fbpx
Absa Bank Kenya Partners with Huawei to Build a New Digital Foundation for Branch NetworksRead more Stylish and compact, these new Canon instant printers make creative pursuits easyRead more Nigerian Law Enforcement agencies open investigations on Hawilti and company executives for criminal breach of trust, cheating, defrauding investors schemeRead more Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep troubleRead more Launch of the 3rd Edition of the Choiseul Africa Business Forum, a Must-Attend Event for the Business Community in Africa October 19th & 20th, 2022 in Casablanca, MoroccoRead more World’s Biggest Afrobeats Music Festival Afro Nation Extends Partnership with APO Group until 2025Read more Master Trainer (MT) National Meeting on Sustainable Coffee Practices Organized by The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation in Collaboration with The Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI)Read more Thai Ambassador met the Thai Community in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and visited the Buddhist Temple in TanzaniaRead more Generation Africa awards US$100,000 to two young agripreneurs from Kenya and Uganda in the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali, RwandaRead more Medicaid Cancer Foundation and AstraZeneca celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness month with the launch of Project Icon NigeriaRead more

Türkiye’s role as a geostrategic actor

show caption
ANKARA, TURKIYE - AUGUST 30: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT - "TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) receives congratulations from Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy (L) within the 100th Anniversary of Turkiye's Victory Day, at the presidential complex in Ankara, Turkiye on August 30, 2022. (TCCB/ Murat Çetinmühürdar - Anadolu Agency)
Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 13, 2022 - 02:11 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – In his well-known book The Grand Chessboard, Polish-born American geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski defined geostrategic players as “the states that have the capacity and the national will to exercise power or influence beyond their borders in order to alter –to a degree that affects America’s interests– the existing geopolitical state of affairs.” He identified five active geostrategic players in Eurasia in the late 1990s: Russia, China, India, Germany and France.

Brzezinski then defined a second set of actors. These were geopolitical pivots which were “the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geostrategic players.” Their importance was shaped by geography and they were significant in “defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player.” He identified Türkiye, Iran, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and South Korea as geopolitical pivots. He further added that both Türkiye and Iran were also “geostrategically active.”

Brzezinski’s landmark book was a required reading for generations of international relations and political science students in many parts of the world for years. Yet, much has changed since The Grand Chessboard was published 25 years ago.

Türkiye is now a geostrategic player

Now, it is clear that Türkiye is no longer simply a geopolitical pivot that is also “geostragically active.” Over the course of the past two decades, Türkiye has become a geostrategic player in its own right with both the resources and the will to shape events beyond its borders. With a unique geography surrounded by four seas and access to neighbours from the Balkans to the Caucasus to the Middle East, Türkiye is well-positioned to project its influence abroad. Examples of this abound.

On the diplomatic front, Türkiye’s diplomatic representation abroad is one of the world’s largest. According to a report by Anadolu Agency from 2018, Türkiye had 239 foreign missions which placed it among top five states after the US, China, France and Russia.

The best known recent example where Türkiye deployed its diplomatic skills in a global issue was the grain corridor deal reached last summer. On 22 July, in Istanbul, an agreement was signed between Russia and Ukraine for the export of grain stuck in Ukraine to the world market. Mediated by Türkiye and the UN, the deal which will ease the global food crisis came as a relief to many around the world.

Over the past several years, Türkiye has boosted its power projection capability. In late 2017, Türkiye opened a military base in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. This is the largest Turkish base abroad and provides the country with a strategic presence in the Horn of Africa. Türkiye also has a significant military presence in Qatar. Opened in 2019, the new military base is Türkiye’s first in the Middle East. Türkiye has trained Qatari security forces and is scheduled to deploy security personnel ahead of the World Cup later this year.

In conflicts across different continents, Türkiye’s Bayraktar drones have revolutionized the warfare. What was a burgeoning industry a decade ago has produced one of the country’s best known innovations globally. From Syria to Libya, the drones have played a significant role in shaping outcomes on the battlefields. Türkiye’s defense products are now sought-after, providing the country with additional leverage. A growing number of countries are now keen to purchase the drones. The sheer number of international and regional media reports on Bayraktar published over the past few years are a testament to growing interest in the product.

In addition to augmenting its hard power, Türkiye has also promoted its soft power far beyond its borders. The country has invested significant resources in Anadolu Agency and TRT World in a bid to reach global audiences. Having both media outlets with reporting in English enables Türkiye to exercise soft power in a way that other geostrategic players have done previously. For instance in Bosnia, local media outlets frequently cite Anadolu Agency and TRT reporting reflecting the reach of these media platforms beyond Türkiye’s borders.

In sum, twenty-five years ago, Türkiye was a geopolitical pivot in the view of one of America’s most influential geostrategic thinkers. Now, it is clear that Türkiye has become a geostrategic player in its own right.

 

* Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.