It would not be an exaggeration to say that the year 2022 brought the whole world major worries due to unexpected developments, especially in terms of politics and world peace. Undoubtedly, the war between Russia and Ukraine became top of the list in this regard.
Citing some reasons, Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused grave concerns, especially in the western bloc countries, and cost tens of thousands of lives. Meanwhile, world trade was also severely affected by this, and the world started experiencing an oil and food crisis. At this point, Turkey did its best to help both countries by making significant moves, without taking sides and even made essential moves to bring a solution to the food crisis. The most important of these was the grain corridor agreement, which was mediated and led by this country.
UKRAINE GRAIN CORRIDOR AGREEMENT
Thanks to the efforts of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine foreign ministers held a meeting that led to an agreement called “grain corridor”, enabling grain supply from Russia to countries in need. On top of this, Turkey also paved the way for prisoner exchange negotiations between Russia and Ukraine which were successfully completed. Furthermore, Turkey drew much attention worldwide by organising Antalya Diplomacy Forum targeting solutions to the prevailing crisis and more in the region. Turkey's mediation efforts certainly made this country one of the critical players in the region, contributing to world peace in 2022.
Also, to end the war in Ukraine and achieve lasting peace, Turkey held a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers on March 10, bringing together Russian Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Dmytro Kuleba for the first time since the start of the war in the resort city of Antalya. At the meeting, followed by many local and foreign journalists, Turkey stressed the need to keep humanitarian corridors open. Turkish officials stressed that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine should be kept open without any obstacles. At the same time, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said they also underlined the need for a sustainable ceasefire.
On July 22, Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports that were inactive due to the war. Days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal was extended for another 120 days starting November. 19. Many countries congratulated and appreciated Turkey and the UN for this initiative. More than 14 million tons of grain have been transported by 556 ships through the Black Sea grain corridor.
PRISONER SWAP BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA
In September, Turkey also mediated a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, which was carried out with the exchange of 200 prisoners. Erdogan told reporters in New York that the prisoner exchange brokered by Turkey was an "important step" to end the war between the two countries. He noted that efforts to establish peace between Russia and Ukraine were underway.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Turkey in November. 3-5 and was accepted by Erdogan. The Minister, who also met with Cavusoglu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, thanked Turkey for its role in the resumption of the Black Sea grain initiative.