Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu: A Profile
(Foreign Policy of Turkey-9)
-COL DR. ABDUL RUFF
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, now known as the "Kissinger" of Turkey, second in order of Turkish government after Erdogan, is a brilliant FM and his zero problems with Turkey’s neighbors’ policy have brought great benefits to Turkey. He without any doubt is the best FM Minster Turkey has ever had and Turks should all be proud of him and his achievements.
Ahmet Davutoğlu is also a political scientist, an academic and an ambassador at large and was formerly chief advisor to the Prime Minister. He was born in Konya, Turkey. He graduated from Istanbul Erkek Lisesi, which is a Deutsche Auslandsschule (German International School) and studied at the Department of Economics and Political Science of the Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He holds a masters degree in Public Administration and a PhD degree in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University. Between 1993 and 1999 he worked at Marmara University and became a full professor in 1999. He was the chairman of the Department of International Relations at Beykent University in Istanbul, Turkey. Ahmet Davutoglu was granted a title of ambassador in 2003 by the joint decision of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Abdullah Gül.
His publications include Alternative Paradigms: The Impact of Islamic and Western Weltanschauungs on Political Theory, The Civilizational Transformation and The Muslim World in English, Stratejik Derinlik (Strategic Depth), and Küresel Bunalım (The Global Crisis) in Turkish. Especially his book Strategic Depth is a very influential book in Turkey's foreign policy orientation. He is very influential in the military, academic, and government triangle shaping Turkish foreign policy.
Ambassador Davutoglu was one of the leading actors on behalf of the Turkish government during the shuttle diplomacy for the settlement of 2008 Israel–Gaza conflict. Davutoğlu was appointed as the Foreign Minister of Turkey on 1 May 2009. He has since called for Turkey to become more than just a regional power within Europe and the Middle East and desires Ankara to have a far more influential role in world politics. Davutoğlu is generally linked to the notion of Turkish neo-Ottomanism, which favors a commonwealth with its neighbors and old Ottoman connections. Although his foreign policies have been regarded as neo-Ottomanist by Western and especially U.S. media, Davutoğlu does not accept such a characterization.
Ahmet’s positive role in Islamization of new Turkey is no less than the top leader Erdogan. Facing a serious dichotomy between faith and practice, Davutoglu is aware of predicament of majority of Turks about its being a member of notorious anti-Islamic NATO.
Many say when Erdogan steps down the new leader should be Ahmet Davutoglu. It was widely speculated that Turkey would leave NATO latest by 2012 next year after the general election in 2011.
Turkey was a founding member of NATO and has also been a member of NATO longer than over half of the current countries, in fact longer than German, Spain, and certainly any of the Baltic and Balkan countries. By the way, simultaneous translation occurs, so it possible that one of the translators did not convey the comment accurately, or maybe the FM who spoke did not mean it the way he said it.
Since most of the EU members are also the NATO shareholders, Turkey which is a NATO member but not inside the EU has felt bitter experiences dealing with Europe and USA.
The love-hate relationship with NATO has been an embarrassment for Istanbul for many years now especially after the end of Cold War.
Outspoken nature is characteristic of Davutoglu. Davutoglu says Turkey maybe only a partner of EU until it enters the EU, but it remains an owner of NATO. Ahmet said Turkey is not a partner, but an owner of NATO, adding that an agreement within the multi-national alliance is as important as an accord within the EU. Speaking to a small group of journalists en route from Xi’an to Shanghai as part of his weeklong China trip, last year Davutoglu related a story about how a foreign minister from an EU member state referred to Turkey as an “important partner” during a meeting involving European security and defense policy. “I took the floor after him in the same meeting and said that we are not a partner here, but an owner. We are an owner of NATO,” the Turkish foreign minister said. “I told my colleague the hat that should be worn in this meeting should belong to NATO and if he wants to speak with his EU hat on, he should go to another street in Brussels,” Davutoglu added.
Anyone who understands NATO would understand his reaction. Partner status is a lesser relationship with NATO as opposed to being a member. Those who are part of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) are "partners" but not necessarily members. Meanwhile, all members of NATO are part of the PfP. Becoming a partner is easier than becoming a member and entails signing a security agreement among many, many other conditions. This is why he reacted to being called a "partner" and not a "member" of NATO.
