Despite the keen interest of militia, the concept of geopolitics should not necessarily be considered as a subject matter or branch related to the militia. The emergence of geopolitics was elaborated by geographers and political geographers, and welcomed by the political scientists with interest. Whereas, military strategists had contemplated to make use of the geopolitics and, as a result of their keen interest, had contributed to its development.
The interest of militia and strategists, in general, as demonstrated in geopolitics, stems from the broadening of military strategy to the extent of encompassing the world politics. Today’s global strategy has been formed up, consistent with the correlations between such powers that aim at the world supremacy, and those that stand in defence against it.
The world strategy or global military strategy on the other hand, is a subsidiary motivation which depends upon the military powers and military targets of the world politics. A worldwide military strategy can not exist without the world politics and the worldwide politics, and the global military strategy is achieved through the world politics. This father-and-son relation has beamed the attention of militia to the geopolitics. Nevertheless, geopolitics do not fall within the field of responsibility of militia in so far as geopolitics encompass the entirety of elements and the responsility areas of politics. In fact, the term “politics”, being used as a constituent of the word “geopolitics” does also verify this statement.
An approach to geopolitics in terms of underestimating it, as well as in terms of its recency of for any other reason, would be wrong. The effect and involvement of geopolitical views in the mode of creation of the Second World War, i.e., the World’s last and greatest event, has proven to be more than it was ever thought of.
Furthermore, we see the deeply imprinted traces of geopolitical views and geopolitical activities in the alliances formed up subsequent to the Second World War, as well as in the priorities assigned to the types of weapons, and in politics.
Without the geopolitical views, many of today’s prevalent major problems would have to remain unexplained with adequacy. Moreover, such resolutions that concern the security, politics, and even the planning priorities; geographical evaluation is a must for screening the thoughts through a discipline, and for treating them with integrity.
The scientific ground and the media of thinking that the geopolitics have created, have oriented many policies and motivations. Besides, the imperativeness of geopolitics has also been established.
Looking into many events of our era, at a level and of a geopolitical breadth, is imperative. I would like to begin ١٠٢ith clarifying few events that would call for a sight at a geopolitical breadth for it would help elucidating the field of geopolitics. I shall, in the mean time, refer to the few other events which would require treatment at a geopolitical breadth, where and when such events would necessitate. For example, European Economic Community (EEC), and Common Market, do not solely reflect the economical events in themselves. Likewise, the European Council is not an exclusively economic event of its own either. 1’hese and similar other events call for a geopolitical sight. The economic integration as foreseen by EEC, shall absolutely impose its political, social, and even, the inherent military consequences. Such events are based upon a geopolitical platform, and they present geopolitical magnitude.
NATO too is a geopolitical event and, yet, owing to the inherent nature of militia, it allows for a close co-operation, and not for integration. I have already referred to the nature or characteristics of militia, in the sense that the military integration can only be materialized subsequent to the achievement of economic, social and political integration; therefore NATO bears no responsibility in terms of logistics and economic aspects. Consequently, NATO is an event based on geopolitics, and any member country of NATO may leave it at any time as and when she may so select. In case of such separation, the residual problems to be consequently encountered, shall not require a very difficult and complicated cleansing action, for any political, economic and social implications of integration would eventually be out of question. Whereas, in the case of integration (or amalgamation) within the EEC and European Council, it would pave the way for more permanent results.
The economic and political foundations of the European Community are the EEC and the European Council respectively. Whereas, NATO surpasses the European Community and, therefore, certain European countries act in pursuit of organizing separate military media.
The inevitableness of looking at the events as a whole, leads us to geopolitics and geopolitical evaluations.
Doubtlessly, such subjects are very extensive in scope and, in order to present examples for the field of geopolitics only, I have mentioned the respective headings. These topics are not very well known to our public opinion, to the extent that a considerable part of the books that the pedlars were selling along the bank of Seine river in Paris throghout 1960’s, was related to the Common Market; while, in Turkey, you can hardly locate 20 books about the Common Market. Besides, none of such books may describe the EEC in terms of geographical, political, economical and military intergration or, in short, at any geopolitical magnitude of approach. Geopolitics, present a wide horizon to the extent of visualizing each and every topic broader.
In the case of innovations in thoughts, confrontation with conceptual complications is generally inevitable. A new concept causes certain complications to arise, before it can find its place within the system of meditation. Such terms and concepts as geopolitics, geostrategy, strategic geography, etc., have resulted in fluctuations throughout the fields of politics, strategy, and of the strategic geography in particular.
Geopolitics have initiated a new, but tiresome life of meditation. Any or all implementations, being based upon the determination and selection of the entirety of related other branches of sciences, politics, strategy, etc., ought to undergo a weary system of meditation. In order to discover and further develop an ambient media for the life of meditation, all concepts must be tied up with the acceptable meanings which should be unified in the same understanding; and their conjunctions must be defined and duly bunched up. Undoubtedly, the topic of geopolitics can not be fully elucidated very easily. Personal views can be transformed to the general and acceptable meanings as the time goes on, and consistent with the mental capacities of the men of wisdom to come up. Because, geopolitics, as yet, is a concept in which many conflicts swarm, and the number of those who dislike it is more than those who like.
