by Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor
In a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu presented a view of the world from a country situated at the strategic crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Davutoglu observed that since 1991 the world has been in a post-Cold War era, but there has been no fundamental readjustment of the international system as occurred in the wake of previous "big wars." He noted that the Thirty Years War produced the Peace of Westphalia; the Napoleonic Wars were followed by the Congress of Vienna; the First World War led to the formation of the League of Nations; and World War II resulted in the United Nations.
Instead of a global readjustment, the world has been subjected to three big earthquakes in the past twenty years. First, the 1991 geopolitical earthquake when the Soviet Union collapsed and newly independent countries (many in Central Asia) experienced freedom and governing transitions. Second, the 2001 security earthquake caused by the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror which produced a clash between freedom and security in many nations. Third, the 2009-2010 economic and political earthquake in Europe (Greece, Spain, Italy, the European Union) and the Arab world (Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria) which has resulted in uncertainty and political instability.
Turkey, he noted, is attempting to navigate its way through these three earthquakes by continuing to seek admittance to the European Union, siding with those seeking democracy in the Arab world, and readjusting its relationship with the United States. Turkey is seeking to help the world readjust to the post-Cold War realities.