Merely skimming over the world news, one quickly notices Türkiye’s growing geopolitical significance. Let me elaborate by highlighting four issues, excluding countless others – including migration, armed drones, the Altay tank and Türkiye’s rapprochement with Egypt. Türkiye will host the third international meeting toward the Ukraine peace summit. Ankara pledged to target all PKK terror groups and its Syrian presence YPG assets in Iraq and Syria. Azerbaijan refused to participate in EU-brokered talks with Armenia in Spain, citing Türkiye’s exclusion. Last but not least, the Abu Dhabi-based investment company ADQ is in talks with Türkiye regarding constructing a railroad over the Bosphorus as part of a trade corridor linking Europe with the Middle East and Asia. Obviously, Türkiye’s direct involvement in peace diplomacy, counterterrorism, the South Caucasus region’s stability and energy/logistics corridors does not just relate to its geographical location.
The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire set the stage for Türkiye’s evolving foreign policy in the Middle East, a region deeply intertwined with its historical legacy. From the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 to the rise of the AK Party in the early 2000s, Türkiye’s approach has been marked by pragmatism, adaptability, and a keen understanding of regional dynamics. The nation's foreign policy has oscillated between neutrality, revisionism, proactivity, reactivity, assertiveness, autonomy, and diplomacy, reflecting both its historical ties and strategic imperatives. As Türkiye continues to navigate the complexities of the Middle East, its foreign policy remains a testament to its enduring resilience and strategic acumen. By tracing its roots and evolution, the article sheds light on the myriad factors that have shaped its course, offering insights into the evolving nature of Türkiye’s multifaceted and adaptive foreign policy and role in the Middle East over the last 100 years (1923-2023).
This paper explores Türkiye’s relations with Africa, focusing on Somalia, Nigeria and Libya from both humanitarian and security perspectives. To do so, the study employs the concept of soft power in relation to the security and humanitarian policies that Türkiye has adopted on the African continent. Though Türkiye has no significant colonial history on the continent like other European countries, its relations with Africa in recent decades are no secret and continue to strengthen against all odds. From a relationship that stems from historical links with the Ottoman Empire to more promising and positive impacts on the continent in recent years, it is important to understand these ties amidst the increasing distaste expressed by some African nations towards the West. Using examples of Türkiye’s security and humanitarian deployment in Somalia, Nigeria and Libya, it is perhaps no surprise to perceive the relationship between Türkiye and African nations as a dichotomy between humanitarian and security.
New geopolitical transformations are taking place in world politics as the inability of international organizations, starting with the United Nations, to promote peace and security encourages all countries to prepare for new solutions, cooperations and rivalries.
The latest issue of Insight Turkey seeks to offer a thorough examination of Türkiye’s historical journey and its evolving foreign policy, with a focus on the implications these changes hold for Türkiye’s future. This issue holds particular significance as Türkiye approaches its centennial anniversary as a republic, marking a significant milestone in its foreign policy trajectory. Within this context, President Erdoğan has launched the ‘Century of Türkiye’ vision, a strategic initiative aimed at enhancing Türkiye’s position on the global stage.