After the end of the Cold War, the United States triumphantly announced a "new world order," which meant a unipolar balance of power. Without a counterweight, the U.S. occupied with impunity Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of fraudulent assertions. As a consequence, millions of people died or became permanently disabled. Since then, political instability has dominated both countries, engendering millions of refugees to seek asylum in other countries.
Announcing the end of the "new world of order," the Syrian civil war served as a litmus test to determine the new balance of power in the post-Cold War era. While Russia has returned to the world stage as America's rival, Turkey has realized that the traditional structure of Cold War alliances has been replaced with a system in which each state has to create its foreign policies according to its interests and capacity.
At the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey and the U.S. were involved in the crisis as allied powers, supporting the legitimate demands of the oppositional groups for the establishment of a democratic and just Syria. Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s shortsighted vision of international politics, however, concluded with the strengthening of Iran in the region.
As the balance of power in the Syrian crisis changed in favor of Russia, Iran and the Bashar Assad regime, Turkey parted ways with the U.S. Meanwhile, three terrorist groups launched synchronous attacks on Turkish democracy. While the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) shot down a Russian warplane and assassinated Andrei Karlov, the then-Russian ambassador to Turkey, the PKK and Daesh turned the country into a bloodbath.
As the PKK tried to announce its autonomy in the southeastern regions through its violent trench efforts, FETÖ launched a coup d’état in an effort to drag the country into a civil war. Thanks to the resistance of the Turkish people, their attempt failed within hours.
From those critical moments onward, Turkey has maintained multiple counteroffensives in an effort to face terrorist threats outside of our borders. In Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey became the first country to directly face and defeat Daesh. Afterward, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) successively conducted large military operations against the PKK/YPG both in Iraq and Syria.
Following the international politics of the post-Cold War era, Turkey has realized a paradigmatic shift in foreign policy. As a consequence of its political geography, Turkey now prioritizes its own national interests. The Western powers continue to rely on the political discourse of democracy to intervene in the internal politics of targeted countries, but their hypocrisy is exposed through their own issues. In Rwanda for example, 1 million people died due to the French drug trade.
Turkey not only succeeded in Syria against Daesh, the PKK and even the alliance between the U.S. and the PKK/YPG but also in Libya by supporting the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). As the military threats posed against Turkey by Greece, France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Eastern Mediterranean amounted to nothing, these countries have to appeal to diplomatic channels to come to terms with Ankara.
Today, Turkey is clearly a regional power with its state legacy, strong army, robust economy and effective political leadership. In this post-Cold War era, the new Turkey is built upon the political stance of prioritizing our own national interests while always being open to diplomacy and dialogue.
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