TUR­KEY’S STABILITY IN A DESTABILIZED RE­GION

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page - IHSAN AKTAŞ

GRASPING the fact that strong diplo­matic power only comes with the de­ter­rence of strong mil­i­tary power, Tur­key has adopted not a unipo­lar but a mul­ti­lat­eral strat­egy of al­liances

The Syr­ian civil war has dras­ti­cally changed for­eign pol­icy ap­proaches. Con­ven­tional al­liances have lost ground. From the end of the Cold War until the be­gin­ning of the Syr­ian cri­sis, the new world or­der had not yet en­coun­tered a true ex­is­ten­tial chal­lenge. First and fore­most, the oc­cu­pa­tion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the United States has con­cluded with two ex­tremely destabilized coun­tries to such an ex­tent that they have lost their sta­tus as in­de­pen­dent and sov­er­eign states.

In­ter­pret­ing the post-Cold War era as a unipo­lar world or­der, Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy be­came all the more ar­bi­trary, reck­less and law­less. Find­ing its new sta­tus un­ri­valed, the U.S. has turned out to be an ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­ac­count­able hege­monic power. Mean­while, al­most all of the Mid­dle Eastern re­gion has fallen un­der the yoke of blood­shed, civil war and ter­ror­ism.

The Arab Spring was the sec­ond great­est trial that the new world or­der faced. Against their long-stand­ing dic­ta­tors who had been in political power thanks to their al­liance with the West­ern pow­ers, the Arabs re­belled in the name of democ­racy, equal­ity and pros­per­ity. As op­posed to the ap­a­thy of in­ter­na­tional pow­ers and the hypocrisy of their demo­cratic dis­courses, Tur­key has emerged as the only coun­try that heard the pop­u­lar de­mands that em­anated from the Arab streets. In­ter­pret­ing the Arab Spring as a sub­stan­tial threat to their neo­colo­nial or­der in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA), the West­ern pow­ers oc­cu­pied and split Libya into two op­pos­ing halves. Then, they openly sup­ported the coup d’état in Egypt against the demo­crat­i­cally-elected Mus­lim Brother­hood.

Fi­nally, the Syr­ian cri­sis erupted and clearly ex­posed the in­ner dy­nam­ics and the true char­ac­ter of the global or­der. In other words, the Syr­ian civil war has in­dis­putably demon­strated that the new world or­der has failed, or rather, it is the new world dis­or­der.

As the Arab Spring un­doubt­edly proves, the West­ern political pow­ers do not aim at spread­ing demo­cratic prin­ci­ples and in­sti­tu­tions. The United Na­tions has emerged as an im­po­tent in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion that has ab­so­lutely no in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity for re­solv­ing con­flicts, let alone bring­ing forth a just and peace­ful world or­der. Al­most all con­ven­tional al­liances have col­lapsed. The na­ture of al­liances has be­come all the more volatile, mu­ta­ble, and tran­sient.

Thanks to the Arab Spring and the Syr­ian civil war, Rus­sia has reap­peared on the world scene as a ri­val hege­monic power. The unipo­lar­ity of the post-Cold War era has al­ready be­come null and void.

The ca­pac­ity of West­ern political pow­ers in con­sti­tut­ing and manag­ing ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions has been put to the test. Just like al-Qaida, Daesh was con­sti­tuted and man­aged by West­ern in­tel­li­gence or­ga­ni­za­tions. To­day, nearly all the lands that Daesh for­merly oc­cu­pied are un­der the con­trol of the PKK’s Syr­ian wing, the Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG).

Tur­key has drawn vi­tal lessons from the Syr­ian civil war: The U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion, Tur­key’s own ally, aims at deep­en­ing the Syr­ian chaos by sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing most no­to­ri­ously Tur­key’s arch­en­emy the PKK.

The U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion keeps the Syr­ian op­po­si­tion groups and their demo­cratic de­mands in sus­pense. In­ter­pret­ing both Daesh and the PKK as ex­is­ten­tial threats, Tur­key has waged an un­com­pro­mis­ing war against both of these ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions.

As a truly in­de­pen­dent and sov­er­eign re­gional political power, Tur­key has adopted a mul­ti­di­men­sional and mul­ti­lat­eral for­eign pol­icy at­ti­tude.

In other words, the Syr­ian civil war led Tur­key to pri­or­i­tize its own na­tional se­cu­rity con­cerns. Grasping the fact that strong diplo­matic power only comes along with the de­ter­rence of strong mil­i­tary power, Tur­key has adopted not a unipo­lar, but a mul­ti­lat­eral strat­egy of al­liances. In the new world dis­or­der, Tur­key con­tin­ues to re­main in the lead­ing po­si­tion.

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