Shifting International System and Turkey

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At the last quarter of 20th century, Cold War ended and technological advances in general with significant progresses in communication in particular have generated the phenomenon of globalization. The developments in financial markets and in real economy not only spread through geographical boundaries of nation states but also influence economic, technologic, and socio-cultural spheres decisively. National and international spaces as well as local and global domains are increasingly intertwined. Further beyond the interdependencies among states there are emerging new fields of cooperation and of common interests between societies.


Democratic values and awareness on human rights are becoming universally shared norms as their applications expand conspicuously. Pluralist democratic regimes that respect human rights and that achieve a just income distribution provide better welfare systems for their publics. These regimes, in the long term, contribute stability and peace at domestic, regional and international levels. Accordingly, geopolitical weight of the states maintaining such regimes increases.


In world politics, there are emerging more actors which stand active and are able to shape international developments. Alongside the sovereign states, various non-state units are turning into the bases of power and authority. Policy areas for UN, NATO, OSCE as well as other international organizations are proliferating. These interstate establishments are gaining autonomous identities and continuances over time and they provide legitimacy ground for state actions by preparing necessary basis for multilateral policies.

At the same time, the inability of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as UN, WB, WTO and IMF to be adequately effective during momentous crises is construed by the view that these institutions could not adapt to the changes in international system. In order to increase the influence of these institutions, thus various propositions including fundamental adjustment lines for the structure and functioning of them are on the agenda. There are also signs that portend growth of a new multilateral system. Moreover, nation states by forming coalitions appear volunteer parties for conflict resolutions due to the ineffectiveness of UN and NATO in settling international disputes.


Beside IGOs, multinational companies (MNCs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are operating in all fields largely outside the control and competence of states and they are becoming active participants of social, cultural, economic, and political relations beyond national boundaries. These institutions (MNCs and NGOs) are capable of shaping public opinions worldwide utilizing the most advanced technology and thus enjoy the sway of constraining public policies. Likewise, individuals are progressively more prominent actors of international relations since they are able to make a claim in international institutions and they by private initiatives may have an effect on the undertakings of MNCs and NGOs.


Outside the range of legal activities, terrorist organizations have been resorting to illegitimate violence to attain their political goals. These organizations, exploiting the facilities of globalization are increasing their financial, technological and management capacities and by the cooperation with other terrorist groups at global level they are improving the impact of their actions.

All of these developments undoubtedly contribute to the relativity of nation states. In other words states are no longer the only economic, political and military power bases and areas within the control, competence and activity of states have been waning. Numerous issues and questions which irreversibly transcend the national boundaries appear beyond the domains of state authority. Nevertheless, these developments do not represent disappearance of states but the structural changes in the world politics. States still continue to be key actors within the process of these structural changes. Societies also need further for states that are more active and influential at transnational realms due to the globalization.


It seems impossible for states to avoid or obstruct the globalization process by revealing its negative effects. The only option for states is to manage the byproducts of this process. Therefore, states that are both able to benefit from globalization and preclude detriments of its outcomes can perform well. Achievement of such performance requires consolidated legal infrastructures along with a dynamic system of justice and transparent functioning of public institutions.


In the next decade or fifteen years period, the world will be more integrated though its appearance is expected to be quite divided owing to the multiplication of actors and identity demands by ethnic groups. These two opposite propensities –integration versus division- will be shaped by values, norms and beliefs as well as by structural factors, economic and military powers in particular. Coercion and violence will transpire as relative instruments while constructive elements of smart power in the forms of legitimacy, persuasion, financial attractiveness and ability of managing globalization will be more significant.

Increasing  initiatives of EU through more independent policies alongside the USA, the growth of Russia though not to the level of its former strength, the buildup of Japan, China and India as continental power bases and the rise of regional powers refer to the necessity for a multi-polar international system. As requirements of a multi-polar system, it is anticipated that the impact of larger organizations like G-20 beside G-8 will expand and crucial revisions in the administrative structures of UN, WB, WTO and IMF will take place. Within this framework the significance of Turkey -a key regional power appearing in the most important area of the world- in the international system will increase steadily. Election of Turkey for the temporary membership of UN Security Council stands as an indicator of the expectation. 


Turkey’s Vision

The indispensable vision of Turkey persists for ascending to the position of a peaceful, confident and prosperous model country which enjoys qualities of the advanced state of civilization. The vision which is dynamic and clear of ideological fixations guides Turkish nation in this rapidly changing world. As the vision instructs, it is aimed to reach the criteria of a pluralist democracy and to retain respect for human rights, secularism and rule of law in accordance with contemporary norms. Focus of the insight will be on sustaining and improving the standards for social harmony and legal way of life that have been adopted thanks to the long-lasted evolution of human practice. The vision necessitates a steady economic growth consistent with the principles of free market, integration with global economy and the expansion of well-being into the general public. The reason and inherent unity of the state, preservation of the Republic, and the upgrade of national strength are among the basics of the insight as well. For the realization of the vision, it is also crucial for Turkey to form solidarity and cooperation with the countries favoring common values and interests, and thus to maintain peace for the homeland, region and the world.

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