Davutoglu is a deep thinker and orator. His comment brings to the surface an interesting inadequacy of the Turkish language, due to its lack of definite articles. Perhaps this explains the widespread difficulty in grasping some fundamental concepts. If you are not "the owner" then you are "an owner"= one of several owners. In other words you are in fact a "partner" of the other co-owners - nothing much to crow about. So, if Davoutoglu is fluent in English, his comment is patently incoherent, and your great excitement totally unwarranted.
Davoutoglu uses the term "owner" in describing "partner". The implication is that a partner shares in the running of a business and in the profits/loss, but may not be the ultimate owner or shareholder. So the FM is technically correct. We also need to remember that France abandoned NATO for 40 years until rejoining last year - hardly a great record.
In discussing the NATO plans for missile shield, Davutoglu first said calling the proposed system a “missile shield” was incorrect both technically and politically. “Missile shield, missile wars, where will Turkey be in this war? The discussions within NATO are not about this at all,” he said. Davutoğlu added that the focus at the Brussels meeting of NATO foreign and defense ministers was more about NATO-EU cooperation, which he said did not have ramifications in Turkey. Turkey not alone, but at the center of NATO
Davutoglu clarified the basic three principles in Ankara’s policy toward the NATO missile-defense system. “First of all, Turkey is not a country that has to be convinced by NATO. Turkey is not alone; Turkey is at the center of NATO,” he said. The foreign minister then gave another example from a different international meeting where Turkey’s role in NATO was being questioned. “NATO regularly reviews its security defense concept as a whole and takes necessary measures as a security organization. It is out of the question for Turkey to oppose these measures.”
While explaining the country’s second principle, the foreign minister said NATO should take into account the principle of “indivisible security,” meaning that the alliance should preserve each and every member state’s security. “An understanding of exclusion of certain regions of Turkey from the proposed defense system cannot be accepted. Turkey should entirely be protected,” he said. “The essence of the focus is the security of member states and only the security of member states.” In explaining the third principle, Davutoglu said Turkey does perceive any threat in its neighborhood and does not plan to be a frontier country as it was during the Cold War era. Turkey is not in a position to be a frontier country.
Davutoglu opined that the NATO, while doing threat planning on this issue, should cover all member states and should remain outside any formula that would geographically set one country against another.
A few European nations have raised anti-Islamic issues to deny religious freedom to Muslim minorities living in those countries. For instance, Netherlands insists Turks living there to change their faith and customs to enable to be treated as citizens by the state. Turkey has reiterated that Turkish immigrants should not be required to integrate in the Netherlands. Ankara argues it supports their integration but questions whether they should assimilate completely. Several lawsuits have been brought to court regarding this matter and both countries are engaged in a fundamental diplomatic discussion on the issue.
Not long back, the anti-Islam MP called for a no-confidence motion against two Labor deputies holding a Moroccan and a Turkish passport as well as a Dutch one. On that occasion, though the VVD parliamentary party did not back the no-confidence vote, Rutte, then an MP supported Wilders' concerns. The current minority coalition, comprising the liberal VVD and the Christian Democrats, has a parliamentary majority thanks to a support agreement with the PVV. Çelik, who is responsible for Turks abroad claimed he did "not see" how such a discriminatory remark fostered the integration of foreigners in the Netherlands.
Davutoglu was listed in Foreign Policy magazine as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010" for "being the brains behind Turkey's global reawakening".] In an interview, he talked about his "Zero Problems Policy" and said "It is possible to have zero problems if the other actors respect our values. It doesn't mean that we will be silent in order to have good relations with all parties." In 2011's Foreign Policy magazine's list of "Top 100 Global Thinkers" he was listed together with Recep Tayyip Erdogan for "imagining a new role for Turkey in the world- and making it happen".
Ahmet Davutoglu is a father of four and his wife is a medical doctor.
Davutoglu with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
( More to follow...)
د. عبد راف
Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Educationalist;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Independent Analyst-columnist;Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine,Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc); Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than "terrorism" Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA & other anti-Islamic agencies. Former university Teacher;/website:abdulruff.wordpress.com/ 91-9961868309/91-9961868309
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