Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

COVID-19 has affected strategic relations radically

Turkey will continue to strengthen 'entrepreneurial, humanitarian understanding of foreign policy,' says foreign minister

The coronavirus pandemic has had fundamental effects on not only social relations but strategic relations around the world as well, Turkey’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Speaking at a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Turkish think-tank Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Mevlut Cavusoglu highlighted that COVID-19 has affected strategic relations radically and everyone has had to review many norms in this regard.

Cavusoglu said the technology race is also a data and information race that determines hierarchies of global systems and asserted that the coronavirus once again has revealed this fact.

“In line with our goals for 2023 and in the long run, we will continue to strengthen our entrepreneurial and humanitarian understanding of foreign policy both in the field and at the negotiating table under the leadership of President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan],” he said.

They are also indispensable parts of “smart power” in Western literature, Cavusoglu added.

“We do not expect anyone else to help us in vital developments that concern our national interests. We are now a country that uses different power elements and diplomacy, for sure, effectively,” Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey has been “a playmaker” when necessary and has spoiled games when needed.

Turkey is conscientious on humanitarian issues as much as it is entrepreneurial on geopolitical and strategic issues, he said.

“Our support to 142 countries and seven international organizations in the fight against the pandemic, ranking second worldwide in medical aid and evacuating more than 95,000 citizens to our country through a great series of operations constitutes the concrete results of our approach,” he added.

During his speech, Cavusoglu also hailed Turkey’s state-run aid agency the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkish Airlines, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), the Yunus Emre Institute, Turkey’s Maarif Foundation and the Turkish Red Crescent for their activities.

[AA, 21 August 2020]

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