The East-West Dimension of the New Turkish Foreign Policy: What Future?

The most discussed issue concerning Turkish foreign policy is related to the “direction” that it will follow in the next process. Because there are very serious opponents/alternatives especially “Eurasianism” “Asianism”, “Turkish-Islamic Union” to the concept of “Westernism despite everything” that has been accepted undisputedly until yesterday. The changing world or the conjuncture almost dictates it to Turkey.

As a matter of fact, the West and the Westernism in this context, which is subject to an important place in our last two hundred years of history is the first time in such loss in this regard. West/Westernism, which has begun to lose its former power, influence, charm on Turkey and Turkish foreign policy and held subject to a new assessment has completely undertaken an opposite role. As of today, Western/Westernism is the address in which the “anti” groups, thoughts and movements are joined together in Turkey as in many parts of the world.

Along with the impact of the West’s power lost and the emergence of the East as a new center of attraction in this evaluation process, the main important development is the mentality change in Turkey and its impact on the context of internal dynamics. The most fundamental indicator is the process of change and transformation from A to Z in Turkey and the decisive, stable and consistent appearance of the will behind it. This issue is regarded as the main source of concern for the West.

The West has begun to lose since the period when it was the most powerful in Turkey. The recklessness, insolence, spoiledness that the power has given and exceeding interventions have also led to an awakening. 1960 can be regarded as a milestone in this context. They were mistaken to believe that they had prevented a possible axis shift in 1960. The Turkish state mind, which made its decision towards the end of the 50’s, has made its decision at any cost.

Indeed, Turkey is now witnessing an important breaking moment in the process which has started with Adnan Menderes, and has a significant milestone with Turgut Özal later. Along with the disclosed will is one step ahead in the context of “Action Plan for Cooperation in Eurasia” on November 16, 2001 and later followed by the “Turkey-Russia-Iran trio” in 2002, there still exists question marks in the minds in the context of Westerns and even “new allies”

Undue Concerns…

The abandonment of the concept of “Westernism despite everything” constitutes the backbone of the propaganda conducted to discredit Turkey in the international arena. Because the West is doomed to lose without Turkey. The main concern of those who accuse Turkey of axis shift and those who want to punish it is due here.

However, there is an undue concern here. Because Turkey is following the same policy that is being followed by the world’s leading powers, especially the new allies (e.g. Russia): A multi-dimensional/directional foreign policy based on a balance. The goal of the new Turkish foreign policy is very clear at this point: to be able to take place as a “balancing actor/power” in a multi-polar world or international system.

This leads us to the Ottoman-Seljuk geography. Otherwise, the struggle for power over the Ottoman-Seljuk geography, hence the blood and tears will not end…

Turkey is therefore following a balance policy between the “Rising East” and “Collapsing West”. This way is passing through the correction of primarily the balance situation which has been in favor of the West. So what is described today as the a shear-rupture from the West, is actually the transfer of the Turkish-Western relations to the point where it should be. In other words, it is an effort to establish an equality relationship in the real sense.

In this context, West or Westernism has begun to be regarded as one of the elements of balance in Turkish foreign policy. I mean, it’s not a self-linked axis anymore, but a part of the policy of building its own axis…

Despite everything in this context, Turkey desires a relationship based on trust with the West. It’s been like that from the very beginning. The establishment of the lost power along with the trust-based relations constituted the main starting point here; just as in the case of Russia and Peter that many of us call “crazy”, but in fact, a very smart tsar. But the West’s famous unreliability has never allowed it to be at least in the dimension of Turkey.

The Real Fear of the “Rising East” and “Collapsing West”…

Common concern in terms of the “Rising East” and “Collapsing West” is Turkey’s ambition to take its place in the international system or the “New Yalta Order” as a new power center on behalf of the Turkish-Islamic world. This is the reality that lies on the concerns expressed from the East and the West for Turkey. A strong and independent Turkey is not suitable for the interests of both sides.

However, no matter how anxious they are, both sides are to follow a balanced policy with Turkey under the current circumstances at least. Therefore, the obligation to follow the balance policy is not only valid for Turkey.

Both sides must now understand and accept the following: in the process of returning to historical codes, Turkey is directed to its own primary geography. This return to this course is inevitable in terms of a real peace settlement in the world.

Turkey wants to assess the opportunity that provided by the conjuncture itself, and in this context, wants to build the “Third Power Center” by creating a manoeuvre space between the “Rising East” and “Collapsing West”. Therefore, there is a “Third Way” process aimed at balancing the imbalance between East and West in terms of Turkey. This process is a bit hard, but it works. No one should doubt this!