Islam, January 1995

New Horizons in Foreign Affairs

Halil Necatioğlu

The veteran foreign policy makers in Turkey are in a state of disappointment today: They have started to realize the mistakes they made--despite the will of the nation. They had taken the West as a "true friend," yet they have been rejected by the West. All they could get from the Western allies is disloyalty, deception, insensitivity, inconsiderateness, tricks, hypocrisy, and enmity. It is clear that they need a new foreign policy.

Despite their membership in NATO the Greeks have signed agreements with Serbs and Russians, which contradict the classical policy of the Western Bloc. They are trying to bring the Balkan countries together to form a front against Turkey. They emphasize the Orthodox unity; they even influence the elections in Bulgaria. Turkey is not taking any effective measures and precautions against Greece. While the Orthodox Patriarch travels the world for the interest of the Greek ideals, how come Turkish Islamic organization does no activity in Islamic countries? How come Muslims do not try getting the sympathy and support of other Muslim nations? Why don't we, Turkish Muslims, activate the traditional reverence that the whole Muslim world has for us?

It is so unfortunate that personages who carry a national and religious identity and hold an official position act with an anti-Islamic logic of Christians and Jews, declare some Muslims as "radicals" and consider them "enemies."

There are still those who had raised a flag to fight the beard, hijab, devout believers and to defend the revolutions and secularism. Who would benefit from these fights in the country? Aren't they aware that they are cutting the branch they are sitting on and that they divide the nation and harm the national interests? Can't they see that they are destroying their life in this world and in the hereafter? Those who take side with Christians, Serbs, Russians, Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, attack Islam and see Muslims as enemies. With all their might, they try to prevent Muslims from doing good and useful work. Don't they realize that they are in a state of heedlessness, delusion, and even treason?

Most of those who make the foreign policy of Western countries and Russia are against Islam and Turkey; they openly try to remove the religious and cultural identity from the people, divide the land and eliminate the educated Muslims. We must take precautions and find new allies who do not have ill intentions towards our country. We must work towards gaining the people in western countries who have intelligence, conscience and commonsense.

Located on a key position on the road reaching Middle Asia and Far East, our eastern neighbor Iran has a population close to 60 million; about half of this population is Turk. Why don't we sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation with it? While I was a professor at the university, I went to Iran once with a group of people for a government business. Upon returning home, I was interrogated, followed and threatened by officials. That was absurd! It was blind politics and obstinacy.

Our foreign policy makers do not mind establishing friendship and alliance with our arch-rivals, but they avoid cooperation with our neighbors who share their religion, language, history and culture with us. What a strange approach and a crooked logic!

There is a giant continent of Africa in our south. Half of its population is Muslim. They are good people and they love us very much. We must work with them and help them improve. We must realize that Africa is a great continent to offer possibilities for business, trade, and material and spiritual benefits.

We must look after the Turkic people and Muslims living in Balkans, Caucasia, Middle Asia, Far East, Southeast Asia, and Australia. We must protect their interests and help them get developed. We must participate in conveying the message of Islam in North and South America and help Islam spread and establish in these continents.

As you can see, there are possibilities and opportunities before us. It may be difficult for our foreign policy makers to see them. As people and especially as well-educated Muslims, we must at once initiate the trading, industrial and cultural cooperation with our Muslim neighbors. Alhamdulillah, we have a great human resource, an amazing influence capability, and an excellent supply of experts and knowledge. Our personnel has multiplied; our organizations, strengthened; financial sources, got richer. We will continue to improve ourselves, to spread, and to grow. By the will of Allah, we will establish the good and the truth everywhere.

You must take part in this divine mission! Prepare well and try your best! By the will of Allah, the future is ours.