In fact, this question was asked before June 24. So this is the question that the answer has been sought for a long time. The process of ensuring balance in foreign policy, which can also be described as “a step away from the West, a two-step approach to the East” has been exposed to very different evaluations and namings that deepens confusion.
In a clearer sense, direction and nature of the balance-based multi-dimensional foreign policy initiated by Ankara as “setting-balance”, whereas the Western allies, particularly the USA, have called it “axis shift” or “club change”; that the “Rising East”, especially considers as the historical rematch of Russia with the West, continues to stand as a big question mark in the capitals of power centers.
Therefore, there are two fronts for Turkey: “Anger-response-threat” and “sympathy-expectation-promises”.
Establishing the strategic partnership which has been reinforced with the “normalizing process”, “nuclear reactors” and “S-400” launched between Turkey and Russia on 27 June 2016 in a new and more effective way and the reactive approaches of the West, predominantly the US-NATO duo, after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 portrays in the moods of these two fronts very clearly.
The goal of both fronts is undoubtedly “global mastery”. When one of them wants to do it in the framework of a “unipolar” world; the other one wants to realize it progressively in the framework of “multipolarity” and “unipolarity” strategy in the aftermath.
And Turkey has a key place in determining the new international system due to its geopolitical-strategic importance. The winner of Turkey will win this challenge. But there is a small problem in terms of this front: Turkey still has not made its choice.
The end of the road in foreign policy?
Within the framework of the different moods-based approaches of the two fronts mentioned above, this issue lies in the basis of their policy policy pursued towards Turkey. After June 24, that will further intensify these expectations is inevitable. Because both fronts consider that they will not be able to continue this game any more. That’s why they want Ankara to make a decision as soon as possible.
So, as allegedly, the “balance” policy, which is based on “active neutrality” followed by the terms of Turkey, has reached the end of the road?
Of course not! The current conditions still allow Ankara to carry out such a policy. The uncertainty in the international system and the deepening power struggle every day give Turkey a historic opportunity-maneuvering space. Therefore, Turkey has to assess it to the last point and minute!
Moreover, Turkey can diversify it with different actors and tools. It is inevitable that Turkey will secure its immediate surroundings and become a deterrent force. It is necessary to use the operational power of the nearby remote environment more effectively and to develop security-based cooperation in this context. Turkey’s anti-terrorism experience, developed methods, tools and instruments have an important place here.
From rhetoric to action…
And that’s what it is done. Because Turkey has seen that it can not take place in the regional-global power struggle with soft power elements only. Furthermore, Turkey knows that there is a need for a new definition and approach at the target geography, which is called “strategic depth”. In this context, more concrete steps are inevitable than rhetoric. Turkey gives signs as mentioned above that it would do so after June 24 since August 2016 in concrete terms both on the field and on the diplomatic table.
Hence, there is no new foreign policy after June 24. The current foreign policy to be continued with new tools and operational areas. Because Ankara is determined to end its foreign policy, which is built on a single-sided understanding of the foreign policy after 1947 or 1952. Moreover, in the framework of Turkey’s multipolar world objective, Turkey has to be a pole representing the Turkish-Islamic world, the oppressed and humanity!
In other words, why should not Turkey fill the power gap in the post-Ottoman geography considered as a competition/conflict area by these two powers in the process of “Rising East” – “Collapsing West”? Why should not Turkey say that I am here as the third power center and stabilizing address of the imbalance between East and West?
In the meantime, it is important to underline the importance of this issue: no one should feel discomfort and worry about Turkey’s pragmatic policy. Because the process is more than suited to the spirit-nature of the foreign policy mentality. We have to play the game according to the rules. Let’s not forget, that the rubbish of history is the unchanging address that hosts many empires and states that had acted contrary.
So, how can Turkey achieve this goal? How can a suitable roadmap be followed? The answer is in my next article…