It only takes a glance at the history of the Turkish nation to see that the Turks have always been a "nation on the move." After founding a number of states in Transoxiana, they began to convert to Islam under the reign of the Umayyad Caliphate. During the conflict between the Umayyads and Abbasids, they played a critical military role in the foundation of the Abbasid reign. From that moment on, they became the founders of the succeeding empires in the Muslim world.
Representing the advance of Islamic civilization, these Muslim empires moved toward the West. The Ottoman Empire was founded at the edge of the European lands and would spend its last 400 years as part of the Western state system.
When World War I ended and the Ottoman Empire was fragmented, a new Turkish republic was founded in Anatolian lands, which constituted the nucleus of the Ottoman state.
The world domination of the Western powers reached its climax at the end of the Cold War. American political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s declaration of the "end of history" referred to the emergence of a new world order, which hinted at unrivaled Western domination in the world.
However, the Arab Spring and the succeeding Syrian civil war turned the new world order upside down. Not only Iran and Russia but also Turkey have taken the world stage as key international players. As Iran suffers under a devastating embargo, the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East have become the field for the struggle of influence between Russia and Turkey.
For the last four decades, Turkey has been waging an uncompromising war against the PKK terrorist group. Organizing massive military operations in Iraq and Syria, Turkey’s military presence in these countries continues to ensure political stability in the region. In Syria, for example, Turkey has been a part of the Astana trio to defend the territorial integrity of its neighboring country.
In Libya, Turkey’s support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been recognized as the only legitimate government of Libya by the United Nations, concluded with the defeat of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s coup d’etat and weakening of its international supporters.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey continues to defend its international rights in terms of maritime jurisdiction against the unlawful demands of Greece.
As Turkey has faced off with Russia in North Africa, the Middle East and the South Caucasus, Ankara mainly relies on diplomatic channels to negotiate its terms with Moscow.
Turkey is a regional power that performs effectively by protecting its international rights and taking a strong stance in regional crises.
While a number of states still strive to accommodate themselves with the emergence of Turkey as an effective regional power, Turkey’s multifarious foreign policy should be reevaluated vis-a-vis its power.
In the last decade, Turkey succeeded in coping with a number of crises related to the Syrian civil war.
Coming face to face with Daesh in northern Syria, Turkey was the first country to defeat Daesh.
After the failed coup d’etat of July 15, 2016, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) was totally wiped out from the state structure.
Apart from the regions mentioned above, the Turkish army continues to serve as a peace force in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey has once again proven its ability to manage crises.
Thanks to its age-old state legacy, the Republic of Turkey represents a proactive nation that has grown despite crises. Known as an "army nation," the Turks were able to rejuvenate after each and every conflict.
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