Reforming the United Nations and Türkiye’s Approach

The ongoing reform efforts have made some modest achievements but have so far failed on major issues, such as reforming the Security Council in terms of membership and voting. Türkiye feels obliged to participate in discussions and contribute to reform efforts and proposals toward better global governance.

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Reforming the United Nations and Türkiye s Approach
The UN Reform

The UN Reform

This book brings together some analyses of UN reform proposals in general and some proposals that come from the states that form regional groups to reflect their commonalities and communalities in the process.

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"The images from last night are proof of how Rafah has turned into hell on earth." These words come from UN High Commissioner for Refugees Philippe Lazarini. I can hardly describe the hellish scenes created by Israel bombing the tents in Rafah, which it had declared a safe zone for Palestinians. It’s more accurate to call it the point where words fail. This attack, following the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, and the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to halt its operations in Rafah, clearly shows that the Israeli government disregards concepts like rights, law, justice, or international legitimacy. The Netanyahu administration, backed by Washington, continues to massacre innocent Palestinians, showing it acknowledges no authority.

The independence of the State of Palestine was declared as a “state in exile” by Yasser Arafat in Algeria on Nov. 15, 1988. The political actors who declared the state were not controlling the Palestinian lands. Although Palestine was defined under the conditions before the Six-Day War in 1967, in line with the decisions made by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, all of its territory continued to remain de facto under Israeli occupation. For this reason, the concept of the State of Palestine is generally used geographically for the “occupied Palestinian lands.” As of today, more than 5 million people still live in the “occupied Palestinian territories.”

In response to Israel's striking of Iran's consulate in Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei's statement of "retaliation will be given" has heightened the possibility of the regional proxy war escalating into direct conflict. Since October 7th, Netanyahu has been attempting to expand the conflict by targeting Hamas and Shia militia objectives in both Beirut and Syria. The relatively controlled continuation of the "regional war" relied on Iran and Hezbollah refraining from militarily supporting Hamas. However, Khamenei's remarks suggesting that striking the Iranian consulate would mean targeting Iranian soil have also put Washington on high alert.

The world was not in good shape on the second anniversary of the Russian-Ukrainian war. A quick look at the most recent developments alone would suffice to appreciate that we are entering a period of fragmentation and high risks.

Türkiye’s diplomatic normalization efforts to yield key alliances

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Egypt marked the completion of yet another stage in Türkiye's normalization policy. The two countries thus agreed to brush aside their 12-year disagreement in an attempt to join forces anew. There is little sense in bringing up past statements to talk about concessions and U-turns.

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Türkiye s diplomatic normalization efforts to yield key alliances
Pick your poison Trump's threats or Biden's inertia on Netanyahu

Pick your poison: Trump's threats or Biden's inertia on Netanyahu

Donald Trump, who seeks reelection in the United States, made headlines with his most recent comments on NATO. It is a well-known fact that he had previously described NATO as “obsolete” and condemned NATO allies that did not meet the 2% defense spending target. This time around, the former U.S. president told a crowd in South Carolina that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO country that does not meet its financial obligations. He made those remarks shortly after the Republicans blocked military aid to Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the war on NATO’s fifth enlargement in an interview.

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The remarks made by Trump, who is widely expected to run for president as the Republican Party candidate, regarding NATO once again underscored how fragile America's claim to global leadership is. Trump threatened to pressure certain NATO member countries to increase their military spending or face consequences. By stating that Russia could do whatever it wants with these countries, Trump escalated his anti-NATO rhetoric to new heights during his presidency. Trump's longstanding questioning of the concept of collective defense by the United States and his failure to protect a NATO member country practically spells the end of this military alliance. The loss of the deterrent effect of NATO's Article 5-based collective defense concept would not only undermine the alliance's guarantees but also signify the end of America's leadership within the Western alliance. As America engages in a global power struggle with Russia and China, it will become increasingly difficult for the country to conduct this struggle within the Western alliance without establishing unity.

