President Tayyip Erdoğan on his trip to India to attend the G20 Summit. The theme of this year’s summit, to be held in New Delhi on September 9-10, is “One World, One Family, One Future”, taken from the ancient Sanskrit concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.
“The theme affirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe,” the official website explains the theme.
It adds: “The theme also spotlights LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), with its associated, environmentally sustainable and responsible choices, both at the level of individual lifestyles as well as national development, leading to globally transformative actions resulting in a cleaner, greener and bluer future.”
All this “looking-through-the-rose-tinted-glass” type of themes seem to me more like a big monument of hypocrisy.
The hypocrisy that dominates the G20
So what will the 19 member states of the G20, the EU and the leaders invited as guests say?
“While growing our economies, we will care for people, the environment, animals, rocks, soil, water and even space. -Not to mention India’s achievement of being the first country to land a spacecraft on the south polar region of the moon.- We will also respect individual lifestyles.”
While dreams are floating in space, realities are crumbling:
In India, the host country of the summit, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims by Hindus continues amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crocodile tears.
China, a member of the G20, has introduced the concept of “China-specific Islam” in response to allegations of human rights violations in the Uyghur region.
In Türkiye, LGBTi+ citizens are being excluded and ignored by the government, women’s rights are under threat. The situation is no different in some G20 member states of the European Union.
In Saudi Arabia, there was an uproar because women were given the right to drive cars. Three Turkish citizens are on death row on minor charges.
The US and Russia are using weapons banned by the UN in Ukraine.
Hypocrisy is at its most.
This time the things are hectic
You may say that the decisions of this G20 summits will be implemented as much as the decisions of the previous G20 summits have been implemented. You are right.
For example, the theme of the summit in Indonesia in 2022 was “Recovering Together, Recovering Stronger”. It predicted a recovery in global trade after the Covid-19 pandemic. It did not happen. The theme of the Summit in Italy in 2021 was “People, Planet, Prosperity”. That year, the World Climate Summit, COP26, was also convened in the UK and targets were set. For example, coal use was to be reduced. No country, including Türkiye, stopped loading up on coal. We were trapped between record heats and life-destroying floods, thinking that we would deal with the environment later.
Moreover, this time there may not even be a binding final declaration on this hypocritical theme of “rose-tinted glasses”. Because Russia has announced that it will not sign the final declaration unless the sanctions imposed due to the Ukraine war are lifted.
And not just economic sanctions. For example, the International Criminal Court has an arrest warrant against Russian President Putin for “war crimes”.
Türkiye to focus on bilateral contacts
You may say that who would arrest Putin? After all, it is not only the host country, India, but many countries, from the US to Russia, from China to Türkiye, do not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But that is not how international relations work.
When we look at the G20, although it now has ideological and even philosophical themes, it is ultimately an economic-based organization. In 1999, after the Russian crisis in 1998, it brought together the world’s 20 largest economies, which account for 85 percent of the world economy and 80 percent of trade. When the Russian economy is under sanctions, this affects all countries that buy oil, gas and, for example, grain from Russia.
Erdoğan is going to the G20 as the leader of the country at the center of the Russia-Ukraine grain conflict. On September 6, in his Medium Term Economic Program (MTP) speech, he also mentioned the G20 and the bilateral meetings he will have during the Summit.
Indian media listed Erdoğan among the leaders with whom Modi will hold bilateral meetings. The standard curiosity in Türkiye is whether Erdoğan will meet with US President Joe Biden, and if so, whether progress will be made on the F-16 sale authorization. Then there is Sweden’s NATO membership. The two last had beat the air during the NATO summit in Lithuania.