The title of my last Daily Sabah column from last year was: "Turkey in 2019: From an Emerging Economy to an Emerging Power." The article showed how, over the course of just one year, Turkey proved that its economy was robust enough to resist the sustained economic and political attacks inflicted upon it over the last several years and that its military is strong enough to influence global multilateral platforms and sit at the negotiation table as an equal partner with some of the most influential global powers, including the United States and Russia.
In other words; Turkey is a real regional power and a global actor – which requires the successful juggling of both hard and soft power. Turkey increased its capacity and autonomy remarkably over the course of 2019, a year that provided ample opportunities for Turkey to consolidate its position within today's relatively chaotic international system.
Thanks to its growing economy, large population, military might, active diplomacy, strong state tradition and national identity, Turkey has become a decisive regional power capable of taking the initiative and forwarding a proactive foreign policy. Almost annually since the failed coup attempt of June 2016, Turkey has taken decisive military measures against the PKK/YPG and Daesh terror groups, bringing the fight to Syria and Iraq. Turkey has shown the world that it has the capability to defend its own national security independent of foreign support. Furthermore, since having developed its own defense industry, Turkey has been able to gather intelligence from both within Turkey and from neighboring countries to aid in the fight against various terrorist organizations simultaneously.
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