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Vision of ‘Türkiye's century’: Türkiye as a system-building actor

18-12-2023, 16:30. Разместил: Gulnara.Inanch

Photo: AA

Türkiye aims at translating any challenge into opportunities through a 'win-win' principle, which may produce positive 'dividend' for all in terms of stability and prosperity

Dr. Valeria Giannotta  |

The author is an Italian academic expert on Political Science and International Relations. She is the scientific director of the Observatory in Türkiye by CeSPI.


One hundred years since the foundation of the Republic of Türkiye, the "Vision of Türkiye's Century" is not just an ideology or a declaration of intent, but above all a pragmatic and interest-oriented approach that hinges on profound awareness regarding the new and more contemporary global dynamics.

Hence, Türkiye is working on establishing a reference axis aiming to protect its national interest within the framework of multilateralism by building solid diplomatic relations and stronger partnerships with neighboring countries.

Current challenges of the global system

The current international system is populated by many challenges and threats, which are conventional and hybrid. Conflicts and wars are still a prevalent systemic condition and have great impacts on human lives, in terms of death and destruction, but also displacement, migration and food shortages.

As well, there are main issues regarding health, environment, energy security and technologies that should not be overlooked. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly affected our daily lives and global logic by leading to serious demodulations in technological, logistical and economic terms.

In the face of new technological innovations and the increasingly widespread use of artificial intelligence, there is an urgency for ethical regulation restricting the distortive use of data and information. Furthermore, environmental issues and natural disasters increasingly affect countries and populations that find themselves dealing with unexpected emergencies. All these are proofs of great systemic fragility and to some extent of inadequate or insufficient responses from the major international actors, including the main international organizations entitled to global governance. Indeed, the global institutional structure not only reflects a distribution of power that no longer exists, having been conceived and built after the end of World War II, but also shows some difficulties in providing solutions to the new challenges. Almost 80 years after the establishment of the major bodies guaranteeing international order, starting with the UN structure, including its main Security Council entitled to maintain world peace and stability, the challenges and crises have grown almost exponentially.

Furthermore, new actors have increased their power emerging as stakeholders of new regional orders, thus aiming at filling the vacuum left by the great powers and the major players.

From challenges to opportunities: Türkiye’s role

Along these hectic dynamics, arises the role of Türkiye as a system-building actor. As the term "system" refers to "a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or interconnecting network", or to "a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done producing an organized scheme or method," there are many evidence of the great efforts and policies applied by the Turkish government, either domestically and regionally. Indeed, by arising as a global actor, throughout its pragmatic approach, Türkiye aims at translating any challenges into opportunities along a "win-win" principle, which may produce positive "dividendi" for all in terms of stability and prosperity.

The commitment is evident in various areas, since Ankara has been very vocal with the scope of raising awareness, sharing best practices and providing concrete and positive responses. Türkiye has indeed arisen as a negotiator in the most recent regional conflicts. A clear example is the Russia-Ukraine war. The negotiation table at the margins of the 2022 Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the repeated attempts in Istanbul, also facilitated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's personal contacts with his Russian and Ukraine counterparts, have produced important results, such as the launch of the grain corridor in July 2022, acknowledged as a success by the entire international community. Although there is no shortage of difficulties, Ankara is constantly working for the sake of mediation, trying to facilitate dialogue and creating the conditions for sustainable regional stability.

While it is located in a very challenging region, Türkiye has been pursuing and defending its legitimate interests by responding to its geographical necessities in terms of security, peace, stability, prosperity, connectivity and development. The commitment in this sense has already been evident in other critical scenarios such as Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh, where Ankara by establishing pragmatic alliances and multilateral mechanisms, has managed to intervene as a broker of important cease-fires and conflict resolution. More recently, in front of the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, Türkiye has proposed a quadripartite mechanism of guarantors in order to end the atrocities and avoid regional spillover. In other words, Ankara is aware of the peculiar regional dynamics and of the need to establish functioning and lasting dialogue channels.

Normalization processes have already started with historical competitors, from the Gulf to Egypt, which have opened the way to new realignments, and appeasement initiatives to guarantee regional balances. Hence, the meeting between the Turkish and Greek government leaders in Athens at the beginning of December 2023 should be read in the light of a renewed spirit of resilience aimed at narrowing any potential margin of friction. Indeed globally, Erdogan has been investing a lot in promoting cooperation under the motto "The world is bigger than 5" and "A fairer world is possible", with the clear intention of leveraging the need for reforming the UN Security Council.

As war and conflicts are the main causes of suffering and violation of humanitarian dignity, the action of Türkiye in providing assistance and relief is not only indisputable but also noteworthy. In fact, Ankara is one of the largest humanitarian donors globally, investing annually over $8 billion in humanitarian aid. Türkiye has also been long involved in sheltering almost 4 million Syrians, who enjoy temporary protection status, and other large groups of refugees from other nationalities. Nevertheless, facing with the massacres committed on civilians in Gaza, the effort to provide aid and relocate those in need of care is strenuous and incessant. Furthermore, Turkish humanitarian aid has been widespread in over 100 countries during the pandemic. Thanks to its capillary infrastructure and geographical locations, Türkiye has set itself as a new hub in terms of global supply by contributing to avoiding any other disruption.

Besides, the Turkish agenda is dedicated as well to the environment, a sensitive issue addressed by the signing of the Paris Agreement on the Green Deal and by the "Zero Waste" initiative proposed by first lady Emine Erdogan and approved by UN resolution. Moreover, energy, the need for supply diversification and self-sufficiency is another hot topic in Ankara’s strategic priorities. The pipelines Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan; Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum; TANAP, combined with the most recent gas discoveries in the Black Sea and the implementation of the first Akkuyu nuclear power plant prove Ankara's pragmatism extended as well to trade and industrial development.

The axis of Türkiye

Hence, Ankara constantly engages in actions to balance the strategic assets coming from each area and to avoid conditions of isolation, implementing constructive diplomatic approaches in any direction. In a time of uncertainty, Türkiye is, therefore, able to intervene bilaterally, regionally and globally thanks to its diplomacy, leadership and to the ties of the multilateral organizations’ membership, both internationally and regionally. The historical belonging to Western institutions, but also the cooperative assets in the Turkic and Muslim world, with whom Ankara shares history, values and religion, are the pillars of the "Axis of Türkiye,” conceived and built on the idea of peace and stability. The trust-building function has, therefore, to be understood as the outcome of a historical process that has endowed the Turkish nation with a profound sense of pride and glory in economic, political, technological, military and diplomatic terms. In this perspective, it is evident that domestic and regional stability are directly proportional and that the strength of Türkiye refers as well to institution-building capacity pursuing a vision through the implementation of several state agencies contributing to the making of foreign policy. Thus, works of the Defense Industry Agency, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, the foundations for educational purposes and scholarship projects, combined with the action of cultural institutes and the organization of the public diplomacy endorse the Turkish state in establishing relations with the world on an equal basis and therefore in sealing the vision of "Türkiye’s Century".

OPINION - Vision of ‘Türkiye's century’: Türkiye as a system-building actor (aa.com.tr)


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