While recent global developments have made Türkiye's role in the international arena more important, statements from a respected United States (US) think tank about Türkiye's geostrategic position drew attention.
James Carafano, Senior Fellow for International Affairs and Security at the Heritage Foundation, which is close to the US Congress, said it is critical for the United States and its allies that the regions that connect the world are peaceful and stable, likening Western Europe, the greater Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific to lily pads that can be metaphorically described as safe zones.
Carafano stated that Türkiye is the cornerstone for peace and stability in these regions and said "Türkiye is at the center of the universe,” TRT reported.
Reminding that Türkiye is located in the middle of a major nexus in the Central and Southern Corridor, Carafano emphasized Türkiye's strategic importance in global terms, stating that there are very few countries so strategic for Türkiye, which he described as the bridge to the Indo-Pacific.
"It is in Türkiye's interest for the Turkish economy to recover and really strengthen and part of that will be through trade and investment so they need more economic engagement in the region, with the US and Europe. So I think all these developments are really to Türkiye's advantage," he said.
Carafano emphasized that Türkiye is not only a strategic country today but will always be important in the future.
"Türkiye has always been strategically located since the beginning of time, hasn't it? It has always been the crossroads of every civilization and empire. So Türkiye will always be important," he said, noting that the relationship between Türkiye and NATO is very strong.
Carafano reminded that stability and free trade in the Black Sea region is in Türkiye's interest and pointed out that the war in Ukraine has once again demonstrated the importance of Türkiye's stabilizing role in the region for NATO.
“I think Türkiye has given Finland and Sweden NATO membership. Türkiye has supported Ukraine and has been a constructive voice in relations with Russia. It has fulfilled its NATO commitments. I think Türkiye has played an important role in improving the rivalry in the Black Sea,” he said.
“I think other NATO countries in the Black Sea region should also improve their capacities and capabilities. One of the outcomes of the war (Ukraine) is that NATO has developed these regional defense plans,” he added.