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The road will rise to meet the one who walks it or Turkey - as the leader of the Islamic world

Friday, September 21, 2012 - 18:50

"In 2023 Turkey will be more effective and influential in the international arena, will improve its relationship with the maximum of the neighboring countries, the country will enter the top ten largest economies in the world"
R. T. Erdoğan

Turkey – is a large country, which occupies an important geopolitical position in a very large region, covering some parts of the European and Asian continents. Since the mid 80s the republic has been experiencing a period of rapid economic growth, the so-called phenomenon of "Turkish miracle", which is accompanied by increasing its influence in the region, an increase in the overall value of the country in the international economic and political relations.
A wave of protracted Arab revolutions that took place at the Middle East and North Africa led to major changes of world order. While these countries are going through a transitional period, Turkey’s desire to take a leading position in the region became evident. Some new trends in the foreign policy of Turkey led to the fact that the country was again in the spotlight.
Recently, the issue of Turley’s leadership in the region has acquired a special urgency. Let’s analyze the prospects of the republic to become a leader of the Muslim world:
1. Economic position
The strategically advantageous geographical location has created favorable conditions for the dynamic development of the Turkish economy. These conditions are: huge markets, which include the countries of the Middle East, former Soviet Union and Russia, the control of transit routes between Europe and Asia, a warm climate which favors the intensive development of agriculture and the growth of international tourism. Turkey is located at the crossroads of major highways, rail and sea routes, has a large coastline, a vast area, which is suitable for agriculture, and significant reserves of natural resources.
At the moment in the Turkish Republic the effects of global crisis are completely resolved; the activities of economic growth indicate the dynamic development of the country. To date, the Turkish economy is the fifteenth of the world economy. Experts predict a further significant rise of the Turkish economy. With such high rates of GDP, Turkey can leave many developed countries behind. For comparison: in the first quarter of 2011 the economic growth of the republic was 11%, and China’s - 9.7%.
In contrast to Iran, which also lays claims to leadership in the region, Turkey is a reliable trade partner not only for the Arab world and most CIS countries, but also for Western countries and the USA.
2. The model of state-building
Turkey is one of the few Muslim countries, where Islam is separated from the state. This country located in the heart of the Islamic world has a peculiarity of a combination of Islam and democracy. The Turkish model of a secular state in a Muslim society is flexible, provides a stable development and sustainable economic growth. Constructive relations between religious communities and secular authorities are an important prerequisite for the preservation of national reconciliation and they prevent the growth of religious radicalism.
3. The military potential
Turkey became a NATO member in 1951, which gave a powerful impetus to the process of active military construction and modernization of Turkish army. Today Turkey takes the 6th place in the world for its military power and the third place in NATO.
Turkish army is distinguished by high combat and mobilization readiness, a powerful shock, fire power, tactical and strategic mobility, a high level of training and equipping of forces. These major factors of the powers of modern armed forces give Turkey the superiority to any country in the region of the Black and Mediterranean seas.
4. The internal political situation
The study of the internal political situation in Turkey is very important in analyzing the prospects of the country to become a leader in the Muslim world. It becomes relevant in connection with the strengthening of Turkey's role on the world arena, and also due to its strong economic and political development.
The main struggle in the political life is conducted between the major parties - the Justice and Development Party, the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Action Party.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) protect the Islamic principles, while conducting a democratic, social and secular policy. The Republican People's Party claims about its committed to the principles of Kemal Ataturk, and the party led by Devlet Bahceli promotes nationalism and focuses on the superiority of the Turkish nation and Turkish culture.
The struggle between these parties is a dynamic process and it determines the development of foreign and domestic policy, which contains a number of problems:
- The problem of Kurdish separatists
The conflict has significantly affected the national interests of Turkey, creating a zone of instability in the region that threatened national security. In order to ensure regional security, economic and geopolitical stability, at present the Turkish Republic is trying to solve this problem by all possible means.
- The problem of the Armenian Genocide
The question of the Armenian Genocide, which occupies a definite place in Turkish politics, has attracted international attention once again. At the initiative of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, there was adopted a law to criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. In response, Turkey recalled its French ambassador in order to consider further relationships between the two countries. It should be admitted that there is the problem of the Armenian genocide, but it will not be able to influence the leadership of Turkey.
5. Foreign policy
The new Turkish foreign policy is determined by the following basic factors: the policy of good neighborly relations with neighboring states, the consistent strengthening of bilateral and multilateral relations with many countries, the deepening of political dialogue and trade.
Turkey is the UNO member and the only Muslim country, which is the NATO member. Turkey has been negotiating about the joining the European Union for many years. One of the obstacles to Turkey's European integration is the Cyprus issue, which has been one of the pressing issues in the foreign policy of Turkey for several decades.
Thus, despite the internal political problems and issues that suddenly appeared in the foreign policy, such as the deterioration of relations with Syria and the crisis in relations with Israel, Turkey has consistently been strengthening its leadership position. Evidence for this is the numerous visits of the Turkish Prime Minister to the Arab countries aimed to support democratic reforms, provide support not only to some neighboring countries, but also to the Central Asian republics and to the Balkan region. Turkey is moving forward and, unlike other countries in the region, has the potential to become the leader.



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