BY NUR ÖZKAN ERBAY
ANTALYA MAR 10, 2022 –
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu speaks during a news conference after meeting with his counterparts Russian Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Dmytro Kuleba, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Antalya, Turkey March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Turkey created a world brand while re-coding diplomacy
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum, held for the second time this year, began under the shadow of the war on the Black Sea. The most fruitful mediation attempts made so far to end the war have come from Turkey. The shuttle diplomacy and telephone traffic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu with more than 40 country leaders and foreign ministers yielded results.
For the first time, the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia met in Antalya on a political basis. So far, the parties, whose technical delegations have met three times on the Ukraine-Belarus border, have not reached an agreement on a permanent cease-fire and a cessation of attacks until now.
In this sense, it is extremely important that the Antalya Diplomacy Forum is not only Turkey’s success, but it also raises some hope for the end of the war that the world is watching, with its conditions becoming more severe every day.
On the one hand, it is necessary to reduce the tension that made the war almost inevitable first, and it was very important that both sides accepted the proposal to meet.
Although there was no close friendly contact, the fact that the foreign ministers of the two warring countries met more than 300 members of the press in different rooms in the same building was the first step taken for dialogue.
In this sense, the dialogue conducted by the two sides and the fact that reliable countries, especially Turkey, have expressed their gratitude for the mediation efforts indicate that conditions for peace may develop soon, if not immediately.
Turkey will do everything possible to keep the door for this dialogue open. Even before the Russian attacks began, the fact that Ankara, which was trying to prevent the crisis from reaching this level, eventually brought together ministers representing the two countries’ political will was of historical importance in itself.
Approaching the issue with the logic of “there will be no winner of the war,” both Turkey and Erdoğan’s determination to continue the dialogue to strengthen the personal and political communication with both sides is the most crucial for the situation now.
Now Ankara is focused on bringing the leaders of the two warring countries to the table and bringing them together after the first important contact in Antalya. Pointing out that this issue was also raised within the framework of the contact, Çavuşoğlu said that he would continue the sincere efforts that prioritize diplomacy.
Çavuşoğlu said: “Of course, we will be pleased if both sides decide and ask to meet again. We also understand that both sides continue to have confidence in us. However, technical negotiations need to move forward to maintain these political talks. So we understand it is necessary for the leaders of both sides to meet at the table as well.”
Çavuşoğlu also added at a press conference after the trilateral talks that the Ukrainian side is working on a permanent peace agreement and wants to see Turkey as a guarantor country.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum was a summit that revealed the importance of diplomacy to prevent wars and conflicts in the world as befits its name on the first day. It seems that the importance of this forum will increase much more in the coming period in an environment where international institutions cannot produce solutions and become dysfunctional.