By Janet Ekstract
ISTANBUL- On Saturday, speaking at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that his country’s goal is to focus on global relations with an eye toward peacemaking and intercultural understanding. As Erdogan commented: “Some circles were trying to portray our foreign policy initiatives as a ‘shift of axis.’ However, Turkiye is not experiencing a shift of axis, it is strengthening its own axis by simultaneously having different diplomatic relations in the world on the basis of our national interests.”
The Turkish leader reminded everyone that his country’s geographic location put it in a much different position than other nations since he said Türkiye is affected a whole lot more by global developments. As Erdogan said: “Turkiye does not have the luxury of closing in , isolating itself from the outside world and watching events in its region by sitting on the fence.” The Turkish leader described his government’s global policy as “constructive and active.” Erdogan emphasized that Turkiye’s aim is not to “seek escalation” with other nations, nor would it “yield for preassure no matter where it comes from.” He added: “We strongly defend Turkiye’s rights in all areas with an honorable, patient determined and prudent attitude.”
With regard to the Russia-Ukraine war, Erdogan said his country has chosen peace, dialogue and being what he termed a “fair referee.” The Turkish leader added: “Given our close relations with both countries, we preferred to strive to end the war instead of fanning the fire and inciting sedition.” Erdogan, who recently criticized the UN for its shortsightedness in handling global crises, said: “The UN, whose prestige has been shaken due to its inadequacy in the face of global crises, saw one of its greatest achievements in recent years through this agreement, resulting from the intensive efforts of our country.” Erdogan was referring to the Istanbul Grain Agreement that Turkiye initiated and the UN brokered. He said he feels that his country now has demonstrated a much higher level after initiating mediation with different countries.
The Turkish president said: “In our contacts on the occasion of the 77th General Assembly of the UN, we were pleased to see the level achieved by Turkish foreign policy.” He added: “We have personally witnessed that the steps taken by our country in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the migration issue, humanitarian aid, the fight against terrorism and peacekeeping have won the appreciation of the whole world.” Erdogan explained that his country’s strategy to preserve peace and security is to eliminate threats at the source beyond his country’s borders.