to steer it. He said all this during a program hosted by these five powerful countries. Turning to the countries that avoided taking refugees through their doors, he said “The world, the West may not accept these people, but we will. Because we are human.”

Erdoğan isn’t just targeting the five main characters of the U.N., but also the established global system. His challenging words therefore cause the faces of these leaders to sulk.

Because the system he describes is full of country representatives who make pretentious speeches against violence, wars and poverty, yet slyly manipulate the chaos in these regions. The world that the global powers dream of is a world in which the poor and incapable countries grow weaker while these powers continue to empower themselves.

Globalization has already weakened nation-states. We are talking about the supra-national companies and markets who have the strength to unsettle strong countries. Big decisions are no longer made in local, middleweight capital cities. Because resources that trigger decision making mechanisms are not made in small and middle weighted countries.

Weak and incapable countries are expected to dwell on single and small issues in attempts to organize. The aim is to ensure that when need be, these countries cannot unite and create a locality to speak up against the global powers when needed. The aim is that this locality doesn’t have a leader ever…

But, the independent choices of some can oppress others like a terrifying fate would. Every decision the West has made till today has affected the East. Even if it wasn’t deliberate at times, this was the case: if a butterfly flapped its wings in the north, this would create a storm in the south. The powerful countries always posed as if they were trying to help the weaker countries become stronger, but what they actually desired was not the variety of equal partners.

We don’t need to go back too far to find an example. The efforts to “redesign” the Middle East through the Arab Spring and the ongoing attempts to topple and thus change Turkey’s leader are examples that clearly explain what I am trying to get at. Therefore, it must be very unnerving when a country that has overthrown all these attempts and fought against these plots stands up to these supra-national powers who are the only decision-making authorities in the world.

The United Nations is not a structure who fairly passed the ball among equals; it never has been.

The statement “If the issue is a global one, why should you be the only one dealing with it” annoys and disturbs the U.N. and the global decision-making structure the U.N. is a part of.

This is one of the reasons behind everything that Turkey has experienced in the past three years.

*Özlem Albayrak is a Turkish columnist at Yeni Şafak Turkish daily.

    (Published in Yeni Şafak on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016)