Two new roads ahead of Turkey

We may have repeated this many times lately, but Russia’s attempts to invade Ukraine raise serious questions about the international order established after World War II.

As Nikolaus Landroot, head of the EU delegation to Turkey, said, this war will bring about major changes, as it did after 9/11.

And this new era is full of opportunities and threats for Turkey.

A speech at the Antalya Foreign Affairs Forum yesterday reaffirmed the president’s clear stance on the occupation of Ukraine. Turkey adopts pro-Ukraine neutral nation during this period..

(Kathrin Hille used the concept of “pro-Russian neutrality” in her article, published in the Financial Times on February 27, 2022, in explaining China’s position in the Ukrainian War. This definition is Turkey. Adapting as “pro-Ukraine neutral” is not a precursor to our position, which I think can explain.)

We are on the verge of a new shift in our relations with the Western world.

President Erdogan’s open condemnation of Russia, diplomatic tactics to prevent Russian ships from passing through the strait, and finally the Russian-Ukrainian Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as an intermediary in Antalya, confident Turkey in the West. Greatly increased.

When NATO and Europe are militarily and politically narrowing their ranks against Russia, it is not easy for them to put Turkey aside like last year.

US President Joe Biden, months away from Prime Minister Erdogan, is finally not indifferent to progress and has called him.

We can even talk about the US lifting F-35 and CAATSA sanctions, not to mention meeting the demand for F-16s in the near future.

Due to the oil embargo on Russia, it should not be difficult for them to reconcile with Turkey, even after repairing diplomatic relations with Venezuela and meeting Maduro!

Before the Ukrainian War broke out, changes in regional equations had begun. The anti-Turkish block on the eastern Mediterranean coast was dissolved and Turkey reached peace with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Armenia in almost a few weeks.

Of course, this does not all mean that Ankara suddenly turns the rudder west.

New commercial ties with Russia, which have been squeezed by economic sanctions, also offer us another option.

With the exception of Turkey, there are no attractive countries for Russian tourists to visit this summer. Nearly 10 million Russian citizens can spend their summer vacation in Turkey if additional flights are made from Turkey to overcome the flight problem.

Moreover, for some oligarchs expelled from European countries, Turkey may emerge as a new safe haven for them to invest. As Fatih Altaylı said yesterday, for example Chelsea owner Abramovich is one of these names.

Now, wouldn’t participating in sanctions and reaching out to Russia in this way further strain the already problematic relationship with Turkey’s Atlantic Alliance?

Definitely so. This is exactly why I say we are at the beginning of a new era full of threats and opportunities.

Moreover, the choices we make determine not only the external alliance, but also the internal political mood. Will the government continue its security-oriented “national survival” rhetoric, or will it begin a more free and democratic period as a result of its integration with the West?

What is certain is that 2022 will be a year to discuss not only political debates such as inflation, bills and opposition alliances, but also foreign policy stances.

The AK party administration may have been criticized from various angles for domestic political issues, but as a citizen, it is proud of the quality and influence of the Antalya Foreign Relations Forum.

So far the Turkish organization of the first high-level meeting has turned the world’s attention to our country when various countries such as France and Israel were competing with each other to become mediators.

Not many European leaders came to the forum, but international participation wasn’t bad at all. It was an honor for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to send a special video message to the opening.

The most interesting part of the session was the panel of leaders on “the cost of peace or the cost of war”. Ukrainian President Zelensky was announced to attend the video conference, but Ukrainian Prime Minister Dennis Sinhal spoke for him in the last moment.

Perhaps suddenly, Shymal couldn’t give an effective answer to the question asked to him just by reading the English text placed in front of him.

On the contrary, another important participant in the same panel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, performed an eye-catching performance.

He strongly opposed the theory that NATO’s eastern expansion policy was responsible for the outbreak of the Ukrainian war. His statement that countries adjacent to Russia were free to make independent decisions about their security received great applause from Hall.

So the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the second time this year, was a successful organization. Thank you to everyone who made an effort.