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Mohd Ikbal Mohd Huda, Nabiela Ismail


Turkey a rising middle power in international politics is known for its assertive behaviour. Having gone through a phase of reformation in their foreign policy structure, Turkey under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), being led by Recep Tayyib Erdogan emerged as a Muslim identity nation with a conservative democracy prevailing ideology. Turkey, which was once known for its secularism under Ataturk has displayed significant shifts in the uphold of religious values among the ruling power. By the end of the year 2020, Turkey has been recognized by the UNHCR as the largest host of refugees worldwide. While the country prides its enthusiasm on humanitarian aides, there has been an observation that this is the way Turkey is conducting its humanitarian diplomacy in international relations, as well as a part of its foreign policy strategy. Humanitarian diplomacy emerged as a concept in the early 2000s. In the effort of persuading decision-makers and leaders to act, at all times and in all circumstances, in the interest of vulnerable people and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles. Foreign policy and strategic interests increasingly overlap in the contemporary scenario. This transformation of power in Turkey is a result of internal and external developments that have contributed to the shift from being a "hard power" to "soft power" over the last few decades. The mission behind humanitarian diplomacy is to avoid the securitization of issues into security issues, while diplomatic relations should take precedence in tackling global challenges. This article examine the limits and challenges of humanitarian diplomacy to be an alternative approach to smart power strategy.

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