Turkish foreign policy is once again a topic of intense debate and has got the focus of the international agenda. Herein, the effectively coordinated “field-diplomacy” manifested in Iraq and Syria undoubtedly has a decisive role. Gains made in the field has strengthened Turkey’s “diplomatic-political” competency.
This achievement further suggests that Turkey will expand and deepen its military-intelligence power and operations. Operations carried out in Iraq subsequent to the events in Syria and military bases constructed in different parts of the world are clear indications of this. (For instance; the “disruptive role” of the Turkish military base in Qatar in the Saudi-Qatari crisis is an important indicator.)
Ankara, which has been pursuing a foreign policy based on soft power elements has realised that this policy is unsustainable. Turkey has experienced concrete examples of soft power not being supported by “hard power” factors and the impractically ensued. The developments occurring consecutive to the Arab Spring and the distancing of Turkey from its geography make good examples. Even the relocating of Suleiman Shah Tomb is enough!
Turkey was Compelled into a Revisionist Policy!
Expecting from Turkey to pursue status quo politics in a world were soft power is considered as a vulnerability is a pipe dream. Ankara, which until yesterday was in favour of the status quo in the region (for instance the Saddam Hussain case) has been forced to initiate revisionist policies.
This imposition did not occur due to policies enacted by the US alone. It includes states that the US provided comfort too. For this, it enough to look at those who preferred the status quo in the region while initiating revisionist practises, establishing covert spheres of influences and excluding Turkey under the pretext of cooperation.
Therefore, those who strained Turkey into a shift of policy have no right to criticise Ankara! The sole delinquency of Ankara is that it initiated this shift a bit late. In other words, Turkey has given a late answer to the process of building a new world order after September 11. Hence, it is the “Late Actor” of the “New World Order”.
Being a “Deterrent Force” …
The new international system is based upon the capacity and power of military-intelligence a state possesses. Those who fail to execute such power are categorised as a “target country”. Infirmity brings frailty and Turkey has bitterly experienced this situation.
Undoubtedly, in this new process “deterrence” is essential and this determent is not limited to national borders. Power understanding “limited” to borders is destined to fail and equivalent to not understanding the new scheme and its rules. A deterrent force has the capacity to be play breaker-playmaker.
Herein, Turkey’s attempt to develop its own weapon systems and R&D is quite remarkable. Turkey being able to produce its own UAV has led to a greater achievement in the field and its performance in combatting terrorism has once again transformed Ankara into a security-oriented powerhouse.
Weapon system proposals (such as the S-400s and Patriots) oriented towards Turkey’s quest as well as recommendations for cooperative alliances are due to Ankara’s attainment in combatting terrorism. In this context, from the Middle-East to Africa, from Central Asia to South Asia Turkey is perceived as secure actor to initiate cooperation with.
The Cost of Being A Game Breaker!
If Turkey was not to initiate a successful combat against terrorism in its close vicinity especially Iraq and Syria, it would have been a pawn to many projects such as Sykes-Picot and the Greater Middle-East Project (GMEP).
Therefore, revisionist policies initiated by Turkey in recent years is an outface against the status quo envisioned in the region and has made Ankara a target. This is the underlying reason for the growing open-covert operations against Turkey.
Until yesterday Turkey had made little to no commitment towards global and regional issues and has tried it best to preserve the current borders and balances. However, the shift in foreign policy has caused discontent which peaked on 15th of July.
It is now better understood that one of the main objectives of the July 15th failed coup attempt was to force Turkey to return to status quo politics. The other thing understood is that the die is cast and Godswill no one will be able to stop it.