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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Türkiye Ranks Third Globally in Diplomatic Power, Surpassing Japan and France

Türkiye's strategic foreign initiatives in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia propel its diplomatic influence to third globally, according to the Lowy Institute's 2024 Global Diplomacy Index, showcasing Ankara's expanding network and emphasis on face-to-face diplomacy in navigating a multipolar world.

Türkiye’s foreign initiatives in Africa and the Middle East have borne fruit, raising the nation’s diplomatic power to third globally, just behind heavyweights China and the US.

In its 2024 Global Diplomacy Index, the Lowy Institute of Australia said as a “rising” middle power nation, Türkiye has “rapidly expanded” its diplomatic networks in a “more multipolar world.”

The report visualizes the diplomatic networks of 66 countries and territories in Asia, the Group of 20, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Türkiye has 252 diplomatic missions spread across the globe just behind China and the US which have 274 and 271, respectively, it said.

“Among the various forms of national power — economic, military, and technological — diplomacy has been one of the most undercounted, and thus often overlooked, levers of influence,” said the report.

Türkiye has risen “rapidly to become the third-largest diplomatic player in the world in 2023, overtaking traditional diplomatic heavyweights Japan and France.”

Operating 252 posts, Ankara has steadily expanded its network, adding 24 posts since 2017 and 11 posts since the last edition of this Index in 2021, the data released shows.

“Many of Türkiye’s new posts have been in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting a diplomatic push in regions of interest to Ankara,” it added.

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However, “Türkiye’s network remains highly Eurocentric with 102 (40%) of its total overseas posts in that region alone, shadowing the sizeable ethnic Turkish diaspora in the Eurozone,” it said.

To strengthen its bilateral as well as multi-lateral relations with nations across Asia, Ankara has launched the Asia Anew Initiative.

While Ankara maintains a diplomatic presence in Australia and New Zealand, Türkiye is “not represented in the Pacific and has a limited footprint in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean Region,” it added.

– Face-to-face diplomacy, physical presence important

Lowy Institute noted that the continued deepening and expansion of diplomatic footprints of the nations “reflect that, despite the ease of online connectivity, governments the world over continue to invest in face-to-face diplomacy and an on-the-ground presence.”

“Great power rivalry is as prevalent in diplomacy as in other fields, with the United States and China dominating the rankings,” it said.

“Issues such as Russia’s war in Ukraine or economic challenges in South Africa and Argentina have also led to declines in some countries’ networks,” it added.

“Other countries have thinned their presence in particular regions as priorities change, while geopolitical competition has propelled the Pacific and Asia into focus,” said the report.

It noted the impact of Ukraine’s war on Russia which closed 14 of its posts abroad since February 2022, “largely as a result of deteriorating ties or diplomatic expulsions.”