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Is Turkey Ready for the Post COVID-19 World Order?

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the global economy and politics. Closures and lockdowns stopped international trade resulting in an economic slowdown. It has changed the daily lives of people and the way business takes place. Politics has also been affected by the pandemic. Discussions about the changing world order have gained a new dimension and momentum. In this article, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in international relations is analyzed. Has COVID-19 triggered a change in the world order? If it has, what are the nature, scope, and content of this change? As a rising regional power in the Eastern Mediterranean region, how has Turkey been affected by this, and how did it respond to the changing situation? Signs of deteriorating world order, declining U.S. leadership, escalating geopolitical competition amongst global powers were in the air before the pandemic. Turkey’s adaptation to this new world order pre-dates the pandemic, when it changed its political system, and invested in its security and cohesion.

Is Turkey Ready for the Post COVID-19 World Order
Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay (C) held a meeting about the COVID-19 situation in Turkey and evaluated the progress of the national vaccine Turkovac. TURKISH PRESIDENCY / AA
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

On December 10, 2019, China announced that it had identified a new virus named COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan. Soon after neighboring countries reported their own cases, and it was clear that the virus had already spread all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency on January 30, 2020. Shortly after, the virus was identified in Africa and Europe forcing the WHO to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.1 With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the world has transformed rapidly, states and institutions have changed priorities. Lockdown travel bans, closure of schools, and businesses became common measures to respond. Turkey has not been an exception in implementing these measures. In fact, Ankara was very quick to act at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

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