The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of the key skills that human beings acquired in the course of their evolution: Solidarity and sharing!

In the history of humanity for thousands of years, we have developed to the extent that we cooperate, and we have become human to the extent that we share. In order to succeed in fighting the pandemic, it is now clearly seen that collective behavior is compulsory. Furthermore, it is understood that the success of a country against the pandemic will also benefit other countries as well.

When confronting the pandemic, the governments of the countries within the Atlantic system faced the question of which one comes first, human beings or markets, and they made their choices in favor of markets. The dire consequences of this choice can be assessed by reference to several examples from Italy, England, Spain, France, and especially, the USA. Profit-oriented health systems collapsed during the fight against the pandemic. In the imperialist centers, moreover, the pandemic agenda expanded to include other crucial issues such as the explosion of unemployment, racism, and mass protests. All of this led to large-scale economic and social instability, which is expected to continue in the long term.

By contrast, China has shown tremendous success in the fight against the pandemic. Even isolating the Hubei province from the rest of the country in order to prevent the spread of the virus all over the country was highly critical by itself. Moreover, China has exhibited an exemplary stance in terms of international solidarity. It has provided medical staff and equipment to major developed countries. What is more, it has frozen the debt of poor countries, which have been suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak. From the perspective of the system of individual profit and interest, it would be impossible to make sense of China’s attitude and unique success against the pandemic. The secret of China’s success as a whole lies in its public-driven/popular state and its social system organized from the bottom-up. A key concept that can explain China’s international approach is “shared development”, which also happens to be the main motto of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Turkey also fought against the pandemic and was successful thanks to its strong institutional infrastruc-ture and human resources inherited from the Atatürk Revolution. Turkey, as a developing country, supplied medical aid to 125 different countries, including the USA and UK.
The COVID-19 pandemic also showed that nation-states can overcome cross-border problems through cooperation on the basis of equality, common benefit, and shared development.
As a result, one could argue that the crux of the issue is what to prioritize: the profits of monopolies and the stability of the financial markets or an economic model based on the production of essential human needs.
The COVID-19 outbreak has revealed the collapse of neoliberalism, which disintegrates nation-states in the developing world, both economically and culturally. Asia is now home to newly proliferating values such as the public interest, solidarity, shared development, socialism, and collaboration on the basis of equality among nation-states. These values stand in contrast to the socioeconomic model of the Atlantic system, which is rooted in individualism and profit maximization.


BRIQ is closer to achieving the goals announced in its first issue, particularly that of crossing the con-tinents. Our current issue features articles by prominent authors from Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

From this issue on, we will create a special section on History, featuring original historical documents that address interactions among developing countries, in their struggle for revolution and liberation.

We greatly value the intellectual contribution of our Advisory Board, whose members also include the rep-resentatives of the Eurasian business community. Therefore, our current issue features interviews with Ethem Sancak and Cankut Bagana, our Advisory Board members.

This issue also includes an interview with the President of Yunus Emre Institute, Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş. Prof. Dr. Ateş describes the COVID-19 HUB established within the Institute and its functions in order to share information between countries in the fight against the pandemic.




Mr. Sancak graduated from Istanbul University, the Faculty of Business in 1976. He worked as a journalist between 1976 and 1978. He served as the representative for the southeastern and eastern regions of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Party of Turkey and also the Diyarbakır Province Head of the Party. He later ventured into the business world and founded Es Pharmaceutical Warehouse in 1978 and Esko Perfumery in 1989, Hedef Pharmaceutical Warehouse in 1993 and later bought BMC, a manufacturer of truck, bus and military vehicle. He was selected “Business Manager of the Year” in 2001 and “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2005. He was granted an award of “National Sovereignty Outstanding Service and Honor Award” by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. He served the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association of Turkey between 2004 and 2010. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, member of the Board of Directors of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art, member of the Advisory Board of Okan University.

