Turkey: contemporary issues and geopolitical factors

Sharif Mustajib

University of Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Around the year, turkey was one of the most discussed issues in world politics sometimes for Turkey-Russia distortion, migrant & refugee issue, ISIS – Middle East geopolitical game or Erdogan’s mockery. Whatever the fact is but why Turkey is important in geopolitics??

Its geographical location between Asia and Europe is the most vital factor in geopolitics. That’s why Turkey remains in world’s history time to time. It was the core of Greek, Roman, Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. After world war II Ataturk Mostafa Kamal rebuilt the nation in modern way.

Te rapid rise of political, economic and military strength reshaped its stance in world politics. It achieved its economic prosperity day by day and joined in European Union nearly negotiating nearly 30 years of discussion. Its average growth was 5% during 2002 to 2012.

Its military strength also adequate as it’s a member of NATO. Additionally Turkish military is 8th largest military of the world.

Present govt. Recep Tayyep Erdogan’s Justice and Development party has become successful to demise military coup. Though there are controversies over rightist govt. and moderate citizens Justice and Development party is ruling the government. Further, protecting military cue proved that the party has still enough political manpower.

Kurdish minority issue is another sentimental issue in Turkey as they have been struggling since the birth of modern Turkey for their particular recognition, rights, language etc. Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has tried armed rebellion to establish separate armed rebellion.

Syria and ISIS issue could be another keyword in world politics regarding Turkey. Bashar Al Asad led Syrian govt. claims Turkey’s involvement with ISIS while present govt. is known as intimated to US. Turkey-Russia cold war also appeared during this time.


Now our focus is why turkey is an important factor in geopolitics?

Geographically turkey is situated on the crossroad of Asia and Europe, on the Dardanelles and Bosporus straight, one of the busiest maritime passages. Most of the pipelines of oil from Middle East to Europe go across Turkey. Additionally Turkey is important for military purpose over Syria. US already set at the military camp southern part over there. The present rightist government is also playing well in world politics. Erdogan’s uncanny is role also a matter of western’s headache. What we have seen recently, he doesn’t late to repair his role over Russia and done flexible strategy to Syria during army coup.

On the other hand ethnic conflict over Sunni, Shiite or Kurdish people could be another fact here. United States and Russia wants to cherish ethnic conflict in Middle East. In this circumstance turkey is a big fact because turkey could demise any of their interest instantly.

Moreover, present government’s relation with China is friendly through thick and thin. During Erdogan visit to China in 2015 both leader assured to close security and military tie. It must be another geopolitical fact over Turkey.


Army coup attempt and Mr. Erdogan’s charisma

On 15th July nights when military tanks rounding the Ankara, jet plane roaring over the sky, people are remembering 1997 military intervention. But the scenario turns to a drama when Erdogan appeared on a TV channel. People rushed to the road and protested them.

It could be a good or bed message for Turkey especially for Erdogan. Good message is still he have devoted people to support him and he is in vulnerable position in geopolitical strategy. He has to rethink that whether NATO and western allies is friend in need or not. That could safe him in future.

Sharif Mustajib

student, International Relations

University of Chittagong.

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