Sedat Laciner (SL): "First of all, Anatolia is a special place between the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa. It was always an important place for the Romans, for the Greeks, Arabs, Iranians, and Russians. If a country is located in such a special place, it needs a special foreign policy to protect its interests and to maintain its relations with the neighboring regions. The Anatolian political and economic order needs to be integrated with that of the Balkans and the Caucasus, and with that of today’s Middle Eastern systems, for otherwise it cannot maintain its sovereignty, development, independence, or peace. Turks, during the Ottoman era, first integrated the Anatolian territories and then moved to the territories that connect Anatolia to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. That is why the first sultans of the Ottoman Empire gave great importance to integrating the Balkans and Asia Minor before integrating the Black Sea region and the Caucasian and Middle Eastern territories nearby.