There have been different phases in Turkish Foreign Policy during the Justice and Development party governments. “Ahmet Davutoğlu period” marking one of the most significant landmarks in this journey.
Fluctuations in foreign policy of any country depending on the internal dynamics and international and regional conjunctural changes. The basic paradigm, however, are mostly based on certain unchangeable principles.
This fact is phrased as “principle based foreign policy” in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rhetoric. Below, we have made a compilation from his speech that gives us hints regarding Turkish Foreign Policy principles:
“The value of Turkey’s friendship is understood only after it is lost”
“We do not have our eye on anyone’s land or sovereignty. We have never been hostile to neither our neighbors nor other countries. And we do not want to damage our relations with any country. The value of Turkey’s friendship is understood only after it is lost. We have always been a country which our neighbors, our brothers and sisters rely on.”
“We dream of a region where the children playing in Gaza and eastern Ghouta are not atrociously massacred by warplanes. We are fighting for a world where no one is marginalized, oppressed, persecuted or tortured. We are not fighting for an office but for the future. Ours is not a fight for interests but fight for rights and justice.” President Erdoğan further stressed: “Why are we in Afrin? For invasion? For seizing lands? No. We are after the terrorists who harass our country. I guess the number of the terrorists who have been neutralized has reached 3 500, it was 3 300 before we came here.”
“We have always been a country which our neighbors, our brothers and sisters rely on. As we have never compromised on protecting the rights of our citizens, we have been equally careful about boosting our cooperation with other countries. We will do the same in the upcoming period. We will continue to work for our region’s security together with ours.”
“We have re-adjusted our view of the powers that we consider our allies or even our friends not according to the words said to us but according to the actions on the ground. Wherever a duty was assigned to us by NATO and wherever there was a trouble, we were there. We were in Somalia. We were in Afghanistan. We were in the Balkans. We were in all of these places; yet, hey NATO, when will you come forward and stand by us while all these incidents are occurring in Syria?”
“We have re-adjusted our view of the powers that we consider our allies or even our friends not according to the words said to us but according to the actions on the ground,” President Erdoğan underlined, and continued: “Take NATO for example. We are a member of NATO and we are its strongest member. Wherever a duty was assigned to us by NATO and wherever there was a trouble, we were there. We were in Somalia. We were in Afghanistan. We were in the Balkans. We were in all of these places; yet, hey NATO, when will you come forward and stand by us while all these incidents are occurring in Syria? We have a 911-km-long border with Syria from where terrorist organizations constantly harass us. The Syrian regime is also always resorting to the same methods. When will you show up? Am I going to tell these over and over again? Are my friends going to tell these over and over again? We have yet to hear a positive voice or word.”
“The countries which possess these products have such a monopoly that they give everybody a hard time both materially and politically. We, on the other hand, share every product we manufacture with our friends and put it into their service and thus put into action our stance against the injustices of the global order.”
“Those, who were unable to defeat us on battlefields or enslave us physically and spiritually, still continue to attack our roots. Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which abused our nation for 40 years like an insidious snake and infiltrated into our state and society under the guise of such concepts as religion, charity, service, benevolence, etc., is the latest example of such attacks.”
“If these lands are the fortress of Islam since the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 despite all the attacks, treasons and ambushes, we owe this to the fearless warriors who die a martyr’s death without batting an eye. If we are able to lead our lives in each and every piece of the 790 thousand square kilometers in peace and safety, we owe this first to Allah and then to our martyrs’ self-sacrifices. May Allah bless all of them.”
“Just as we are aware of this strength of ours, so are our enemies. As we endeavor to preserve our springs of life, they are working to make these springs run dry.”