“RFE/RL: What kind of Turkey do you see in five years?
Yakis: Internally, domestically, I believe that this trend of being the fastest developing country in the world — competing with China only, that has 9 to 10 percent growth even in the crisis period for the world economy — shows that Turkey’s growth rate will continue and Turkey will become a more prosperous country. The more you become prosperous, the more the country becomes stable, because poverty creates instability. I mean, social classes revolt against the [unequal] distribution of wealth, etc. So when their income increases, they are better off and they don’t complain.
This trend will continue and this trend will also allow Turkey to use its soft power in getting involved in the problems of the region. Soft power is more welcome in the world than hard power. In Afghanistan, Turkey is there with military power, but the Turkish military in Afghanistan acts more with soft power — in the construction of mosques, schools, construction of roads, and that type of things.
So we are more efficient with less money in Afghanistan than other countries who are present there with their hard power.”