“The World is Bigger than Five”. Turkey’s Emergence as a Global Actor in World Politics: Prospects and Challenges for Russia

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The foreign policy realized by Turkey’s president clearly evidences the fact that Erdogan does not accept today’s world order as a model for the near future. This has led to the proposition of The World Is Bigger than Five formula since 2013. At least in several key regions, Ankara attempts to change the world order through more than emotional declarations; it uses both hard and soft power in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, Black Sea region, Caucasus, and Central Asia. The main indicators of Turkish soft and hard power (military, economic, technological factors, and attractiveness of mass culture) are examined to identify possibilities of Turkey to change the balance of power in key regions and on a global scale. From 2007, the vision of Turkey as an influential actor globally has been propagated by the Turkish elite of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Geopolitical, civilizational, and systematic approaches are used. The research process is carried out within the paradigm of classical and critical geopolitics. During the AKP’s time in power, moderate Islamists gave Turkey a new impetus - a return to its civilizational roots. One must note the state’s development of its economy, military-industrial complex, and the new national position globally as a patron of every Muslim. Modern Turkey can be considered a great regional power with sectoral global leadership in its military attainment, and due to the attractiveness of its model of development. Ankara invests heavily in soft power, its success is based on the Turkish development ideology, which represents a synthesis of neo-Ottoman, neo-Pan-Turkic and pan-Islamic ideas. The revival of Turkey as a regional power and its desire to become a world power will inevitably increase the space of contradictions in Russian-Turkish relations, reducing the sphere of cooperation between the two countries.

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Table 1. Parameters of Leadership in the Black Sea Region


Total area, km2

of coastline,


Land border, km


GDP, billion USD

National debt, % of GDP

Military expenditures, % of GDP


17 098242

38 403

22 408

143 722 205





783 562

7 200

2 816

82 017 514





69 700


1 814

3 997





603 550

2 032

5 618

43 922 939





110 879


1 806

6 966 899





238 391


2 844

21 302 893





33 851

0 (Port
of Giurgiulești)

1 885

3 364 496




Source: составлено авторами по данным CIA World Factbook // CIA. URL: https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/ (accessed: 30.11.2020)


Fig. 1. Turkey’s Military Expenditures in 2010—2018, millions USD
Source: Turkey Military Expenditure // Trading Economics. URL: https://tradingeconomics.com/turkey/military-expenditure (accessed: 30.11.2020)



About the authors

Aleksandr Anatolievich Irkhin

Sevastopol State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: alex.irhin@mail.ru

PhD, Dr. of Sc. (Political Science), Head, Political Science and Philosophy Department, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations

Sevastopol, Russian Federation

Olga Aleksandrovna Moskalenko

Sevastopol State University

Email: kerulen@bk.ru

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Theory and Practice of Translation Department, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations

Sevastopol, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Irkhin A.A., Moskalenko O.A.

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