Turkey's Zero Problems Foreign Policy

Published in Turkey

By Ahmet Davutoglu

In May 2010, Turkey agreed to a groundbreaking 'uranium trade deal' with Iran. A closer examination of Turkey's foreign policy reveals how it is elevating its position among the society of states. In this article, Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, outlines the main methodological and opreational principles driving his government's foreign policy.

Davetoglu writes that there are three methodological and five operational principles driving Turkey's foreign policy.

The first methodological principle is a "visionary" approach to its region. For example, Turkey has a vision of the Middle East which encompasses the entire region: It cannot be reduced to domestic or regional disputes. The second methodological principle is consistency. For example, Turkey's vision for the Middle East is not in opposition to its approach in Central Asia or in the Balkans; its approach to Africa is no different from its approach to Asia. The third methodological principle is the spread of Turkish soft power in the region. Although it maintains a powerful military, Turkey does not make threats. Instead, Turkish diplomats use a discourse which emphasises the country's civil-economic power.

From these three methodological approaches, five operational principles follow. First, Turkey balances between security and democracy - it provides domestic security which does not infringe on civilian freedoms and human rights. Secondly, it has a principle of zero problems towards neighbours which aims to avoid conflict with its neighbours by creating economic interdependence. Thirdly, Turkey adopts proactive and pre-emptive peace diplomacy, ensuring that it takes action before crises emerge. Fourthly, Turkey adheres to a multi-dimensional foreign policy in which its relations with other countries aim to be complementary, not in competition. Fifthly, Turkey aims at involvement in all international organisations on issues of global importance - so-called rhythmic diplomacy.

The result is that Turkey is able to make an original contribution to the world community. It is motivated by a great sense of responsibility, stengthened by a rich historical and geographic heritage, and a consciousness of the importance of global stability and peace - which will see it become a global actor in this century.

Read Davutoglu's full article.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 February 2015 09:23

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