Over the past month Turkey has been living through mind-boggling developments without letup, so much so that some strategic declarations and events that would normally have caused ripples in the country have been overlooked. For Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare in Japan last week that Turkey does not “have ambitions of becoming a regional and global power” was one of those momentous declarations that went unnoticed.
Erdogan traveled to Japan, Malaysia and Singapore as the “state crisis” in Turkey was peaking. In the question-and-answer portion of a panel, Erdogan said, “Turkey doesn’t have the goal of becoming a global and regional power. By just doing what it has to do, Turkey is given the place it deserves in the region and in the international community. That is the way it should be. Anything beyond that would be greed and over-ambition, which is always dangerous. We have no such greed.”