The Indispensable Principle for Turkish Foreign Policy from Legacy to Future: Peace at Home, Peace in the World

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Anılgan Z. Ş.

Other, pp.173-174, 2023

  • Publication Type: Other Publication / Other
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Page Numbers: pp.173-174
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Indispensable Principle for Turkish Foreign Policy from Legacy to Future:

Peace at Home, Peace in the World

            Due to its geopolitical position, Türkiye located in an unstable and high-security risk geography. Because of rapidly developing information technologies, the world has come closer to each other. As a result of crossing geographical borders via the Internet, every state has had to follow its domestic and foreign policies according not only to its neighbors but also the domestic and foreign policies of other states that are kilometers away. 

            Today, when we are going through a process in which the fourth industrial revolution is experienced, the state of war has spread to cyber media other than conventional war. For reasons such that all other nations are aware of a development in any part of the world, express their reactions, and pressure the states, thanks to social media in the international system, states have sought new policies to establish peace and security. Because in the international arena where anarchy prevails, the only insurance of the existence of the states has been the establishment and protection of international peace and security, and in case of violation of these, a total stand against the violator. Since states are aware that if they are not secure in the international system, the security already established within the state is unimportant. 

            Under these conditions, establishing the external security of a state like Türkiye, located in the middle of the ring of fire, is difficult but not impossible. The founding leader, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, precisely one hundred years ago, left a principle of existence to today's Türkiye, the value of which is increasing daily: Peace at home, peace in the world. The value of this principle was also emphasized in the founding agreement of the United Nations, which was established in 1945 with the remarkable efforts of the great powers. Today, the establishment of an international organization that has managed to gather sovereign-equal states under its umbrella in the anarchic international system and has imposed the power of sanction to a certain extent with their consent on these states, which do not recognize supreme authority, has even been to ensure international peace and security. Peace is such a goal that war can be waged against those who prevent it from being achieved. Therefore, as Gazi stated, the sole aim should be peace. Here, despite the claim that there is always war potential in the international system, achieving peace should never be seen as an impossible goal.

            The purpose of this paper is, in the 100th anniversary of Türkiye, a general critical analysis of the reflections of the advice "Peace at home, peace in the world," which is one of the sole principles of Türkiye's founding leader from the legacy of Türkiye's foreign policy and international relations to its future perspective. In this context, the steps Türkiye took in 100 years to ensure its military security in foreign policy are examined, and it is aimed to make inferences about what to do in the future. The paper was created due to the literature review, examining Turkish foreign policy in terms of security, comparison, and analysis, and formed within the framework of international relations theory. The fact that the principle of peace at home, and peace in the world, since the establishment of the Republic in 1923, has been able to keep Türkiye away from a major disaster such as the Second World War is an indicator of how successful this policy is. During the Cold War, Türkiye paid the heaviest price compared to other organization members. The NATO alliance, to which Türkiye was included to avoid becoming isolated, did not support Türkiye during the Cyprus Operation. Even the embargo imposed on Türkiye showed that states, even in alliance, could sometimes be alone in achieving peace. The "peace" operation was carried out to prevent the persecution and massacres that the Turkish Cypriots were subjected to on the island, and to ensure the establishment of peace and tranquility on the island, even though it has put Türkiye in a problematic situation in foreign policy. Even today, the policy of that period has ensured the existence of the Turks on the island. 

            It has been observed that NATO, which marks a departure from Türkiye's neutrality since Atatürk's era, failed to support its members in a time of need. This highlights that states cannot depend on another state for security, even if they are part of an alliance. It reinforces Gazi's principle that while joining alliances may be necessary, the balance of politics should not be overlooked, and peace must not be jeopardized by participating in wars that do not aim for peace.

            As it can be understood from here, asking for peace is not to be completely neutral and aimless in foreign policy but to put forward some actions to ensure this when necessary. Aggressive and unconstructive violating the rights of other sovereign states should always be avoided. Another example of this emerged during the Arab Spring movements. At this point, Türkiye aims to create a corridor along the border and ensure stability in this region to prevent establishing a terrorist state in its south and to prevent illegal immigrants from the region. Here, Syria's sovereignty is recognized and acted accordingly. As referred to in the UN Charter, in cases where Türkiye's peace and security may be harmed, the right to prevent them within the scope of self-defense authority is legally fixed. Again, Türkiye's operations here are precious as they are carried out to ensure peace.

            As a result of the general analysis made based on the findings mentioned above, it is possible to say that the principle of "Peace at home, peace in the world," which was put forward at the foundation of the state, is such a foresighted principle and that it is not only a legacy but a policy that should be carried to the future of Türkiye. While reaching this determination, the selected foreign policy developments were compared, and the results obtained by Türkiye in cases where this principle was applied and the developments experienced in cases where the principle was partially or entirely abandoned were evaluated. During the evaluation, inferences were made based on Türkiye's economic and social welfare and security in the international system.