Jul 01 2018

Military operations to become new dimension of Turkish foreign policy, says pro-gov’t columnist

Operations such as the ongoing Operation Olive Branch and Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, will become the new dimension of Turkish foreign policy following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s victory at the polls on June 24, a columnist for pro-government Daily Sabah wrote.

Erdoğan’s victory in last month’s presidential and parliamentary polls has paved the way for him to rule Turkey as executive president until 2023. The Turkish president has repeatedly stressed Turkey will continue taking on the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara labels a terrorist organization, in neighbouring Syria following Operation Olive Branch which began on Jan. 20.

‘’Erdoğan underlined the fact that Turkey will continue to pursue its foreign policy principles that it followed in the last 15 years of the AK Party government,’’ Kılıç Buğra Kanat wrote, stressing that Turkey’s strongman will be using diplomacy to resolve problems with his counterparts, but Turkey will always be ready to use force against any terrorist groups that threaten the national security and interests of the country.

‘’The Manbij agreement which was designed as a result of working groups between the two will be an important test in this period. The success of the implementation of the road map will show if these working groups can become the crisis managers and crisis resolvers in the new period,’’ Kanat wrote regarding the roadmap agreed to by the United States and Turkey in northern Syria, where Turkey maintains an ongoing military operation, following months of talks.

‘’Turkey will continue to pursue its requests from the U.S. administration in regards to the People's Protection Units (YPG)/PKK and the extradition of Fethullah Gülen. There was a determination to resolve the problems with the U.S. in the coming period. In a similar way the election manifesto of the AK Party made clear that Turkey will continue to pursue EU membership in this new period,’’ the columnist stressed.

The Erdoğan administration will one more time push for the EU, the columnist wrote, stressing that the outcome  of Turkey’s 15-year-long and at times hopeless EU bid will depend on the reaction of these partners to Turkey's attempts.

‘’We may expect a more economic based foreign policy in this new era from Turkey. In addition to be a trading state, Turkish foreign policy may also take steps to increase investor confidence and attract more foreign direct investment. It will be the expectation from the foreign policy makers to become more active in this sphere,’’ Kanat said.

The recent political appointments for the ambassadorial positions may be applied to other positions in the foreign ministry, the columnist pointed out, highlighting that foreign policy making mechanism necessitates simultaneous ‘’creativity and preparedness.’’