Emergence of geopolitics, and thinkers thereof:
The term “geopolitics” has been used by Swedish political geographer Rudolf Kjellen (1863-1922) for the first time.
The literary meaning of the term “geopolitics” is the “policy of earth, or wold policy . Many men of wisdom have come up in the field of geopolitics, and 1 shall enumerate a few of them by country for the purpose of refreshing our memories. Frederick Ratzel, Germany (1844-1904); Sir Halford Mckinder, United Kingdom (1861-1947); Vidal de la Blache, Fiance(1845- 1918); Alfred Thayer Mahan, U.S.A. (1840-1914); Nicholas J. Spykman, U.S.A. (1893-1943); and many other political geographers and men of wisdom, have oriented the theory and implementation thereof through the introduction of their views.
A study to be given to the common points of eleven (11) definitions and clarifications, which are as good as such definitions, would prove that all of such definitions had been used for the terms “state”, “geographic factors”, and ،politics”. The points on which they disagree, fall on the queries as to the actual constituents of geopolitics, to which such different fields as sciences, arts, planning, implementation, etc., are being attributed.
I would like to make a few important remarks about geopolitics.
The term “geopolitics” as introduced by R. Kjellen, is a “scientific study given to the State within any geographical organization or space, and an investigation and evaluation of the State’s existence in view of the laws of nature and human behavior patterns”. While C. Houshofer defines it as the “correlation of the mode of political life (i.e., the State) -that varies dependent upon the effects of the geographical region lived in, and of the historical developments that had taken place therein- with the location where the State maintains its existence”. The same thinker also construes it “scientifically, as the connection of terranean correlations with the political developments”. The political geographers or geopoliticians of various States, have tried to adhere a meaning and scope to the geopolitics, in-line with the political philosophy of the own State, or of the ideation they adhered to Vidal de la Blache, against C. Houshofer, has created thoughts in-line with the politics of France; and Mahan developed his meditations consistent with the political objectives of U.S.A. Any approach towards visualizing the geopolitics as a field of propaganda, merely by looking at this presentation, would be a mistake. As a matter of fact, every man of wisdom, has made an evaluation of the geopolitical elements in line with his own national and political objectives. The sciense of geopolitics has shaped and extensively benefited itself by means of such evaluations. The exploitation of geopolitical studies by political ideas, should not be overemphasized. Each and every case of utilization, is not necessarily a matter of exploitation. Since the geopolitics constitute the science of transition from political geography into politics, the users of this science should naturally demonstrate a political behaviour.
Despite my opinion of the perpetual inadequacy of the explanations being based upon definitions; under certain compulsory circumstances of 1971, I had made a definition of geopolitics in-line with its developed meaning (From Geopolitics Into Taclics-By Suat tlhan, Publications of War Academy, 1971)• E٦،؟٧ today, 1 am still adhering to that definition and, yet, I would rather like to convert it into a form of clarification. An extensive subject, when and if squeezed within the moulds of any single definition, invariably presents omissions. Therefore, I am in favour of the supplemental benefits that an explanatory statement would offer.
Taking into consideration the constituents and boundaries of geopolitics, we can clarify it in the following way: Geopolitics is a science that takes into account the invariables (space occupied over the world surface, ٠geographical character, terrain, etc.) and the variables (socio-econimic structure, economic policy, and the military valuables) of a nation or community of nations (such as alliances) or of any region around the existing geographical platform, and makes an evaluation of power; studies and evaluates the world’s power centres of the day being affected, as well as the powers prevailing within any given region; and investigates and defines the targets, along with the conditions and phases involved in achieving such targets.
The science of geopolitics studies the present and future correlations of power and target, on the basis of physical and political geography.
In short, geopolitics defines the direction it has given to the politics by the entirety of power constituents though the geographic platform and data provided.
It can be said that geopolitics is an activated or actively evaluated form of geography, through the use the entirety of its constituents, which evaluates on comparative basis, the centres of power over the geographic platform; sets up power and target correlations at a political level; and forms the scientific ground for the security and development policy of any given State. In every new idea, a part of the meditators tends to descend to the media of ancient Greek meditation and meditators. Those who tie-up the idea of EEC (European Economic Community) with that of Plato s,
comment that the preliminary views of modern geopolitics were also initiated by Plato, and evaluate Plato’s words: “Once upon a time, the lands was sufficient for people to earn their living. But now, it is insufficient and that means, we arc compelled to get land from our neighbours” as an effect of geography on the politics. Aristotle (B.C. 384-322) and Herodotus even earlier (B.C. 484-425), had made attributions to the relations between the geographical and physical structure, as well as to the existence of State. Strabo (B.C. 63-A.D. 24), a meditator of Amaseia (Amasya) had studied the relation of geographical media and national power.
