Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey put its imprint as one of the most influential countries not only on 2010, but also on the first decade of the second millennium. At the start of the new decade, too, Turkeys geopolitical position, rich historical heritage, cultural depth, well-educated young population, ever-strengthening democracy, growing economy, and constructive foreign policy make it an indispensable country in a world transformed by rapid globalisation. By making use of all of its assets, Turkey is contributing to regional stability and peace and working towards a global order based on justice, equality, and transparency. As an emerging power, it will continue to realise its own potential and simultaneously contribute to global peace. The chaotic conditions of the post-Cold War world have made civil wars, occupations, nuclear armament, and human trafficking chronic problems. While globalisation offers new opportunities, it also causes new global problems and deepens the inequalities embedded in the world order. It is no longer possible to sustain the current world order, which, based as it is on a skewed notion of centre-periphery relations, merely produces injustice and inequality. Turkeys posture - looking both East and West - is neither paradoxical, nor inconsistent. On the contrary, Turkeys multidimensional geopolitical position is an asset for the region. There are few countries that can play such a critical role. Turkey constitutes a new synthesis because of its ability to link such diverse qualities and backgrounds. It is, thus, capable of overcoming the dichotomies of East-West, Europe-Middle East, and North-South. Indeed, this capacity is essential because we need to leave behind the Manichean disagreements, conflicts, and fears of the Cold War era. Those who see the world through those old, fearful lenses have difficulty understanding Turkeys rising profile and dynamism. But the realities of the 21st century necessitate a multi-dimensional and inclusive political perspective. Acting on these principles, Turkey is following a proactive foreign policy stretching from the Balkans to the Middle East and the Caucasus. This geography is Turkeys natural, historical and cultural hinterland. Turkeys cultural and historical links with the peoples of these regions are deep and conducive to regional peace. Due to Turkeys recent efforts, the wounds of the Bosnian war are being healed, facilitating peace and stability among Balkan peoples. Turkeys efforts are also helping to prevent wars in the Middle East (ME), and our intense efforts have helped keep a diplomatic track open on the Iranian nuclear issue. Moreover, Turkey is helping to facilitate political stability in Iraq and helping the NATO mission in Afghanistan. And, of paramount importance, Turkey is making enormous efforts to help establish an independent and sustainable Palestinian state. Today, Turkey is following a policy that represents a sense of justice in ME, and is working toward the removal of artificial borders and walls among the regions peoples. Turks desire to live in a region where the dignity of every person is respected. That is why Turkey objected to Israels aggression in and blockade of Gaza, and will continue to do so. We know that it is not possible to attain global peace unless we establish sustainable peace in ME, which requires resolving the Palestinian question. Therefore, we urge Israel and all other countries involved to follow constructive and peaceful policies. Besides its cultural, historic, and diplomatic values, Turkeys vibrant economy has become a source of stability and welfare. Today, Turkeys annual GDP has reached $800 billion, making it Europes sixth largest economy and the 17th largest in the world. It has also been one of the least impacted by the global economic crisis, with growing foreign trade, a strong banking system, and diverse and prospering small and medium-size enterprises. Thus, the Turkish economy has returned to its pre-crisis levels in 2010. All of these qualities have transformed Turkey into an attractive place for business, media, artists, diplomats, students, and non-governmental organisations from around the world. Turkeys ever-increasing soft power is becoming one of its most significant traits, which we will continue to use to enhance regional and global peace. Turkey will continue to work toward a just and equitable global order in 2011 and beyond. This is a responsibility emanating from its history, geography, and the universal values that it holds. Gulf News