The world, especially the U.S. and some EU member states, are having a hard time getting used to the "new Turkey."
The old Turkey under military custody was easy pickings for them. The U.S. went to great lengths to try and hold onto its so-called ally old Turkey, wanting it weak and only as powerful as it allowed.
While providing the oldest, almost junk military vehicles, ships and systems to Turkey under the guise of military aid, it was also taking every measure to make Turkey dependent on Washington. It was expected that old Turkey would protect U.S. interests in the regions controlled by the U.S. In the same vein, certain EU member states were establishing their relations with the old Turkey parallel to the U.S. in a manner compatible with the U.S.
Military coups, executions or trampling of democracy every decade in old Turkey did not bother the U.S. or EU much. The new Turkey, governed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) since 2002, has disturbed those accustomed to the old order and is still disturbing those with independent attitudes.
New Turkey rose to this status by making reforms in every field. It became more democratic and is getting even more so every year. No longer under military custody, the country is now ruled by leaders elected through democratic processes. Military members are now first citizens and then soldiers. The modern health care system is much more advanced than many EU member states. There is almost no housing problem. Services and aid befitting a social government are making the citizens' daily lives easier.
Despite economic pressure and attempts to sabotage the positive direction of the economy, the living standard of citizens and the level of prosperity that have been reached are incomparably better than the old Turkey.
New Turkey became a state so powerful that it could no longer be contained within its geography. It has been very successful in the war against terror with its modern and experienced military on an international level. In recent years, it proved this in Syria and Iraq many times. It has also taken great domestic steps on the war against terror and subdued terrorist organizations, including the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and especially the bloody PKK terrorist organization.
New Turkey is also a big market; therefore, it is an irreplaceable country for investors.
It has the strongest military force in NATO within European lands. In addition, one of the most experienced NATO armies is the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). It is producing a major portion of its military needs itself. It has enough self-confidence to buy the necessary modern defense systems from Russia if the U.S. refuses to sell them. It is continuing its path to becoming an EU member with determination. It is not back tracking in its EU membership strategy, despite all the promises EU did not keep. It is following the Foreign Affairs Ministry's "strong diplomacy in the field and at the table" strategy under the leadership of Erdoğan and the successful Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, while earning praise from many countries in the meantime. Turkey, which is paying attention to its NATO membership and going along the path of EU membership, is preserving its independent image despite all the harsh conditions and problems of its region. Solutions to problems within the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean are not possible without Turkey. It is not possible to succeed in the war on terror and to cope with the migrant crisis without cooperating with Turkey. It has perfect relationships in Africa, Latin America and Asia. While cooperating with superpowers like Russia and China in many fields, it is also places importance on its strategic partnership with the U.S., despite many mistakes by Washington that go against Turkey's interests. Ankara has close ties with many EU member states. Perhaps this is the problem. Some countries that were used to the old Turkey are having a hard time dealing with the new Turkey. As a result, they are working hard to weaken the new Turkey to prevent it from becoming an opponent.
They are making a huge mistake. It would be more effective if they simply cooperate with the modern, social, democratic and powerful Turkey with a win-win mindset. Our aim is for the U.S. and EU member states like Germany and France to accept the reality of the new Turkey and devise their policies in a manner suitable to this reality. They should not forget that Turkey has limited patience.
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