*  Translated by Arda Tunçel


“BRIQ will play a really important role in terms of not merely being a local initiative, but also being a medium where actors of the new world can have a voice, and in terms of preparing the ground for the new world powers to develop themselves through mutual discussion. Of course, it was not with this virus that imperialism began to collapse and new centers of civilization emerged in Asia. These were already in progress. In a sense, the virus was a blessing from Allah, which hastened its emergence. In other words, the USA’s massive capitalist system based on looting would collapse anyway. We saw the clues in the 2008 crisis. This crisis was as devastating as the 1929 crisis. Because the forces against the USA were not organized, because there was a lack of communication between them, because of the Western-induced contradictions that divided them and antagonized one another they could not form a union of forces, and capitalism was perceived to be restoring itself. But within capitalism these fires were going on. The wheel was broken once. Now, this virus has accelerated it.”


Mr. Bagana graduated from the Faculty of Law, Istanbul University. He started his career as tour leader in 1965 and worked as manager in different working areas of the tourism industry until 1975. He established Incoming Travel Agency in 1975 and joined Ten Tour as one of the founders and shareholders in 1980. In 1985, he started to work personally in Ten Tour. He served as Onur Air joined with Ten Tour in 1994. He is President of Onur Air since 2013. He speaks French, German, English and Italian.

 *  Translated by Salih Ertan

We think that if Turkey defines and sets the goals that will make a difference in the world, it will benefit from this crisis. We shall produce. The sectors selected and assigned highest priority should not change for the next 20-30 years. We will be the best in the world. We will sell and buy products. Our efforts will be backed up by our logistics power, coupled with transit trade opportunities. In short, we will both produce and trade with the whole world. Those nations who study their lesson well and set clear and fixed goals for themselves can easily transit to tomorrow’s world without the need to demolish today’s world. However, this is only true as long as they carry on the goals that make a difference in the world, with strict and persistent discipline.


All crises – whether they are political, economic, organizational, societal or medical – have one decisive quality: they expose the strengths and weaknesses of the affected system and of all its members. COVID-19 challenges a liberal economic system where personal security, individual comfort and well-being, and the accumulation of wealth are considered to be the highest values. These values, and the way of life that goes with them, are still powerful motivational catalysts in societies based on materialism. Indeed, the free exchange of goods and services, individual mobility, the international flexibilization of production and distribution – all that we call globalization or as an eponym, “global capitalism” (Beckert, 2014) – carry deep, intrinsic risks. One of the most obvious outcomes of the coronavirus crisis is to reveal how easily this interdependent system between global players – enterprises, institutions and states – can be disrupted, damaged and partially destroyed. Those countries that succeeded in fighting, in as fast and draconian as possible, the COVID-19 pandemic will be the global winners of this race against time and spread. Among these countries will certainly be China, South Korea and Singapore, as they all entered the crisis in its early stages and quickly established strict, coherent and elaborate medical regimes (Welter, 2020). The economy of the Eurozone, already weakened before the pandemic, has suffered enormously and will not recover soon. Unemployment rates are already increasing dramatically in Southern Europe. Europe, and the E.U. as a political idea and visionary project for so many decades and generations, are facing harder times. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, authoritarian and reactionary neonationalist ideas are likely to gain strength, while the world economy may experience an enduring recession, destroying wealth and stability, and challenging – if not changing – the existing global order. COVID-19 could mark a crucial historical moment: the end of the laissez-faire era, not only in economics and finance, but also in politics, culture and private life.

