The 54th Munich Security Conference is to be held on Feb. 16-18. First held in 1963, this conference is Germany's most significant foreign policy gathering. Although it is not yet certain who the social democrat foreign minister of Germany will be this year, this international conference offers one of the leading platforms in the fields of foreign and security policies. This year's notable guests include U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is also among the notable figures attending the conferences. Having close relations with many world leaders and foreign ministers, Çavuşoğlu has more recently endeavored to discuss with his counterparts Turkey's security concerns and rightful fight against terrorism on every platform. The 2018 Munich Security Conference will provide a great opportunity to articulate these concerns again. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will also attend the conference. On Feb. 14, Yıldırım will embark on a tour that will include Belarus and Germany. After official meetings in Minsk, he will head to Germany and attend the conference on Feb. 16. Of course, Yıldırım's headlining agenda at the conference will be the counterterror fight and Syrian crisis.
The leading subjects to be discussed in Munich this year include the threats against the international system, the future of the EU as a global actor, the relations between Russia and the West, the strained relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, North Korea's nuclear program and nuclear safety. Also, the world vision of China, who is rapidly increasing its global influence and has appeared as the U.S.' biggest rival, will be discussed throughout the conference. Other subjects to be discussed will likely include the new global order, and Russia's return to the international arena as a superpower and with a major role. Likewise, Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's role in the new global order is likely to be discussed, although it is not overtly on the agenda.
During the conference, Turkey will talk honestly. On this platform, where security policies are discussed, Turkey will rightfully and harshly criticize some of its allies.
In a region that is crucial for the entire world's security, Turkey is putting up a determined fight, not only for the sake of its own security, but for international security as well. The Daesh threat has been eliminated thanks to Turkey's efforts. Neither the international coalition nor the so-called anti-Daesh fight that involved the U.S. providing weapons to the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, could annihilate Daesh since the international coalition never had a chance to succeed on its own due to the poor coordination and the conflict of interests between the countries. Even worse, the YPG and the PYD have never actually fought against Daesh, although the U.S. provided weapons aid to them for this purpose. Contrarily, they secretly cooperated with Daesh and occupied Syrian territories under the command of the PKK terror group. They aimed to own the lands they occupied by displacing Syrian locals, while their primary purpose was to found a state by disrupting Syria and Iraq's territorial integrity and manipulating the Kurdish population. Reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge's rule in Cambodia, they were posing an even greater threat than Daesh.
Turkey did not allow this to happen. Lately, with the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria, the country ruined the heinous plans of the PKK and its Syrian offshoots, the PYD and the YPG. The world is about to be saved from a major threat thanks to Turkey but unfortunately, some problems remain since several NATO allies, especially the U.S., prioritize their own frivolous interests in the region over the counterterror fight. The terrorists are attacking the Turkish military, a NATO member, with the state-of-the-art weapons they obtained from another NATO ally. This scandalous situation also requires discussion in Munich.
As the main agenda in Munich conference is security, counterterror efforts must be discussed in an honest and sincere way. One thing that needs to be underlined is the fact that counterterror efforts are necessary against all terrorist groups. A total war must be waged against the PKK, the YPG, the PYD and Daesh.
In Munich, Yıldırım and Çavuşoğlu will reiterate these facts and issue rightful criticism. As the people of the Middle East who wish to eliminate the terror threat, we await the responses of the addressees.