The actual development of geopolitics, along with the political geography, falls on the end of 19th Century and the beginning of 20th Century. The well known meditators of this subject, had come up throughout this period.
Studies conducted on the political geography, throughout the second half of 19th Century, had paved the way for forming up the science of geopolitics.
After the Second World War, professorships on geopolitics were established at the political sciences department of universities in certain countries. Arguments between the geographers and political scientists, as to the acceptance of feopolitics, still keep continuing.
In Turkey, following the Second World War, the science of geopolitics was included in the curricula of War Academies, initially in terms of conferences and later as a lesson.
The constituents of geopolitics:
In order to have a better understanding of what and what not, the geopolitics are, and to achieve specific views as to the limits of its frame١vork, a common or joint view must have been attained about its specific constituents. As a matter of fact, the constituents of geopolitics are being evaluated most differently. Before running into any arguments, I shall be presenting the particular constituents which I have personally accepted and w hich did not attract any objections throughout the past fifteen (15) years. The number of constituents or elements that I shall be clarifying is difficult to increase. This number can be reduced consistent with your own evalution. 11 shouldn't be forgotten, however, that geopolitics grow and bear new responsibilities, consistent with each and every new element. And, on the contrary, deletion or removal of any element, reduces the field of geopolitics.
Strategy comprises three (3) constituents: Space, force, and time. The elements of geopolitic sare likewise same in general. However, the elements of geopolitics call for a classification, and subdivisioning into respective details, intcrms of variables and invariables.
Invariable constituents (corresponding to the “space” conecpt from among the strategic constituents):
- Boundaries of the country or region, respective place over the earth, area occupied, geographical integrity, etc., and
- Geographical characteristics (island, continent, side, and being a continental State).
Invariable constituents (corresponding to the “force” concept from among the strategic constituents):
- Socio-cultural values,
- Economic values,
- Political values, and
- Military values.
Time (“time” in the case of strategic constituents too):
The details of these constituents, cover a separate subject matter. The statement: “Policies to be adhered to by the States are contained within their own geographies”, gives an adequate idea as to the place and value of the invariable constituents. The unchanged or static external policies of various countries where the structures of administration present extensive changes, is the effectual result of unchanged constituents of geography. Such unchanging policies can be more or less noted in any country that may be taken for an example.
The area, from among the invariable constituents, is an element to which the geopoliticians attach very high values that it justifiably deserves. Russia’s survival against Napoleon,and upon confrontation with the First and Second World W’ars, was due the extensive area. Extensiveness of area must be considered along with the respective economic and military values, as well as with the respecti؛١e political structure. In cases where the area is in possession of geographic integirty, it acquires a far more value. In respect of geopolitical evaluation, area corresponds to force. Any area in possession of geographic integrity, is a far more bigger power.
Variable constituents (corresponding to “force” concept in strategy) are a whole. Any of the economic, social, political, and military powers may appearently be assigned priority from time to time, or some of the meditators attach priority to any of them at their own choice and option. For example, geographer Prof. Siegfriel states that “Economic, social and political activities can only be attained by such nations of high culture”. What is the basic element of power? Which particular power has the priority? All of them, without any exception, are important. Any view, doctrine and implementation which had taken into account only one power, i.e., one contituent of geopolitics, had failed in reaching any success so far. Throughout the course of time, each and every power must be evaluated, developed and utilized in an harmonious manner. Any investigation directed to locate the origin of the powers of nations, in fact, calls for an overall geopolitical evaluation processing. The effect of economic development on the social life, and their combined effect on the military power, as well as their reflection onto any single or separate policy constitute the subject matter of an important study and investigation, and the result can be achieved through a geopolitical view based on geography.
Political Geography and Geopolitics:
The common and distinctive points of the social geography and geopolitics are not very clear even at the present time. The activities and publications, as well as the pro-Hitler policies with consequential effecets, of the Geopolitical Institute in particular which was established by Carl Haushofer [*] have, to a certain extent, made geopolitics rather unlikable. In fact, attributions are being made to Haushofer as the Machiavelli of geopolitics too.
The effect of geographic structures and geographic elements on the political activities and resolutions is definitive. The places, political boundaries, physical characteristics, breadth (area), climate, resources, etc., of the countries throughout the earth, form up and differentiate their policies. Along with these elements, the socio-cultural, economic, and military constituents create the powers of countries; orient the respective policies; clarify the international relations; make evaluations for the future; and set up policies. This, in fact, is a process that clarifies the path of countries in reaching the targets aimed at, through the use of their pover/ target relations, external and internal e\'aluations, and respective powers; it falls beyond the political geography, and establishes the policies. In terms of the choice of a motivation; politics, make use of the entirety of data that the political geography would make available and,et, it is an event that falls beyond the political geography. ١١’hereas, geopolitics move from the political geography would make available andyet, it is an event that falls politics.
Geopolitics is in a position to create provisions for the future. I n order to enable the geopolitics achieve the respective objective aimed at, the sciences other than geography must, likewise, be made use of.
