World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at a program held at the Chatham House -- a think tank on international affairs, Kurtulmus said: “Turkey is an island of stability in the middle of regional turbulence.
"Turkey is the only country with a rich Islamic heritage and democratic experience in the region.”
He said the current world political and economic order had been challenged, but the order had lost its ability to solve major global problems.
“Syria and the Ukraine crisis are just two examples,” he said, adding: “Shutting down borders no longer renders any country safer."
He recalled the fact that Turkey was hosting more than three million Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
He said Turkey had now moved to a new phase in its domestic and foreign policies in line with the developments in the region.
“Turkey is a wall against the rising tide of extremism and terrorism worldwide,” he said.
About the defeated July 15 coup, Kurtulmus said Turkey was going through some very tough times.
“Especially starting from the last year’s month of July, we are under the threat of major terrorist organizations. ISIL, which have international network, PKK, they have very close ties with some of the terrorist groups in northern Syria.
“Unfortunately, on the other hand we are still under the threat of FETO [Fetullah Terror Organization]. They have infiltrated themselves into the system of hierarchy,” he said.
Led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, FETO is accused of orchestrating Turkey’s July 15 coup plot as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
The July 15 defeated coup left 248 martyred, 2,193 others wounded.
The deputy premier said Turkey was now focused on “democratization of civil and military relations” under reforms taken following the coup attempt.
“Democracy reached a certain level of maturity in Turkey,” he said, adding: “We will never compromise our fundamental principles such as commitment to peace, the rule of law, protection of civil liberties and democracy.”
He said Turkey would continue to diversify its multilateral foreign policy and evaluate it in line with its national interest.
“Turkey is a unique country in the world, with many foreign policy options,” he said.
“Engaging in or having good relations with non-Western countries does not necessarily mean breaking ties with the West,” he added.