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chairman’s view

Muharrem Kayhan

Multi-tiered Diplomacy
In the future world order even political problems will have moved into the orbit of economics. Ideological polarization will be replaced by a global economic struggle and the sphere of international affairs will become more diversified and complicated. In foreign policy, traditional approaches based solely on security and defense are giving way to one that relies on economic diplomacy and stresses economic priorities. All these developments, inevitably have a bearing on Turkey. They necessitate the formulation of a foreign policy for the age of globalization, never mind that the term seems to be temporarily out of fashion. Such a formulation will emphasize Turkey’s national economic interests in the international arena. It is very clear that in the 21st century our country cannot rely only on her geographical location tobe an important actor in world politics. During the Cold War and certainly before then as well, where Turkey is situated has inevitably given her a strategic value, and offered her geo-strategic opportunities upon which her foreign policy could be built. In the aftermath of the Cold War, however, strategic thinking must take into account economic parameters. Nowadays, the prerequisite of being a world power is to view international relations from a wide perspective. A consequence of this new configuration is that traditional concepts of statecraft are no longer sufficient by themselves for the conduct of policy. These days, we have to adopt a more participatory concept of diplomacy. In order for Turkey to reach the place she deserves in international relations, she needs to mobilize all her resources ina global sense, whether these be NGO’s or private sector organizations. At this juncture, we, businessmen, have very important duties as global actors of international relations.. At Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, we have taken upon us the mission of becoming pioneers of this new tendency that is developing throughout the world. TÜS‹AD’s aim is to accelerate economic and social development within a democratic order. This makes it necessary to include foreign relations into its field of activity. Our awareness of the vital importance of economic diplomacy for the future of Turkey, makes us believe that businessmen should be a country’s delegates in the world. Periodically, our foreign policy turns inward; as businessmen our task is to combat this tendency and lead the country to its place in the forefront of the globalization race. With this in mind, TÜS‹AD began to branch out and increased its involvement in Turkey’s international relations. In order to contribute to the efforts to join the European Union, TÜfi‹AD’s Brussels office was inaugurated in May 1996. As a result of this our participation and contacts within UNICE were strengthened and our representative power in the Council of Europe, the Commission and the European Parliament was firmly established. By using these ties we were able to continue our efforts to keep the lines of communication open and the economic relations intact in the aftermath of the unfortunate summit in Luxembourg at the end of 1997. Our relations with UNICE had started earlier on in 1987. We felt it extremely important to cultivate our membership in that influential body in order to pursue the agenda of Turkish business vis a vis the European Union. As, in the aftermath of Luxembourg, the political dialogue was all but severed between Turkey and the

P R I VATE VIEW/ AUTUMN

1998

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In order to protect and develop Turkey’s national economic and political interests in the strongest possible manner. To this end. the first such initiative by any Turkish civil society organization. this office will be dealing with American political institutions. 7 PR IVATE VIEW/ AUTUMN 1998 . Turkey is faced with a number of problems. in the U. This has brought to the agenda the concept of enhanced partnership. academic circles and the media. TÜS‹AD’s Representative Office in Washington D. We believe that Turkey cannot afford to postpone these measures forever. Recently.C.. efforts will be made to take part in all the debates and keep in close contact with political and decision making bodies. In addition to all this. TÜS‹AD will try to create the necessary conditions to improve and diversify economic relations between the two countries. TUS‹AD will keep on searching for new horizons. This also shows that we take the customs union agreement with the EU as something far more comprehensive than a trade agreement. Not to do so will be against the long term interests of our own country. there has been a new dynamism and vitality in Turkish-American relations. In addition to the usual set of issues a country needs to deal with. However. will be a reference point on Turkey in the American capital. between Turkey and US. D.S. Therefore. Especially. TÜS‹AD will also be present on international platforms that are not focused directly in Turkish-American relations. especially if we miss important opportunities due to inadequate information and We consider our step to open a representative in Washington. These relations are changing dimensions and are shifting from being simply military and security relations to economic cooperation.S. non-governmental organizations. It will help the relevant circles in our country to benefit from its Washington experiences. We also believe that the current thaw in relations with Europe is temporary. will start its operations in November 1998. Turkey will overcome its problems by being politically and economically an open society and by remaining an active participant in the global order. the first requirement to develop a partnership is to have open lines of communication and the flow of reliable information between the two countries.. Here.S. part of our mandate as a civil society organization. We have long advocated a series of structural reforms to be undertaken in Turkey both in its economic structures and its political system. we took it upon ourselves to continue communicating with different bodies with the EU. In the international arena. It will send a representative to Washington. Turkey must constantly be alert to attacks coming its way from a variety of hostile groups. Exiting from the global order or reneging on Turkey’s international commitments are not viable options for our country. Another requirement is to further deepen mutually beneficial relations. new opportunities and new relations as it defends Turkey’s interests through economic diplomacy in future years. Turkey needs to have a better understanding of the U. All these efforts are very important for Turkey’s future. By its location and by the very nature of its international relations Turkey cannot be an isolationist country for long. any development that leads to a return to the closed economy model of the past is untenable if not impossible. lobbying to undermine Turkey’s relations with its allies.C. The TÜS‹AD office. In today’s world. to represent the Association’s interests and watch over economic and political developments concerning bilateral relations with the U. In such circumstances Turkey’s efforts to counter the bad publicity and the negative campaigns about its policies seem wanting. the parties are making significant efforts to diversify and deepen their relationships. TÜS‹AD is getting ready to set on another one of its diplomatic activities. The most fundamental reason for this is our inadequacy in international communications and our lack of effective lobbying. D.C.. its political and administrative system in order to build this dialogue on solid foundations.EU. In keeping with this concept. the businessmen have important duties.