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Importance of Turkey

The importance of Turkey is also known from the geographical location between Europe, the Middle East and

Asia. Turkey is also a modern Muslim country and culturally stands as a bridge between Western and Islamic

world. Turkey is also playing big role in the distribution of energy from Middle East to Europe. Turkey is playing a

very affective role in the region as a leader, mediator and in the betterment of the foreign policies of Islamic and

Western world. This report is about the strategic role for Turkey in the new era. In the region Turkey has strong

relationships among all neighbors, including Israel, Russia and Arabic nations. Turkey is a member of North

Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1952 and a strategic partner of United States. It is possible to consider

the strategic importance of Turkey under three subsections:

1.    Geopolitical dimension

2.    Economic dimension

3.    Political/cultural dimension

 

Geopolitical Dimension

Turkey is in the middle of the four regions which are seen as Ganglion; Balkans, Caucasus, middle East and Gulf.

This position puts Turkey as indispensable for the ones who have expedience in these regions. Turkey is located

on the Anatolian peninsula, has three seas around: Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea. According to

Aribogan “Anatolia has a central location in the World Island at the meeting point of three continents - Asia,

Europe and Africa via the Mediterranean and over centuries was used as an express passage for invaders both

going from West to East and from East to West”. Especially, in the period of globalization the endurance of

United States as military actions in these regions, and the distance to these regions, establishes the strategic

importance of Turkey in the world. In other words, in the light of this battle Turkey has been carrying on the role

of a regional power. From the strategic aspect is another power Russia, after the separation of Soviet Union

, from the aspect of the arisen independent countries and autonomous governments, the potentialities of Turkey

in economical, cultural and political binders. In the case of intelligent usage of these potentialities, these will add

to the credibility of Turkey as a regional power. The political, economical, and military chaos in these four regions

is likely to continue in the future. For this reason, the regional power characteristic of Turkey is likely to continue

for many years from now. “The region has become a center of energy supplies in the 20th century.

Since the regional countries are the biggest energy suppliers of the World, the region continues to play the most

important role in the global political economy” (Aribogan, p.17).

The Middle Eastern countries consider using Turkey as a significant transit country to the Western world.

Turkey is already has role of natural energy bridge between the Middle East and Europe. The Middle East is a

major energy producer and if Turkey becomes a major energy transit corridor into the EU, the Union could

increase diversification of its energy suppliers and transit countries to a rather significant extent, that there are

projects that will enable Turkey to be energy transmitter to Westerns. In terms of energy Turkey is a major

geopolitical importance to the Europe Union. Turkey is also important to the producer site as for them Turkey is

the safest and easiest way to export route. As for these reasons Turkey is a great importance to Europe Union

and to the energy producers, thus in the near future after the projects completed Turkey will be a transit route

between East and West.

 

Economic Dimension

Turkey is a country that is rapid developing, urbanizing, carrying on economical and cultural integration with the

world and has a continuously growing 70 million market. Besides, the developing technology and

entrepreneurship opening to the world, not only makes Turkey a market at the same time an economical power

that is producing.

The economical relationship between Europe and Turkey is increasing. According to Rehn “Turkey is also

becoming more and more important partner for the EU in energy. It can provide new routes for oil and gas

imports to the EU from the Caspian region, Central Asia and the Wider Middle East – one day also Iran. It is

estimated that in 10 years time, approximately 10–15 per cent of the gas needed in Europe could come through

Turkey”.

Turkey is also having an economical potential from the aspects of the countries and autonomous governments

which are separated from Soviet Union. In addition to these if the Iraqi petrol and the Caucasian petrol marketed

over Turkey for a very long time, Turkey will ensure a significant advantage. The economical importance of

Turkey with the defragment of the geopolitical importance will gain a lot deeper dimension and meaning.

 

Political/Cultural Dimension

Upon all these factors, the most important of them is that Turkey being an Islamic country. The most significant

cause is that Turkey is the only secular and democratic Islamic country. With this characteristic Turkey, in the

light of both transition and developing potential, as an economical, military and political power building on

credibility and importance and also more importantly generating a different model for the Islamic world.

According to Celik “Writing with specific reference to the BTC, Zeyno Baran describes the geopolitical reasons

why Turkey desired the pipeline, noting that, among other things, the pipeline would give Turkey regional

leverage and strategic importance internationally”. Generation Turkey of as a secular and democratic model for

the Islamic world is not just important for the region but also for the whole world and an important issue for the

history of mankind. Actually the establishment of Ataturk, Turkey stood up against the whole world as a question

mark: Whether there is a universal and only transition model for the world, that is to say the stages of transition

and development of nations equalized from the aspect of economy, would the cultural experiences be the same

as well, or, the different cultural, religious and belief nations, would they be developed in different forms? In

other words, is it possible to develop by rejecting the way of Western world?

There is an only transverse model in front of us that “Soviet Experience” collapsed, after the disappearance in

history, “Islam” as a transverse model became a current issue. However Turkey is the best representative of

“Islam Model” and its universal transition and development.

With the existence Turkey is proving that secularism and democracy could exist in a Muslim nation and the

transitions and developments could be established within the axial of these. From the aspect of political/cultural

dimension examinations, when combined with the geopolitical and economical dimensions, it is clear to see that,

Turkey is not only a regional power but also in the world history, from the aspect of purport to war of civilizations

transition and development operations too, holding its place in the international arena.

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