In order that the resultscan be inferred for the future, the powers should be studied, in respect of their present and potential values, and reciprocal power comparisons made and evaluated in terms of geographic accomplished facts. All of these can not be seen in the political geography.
The tendency of studying the political geography and geopolitics within each other, stems from such reasons as the introduction of geopolitics by the political geographers; and the inadequacy of political geography, particularly in respect of its place and evaluations thereof. Ratzel has added up economy, sociology, political sciences, histories of culture and civilization, and the ideas of earth and space, to the political geography' to the extent of having surpassed it. Exploring the correlations between the State and the earth; Ratzel makes the following statement: "Political geography has remained nonviable and plain”. A move aiming at revising the contents and methods of the political geography has initiated as from the beginning of 20th Century.
Men had been affected from the earth on which they live, and they will still keep exposing themselves to such effects. Geographic elements shall, likewise, keep affecting the politics, economy and organization.
Geopolitics do not exclusively make use of the political geography component; but it utilizes physical geography, biological geography, human geography, and the time factor too, so as to infer provisions for the future.
The reasons which had paved the way for the emergence of geopolitics, can be summarized as the inadequacy in diagnostic approaches to the new elements which in themselves, affect the creation and development of the communities; inefficiency of the existing sciences in explaining and orienting certain geographic and political occurrences and events; reduced area element in geography, resultant of the developed transportations and communications; increment in the inter-communal and inter-continental correlations; emergence of the feasibilities for World Supremacy; preparations and activities carried out by certain States, conducive of such an objective; requirement felt for elucidating the correlations and interactions between history, geography, and political sciences; and consequently, the necessity arisen for the clarification and evaluation of the results of prospective security and political problems.
Prof. Etzel Pearcy, considers the entirety of statesmen as geopoli- ticans. Politicians’ acquirement of basic kno١١ledge on geopolitics, for transformation into the field of implementation, is inevitable. Whereas the scientific ground of geopolitics is to be prepared by geographers, political geographers in particular, and geopoliticians.
The theoretical views that lead us to understand the specific field of interest of geopolitics; effect of geopolitics in practice; its development as far achieved; and to be familiarized with the men of wisdom in this science; must be absorbed.
Rules and laws oriented to clarify many events, and the systematically prepared theories had so far been introduced into the field of geopolitics.
Primarily, I shall very briefly refer to certain views which had been treated and accepted as theories, and then present an evaluation on the subject.
The first geopolitical theory is named as “The Theory of Supremacy on Land”. This theory was introduced by Mckinder of the United Kingdom.
Sir Halford Mckinder (1861-1917) had published in 1904 his book which was entitled “The Geographical Principles of History;” and disclosed in 1918 his view in connection with the theory.
Mckinder names Asia, Europe and Africa proper as the World Island. He accepts the area between Volga in the west, Siberia in the east, Himalayas in the south, and Arctic Sea in the north, as the “Heartland”; and then included the entirety of Continental Russia in the Heartland.
The theory of supremacy on land, can be summarized as: “That which installs supremacy over the (Heartland) can also attain supremacy over the World Island. That which attains supremacy on the (World Island) can also install supremacy over the World”.
Mckinder is of the opinion that an inner semi-circle encompassing (Germany, Austria, Balkans, Tukey, India, and China); and an outer semicircle containing (United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and USA) exist around the “Heartland”.
Mckinder and his views had been accepted mostly by German geopoliticians and they have proven to be effective throughout the politics implemented.
Theory of Supremacy on the Sea:
This theory was introduced by Alfred Mahan (1840-1914), an Admiral of USA. Admiral Mahan is of the opinion that the supremacy on the sea is the key to the World supremacy. His book, entitled “The effect of Naval Forces on Histojry”, has influenced the politics of USA, United Kingdom, German, Russia, and Japan.
Peripheric Belt Theory:
This theory was introduced by Nicholas J. Spykman (1893-1943) of USA. Spykman believes that the supremacy over the “World Island" may be feasible by imposing supremacy over the belt —vith more extensive resources and possibilites — that encircles the central region. This outer belt encompasses Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China Main Land, Korea, and Eastern Siberia.
The effects of this view can be traced in the NATO, CENTO, and SEATO agréments which were entered into subsequent to the Second World War.
The peripheric belt theory, when evaluated in-line with this view, the wars of Korea, Viet-nam, Afghanistan, and Cambodia can be understood far better. Spykman uses the same geographical evaluation as set forth by Mckinder in his “Theory of Supremacy on the Land”. One of them believes in the development from centre to the periphery; while the other believes in a development from periphery to the centre. Spykman has given serious consideration to the other geographical factors too.
Theory of Supremacy in the Air:
This theory' has been put forward by many aviators of USA in particular. Col. Hausy Scitaklian has published his views in a number of literature. All contributors of this theory have defended their arguments to the effect that the entirety of theories can be materialized through the sovereignty in air.
