Turkey has created a brand in which diplomacy has been reestablished for a world that is struggling to find solutions in the shadow of conflicts and wars. The Antalya Diplomacy Forum, held for the second time this year, has become an oasis in a desert of insolvency when faith and trust in diplomacy are decreasing day by day.
With the forum, Turkey hopes to create alternative tools and grounds on which diplomacy and dialogue are established for the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace. Turkey's capacity and position in world politics also provide an extremely favorable environment for this. The forum also stands out as an important alternative for those who want to go beyond the general acceptances, cliches and perceptions, which are mostly seen in events like the Munich Security Conference or Davos.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum has become a very critical address not only to re-code tomorrow's diplomacy but also to lay the right grounds for today's problems. The Armenia-Azerbaijan situation has opened a door of hope for restoring peace bridges between Palestine and Israel, as well as Ukraine and Russia.
In the face of Russia's attacks, which began on Feb. 24 and violated international law, Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, international institutions of the United States and Europe have not yet been able to propose a permanent, realistic and sustainable solution, except for sanctions and Russia's economic, social, cultural isolation from the entire international system.
On the other hand, Turkey's mediation efforts initiated in the early days of the conflict have not been fruitless. The Antalya Diplomacy Forum has already proven its importance in the international arena by bringing together the foreign ministers of the two warring sides, Ukraine and Russia, in front of the world for the first time.
In addition to the forum, the 8th Istanbul Mediation Forum was held simultaneously in Antalya. The conference also brought together the world's leading academics, politicians and leaders to discuss conflict decisions and mediation.
The fact that the Antalya forum has achieved such success in its second year is very valuable in terms of showing the point reached by Turkey's diplomatic capacities. It is also necessary to note in particular that the expectations of the forum, which has now taken its place among other notable international forums, have risen as well.
Emphasizing Turkey's diplomatic and mediator capacities during the forum, more than 3,000 participants from Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America commented that the forum offered a much more sincere and realistic dialogue ground for peace and resolution of conflicts around the world than its counterparts.
This is the difference that distinguishes the Antalya forum from Munich or Davos in terms of building up a new discourse and message rather than already known discourses. Considering that the participants in summits like Davos mostly comprise of countries from the Northern Hemisphere, the European Union, NATO and the United States, it is a mystery as to what extent the rest of the world is represented on these diplomatic grounds and the extent to which they make their voices heard. The Antalya Diplomacy Forum stands out as a much more valuable and important alternative to those who want to go beyond the usual and general acceptances.
This is exactly what Turkey is hoping to achieve from the forum: to create alternative tools and grounds on which diplomacy and dialogue are established for the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace. For this reason, Turkey's capacities and position in world politics also provide an extremely favorable environment.
In the current world stage, Caucasus, Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa are situated in the middle of the new dynamics that emerged in the geopolitics of Turkey in the region. Turkey continues to pursue policies based on a global scale win-win strategy, on the basis of international law, by prioritizing moral and humanitarian responsibilities in the region.
The combination of Turkey's political will, leadership, defense capacity, the world's leading advanced strategic military mind and its growing soft power, exudes confidence and assures everyone on the field of its increased success in diplomacy.
In this sense, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's doctrine, which he declared for the first time during his speech in the 74th General Assembly Meetings of the United Nations in 2013, stands out. In fact, It is necessary to say that the doctrine “The World is Bigger than 5,” which has proved to be true, especially in the cases of Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Karabakh, Palestine and Ukraine in the following years, is also the inspiration behind the Antalya forum.
Because of this, against the existing deadlock over ongoing conflicts in the world, the system – mainly shaped by five members of the United Nations Security Council – cannot be at their mercy anymore. This strong message was also reaffirmed and supported by a much wider audience in the forum.
Another common opinion of the panelists and participants at the forum was that the order the former actors wanted to give to the system during the current multipolar period and the methods they used to do so are no longer accepted. The crux of the speeches throughout the forum was that problems cannot be overcome with the current actors, who, on the one hand, advocate multilateralism, and on the other, consume diplomacy with unilateral solutions.
Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's speeches made at the forum mentioned the nearly bankrupt current international system that was founded after World War II and the loss of faith in its institutions. They also added that the world is in need of more effective and functional diplomacy devices. In such an environment, the prosperity and peace of the world can only be achieved by relieving the five member countries of the Security Council from this domination and producing strong responses by eliciting a joining action from all like-minded countries of the U.N.
At this very moment, Turkey, which sees that the world needs this transformation that diplomacy is undergoing, sought answers in Antalya this year with the motto “Re-coding Diplomacy.” As Çavuşoğlu stated, the forum offered almost a U.N.-like environment and also mediated the establishment of conditions that brought together like-minded countries.
Moreover, reflecting the message of the forum, the idea of “Think Together, Act Together” brought together participants from 75 countries, including 17 heads of state and government, 80 ministers, 39 representatives of international organizations in Antalya. Almost 40% of the states in the world were represented at a high level during the forum. Erdoğan held bilateral meetings with 11 heads of state within the framework of the forum, while Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu also met with 67 counterparts.
While 600 press members from 27 countries are watching the forum, it is also noted that many think tanks, institutes and universities from Mexico to Singapore, Europe to America have already received participation requests for the coming years.
As the forum leaves its second year behind, hope has sprouted again on themes that the world has long forgotten, such as diplomacy, mediation, peace, thinking together, acting together on the base of genuine, realistic and multilateral approaches. The expectations from the forum have been growing each year, while the event has already managed to create a global brand to re-code today's diplomacy.