The entire world, not just Turkey, is going through a period of transition. First of all, we must take into consideration that the institutions associated with the post-World War II order and the post-Cold War state of affairs are no longer influential. Neither the United Nations nor NATO can promise or protect the peace. The European Union, in turn, has become a club whose members and non-members are, in the Turkish prime minister's words, both regretful. Donald Trump's presidency in the United States possibly serves as the best example of this global transition.
In Turkey, the initial years of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) witnessed the weakening of the guardianship regime, which imposed arbitrary restrictions on liberties and democratic pluralism. It became clear only later that the terrorist group led by Fetullah Gülen, or FETÖ, had gone far beyond the old guard and clung to power. The July 15 coup attempt, which was orchestrated by the group, raised additional questions about Gülen's relationship with the U.S. government. At the same time, a series of arrests and dismissals among members of the judiciary, and bureaucrats and legal actions against private companies came to be mischaracterized as a crackdown on the freedom by the Western politicians and media outlets.
To be clear, neither Turkey nor the rest of the world can go through this transition period without some level of pain. A case in point is the chaos that arose in the Middle East following the Arab Spring and in Iraq due to the American ineptitude – which affected Turkey in the form of illegal immigration and terror attacks. In the meantime, the Obama administration successfully turned back the clock and identified Russia as the top threat facing the West – as if the Soviet Union were alive and kicking.
It remains to be seen how U.S. President Trump will turn this painful transition into a new global order. To be clear, his ability to communicate with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin alone isn't the answer to every single problem because other countries, including China, Iran and Mexico, could spell trouble for the U.S. foreign policy. At the same time, Washington remains unlikely to lift the sanctions against Russia, which had been imposed over the Ukraine crisis.
But where there is life, there is hope. There are plenty of reasons to believe that both Turkey and the world will survive this transition period. As Turks, we are confident that our country will be stronger and more democratic than before.