The Values and Present Statuses of Theories:
The question whether or not these theories would prove to be adequate in clarifying the geopolitical events, must be debated. Another debatable point is involved with the rules and laws versus these theories, as to whether or not they have so far achieved a systematic order. Vaguenesses on these points must be duly clarified.
The existing geopolitical theories can be classified under two different headings:
- Theories based on physical geography: Theory of Supremacy on Land; Peripheric Belt Theory.
- Theories based on force: Theory of Supremacy on the Sea; Theory of Supremacy in the Air.
As a matter of fact, all views are -- up to a certain point ٠٠ in favour of Mckinder's geographic divisioning. The differences in between ensues from the precedence or priority given to the point of supremacy or force, at the beginning.
Since geopolitics constitute a branch of science which is based on geography; such forces that demonstrate variations at all times, should not be allowed to form up a basis for the geopolitical theories. Forces are the constituents of classes, weapons and powers; and their values depend upon the other powers. An air power, without sea power and land power; or any of such powers, without the existence of economic power; can hardly be considered.
The approach of having the geopolitics, i.e., a young and developing branch of science, tied up with the basic elements of power (which in turn, is a constituent of geopolitics), instead of geopolitics’ own constituents; calls for the imperativeness of changing the theories at any time as the powers and respective techniques may undergo any changes. Geography is a whole that comprises its land, sea, and air components. Such forces, arms and geopolitics that use one sector of the geography, should not be assumed as the actual motivating factor of the ١Vorld politics.
Space activities may, likewise, introduce new concepts. The space geopolitics is a term which has not yet been used, but it may still appear in the agenda. Geopolitics provide the policy involved with the World. Whereas, the space policy or space geopolitics shall constitute a separate subject of its own. In a foreseeable future, the World shall not miss its nature of being an origin and source, but shall keep holding its value.
Implementation of Theories:
The particular justifications, in support of which the geopolitical theories were set forth, and the extent how far and how they were implemented, may also give some idea as to the validness of such theories.
These theories which were used during and after the Second World War, had also affected the respective policies.
The efforts jointly rendered by and between F. Ratzel (Germany) and V. de la Blache (France), in terms of evaluating Alsace-Lorraine s possessorship between France and Germany, can be regarded as a typical case of exploitation.
The First and Second World Wars had occurred over the main axis of Paris-Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow. This axis is the general operations’ axis of the theory of supremacy on the ground.
Germany, having initiated the First World War for the purpose of acquiring colonies, had — throughout the Second World War ٠٠ aimed at for attaining supremacy in the World which would guarantee Germany's forthcoming thousand years. When the World supremacy is debated, geopolitical theories attain far more importance. As a matter of fact, German geopoliticians: Haushofer and Rosenberg had been extensively affected from the theory of Supremacy on the ground.
The differences between the view points of both geopoliticians coincide with a point, where they approach primarily to the east or primarily to the west.
Whereas, Germany's implementation has exemplified an approach to the peripheric belt, at the same time with the operations of Africa and Balkans, instead of conducting the operations solely on the main axis of Berlin-Moscow. Hider has detailed to the peripheric belt, the power which he had spared from the operations conducted over the main axis. Against the adaption of the basic principles of theories through the progression of geopolitical activités; practices have evidenced the cases whereby the ways adapted were different.
Different implementations may be motivated through the sound and justifiable reasons of the then existed conditions. In any case, however, geographical theories present a feature of mixed implementation; and this, in itself, is a geopolitical fault and mistake. This fault was also admitted by Hitler, who stated that Mussolini was the saviour of Moscow. Had Germany not committed such a fault, would she ever win the war? The answer to this question will, most probably, be “no!”.
In the beginning of the Second World War, Germany was privileged with an extensive combat superiority which was based on military power. The entirety of other geopolitical elements (constituents) was against Germany. Geopolitical elements were also disregarded in the struggle that Japan had initiated against the USA.
Germany had no superiority over the allied nations, in respect of the geographic structure (area, climate, place occupied over the World surface, and boundaries thereof), economic power, social and political powers. After a certain point, the war had become a matter of rendering effort and power.
The allied nations had mobilized their economic, social and political powers, whereby the time factor had started to work and gain value in favour of the potential powers. Geopolitical elements constitute a unique whole. A single power only, i.e., a military power alone, should not be deemed adequate for an extensive and long-term struggle.
On account of Germany’s failure in having conducted a through study and evaluation, the entirety of geopolitical elements that had prevailed prior to the commencement of the Second World War; Germany’s major military victories had not sufficed in recovering the mistakes of their policy which was then based upon the geopolitical evaluations. As can readily be seen, geopolitical data and accomplished facts orient the politics and the structure of World politics.
Investigation on Power Centers:
Geographic-based theories, when clarified, aim at the introduction of the principles that govern the world politics, consistent with the World’s power centres. The centre of World’s topmost importance, has been indicated, and the existence of inner and outer semi-circles accepted; and an evaluation is made on the assumption that by startling from such points, the “World Island” can be reached. The “heartland” envisaged in the theory of supremacy on the land, and the peripheric belt theory, attach importance to the geography in the outer belt. Theories are based on the assumption that such regions must fall under the supremacy of a country with considerable power. In cases where the power that maintains its supremacy over such regions may prove to be inadequate or, else, an important power may be set up in a different region of the World, then this theory becomes invalid.
