To be clear, Turkey is actively involved in not just regional but also global issues. Ankara intends to remain part of those conversations, too. The driving force behind Turkey's actions is the challenges of geopolitics and the responsibilities they entail – as opposed to ideology.
Historically, Western governments prefer liberal values and principles in their foreign relations only when they enjoy a competitive advantage. When the governments experience crises and find themselves in a disadvantaged position, hatred, alienization and otherization increases. This has been the case recently with the Western world knee-deep in political, social and economic crises.
People trying to put labels on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s strong reaction to French President Emmanuel Macron’s Islamophobic provocations make plenty of accusations – all part of a broader, ideologically charged campaign to distort the truth. Critics accuse Erdoğan of waging a "culture war" and contributing to the radicalization of Muslims by promoting an atmosphere of violence. Others question why the Turkish president seeks to write a new, anti-Western story.
Two news stories with completely opposite titles appeared in Western media last week. The first story was about Turkey allegedly provoking its NATO allies by testing the S-400 air defense system. The other related to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks on the “unprecedented” level of cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine, viewing the Ukrainian leader’s decision to award President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the medal of honor as problematic for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. That development, The Times argued, could be detrimental to Erdoğan’s relationship with Putin.