Turkey's Peaceful Policies and Mediating Role in Preventing Global Conflicts: Could it be the Key to a Ceasefire an a Lasting Sustainable Peace in the Ukarinian War

Article

Just beyond the Russian-Ukrainian War of February 24, 2022, Turkey has made great efforts to play the role of mediator between the two Black Sea states. Turkey has recently emerged as a reasonable and rational diplomatic player and has assumed a historically peaceful role in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine....

Prof.Dr. Mesut Hakkı Caşın
 
SUMMARY

Just beyond the Russian-Ukrainian War of February 24, 2022, Turkey has made great efforts to play the role of mediator between the two Black Sea states. Turkey has recently emerged as a reasonable and rational diplomatic player and has assumed a historically peaceful role in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the Second World War, Turkey, which remained in the status of a ‘’Neutral State’’, aimed to stay away from a possible German and Soviet occupation as a historical reflex. Turkey's post-Cold War conflict management role plays with a special focus on the nature of its involvement in establishing itself as a mediating state, an active or passive actor in the world, using its diplomatic problem-solving framework. Turkey's role as a mediator in international relations may define peace talks between Syria and Israel in 2008, but a deal was interrupted by Israel's occupation of Gaza.

Turkey also carried out significant mediation tasks in the Moscow-Tbilisi axis during the 2008 Russia-Georgia War in order to ensure a ceasefire and to return its troops from the territories occupied by the Russian Army. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he believes Russia's leader is seeking an end to the war he began in Ukraine, and that a "significant step" will be made. He said his impression from recent talks with Vladimir Putin was that he wanted to "end this as soon as possible".[1] It aims to maintain the deep economic ties that bind Ankara to Moscow today and in part in the near future, to ensure the continuation of Turkey's membership process with the EU and to establish a balance in the continuation of trade relations. As a Black Sea country, it can be said that Turkey, from the geopolitical and economic level, aims to contribute to the resolution of the mass migration caused by civilians fleeing the destruction of the prolongation of the war in Ukraine, as in the case of the 2015 Syrian Civil War, and to prevent the deepening of the economic and social crises encountered in high inflation and food and energy supply.

But more importantly, Turkey is worried about the serious stance that Russia may include the tactical nuclear weapons of the war on the battlefield against the arms aid that Ukraine has received from the United States and NATO allies to retake its occupied territories, and the danger that it may put the Black Sea and Atlantic peace and stability in an irreversible impasse. Gerard Araud, France's former ambassador to the U.S. and the UN, praised Ankara, saying, "Turkish diplomacy has been flawless since the beginning of the war," adding, "An administration that has evaluated its interests, established a balance between the warring parties and been tough when necessary while taking advantage of the situation.".[2] In this short academic article, it is aimed to analyze the legal, political, diplomatic theoretical and practical principles of a peaceful and just settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian War.

INTRODUCTION

The global impact of the war in Ukraine is substantial and growing. Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine will lead to more suffering worldwide and must be reversed, said the UN’s political affairs chief, adding that further talk of possible nuclear weapons use could lead to a “dangerous spiral“. As of 18 October, official UN figures show 15,956 civilian casualties so far: 6,322 killed and 9,634 injured since Russia’s invasion of 24 February. At least 397 children have been killed in the war since 24 February2022.

“We are on a path of further escalation, which can only cause more suffering to the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of the world“, Ms. DiCarlo told ambassadors.[3] In addition to immediate loss of life, the United Nations is gravely concerned about the destruction of critical energy infrastructure, such as power plants. 10 October 2022, Russian armed forces reportedly launched missiles and drones, killing at least 20 civilians and injuring over 100, including in Kyiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia. [4]Many civilian objects – including dozens of residential buildings and critical civilian infrastructure – were damaged. [5]

·What will stop Russia-Ukraine War?

  • Is it hard to find a route to a diplomatic, legal peaceful resolution in Ukraine?
  • Can Turkey, as a Black Sea country and NATO Ally, assume a mediating role in accordance with Article 33 of the UN Charter to prevent the further spread of violence and destruction of the current war?
  • If Turkey undertakes such a difficult task, Moscow and Kiev; will he accept this peaceful solution?
President Erdogan’s unique role as mediator and friend of both sides in time of war. As above mentioned, Erdogan can now take credit for playing a direct role in orchestrating the only two tangible agreements between Moscow and Kyiv in the nine -month war. A UN-backed deal signed in Istanbul in July resumed Ukrainian grain deliveries across the Black Sea for the first time since Russia's February 24 invasion. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the shipments "a beacon of hope" for famine-ravaged parts of the world. The prisoner swap features an arrangement to keep five Ukrainian commanders - including those defending the Azovstal steel plant from a Russian onslaught against Mariupol - stowed away in a secret location in Istanbul. [6]


[1] ''Turkey's Erdogan: Russia's Putin willing to end war'', BBC, 20 September 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62965993.
[2] ABD Medyası: Ukrayna Savaşı Erdoğan'ı İstisnai Bir Role Kavuşturdu’’,Euro News, 22 Eylül 2022, https://tr.euronews.com/2022/09/22/abd-medyasi-ukrayna-savasi-erdogani-istisnai-bir-role-kavusturdu
[3] ''Ukraine War: Path of Further Escalation ‘Must be Reversed’, Security Council Hears'', UN News, 21 October 2022, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/10/1129792.
[4] Zaporizhzhia is Europe’s largest nuclear plant, and one of four operating within Ukraine. At one point, it supplied 20% of all Ukraine’s electricity. The plant as six nuclear reactors, but for most of the war, only two have remained in operation.
[5] https://dppa.un.org/en/under-secretary-general-dicarlo-peace-based-international-law-and-un-charter-is-surest-way-to-end.
[6] ‘’Erdogan Arises a Key Mediator in Ukraine War’’, Kuwait Times, 22 September 2022, https://www.kuwaittimes.com/erdogan-arises-a-key-mediator-in-ukraine-war/.

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