By Edmond Y. Azadian
Anyone who underestimates Turkey’s diplomatic prowess, does so at his or her own peril. Since the Ottoman era, Turkey has wielded a very skillful diplomacy matched only by its military power. And the current chief of Turkey’s foreign policy establishment, Ahmed Davutoglu, is from that lineage of smooth diplomats who also aspire to restore the “harmony” that supposedly existed among the subject nations of the empire through a misrule of iron and blood.
The foreign minister is also a brilliant scholar who is well aware that Ottoman ways can no longer yield the desired “harmony,” therefore he has devised a new diplomatic tool, a catchy motto to give a positive spin to Turkey’s current foreign policy — “zero problems with Turkey’s neighbors.”
But a serious analysis will soon reveal that the positive spin is only skin-deep and is nothing but a veneer.
To begin with that diplomacy is the reflection of Turkey’s growing power in the region and the world. The Cold War helped to build its armed forces and its economy. Today, Ankara boasts of having the second largest standing army in the NATO structure. TheWest also has built Turkey’s economy and theWorld Bank has bailed it out every time the country went bankrupt.
But the West is still building Turkey’s armed forces; France is supplying sophisticated military hardware to its air force, the US is continuing its 7/10 ratio in supplying it military equipment to Greece and Turkey and even Russia has become a serious arms supplier to that country.