The centres of power may undergo changes in place and possession. Throughout the various epochs of history, important centres of power were set up in Asia, Europe, or in the middle East. In cases where the validity of theories becomes slim by reason of changes occurred in the places and possessions of the power centres; the dominant element therein must be assumed as the power centres. For example, the existing theories have disregarded the USA; and any theory of world politics that excludes the USA, must be assumed as a theory which does not conform to the conditions of our times. It appears that in case of any changes in the place and possession of power centres, the validness of respective theories become slim.
Theories are made to be based upon the principle of supremacy in the World. As a matter of fact, the extent how' far the idea of supremacy in the World is valid, can be debated. Regardless of the disappearance of the idea of supremacy in the world, it will still maintain its place in our agenda, as long as any struggle or even relation may exist between the countries on any subject and at any level whatsoever.
Every country must subject her own status to a geopolitical evaluation at two levels. One of the evaluations must be processed consistent with the power centres of the World, or with the sound and valid geopolitical theories; and the second one must be conducted at an adequate level to allow for the coverage of regional states within the region where the country is situated.
Responsibility of politics for the development of powers, precedes the processing required for utilizing them. The development of powers and the assignments of precendence for such development, must be handled and treated in-line with the geopolitics.
In defining the effects that contribute to the formation of power centres, different views may take place. Throughout the formation of power centres; geography, strategic source, and the men that fall within the constituents of geography, should be considered as the effective elements which must invariably be borne in mind at all times. Geography forms up the particular platform that orients and shapes the men with qualifications, as well as the strategic source.
Geopolitics I History Correlations:
The state is a living and viable existence. Men have long been tended to reflect their own characteristics onto the states they have set up, and tried to make such states resemble themselves. And, in fact, they have proven to be quite successful in it too! The Characteristics of men appear to be corresponding to the governmental departments (organizations) in the case of State. So that, the State thus becomes the organized legal entity of the nation. Such developments had been materialized throughout the history, within a length of time, and also through the contribution of geography.
Clarification of geography/history correlations, enables the history to gain breadth in view of a geopolitical approach. Clarification of these correlations would both establish the necessity of geopolitics, and the value of the method used for elucidating the geopolitics.
Geopolitics/history correlations can be summarized under two (2) main headings:
First one can be studied and interpreted as the history in which geopolitical elements must have been given proper consideration.
Second one can be a study given to the effects of history in the formation of modern geopolitics.
The approach of studying the history along with the inherent geopolitical elements (constituents), can be conducted by way of giving consideration to the flow of politics over the geographic platform.
Geopolitical elements are the effects that shape up the occurrence of historical events. Events have developed, consistent with the centres of power which had been formed up on basis of the geopolitical constituents. Each and every section of history, can be evaluated by way of studying the general centers of power, as well as the regional centers of power in particular. For example, while studying the motion of Turkish salvation, world’s power centres and the statuses of regional countries must absolutely be scrutinized. The difficulties encountered under the conditions whereby the movement of Turkish salvation had taken place, constitute only a part of the magnitude of this event. As a second example, we may think of the Seljuks. Without taking into account the geography and without studying the Bizantium, as well as the other regional powers, Asiatic civilizations, I urkish ethics, Islamic civization and without getting familiarized with the golden raiders who were the end product of the aforesaid civilizations, the history of Seljuks can not be presented with its real face. The geopilitical sight into the history can only be fasible through such a broad approach.
Modern theories can not be used as the criteria for clarifying the historical events. The struggles that had continued until the 20th Century, had not developed in-line with the modern theories of our age. The theories of supremacy on land, peripheric belt, and supremacy in the air were invalid and inapplicable throughout the aforesaid dates. Turks had lived their supremacy cycles close to the “heartland” concept of Mckinder. However, such a situation had not sufficed for their supremacy throughout the World. As for the evaluations to be carried out by taking into account tire regional centres of power, they will also be valid throughout tire liistory.
Geographical situation affects the historical events. The history of United Kingdom is interrelated with the geography of an island, 'fhe events that had taken place tliroughout the British history, appear as the behaviours that conform to the character of an island State even before the science of geopolitics was emerged. Here, in this case too, geopolitical elements had affected the chain of historical events. A. Toynbee refors to the United Kingdom as “٩second ١٧orld”.
When going ahead with an evaluation of the modern geopolitical situation; each and every element slrall wholely be considered by dwelling on the history of bygone values.