Keywords: Asianization; economic crisis; European integration; globalization; neoliberal capitalism


The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may have led to the most significant public health emergency of the 21st century, with enormous implications for the global economy and politics. Again this backdrop, the present article aims to bridge the gap between the “disaster capitalism” approach and the study of “cultures of fear”, to provide a systematic explanation of how the capitalist world order undergoes profound transformations. We argue that the cultivation and diffusion of a culture of fear erected on world-historical disastrous events serve as an important medium for the transformation of the world order. In this context, we draw on the ways in which neoliberalism was globally instituted as the organizing principle of the US-led world order in a political-economic and cultural context constructed around disasters. The focus will be on emblematic cases that illustrate the symbiotic relationship between neoliberalism and the culture of fear as a constitutive element of the US-centered world order: the Pinochet coup in Chile and Argentina’s military dictatorship era, “shock therapy” economics in Russia, and the US war on terror following 9/11. Our inferences from these cases will then be used to perform an anticipatory analysis of how the COVID-19 pandemic may give way to a world-historical transformation based on a rapidly spreading culture of fear. In the Western world, right-wing populist leaders weaponize COVID-19 in the expectation of mobilizing popular support and marshaling all resources to restore the legitimacy of global capitalism. In doing so, they also resort to Sinophobia and demonize China as a “common enemy” to be geopolitically isolated, in the hope of reversing the multipolarization of world politics. We observe that increasing Sinophobia can also be exploited to radically transform the division of labor in global capitalism with the pretext of “bringing manufacturing jobs back home”. The rise of social isolationism – due to mass fear of pandemics and authoritarian government practices under surveillance capitalism – is likely to disperse attempts at popular mobilization. While the justification of surveillance for public emergency may perpetuate a stronger form of surveillance capitalism, it is also possible that the proliferation of distance-working technologies will lead to a deep transformation in global labor regimes and an unprecedented growth in the “precariat”.

Keywords: COVID-19; cultures of fear; disaster capitalism; multipolarization; precariat


In keeping with a historical tendency to name, and implicitly attribute blame for public health threats and emergencies, COVID-19 has become the “China Virus”. This has led to the emergence of what this paper describes as pandemic lawfare, primarily directed against the People’s Republic of China.  The staggering costs occasioned by public health lockdowns, restrictions on business and social activities have seen a proliferation of such calls to arms. Reconceptualising pandemics through the lens of legal liability can be seen to be a tactical measure framed around concepts of lawfare.  Doing so accords human and institutional blame to otherwise natural transmissions of a pathogen.  The practice of pandemic lawfare, through which public fora and institutions are used to attribute blame and seek compensation, promises to be a lasting legacy of the COVID-19 virus.  In doing so, it promises to challenge and undermine the principle of sovereign immunity accepted in international relations, resorting to a rule-based order of international health regulations.

Keywords: China; COVID-19; legal liability; pandemic lawfare


The pandemic crisis produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has rapidly exposed the limits of growth in neoliberal globalization, where financialization, far from bolstering global productive and commercial activities, has proved to be merely an efficient means of redistributing wealth towards society’s wealthiest members. The paralysis of global productive chains and trade is exacerbated by the deterioration of financial-market assets and loss of liquidity, high levels of corporate and private debt in industrialized countries, and the prominence of the informal economy in developing countries. Taken together, these phenomena will make it impossible for the global economy to return to the way it functioned before the COVID-19 crisis. With the hyper-crisis of modern-day neoliberalism exacerbated by the pandemic, difficulties in the supply chains essential to global trade have increased the risks of default on sovereign and corporate debt markets. For both sectors – government and business – a temporary restoration of liquidity is mediated by issuing higher volumes of debt. In a context of uncertain recovery, falling investment, failing businesses, mass unemployment, and declining family income, this will shift insolvency from the real to the financial sector. The potential way out of this hyper-crisis of neoliberal capitalism should be a new development strategy based on domestic markets, which globalization has relegated to niches of industrial specialization dictated by the need for supplies in highly profitable productive chains in developed countries. The current crisis, with its attendant high unemployment and increase in poverty, will define workers’ global struggle for better living conditions, thereby defining the structure of income distribution between capital and labor for the rest of the 21st century.

Keywords: Debt securities; financialization; global value chains; hyper-crisis; pandemic