Whoever talks about the Palestinian-Israeli question from the United States to China and from the European Union to Russia claims that they support a two-state solution. The main reason for this claim is the two well-known United Nations Resolutions about the issue.

We're talking about the possibility of Israel's attacks on Gaza triggering a regional war after October 7. Recent developments actually indicate that we are already in the midst of a regional war. However, the fluctuating intensity of such conflicts and the fact that the parties involved are not always clearly defined make it difficult to label it as a regional war. The evolution of warfare between countries, occurring in complex ways across different arenas and activating the capacities of various parties, has made traditional, all-encompassing wars increasingly rare. Many countries now prefer proxy wars due to their lower cost, lower risk, and deniability.

While state universities in the American higher education system are obliged to adhere to constitutional provisions, private universities, like Harvard and MIT, aren't directly bound by the First Amendment, which safeguards freedom of speech. Private institutions can establish their rules and regulations, often attempting to extend freedom of expression in the name of academic freedom. However, they have, in the past, canceled programs and events deemed provocative or likely to incite disturbances, fostering a perception that such restrictions disproportionately favor conservative groups. Even on liberal campuses like Columbia, limitations and even bans on pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been observed.

Protest movements against Israel's operations in Gaza have sparked a reexamination of the limits of freedom of expression in the United States. Efforts by pro-Israel groups to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism have become organized and systematic. The campaign, conducted through advertisements in media outlets and lobbying activities in Congress, aimed to convey the message that crowds taking to the streets to defend Palestinian civilians were contributing to the rise of anti-Semitism. However, censorship applied by some of the world's leading universities to groups supporting Palestine, the fear of being labeled as anti-Semitic, and threats to withdraw support from influential donors demonstrated how the boundaries of academic freedom could be defined. The experience of a prominent figure losing their job or being marginalized due to their pro-Palestinian stance also illustrates how organized political forces can effectively use the trauma of anti-Semitism as a weapon.

Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip for almost two months, killing more than 15,000 Palestinians, most of whom are innocent children and women. In spite of calls and criticism from international organizations, hundreds of millions of people around the world and more than a hundred governments, Israel keeps committing atrocities.

Analyzing modern Türkiye’s foreign policy is the perfect case study of how, over time, a nation-state can completely restructure its approach to engaging with the outside world. Yet this analysis does not aim to propose an extended or complete listing of individual countries’ relations; on the contrary, it basically tries to suggest what was the catalyst when measurable change occurred for the first time. In brief, Türkiye progressed from promoting splendid isolation during the past millennium to becoming a fully integrated and often trend-setting international actor in just over two decades. Hence, determining the actual catalyst for change, which according to the author is not just an election victory but also a much more profound paradigm shift in elected officials’ attitudes towards the wider world, is this contribution’s major aim. After discussing the analytical differences between international relations on the one hand and foreign policies on the other and focusing on the electorate as a key contributor and beneficiary of and from proactive foreign policies, the piece proposes a number of key examples to come up with a tangible way to measure foreign policy success. At the same time, the question is put forward in which context there might be even more to expect from Ankara and its constant desire to further expand on an already impressively positive global image. Whether or not foreign policies are an integral part of Türkiye’s 100-year strategy and thus become a focus of Türkiye the Brand serves as the concluding reflection.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s address at the 78th United Nations General Assembly provided a profound insight into the global and regional priorities that guide Turkish foreign policy. In an era marked by escalating global and regional power rivalries, growing global uncertainties and a changing regional geopolitical landscape prevalent with security challenges, Türkiye faces the imperative of redefining its foreign policy.

Regional Approaches to the UN Reform

In a world marked by escalating global power struggles and growing uncertainty, the United Nations, as the foremost international organization, will once again take center stage at the upcoming General Assembly. Unsurprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will abstain from attending, as has been their custom during the annual New York gathering each September.