“Turkey aspires to peace and justice through a humanitarian foreign policy”

Turkey has been working for the establishment of peace and justice in the world through its humanitarian and entrepreneurial foreign policy at a time of rapidly increasing global uncertainties, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

Speaking to Turkish political magazine Kriter published by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) think tank based in the Turkish capital Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said economic and technological transformation is taking place at a very fast in the world.

“We see the political and military effects of this. We need to carefully monitor the change in the balance of forces. Of course, this process of rapid transformation also increases uncertainties. But our compass is solid. We are working for the establishment of peace and justice at home and in the world through our humanitarian and entrepreneurial foreign policy,” he told SETA General Coordinator Burhanettin Duran.

Regarding the Antalya Diplomatic Forum organized by the Turkish Foreign Ministry last month, Çavuşoğlu underlined that the forum has become a global brand and that it is an event where the talents and knowledge of diplomacy Turkish are meticulously displayed.

Emphasizing that the aim of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum is to approach the transformation of diplomacy in a multidimensional way, Çavuşoğlu said: “In this regard, I can say that the forum has made an important contribution, and even shaped, the discussions within the field of international relations”.

Stressing that the Antalya forum is one of Turkey’s innovative initiatives and that the country is also a key player in the world, he said: “Today there is a profile of Turkey in the world Turkey has become a global player Everyone accepts Turkey’s power and the role it plays in the international arena Turkey’s active, principled and just attitude is appreciated by all.

Also, mentioning that Turkey is a hope for the world, Çavuşoğlu said, “I see it in every contact I make with my colleagues in different geographical areas.

Stressing that the rapid transformation process after the war between Ukraine and Russia has increased uncertainties, Çavuşoğlu also underlined that we are facing new multidimensional challenges in many areas, from international security to economy, in through global health and digital technologies.

“All countries in the world must strive to establish an inclusive, fair and effective international system capable of responding to global threats. Based on the message of our President (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan), “The world is bigger than five”, we strongly express this argument on all platforms.”

Ties with the United States

Also referring to relations with the United States, the head of diplomacy said that the attitude of the United States on issues related to terrorist groups, which directly concern Turkey’s national security, is incompatible with the spirit of alliance, and that issues with the United States are effectively managed through diplomacy and dialogue.

“I would like to mention the strategic mechanism that it was decided to establish by our President and the President of the United States, (Joe) Biden. The mechanism will allow us to deal with our disagreements and our opportunities for cooperation in a comprehensive and structured way. It is expected that the first step towards activating the mechanism will soon be completed.”

Erdoğan and Biden met last year on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Rome and expressed their common desire to strengthen bilateral relations that have been strained in recent times, agreeing to establish a joint mechanism in this direction.

Ankara and Washington are at odds over a number of issues that have further strained bilateral relations in recent years, from Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems to US support for the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group. , the YPG, as well as Washington’s refusal to extradite Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), among other legal issues. The biggest challenge facing Turkey-US relations is Washington’s support for the YPG, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said last year.

The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the United States, Turkey and the European Union, and Washington’s support for its Syrian affiliate has strained bilateral relations with Ankara. The United States has mainly partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in its fight against the terrorist group Daesh. By contrast, Turkey has firmly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria. Ankara has long opposed US support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and terrorizes the local population, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.

Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the United States provided military training and supplied military support trucks to the YPG, despite the security concerns of its NATO ally. Emphasizing that you cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Turkey has carried out its own counter-terrorism operations, during which it has succeeded in eliminating a significant number of terrorists from the region.

As Turkey seeks to modernize its air force, both with national means and with possible purchases, after the failure of the agreement on the F-35 planes, the country has asked for the purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin and nearly 80 modernization kits. for its existing warplanes from the United States. Ankara had ordered more than 100 F-35 jets, also made by Lockheed Martin Corp., but was pulled from the program in 2019 by the US Department of Defense on the pretext of buying a Russian missile defense system, a decision seen as “unilateral”. and illegal” by Ankara.

Washington argues that the S-400 aerial missile systems acquired by Turkey could be used by Russia to secretly obtain classified details of Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and are incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey, however, insists the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance. Ankara has repeatedly said the withdrawal from the jet program is illegal and unilateral, demanding a fair approach and saying it is open to negotiations with Washington.

“Strategic objective of the EU”

Noting that it is in its own interest for the EU to support Turkey in global issues and include it in its structure, Çavuşoğlu said: “EU membership is our strategic goal. The backbone of our relationships is the participatory process. The privileged partnership or other types of cooperation models announced by certain circles are not on our agenda.

Stating that Turkey is the key player in the region as the country with the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean issue, Çavuşoğlu said: “Our priority is diplomacy, cooperation and coordination, as always. Our president suggested to the EU to organize a comprehensive conference on the Eastern Mediterranean in 2020. This proposal should also be adopted by other actors, and now it should be implemented.

Last month, Turkey slammed the EU’s recently adopted defense and security action plan as unstrategic and illegal, saying it would make the bloc part of the problem rather than the solution in the eastern Mediterranean.

NATO allies and neighbors Turkey and Greece are at odds over a number of issues, including competing claims over jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, airspace, energy, the ethnically divided island of Cyprus and the status of the Aegean islands. A dispute over rights to drill potential oil and gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean led to a tense naval standoff in the summer of 2020. Greece has since embarked on a major military modernization program.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, pointing out that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding issues in the region through international law, good-neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations. Athens tried to turn a bilateral problem with Ankara into a Turkey-EU problem, according to Turkish officials.

Noting that Turkey is the fifth country with the most representations in the world, Minister Çavuşoğlu said that the number of Turkish foreign representations currently stands at 253.

“In 2023, we will experience the happiness of commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, as well as the 100th anniversary of our Republic. Hopefully our organization will continue to grow. We will continue to protect our nation’s interests around the world,” he said.

Sharon P. Juarez