What lies behind claims saying ‘Turkey is a lonely country’? - YASIN AKTAY

What lies behind claims saying ‘Turkey is a lonely country’?

Is it inevitable that Turkey will encounter great regional and global-scale great threats, tensions and conflicts in proportion with its growth, or is it, instead, a result of a failure in foreign policy? Of course, there is naturally the other side of the coin claiming that Turkey is a “lonely, besieged” country. The way we view events essentially determine how we interpret developments.

Turkey’s current foreign policy is the most active it has ever been in the last century, and this mobility inevitably renders it open to numerous actors on many fronts. Turkey’s export figures are perhaps where the situation is visible most objectively. Its exports, which used to be $35 billion, surpassing $180 billion today will naturally give rise to many competitors – especially since part of the subject of this competition is in the defense industry.

Increased global interest in Turkish goods, and the development of a positive outlook with respect to product quality, is the result of the progress Turkey has made during this period.

However, is it unavoidable for Turkey’s development in these fields to make it an increasingly “isolated country” that fights on every front?

First, who is claiming that Turkey is becoming lonely? Based on what evaluation made in which field? It is true that Turkey is at odds with Russia, Iran, the U.S., France, and the Syrian regime considering the Syria issue, and even clashes ensue with these countries from time to time, but are all its relations with them based on conflict? It has theories and claims with respect to the matters disputed, and it is persistent on these. However, it is sustaining relations with them (excluding the Syrian regime) in many fields at an even more advanced level than in the past.

Turkey is currently raising its voice in every field on the ground from Syria to Iraq, Libya to Somalia, more actively than ever before in its history. The theory that “Turkey is lonely” is one that attributes a failure to Ankara by amassing all the parties that oppose it, which further solidifies this opposition, instead of evaluating the theory as an isolated event. Meanwhile, by giving merit to the other side in all disputes, it displays a very “foreign” approach. What foreign policy other than submission to power and unscrupulousness can this “foreign,” in fact, slightly “French” attitude, suggest to Turkey?

Yet, if they have objective criteria regarding the loneliness attributed to Turkey, let us see what happens if they apply it to other countries as well?

For example, is Egypt, with whom Turkey’s relations are currently sour, very social in the world? Does it have ideal and successful foreign policy relations with other countries? If so, with what sort of advantages are these relations providing it? According to all economic indicators, the country is currently almost “non-existent” ; its economy is bankrupt, it has no feasible environment for investment, and no reputation in the world. Look closer if you like; you will see much greater tragedies – nevermind that the country has been turned into living hell for its own citizens in terms of political freedoms.

What about the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? With whom does it have good relations? The UAE, a state that supported the coup attempts in Turkey and terrorist organizations at a time when the two countries’ relations was at its best, is referred to among Arab peoples as the state of “muamarat,” which means “conspiracies,” instead of imarat (emirates). Should Turkey aspire such a country’s foreign policy?

Or should it aspire to Saudi Arabia, whose relations with Turkey also soured during this process? Turkey’s current relations with an administration that disgraced itself in the eyes of the world community for slaughtering its own citizen with a saw at its consulate grounds earned Turkey a great reputation; it not did lose anything. If you are incapable of seeing this, how can you talk of social relations that will prove a remedy for loneliness?

What sort of socialization and foreign policy desire is the longing for a world in which we can peacefully live in without any dispute with coup-plotters, conspirators, slaughterers, and those who massacre their own people?

What about the West? For example, how can Turkey’s unfulfilled desire in its relations with the U.S. be eliminated? There are two ways:

1. Turkey will maintain its silence about the state they are openly trying to get the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to establish on its own border, and reveal its cooperation with complete submission regarding this matter. Thus, Ankara will become the U.S.’s hero, but be Turkey and the Muslim community’s disgrace.

2. Additionally, it will show no objection to Israel’s Zionist policies; it will support its occupant, expansionist policies, and thus become a hero to the U.S. and the Jewish lobbies among it, but be Turkey and the Muslim community’s disgrace. It will have Israel, the U.S., and perhaps numerous European countries on its side. But who will not stand by its side? Let us leave the answer to those who are quite fed up with loneliness.

There are serious psychological diseases underlying this discourse on loneliness in foreign policy. Such that they have the audacity to advise Turkey to revoke its own rights so that it is won’t be left alone.

Why? Do we have such an obligation? Do we not have the courage to object to all those trying to wipe Turkey out from the Mediterranean at a pre-dispute stage with a distribution that even wolves would not attempt? Should we put up with this oppression saying we will be “extremely isolated” if we object to all of them at once?

This psychological disturbance is perhaps a little due to the fear of being alone, not seeing certain states by our side, or perhaps somewhat due to undermining them.

Yet, Turkey is not alone in either evaluation. In other words, it has great support from the countries and peoples it is at odds with, and the matters of dispute are not the only relations with the countries disputed. Relations and alliances concerning other subjects are ongoing.

Third, no country that has the same criteria is any different than Turkey. As a matter of fact, they are much worse.

There is spectacular activity and a new distribution in the world, and hence, multiple fights. Thus, during this process, everyone is involved in these struggles with new alliances and in various forms.


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