Main objective: The main objective of the Office of Public Diplomacy is providing the coordination between the public agencies and NGOs in their effort to promote Turkey in international arena and to enhance its credibility.
"Telling your story accurately to the other side"
The acceleration in the internal and external dynamics of Turkey in recent years takes place in a wide sphere stretching from economy to foreign policy, from science and technology to arts, and it allows for the emergence of new areas of risk and opportunity. As she struggles to re-establish peace with her own history and geography, Turkey turns these two elements, namely time and space, into a strategic value in the globalizing world, and rapidly leaves behind the one-dimensional and reductionist classifications of the cold war era. From economy to foreign policy, the new actors of Turkey position themselves not as spectators but as actors of the history, and demand the global centre-periphery relations to evolve and attain a more democratic and fairer structure.
This change in Turkish society and foreign policy is triggered also by the significant shifts in the region and in the global system, as well as in Turkey. While Turkey becomes an important actor in the global system, she experiences this change within her unique conditions. This change, stemming from the internal dynamics of Turkey and its reflections on foreign policy, leads to a discussion concerning a new Turkey, at a wide region from Europe to America and from Middle East to Asia, and on different grounds from international relations to political science and cultural activities. The new dynamics that emerged at this recent phase of Turkish modernization add new dimensions to Turkey´s traditional relations with Europe and America.
One of the most important elements that determine the soft power capacity of a country is its political system. A democratic, participative, fair, transparent political system, which paves the way for freedoms, and places human in the center, is one of the most important components of soft power. In this sense, one of the main pillars of Turkey´s soft power is her experience with democracy. Despite its history with ups-and-downs, democracy is becoming more institutionalized in Turkey day by day. This is one of the leading dynamics that enables Turkey to become a regional and global actor.
The soft power of Turkey is different from other countries’ with respect to both its form and its scope. Turkey´s soft power potential, starting from the Balkans and extending to Central Asia, stems from the historical and cultural depth that she inherited, rather than military or technological power. The values, historical background, and cultural depth that Turkey represents in this region trigger the dynamics of the region on one hand and allow for the emergence of new areas of interaction on the other. In addition to these, the Turkish democracy and the vibrant structure of Turkish civil society constitute the most important pillars of Turkey´s soft power.
The demands of the different segments of Turkish society for fair distribution of wealth, participation, representation, transparency, and accountability are the most important motives that support Turkish democracy and force it to improve. Turkey can become a center of attraction at the Balkans and the Middle East, which are Turkey´s natural hinterlands, provided that she can establish the freedom - security balance in a consistent manner and enlarge the democratic opportunity areas.
Along with "soft power", which is one of the most important tools of public diplomacy, another important element is the public opinion, which increasingly undertakes a more central role in determining the national and global policies. Without a certain support from the public opinion, it is not possible to formulate or implement a policy in the fields of economy, foreign affairs, energy or environment. Considering this in mind, one of the most important conditions for a successful public diplomacy is that the adopted policies are rational, persuasive, and justifiable.
The fact that similarities and differences coexist in today’s world which is becoming both more globalized and localized simultaneously, directly affects international relations and public diplomacy activities. In this sense, Turkish public diplomacy has to consider both the global developments, and its own unique characteristics.
Turkish public diplomacy is the activity of telling Turkey´s new "story" to the world in an effective and comprehensive manner what determines the content if these activities are the background, Turkey inherited from her history and geography. The depth gained by Turkish foreign policy is directly proportional with the conversion of this background into a strategic value.
Implementation of an effective foreign policy by Turkey is one of the basic elements of the “new Turkey”
The points mentioned above are the elements that form the basis of Turkey´s public diplomacy concept and practice. The success of Turkish foreign policy and public diplomacy depends on its ability to use and reproduce these elements in a consistent and effective manner. In order to put this plan into practice, Turkey has a comprehensive list of actors, from government agencies to NGOs, from business circles to artists, from members of the media to scientists, from intellectuals to academicians, and from humanitarian relief organizations to human rights organizations. Turkey´s success as a rising power will depend on these actors´ positive contributions to this historical process.