Any, historical study, enables the geopolitics to gain a depth of time, and to approach to the cause closer. Besides, history creates a feeling of space in men, as well as in nations. After a loss of land, the feeling of space (location) elaborates itself as an idea; which, in turn, causes to emerge the historical demands in satisfaction of the right contemplated. Should the historical demands for the rights prove to have such a structure that may ensure a geographical integrity, the historical rights thus become supported with the geographical right. Alsace-Lorraine was a case in which the liistorical and geographical rights were debated jointly. In the divisioning of sea areas, geographical right imposes its dominancy. In Cyprus, the question of a geographical right -- that the geographical structure had created -- was also brought up to the same extent as our national and historical rights. A thorough study of history, as supported with geopolitical data and literature, and an investigation of geopolitical values throughout the development of today's geopolitics, would bring the history and geopolitics closer, in terms of a reciprocal assistance. Another statement made by Toynbee, may introduce far more perceptual clarification to this subject matter. Toynbee comments the following: “Historical powers can be far more explosive than the atom bomb itself’.
The Effect of Geographic Integrity in the Turkish History:
The evaluation of Turkish history in support of the geopolitical elements and data is a separate and broad subject matter. I would like to
make a brief reference to the geographic integrity for the Turkish history, in order to introduce an example of geopolitical sight into the history. I must reiterate that a geopolitical study of the Turkish history is an independent, difficult, and painstaking subject matter.
The Turkish history, following and even preceding the dates of Huns, demonstrates a flow which is in-line with the destiny that the geography had scribed. The geographical accomplished-facts that determine the destinies of nations, had also proven to be the most important factor throughout the bygone and present times of the Turkish nation. The power centres of Turks, which were set up in the Central Asia, had suffered great geographic misfortunes. The Turks had never achieved a full geographical integrity, nor did they ever succeed in backing their boundaries with such natural defensive elements as the seas and other obstacles. Consequently, they remained as an interior State, which had no choice other than fighting against a multitude of powers at a multitude of frontiers.
Deprived of strong natural boundaries, such states as confined within the Continent, had problems with their neighbors at all times. Their requirements for security, had stimulated the military element to gain precedence against the other elements. However, the man with qualifications, which constitutes both the need and the main source of the military element, is the cause of the Turkish history and ofthe entirety of our great national figures.
China, against which the Turkish States of Central Asia were in continued struggle, was gifted with more geographical integrity. Moguls feasibilities of geographical integration were less as against those of Chinese, but more when compared to those of Turks, both nations had become “Peripheric States”, and made use of their statuses.
The major migrations of Turks, and their undergoing a continued fluctuation, are — to a certain extent — attributable to their seeking for a political integration to live in security, and such migrations can be regarded as geopolitical motions.
Despite the entirety of difficulties, by the time the Turks were setting up States at the regions of Ural Mountains, Caspian Sea, Altay Mountain, and Oceans, which were allowing for a partial geographic integration; the inadequacy of communication feasibilities was preventing the continuity of such States. Turks’ success in having set up the States of such magnitudes, under the then existed conditions, was primarily due to their superiority on horses (B.C. 400), and secondarily, on iron. Horses were efficient — within the limits of their specific power — in the solution of communication problem, and they were evaluating the area element. In the Turkish history, horse is the complement of area, where it constitutes a blessed existence next to our man with qualifications.
The Turkish power has attained its strongest geographic integration after having arrived in ٠٩natolia. This strongest geographic integration, however, was not the full geographic integration. Such nations that live in this type of geographies, have no remedies other than being strong and powerful at all times and in each and every area, so as to maintain their viability.
Geopolitical Accomplished Facts of Our Modem Age:
The place occupied on the World surface, geographic characteristics (being a State of an island, continent, periphery, and of an area within any continent), terrain, geographic integration, and area constitute the geopolitical accomplished facts, and the geopolitical destinies. Turks have fought against this destiny, and upheaved themselves by overpowering such adverse features of the destiny. The main element that materializes the upheaved position is the man. The factors that make the skilled man are the varying elements of geopolitics, as well as the socio-cultural values, economic values, political values, and the military values.
It appears therefore, that such invariable elements of geopolitics that are based on geographical features; and the elements that enable the human factor to be vested with qualifications, for forming up the nation; may bear a meaning when they are treated and considered jointly. Both elements must be evaluated by taking into consideration their effects and contributions jointly.
In evaluating and elucidating the events of past periods, geopolitics can be made use of. While tracing the causes of events in the past, geographic inevitabilities and compulsorinesses can be identified. The motion of seeking geographical integration in the Turkish history, has been given as a case of example.
Undoubtedly, that feature of geopolitics, which must be taken into account in the constitution of events and politics of our present days, bears far more importance. All countries, and the entirety of international covenants, concern the geopolitics. In order to clarify only the area and plane (level) of geopolitics, I shall refer to certain examples, along with the
respective headings. The entirety of typical examples which I shall be giving, must be scrutinized by taking into account the geopolitical elements, and by making evaluations to be based upon the interaction and reciprocal contributions of such elements.
