Constant dialogue needed
Countries with imperial backgrounds might sometimes have difficulty in avoiding public demands for grandeur actions, projects and policy decisions that might be even difficult to reconcile with reason and commonsense. Sovereignty, national pride, independence, nation-state and such norms are rather important for such countries and nations. Brexit, for example, might not be understood well by most nations, but for the Turks why sovereignty was so important for the British people is very much understood.
Turkey is a country with a very rich historical background. How many nations managed to have their own independent states all along? As depicted with the stars on the presidential flag of this country, Turkey is the 16th Turkish state.
As long as certain things don’t evolve into some sort of obsession, having national pride cannot be at all bad. Yet, thinking, for example, that a country has evolved into a new and peculiar global position because there is a government in office that can fight at the same time on as many fronts as it wishes and might perhaps be best described as adventurism or greedy extravaganza which may produce a heavy toll at the end of the day for that country and nation.
It is nonsense of course to claim: “Zero problem with all neighbors,” as such a policy can only be a declaration of defeatism. The late President Süleyman Demirel stressed that if a country was having no problem with its neighbors, probably it is under occupation or if it succumbed unconditionally to the demands of its neighbors. Similarly, can it be possible to describe as normal if a country has problems with all its neighbors? One, two or three neighbors might have some unacceptable claims and because of such claims there might be disputes and even confrontations. Yet, is it reasonable to be at odds or, worse, confrontation with neighbors, and, far worse, allies?
It might not be normal for visiting dignitaries to wait even a minute or two for the host president. Yet, at times of urgency, getting obsessed with such protocol issues might distract attention from the real issue. If after such a meeting a deal to cease fighting emerged and no longer Anatolian towns will receive coffins carrying the remains of their beloved sons who died while fighting, is it reasonable to still talk about such details?
Turkey is not a superpower and should not aspire roles beyond its capabilities. The open-door policy of the past was wrong and turned this country into a hub of refugees. Now opening doors for refugees to travel to Europe as part of a negotiation strategy and as a card to force the European Union share burden with Turkey has made the situation far worse. Turkey is a big country with very serious clout not limited to its region. Is it a regional power? Definitely.
But having meetings in Moscow, Brussels, Istanbul and Ankara the same week with very eminent or globally very important leaders demonstrate what a great role that politician or country has been playing, on the one hand, while at the same time demonstrates the intensity of the problems that required to deal at the same time.
To be in constant dialogue with foes as well as friends demonstrates the capability of the diplomatic service of a country, which might be of the utmost importance.