Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has faced a tremendous amount of difficulties. One of the biggest challenges is the failure of the Western alliance due to internal disagreements. For instance, American foreign policy regarding the Syrian civil war has evoked ambiguity and confusion, without any reflection of stability in its basic characteristics. Just like the weather, American foreign policies change with every season. It is likely that American bureaucrats and experts in the field of national security and politics have been discussing these issues in detail.
In the history of the Turkish state, two main arguments have been asserted. On one hand, the coming to power of a strong and charismatic leader has strengthened Turkish states a great deal in light of the Turkish state's notoriously weak institutionalization abilities. On the other hand, Turkish states achieved great success in extraordinary circumstances but mediocre success under ordinary conditions.
To illustrate these two arguments regarding the Turkish state tradition, a comparison of the Ottoman decline before World War I and the national success resulting from the Dardanelles and Independence Wars is warranted.
Another prime example is the rapid removal of the terrorist organization belonging to Fethullah Gülen, which rose dangerously close to the state level before authorities reacted. After showing a great deal of tolerance, the Turkish state always gathers itself by more effectively analyzing the issues at hand.
In current international relations, alliances are being reshaped, Russia has penetrated the Middle East, the United States seems confused and hesitant, and Iran has established a great deal of influence in the region.
Now, the Republic of Turkey has its eyes on the region due to these conflicts and challenges. The last decade has constituted the most active and efficient period in the history of Turkish foreign policy. The state of national mobilization, the process of democratization, the rise of social policies and the reshaping of Turkey's foreign relations in her region of influence have laid the groundwork for the establishment of a new Turkey.
The activities of the terrorist PKK have led the people of the entire region to keep the terrorist organization at bay. With each passing day, it is becoming more apparent that the ongoing state of conflict is working to the disadvantage of the Kurdish people. The state will not repeat its former mistakes, as it works to reconstruct relations with the Kurds of the region in the midst of the PKK's cruel campaign for autonomy.
In the face of Iranian and Russian war tactics, which mostly rely on brute force under the precepts of unlawful and anti-democratic motives, Turkey has launched a comprehensive diplomatic strategy which includes the Caucasus region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Kingdom and the entire African continent.
In the history of the Turkish state, the Republic has always overcome its crises by overcoming difficulties and conflict. It is my conviction that the difficult times our country has faced over the past decade will ultimately make her a great state, deserving of such a title as "Great Turkey."
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.