Re-Defining Türkiye’s International Relations: Two Decades of 360° Foreign Policies

Introduction   Should the public have a say in, or at least an interest in, …

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  • The world has been in transition since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the bipolar world system in the early 1990s. Several attempts to consolidate the Western, i.e., American, hegemony during the first decade of the post-Cold War period have failed. Some may argue that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were against the symbols of American hegemony and were a turning point in the search for a new hegemon. However, the American reactions, namely the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, failed. The United States could not ensure the unity of the West: Western European countries followed different, sometimes conflictual, policies.

  • The grain corridor has resurfaced on the global agenda as a sort of ideological fight. On July 17, Russia announced it would not extend that agreement, which was signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s efforts. Specifically, Moscow says it won’t honor the agreement unless sanctions targeting Russian fertilizer companies are lifted.

  • We experienced another historic night on May 14. The number of votes President Erdoğan received, surpassing 27 million, represents the highest vote count ever recorded. Despite the theories that 5 million new voters would be a handicap for him, the sense of "enough is enough" among the electorate would help secure victory for the opposition, and the economic problems would guarantee a change in power, we saw that these claims did not materialize in the results. The problems among the opposition, their inability to offer a clear message despite the formulation of a joint program, and the difficulties faced by candidate Kılıçdaroğlu in persuading large masses determined the fate of the election. Thanks to the strong psychological advantage brought by the first round, Erdogan will secure a greater proportional advantage and win in the second round.

  • The West's inability to gain support from the global South, its military capacity being weakened, concerns about its inability to handle China's intervention in Taiwan, and the lack of probability of taking back Donbas and Crimea, strengthens the arguments that support for Ukraine should be proportional to a political objective.

  • Türkiye’s rebuilding process, which may take at least a few years, will also be critical for the internal solidarity of the Western alliance.