A few subject matters, with respective headings, of our present days that call for consideration at a geopolitical level, are presented hereunder:
- The reality, historical background, present status, and future of the USSR, versus the geopolitical theories, data and literature:
The USSR maintain: supremacy over the region which has been indicated by Mckinder as the “Heartland”; full dominancy over many countries throughout the regions of the World by means of various methods; USSR-backed influential supporters in certain other countries. This table appears to be very suitable to Mckinder’s conditions for World supremacy. Has USSR achieved an adequacy that the World supremacy requires? Or, else, is she a sick super power as stated by some figures? The answers to these questions may only prove to be close to the reality, through a detailed geopolitical study.
- Activities for the unification of Europe, constitute another important event which must be considered at the level of European Council, European Economic Community, and geopolitical framework. The most important power of Europe, is the skilled man backed up with the civilization that Europe represents. As deprived of its colonies, and having abandoned its first-grade standing to other countries, how far can Europe safequard its geopolitical maturity, by merely, relying upon its skilled-man element? The qualifications of man are not invariable and nondegenerative elements.
The efforts being for the unification of Europe, are of such a magnitude and importance that would totally require a political approach to the subject matter.
- The USA has achieved maturity in geopolitcs, as many geopoliticians state; resources of USA power; and the direction toward which such resources develop; etc.
- Middle East; formation and development thereof; the Arab-Israel reality; battles that takes place throughout the region.
- Islamic Union, and the motions of solidarity.
- Asia and Africa in continental and regional formations.
- The Third World Countries (Non-alliance), falling beyond Turkey and the western cultural circumference, were colonized after the l urks were defeated over the lands and on the seas. The same Third World Countries had started to save themselves from being colonies, subsequent to the Turkish Salvation Motion that had taken place 3 to 4 centuries thereafter. This magnitude has had its geopolitical platform and geopolitical consequences.
Throughout the entirety of subjects I have already exemplified, the place of Turkey must be evaluated separately and, later, as a whole.
Respective evaluations on each and every subject already presented, can be made in view of economic, social, military, and political considerations, and by taking into account the geographical platform. None of such subjects is an exclusively economic or a social event. z\ll of them have their own geopolitical magnitude as based upon geography along with its political, economic, social, and military contents and implications that had stemmed from the course of history. Any view that ensue from a single point, can not be taken for an answer. Evaluation can be made, not on basis of frozen statistical data, but by way of giving consideration to the geographical data and literature which should envisage the past, present, and future times.
Geopolitics construe an active evaluation of geography, along with the entirety of its elements. We can call it a branch of science that evaluates the centres of power on comparative basis; establishes po١ver and target relations at a political level; and sets up a platform for the implementation-oriented politics.
The W'orld’s political boundaries change throughout the political divisions, and while the World's power centres emerge or diminish in certain regions, regional power centres emerge or diminish in the others. Furthermore; political, economic and military alliances, dissociations, disintegrations and reorganizations occur, evidencing an incessant flow of changes. In all such changes, the effects of geopolitical elements can be traced. Before following up and evaluating the changes and potential developments, a scientific platform and a scientific justification must be provided. I shall apologetically repeat my previous view which I have already mentioned elsewhere: Beautiful flowers do not bloom at any place where a scientific platform does not exist.
We can not think of any country or political society that may ever remain beyond the influence of politics. Whereas, the international politics can change direction and form. In other words, a new World can be set up, as the late President tnónü had once put forward in his well known statement. The new worlds, once set up, create new geopolitical media and this, in turn, brings new scientific dimensions with respective evaluations.
The changes wherever occur throughout the World, may not always develop in the manner as anticipated. Because the destiny and happiness of individuals and nations may not always be shaped in the hands of wise men and in good faith.
The new geopolitcal media bring up new opportunities or new misfortunes. What may happen when and if Europe may exhaust its power even further; USA lose her power and withdraw to her Continent; and USSR become divided? The scientific platform to be formed up through the geopolitical evaluations, is the greatest support for the politics. Geopolitics may orient the political life, and provide information for the art of political life. I shall be working on the same example. The Turkish economist, Turkish sociologist, Turkish historian, and Turkish geographer must have their own evaluations of the European Economic Community. The last words must undoubtedly cover the political responsibility. The book prepared by Westerners and entitled “The Great Event of the World” for narrating the Second World War, the Russo-Finnish War begins with the following lines:
“For very seldom countries, as in the case of Findland, the history is intermingled with the country’s geographical position. The fate has doomed the Finnish nation to abreast the defense of western culture, throughout a continued struggle against the intent and contemplation of the East for broadening”. The wrong approach in this diagnosis, is the view that limits the interrelation of geography and history to the seldom few cases only. Geography is the most effective element in the destinies of nations, whose development and wealth imperatively depend upon the behaviour patterns and characteristics of their individuals, as well as on respective climates, structures, policies, and the traces that geography engraves. History witnesses the geographic accomplished-facts, and authenticates the effects of geography. It is not only the history of Finland, but the histories of all nations which are intermingled with their own geographies.
Geopolitics is a branch of science that makes use of the history in evaluating the present time, and constitutes the platform needed for inferring respective provisions throughout the forthcoming future, and whose method has not gained any definitive clarity as yet.