The paper "Turkey's Foreign Policy" is a wonderful example of politics coursework. In order to fully understand the role played by Turkey in both regional and international relations, it is of importance first to establish a number of factors that make the country to be what it is today. These factors are; historical background, and geographical location of Turkey. Historical perspective The name “ Turkey” was used by historians in the Ottoman Empire (1300-1922) prior to the formation of the current Republic of Turkey in 1923. This republic occupies a smaller area when compared with the Turkey of the Ottoman era.
This new republic came into being after the national liberation war(1919-22) on ruins minor Asia (Anatolia) As a descendant of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey often suffers nearly all the merits and demerits of the relations that the imperial heritage went through in its relations with the other breakaway states of Balkans, middle east, Africa and the Caucasus. For instance, Turkey has been enjoying good diplomatic relationships with the UK which started with the sending of an English ambassador to the Ottoman government in 1583.
This was followed by the establishment of a permanent Turkish embassy in London in 1793. The nations since then have enjoyed great and cordial diplomatic relationships apart from some notable instances, for instance in the First World War, when they pursued opposing ideologies. Since the Second World War, Turkey has assumed a crucial role in European and western worlds as symbolized by its membership to a number of regional organizations such as OECD, OSCE, NATO, and the Council of Europe. Geographical Context Geographically, Turkey is strategically positioned in the interface between Asia and Europe, between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, making the country to enjoy significance importance1. Since the mid-1950s and especially after WWII, Turkey’ s role in both regional and international developmental relations has been undergoing a gradual fundamental transformation.
The increasing sense of responsibilities coupled with the emerging trends of economic dynamics necessary to promote peace through sustainable development have pushed Turkey to rise up as a new player in the regional and global development and corporation style. Turkey has adopted the Official Development Assistance (ODA) as it integral tool to foster a proactive and positive foreign and international relations policy.
Coupled with this, Turkey has over this period has been gradually adopting a policy objective meant to contribute to the creation of a stable and more peaceful environment in the region especially with the neighboring states. This has made the country to put its foot forward as an active stakeholder in both global and regional political and economic stability. As part of its unique policy, Turkey has opted to utilize an extensive variety of “ soft power instruments” such as opting to be a mediator in regional conflicts.
The country has also enhanced its ODA programs to several countries affected by political and economic conflicts as well as other instabilities such as natural disasters, in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. This has made Turkey transform from a “ net recipient nation to a net donor nation” 3. In 1985, Turkey set aside a comprehensive assistance package of $10million, as part of its foreign aid programs targeting towards enhancement of institutional capacity building in a number of African states such as Guinea, Mauritania, Gambia, Sudan Somalia and Guinea Bissau.
As a result of the dynamic changes in the international environment in the early 1990s, Turkey has now been able to extend its unique foreign policy to Central Asia and Caucasian nations which were out of its reach during the cold war years. This has enabled it to seize a chance to build up its relations in the vast Eurasia geographical region, with which it has common cultural, historical and linguistic attachments. After the fall of Socialism in the region, the newly created nations were in desperate need of support to cope with the new challenges of building their political platform and also the economic transformation.
These desperate needs required fast and well-planned response: thus the international Cooperation and Development Agency of Turkey (TIKA) was created with its focus being the financial assistance to these independent states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. This trend has recorded great success as demonstrated by the speedy transformation in the recent past, leading to a much bigger regional geographical coverage in Africa, the Middle East, and the larger Asia.