Middle Size


Today the entire population of the world lives within the borders of those separate communities that are called states. About six billion people are citizens of one state or another. For more than half a billion people living in the developed counties of Western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Turkey. Well, there is a problem in here I guess. Everyone accept that Western European countries, such as Great Britain, France, Germany, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are great powers but does Turkey has a seat in this list? Perhaps we should ask the question of “how do we define a country as a great power or not? Are there any other descriptions for non-great power countries?”


There are basically three types of countries in the international system. If including the Cold War era this number can be four. Those are great powers, called super powers in the era of Cold War, Middle powers and Small powers.


It is easy to describe the term Great Power by saying that they have ability to influence other states both regionally and universally by having power elements such as population, territory, economy, resources, military power and so on[1]. The most obvious example for a Great powers no doubt that USA. Its economical strong background, its cultural and historical traditions, military forces and technology make it a dominant power in our present world. The decision makers in the USA can easily change or influence the international order. USA economy has a big effect on world economical balance and every decision it takes make other states to re-arrange their foreign and sometimes domestic policies. Super powers were just a different name for the era of Cold War, which was composed of only two countries, which were USA and the Soviet Union.


In contrast Small powers are the countries that can be easily influenced by regional and universal politics and that has no chance to take a decision in the international system. Their economy mostly faces problems and their military power is not enough and they are far back from the technological developments. Considering the continent of Africa it is clear that almost all countries there are small powers.


Middle powers stand somewhere between the two extremes of the scale – that they have some ability to resist pressure from more powerful states, and may sometimes be able to influence the policies of weaker ones, especially if they are geographically contiguous. They may possess some regional power, but cannot expect to be able to influence global politics more than marginally.[2] As an example Turkey, Iran and Israel are middle powers in the Middle East. Middle powers are dominant in their region but this power would never be enough to resist much to great powers and especially would never come to an end to have a war against them. Under the threat of a great power there are two ways to oppose the situation. First solution to their security problem comes from outside through an alliance and the second solution is through the exploitation of a balance of forces between the great powers. But these solutions are not that easy because the balance of power can change in any time or in an alliance the great power can use the middle power as a satellite. A middle power mostly does not have a chance to select the solution to apply because this choice depends on the present international system and the position of the middle power.[3]


There are two features to determine a middle power. These are the economy and military-jeostrategy[4].


A middle power should have a specific size and a strong economy. Because economy is the base of everything within the country and a developed economy helps to have a strong military forces in order to protect and have a seat in the international arena. It is not possible not to have problems within the economy but if these problems would be seen all the time then the middle power would try to compensate it by enlarging its military and jeo strategic power. But this military power cannot be used without rejecting the great powers. If a middle power tries to enlarge its territory without a permission of the