Speech at the 21th Eurasian Economic Summit

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First of all, I would like to welcome my esteemed friends, Presidents, who are here in Istanbul on the occasion of the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit.

We worked with you, with some of you. We have shown mutual support both in our countries and also in many multilateral meetings. I would also like to congratulate the Marmara Group Foundation. It is really and extraordinary achievement to organize the twenty-first session of these summits. I congratulate you on that.

Now all the precious presidents have said very good things. And our subject is technology vs politics. These are very interesting topics that are discussed these days. Of course, experts will look at this from many different dimensions, but we as politicians and statesmen will certainly have a more general view. In this respect, I would like to talk in a bit more straightforward way.

We live in an age where everything grows very fast. It is even so fast that it is inevitable to live contradictions within such a speed, to live in contradictions, and to experience shocks. Our dreams come true one by one. Maybe things we can not think of today will happen tomorrow. If all of this happens within a short period of time, obviously there are a lot of negatives along with the improvements. We are in the era of digital technology, in a development that does not know boundaries.

Until now, we were talking about smart devices. Today we have started to talk about artificial intelligence. Sensors and more, all these things are becoming an increasing part of real life. And with this, incredible problems arise.

Today we all know, close followers on these issues, there are great works in important laboratories on quantum computers. When they enter into life, when they enter into practice, we can not even predict their speed. So all of this seems like a huge success. Indeed, this is surely an enormous success, incredible commitments that take place, but on the other hand it brings out great ethical problems, fears and worries. Because of this, many philosophers, many scholars,

important politicians, are attracting people's attention; they say that some things are already banned, that some things should not happen yet.

While all this is happening, there is technological development on the one hand - but this concerns law and politics; and the people who are responsible for the governance, politicians, and governments who are ultimately responsible for their societies are also responsible for preparing for such a world in future generations. If we foresee such a future already and do not develop policies to prepare a new generation for such a future, if we do not take measures to prepare it, if we do not adapt ourselves to it, then we will face great shocks in the future.

Many articles were written in scientific journals about this but now they are headlines also in popular magazines, important newspapers, and on television, and become topics we all know more about and that become more important to all of us.

I want to highlight two things while all this is happening. Firstly: Technology, especially the information technology or IT, created such an environment that made everything transparent. No one can stick his head in the sand anymore. Everyone knows everything. Everyone can monitor everything. So people are following every corner of any corner of the world.

As such, poor people see the rich, rich people see the poor. Those who suffer see those who live in happiness, those who live in happiness see suffering people every day, their tears, and as a result of this, while behaviors that exemplify beautiful things are revealed, anger, indignation and radical currents emerge.

When technology first appeared and the machines started to be applied, a great unemployment appeared and when the world moved from the labor path to the capital and machinery path. They were inevitable. The first thing that will come out is obviously unemployment if you start to move from machine to robot, from robotic computers to factory that is managed by artificial intelligence. This is terrific, the issue of employment; those who rule the states should take measures by seeing the future problem.

Great employment problems will emerge. Big unemployment will come out. Of course, the problems of developed countries and the problems of countries that still have to complete their development and complete the infrastructure are separate from each other. After all, unemployment is inevitably emerging. They are considering other measures against unemployment in developed countries. Educated people, university graduates are experiencing huge unemployment rates. In the future these will be the biggest problems we all have to deal with.

The second economic issue is as follows: While these technologies are used by one side, productivity increases, costs are reduced, incredible production volumes are reached, and employment problems are revealed while income distribution is also emerging. A huge income distribution, injustices, these will be the biggest issues of the coming period.

Today all of us are able to give statistics, we can put ads, we see the research of the major research centers, the United Nations, the UNDP, the OECD, the unbelievable income inequality; and the inequality in the distribution of income is a big issue.

The speed with which technology has been brought to the money market, while disturbing the inequality in the distribution of income between countries, also causes injustice in countries within a large income distribution. All of this is a great annoyance. As a consequence, populism, radical movements, racism, right-wing extremism, extremist radical political formations emerge as a threat. When we look at the reasons for all of these, the climate that causes these microbes to develop individually is unemployment, injustice and technology that contributes to them in a way. Therefore, we are talking about technology versus politics.

All this reminds me of history. Those who know the history of economics will remember. New politics today also unveil an environment of injustice that reminds us of the capitalist concept of the 19th century: "let them do it, let them pass", of the great turbulences and the injustices that capitalism has uncovered.

Therefore, it is inevitable to anticipate all these and to take measures against them all. As I said, experts and scientists have talked much about these issues, especially about the level technology has reached, but what should a politician look for? The future will inevitably be this way. How should all the precautions be taken? In the future, those who carry the responsibility to keep the population and the new generation happy and prosperous, are the ones who govern the states. For this reason, it is necessary to direct all energy from the beginning to the future, to talk about the future in a realistic way, to see the facts away from rhetoric and heroism, to focus on energy intensely and to wake up all the measures, all consciousness. Otherwise we will be caught abruptly. Actually, not abruptly. These things are all coming, but we should know what to do when we are faced with them. In this respect, of course, countries also need to be well governed.

Good governance: with all the measures, it can be dealt with better with such problems. Strong democracies, strong democracies based on the supremacy of the law, the realization of separation of powers in the countries, all the basic human rights, beliefs, ideas and freedoms are valid at the highest standards and the open, transparent accountable features of the administrations at highest standards and merit-based mandates will make those countries stronger to cope with these problems.

Countries that do not do all these things or are not able to see them waste their energy, all their time. Walls start being built among countries, and by buiding these walls, rhetoric heroism, uneasiness and struggle between the countries, between the regions starts. These are not foreign to us. These regional tensions need to remind us of the heroism politics of the 1930s. In the 1930s, the world has experienced them, has tried all this. Especially Europe has experienced them a lot and big prices were paid. It is very unsettling and sad to see that the divisive, polarizing, autocritical discourse dominates the whole world politics. Sharing the most sensitive issues through Twitter, making threats, world leaders who are insensitive to these sensitivities, incomprehensible developments and these are things that should not be in the world. Conflict environments may come, but the consequences will not be as they were in the old world. If you use nuclear energy at the point where today's technology is used in the making of all kinds of means of war, of course, you will illuminate each side. But when you think that you will destroy all that we do as a nuclear weapon, of course a very horrific landscape emerges. Therefore, how technology is used and how it is directed is also a matter of politics. Recalling the cold war periods, the spies would follow each other. In today's cold war, we are witnessing how all this technology is destructively used all over the world, using the smartest, most artificial intelligence.

It's a period when we are talking about the troll factor, about how the troll centers are founded, how thousands of people work on these and how they mess up the world with messages, how they intervene, how the radical currents are supported and how the country is weakened.

Of course, this has no end. They have been questioning the owner of facebook in the American congress for the last three or four days now, and very interesting things are coming out of this.

Will the countries, regions, will the world proceed on positive agenda or on negative agenda? If we go in the positive direction, all of these will be for the sake of mankind, but if we go in the negative direction, all of these will bring down the consequences of destroying humanity, of suffering, terrifying and increasing poverty.

In that sense, technology and policy relationships are really important. This is all very contradictory, we are in contradiction. Of course, all of our customs, studies, wishes, prayers, these must all be used in good ways. Otherwise even the most primitive knife can do the worst job. What is important is intention, what is important are thoughts. How the new generation evolves, everything depends on it. I hope that this summit will be very helpful in terms of ideas and once again I congratulate the Marmara Group Foundation and say welcome to my friends, the esteemed Presidents, welcome to Istanbul.

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