Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey since 24 November 2015. He previously served in the same position from August 2014 to August 2015. He is a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, where he represents Antalya Province.
Turkey’s determination to develop its strategic autonomy in foreign and security policy has increased since the inception of the AK Party rule in 2002. While Turkey pursued a pro-western/pro-European foreign policy orientation during the first decade of the twenty first century, it has gradually shifted to a more multi-directional and multi-dimensional foreign policy stance as the dynamics of international politics have turned out to become more complicated and multifaceted over the last decade.
In 1945, having survived the war without having to fight and avoiding invasion by the German army Turkey found itself pretty lonely after D-Day. The Soviet Union asked for two Turkish provinces and joint control over the straits. AT that 1945 moment, alone in standing against the Soviet threat for nearly a year and a half Ankara made the strategic decision to become an integral part of the American side of the Cold War division. Truman doctrine was announced to protect Greece and Turkey and eventually these two countries joined NATO together in 1952.
On August 11, a Turkish drone strike in north-eastern Iraq killed two Iraqi border guards who were returning from an alleged conflict resolution meeting with representatives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, the US, and the European Union.
Over the last years, Turkey has increased its activism in the Mediterranean, becoming a key and assertive player in regional politics and crises. From the Eastern Mediterranean gas dispute to the Libyan war, Ankara has not hesitated to flex its muscles to safeguard its interests and achieve its goals. Turkey's activism is part of a wider foreign policy, which has become more and more militarized since 2015, aiming at extending its geopolitical influence in the Middle East and its surrounding regions.
After the massive defeat of the Libyan National Army (LNA) at the hands of Operation Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) - which supports the internationally recognized Government of Accord (GNA) - the new frontline is just west of Sirte, a city 370 km southeast of Tripoli and 350 km southwest of Benghazi, strategically located at the entrance to Libya’s Oil Crescent.
Israel's plan to annex the West Bank plan is viewed with great concern by Turkey along with the rest of the world. However, unlike other countries, Turkey is more sensitive to this issue. The Muslim majority of the Turkish population has heard and has sympathy for the oppressed Palestinian people in the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Turkey has long been following international law with consistent policies, separating Turkey from all the other actors.
“It should be kept in mind that every disaster comes with opportunities”. These words pronounced by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the occasion of Europe’s Day reflect well the rationale of Turkey’s foreign policy approach during this pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic may change many things in international affairs, but thus far, it has failed to alter the conflict dynamics in Syria. Even more, as the Astana trio’s recent initiatives have illustrated, the main players of the Syrian conflict are vying to deepen their footprints in the country.