Turkey’s cultural identity has been a long-discussed matter for many decades now. We are neither Asians nor Europeans. We can’t, however, deny that this situation works for Turkey.
Before I tell how this works exactly, let me summarize for you the current global circumstances: Concerns about a global economic slowdown is gradually rising while the US’ worrying statements about trade wars never comes to an end, hence increasing the global uncertainty. On the other hand, currencies of developing countries, especially South-eastern Asia currencies, maintain an unstable stance against US dollar.
The fact that the recent turmoil in Hong Kong has not been dealt with yet is another major factor that fuels global concerns. It can be observed that foreign investors have been looking new investment opportunities outside Hong Kong due to the increasing social unrest there. This conflict may help Singapore become the new favourite of investors. The current regime in Singapore, however, would appear repellent to investors as it’s not a democracy at all. In short, social unrest in liberal regions of the world may help non-democratic regimes to gain power.
As the Middle East, Latin America, and South-eastern Asia stand out as the centres of social unrest and turmoil throughout the history, territorial disputes between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Pakistan and India, Israel and Syria, Palestine and Israel, and finally between Russian and Ukraine still remain unsolved.
“We should reconcile the conflicts instead of picking sides…”
Turkey must be the one that offers a solution to all these problems because the fact that it doesn’t belong to anywhere and doesn’t represent anyone’s interests gives it this advantage.
However, it doesn’t go unnoticed that Turkey’s Foreign Affairs staff, which is expected to work harder than ever now, seem incapable of developing policies to solve domestic and regional problems. As a matter of fact, Turkey has never taken advantage of any conflict; on the contrary, it suffered great damages because of conflicts.
In a passage from his”2050” book, David Passig says that Turks will play a major role in the world’s future:
“I become even more fascinated by well-known as well as hidden aspects of Turkish history as I continued to learn about the lives of the Turks. Accordingly, it was only natural for me to explore the future of Turkish culture. As I went deeper, I realized that the fate of many Middle Eastern countries depends critically upon Turkey’s own fate and its willingness to show mercy. As I kept examining the trends surrounding Turkey as well as the ones that are born and shaped in the country, I came to the conclusion that Turkish history in the 21st century will play a major role in shaping its culture as well…The biggest challenge Turkey will face in ten years from now is that it will have to understand its role and position in the history of the world and of the surrounding regions, and embrace the policies based on its role and position…”
So, it is just undeniable that Turkey must absolutely maintain a deterrent/ conciliatory stance in the region. And to achieve this end, it is imperative for Turkey to reduce dependency on imported products to a reasonable level without offending its trade partners, adopt an army modernization strategy and, maybe the most important of all, Turkey must produce high technology, which can only be achieved by improve the quality of its workforce talent. Also, Turkey must ensure that its resources are used in a rational and in a decent way. Using resources in the most just, the most egalitarian and in the most efficient manner possible would help Turkey help strengthen domestic and international confidence.
Turkey seems not yet to have embraced the importance of reconciling the conflicts in lieu of choosing sides. The moment it embraces it, Turkey’s identity problem will solved once and for all.