Davutoglu Lays Out Turkey’s Foreign Policy Principles

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(Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy London photo by SJ Mayhew)
In an article published in Foreign Policy last week, Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, widely considered the architect of Turkey’s foreign policy under the Justice and Development (AK) Party government, lays out the principles of Ankara’s “zero-problems” foreign policy.
The entire article is worth a read as a window into the interests and perspectives of an emerging regional power in the Middle East, but two aspects of Davutoglu’s piece deserve special attention.
First, Davutoglu begins his analysis by lamenting that, unlike previous periods following wars, “no new international legal and political system has been formally created to meet the challenges of the new world order that emerged” after the Cold War.
This statement in and of itself is hardly surprising, but it is notable that Davutoglu does not go on to articulate a clear vision of what such an international order could or should look like. He implies that major reforms are necessary when he says that “we are faced with an incredibly difficult period until a new global order is established,” but he does not elaborate on what kinds of ideas and institutions he has in mind except to reiterate the importance of the EU and NATO.
Second, it is interesting that Davutoglu’s piece does not directly address the uranium enrichment agreement among Brazil, Turkey, and Iran reached last week. With regard to Iran, Davutoglu says only that Turkey’s “orientation and strategic alliance with the West remains perfectly compatible with Turkey’s involvement in, among others, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasus, the Middle East peace process, and Afghanistan” and Turkey’s “constructive involvement in the Iranian nuclear issue are integral parts of Turkey’s foreign-policy vision for the Middle East.”
The full article can be read here.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

18 comments on “Davutoglu Lays Out Turkey’s Foreign Policy Principles

  1. Cee says:

    Hmmm…and Israel just attacked a Turkish ship in international water.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    “North Korea just sank a South Korean warship to generate a
    crisis that would take the heat off its ally, Iran…”
    Sure, risking a war with South Korea and the US just to distract
    the attention from its ally, Iran. Sounds very plausible.
    “People with any realistic sense of geopolitics (this includes the
    Arab states but not you, apparently) know that Israel has them
    to deter those who are trying to destroy Israel…”
    They may have a better sense of geopolitics then me.
    Nevertheless, Julian Borger, editor of the Guardian said
    yesterday: “If the drafts circulating at the Nuclear Non-
    Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference are approved by the
    end of the week, it would mark a significant victory for Egypt
    and other Arab states who have long argued that Israel has not
    been subjected to the same pressure as Iran or Syria, despite its
    development of a secret nuclear arsenal”
    “Israeli nukes don’t need to be part of any discussion.”
    According to you and the Israelis. Not according to the Arabs,
    nor even the Americans, if recent reports are credible.

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    Paul,
    TWENTY-THREE ARTICLES IN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.
    And about what? A non-committal discussion about “small, medium and big missiles” that some author claims was Israel’s offer to sell South Africa nuclear warheads back in the 1970s. As written, it actually comes off more as South Africa discretely probing to see if Israel would sell them warheads. Which Israel didn’t sell.
    Meanwhile, Pakistan and North Korea are proliferating wildly. North Korea just sank a South Korean warship to generate a crisis that would take the heat off its ally, Iran, and Iran is racing to get nukes. But the “elephant in the room” is Israeli nukes. Of course, Iran is just delighted to make that “part of the discussion”.
    Israeli nukes don’t need to be part of any discussion. People with any realistic sense of geopolitics (this includes the Arab states but not you, apparently) know that Israel has them to deter those who are trying to destroy Israel, while Iran wants them to gain hegemony over the Gulf and spread more Shia revolutionary Islamism.
    If Iran were a democracy, then they could have nukes and nobody would be worried anymore than they are about Indian nukes. It’s not the weapon. It’s who has his finger on the trigger. A five year-old could understand that. But not the Left.
    The entire exercise in talking about Israeli nukes is to take the heat off Iran. No more, no less. Which is precisely why this is NOT the time for a frank discussion.

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    “Clearly the Guardian wants to hurt Israel as much as it can, and
    help Iran get nuclear weapons by delegitimizing even the
    attempt by Israel and the US to prevent it. I’ll leave it to you,
    Paul, to describe why the Guardian wants these things.” (Nadine)
    I don’t know their motives – beyond their professional pride
    getting this journalistic scoop – but I would assume that the
    Guardian believes that keeping silent about the elephant in the
    room is counterproductive with respect to non proliferation
    issues and the arms race in the Middle East.
    Dealing with South Africa during apartheid is one thing, but in
    this context, the documentation that Israel actually possesses
    these nukes is more important, encouraging those who see the
    need to have an honest discussion of all the aspects of nuclear
    weapons proliferation and the power struggle in the ME. Your
    argument that the Egyptians and the Arabs are more worried
    about the prospect of Iranian nukes than actual Israeli nukes,
    could certainly be a part of that discussion. But it requires a
    basic frankness about the real factors, and not this perpetual
    silly game, pretending that the Israelis may not have those
    nukes or belittling their existence a priori.

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    Paul, you have some nerve. I’m not thrilled that Israel discussed nukes with South Africa, though that’s all that seems to have happened, and South Africa was quite independently on its way to developing them, but countries often deal with unsavory allies due to necessity — shall I hold up the career of Victor Quisling as the paradigm for Norwegian statecraft?
    There is no way that Israel can win any PR battle when it is led by people who think the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are history accomplices, and their willing accomplices on the far left. Goldstone’s “investigation” was about as neutral, start to finish, as a history of the American Revolution written by Benedict Arnold. Goldstone didn’t so much investigate as launder Hamas propaganda.

    Reply

  6. nadine says:

    “notice nadine has clamped it? ” (…)
    Aw, you missed me, Khalid. I post on a different thread for one whole day, and you miss me. I’m touched.

    Reply

  7. Thomas L. Sjovall says:

    Turkey want’s to be world player!
    Turkey is a key actor in dealing with Iran&Iraq.

    Reply

  8. Paul Norheim says:

    More from “The Guardian”:
    Israel’s complicity in apartheid crimes undermines its attack on
    Goldstone
    To rubbish the former judge’s report on Gaza, Israel has
    dredged up his record in South Africa

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “maybe she’s trying to pull something out of her mouth at the moment”
    Well, that’d be a change from where she is usually pullin’ from.

    Reply

  10. ... says:

    notice nadine has clamped it? maybe she’s trying to pull something out of her mouth at the moment…

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    Israel and South Africa. Now there was a marriage made in heaven.
    Lets encourage Nadine’s ilk to keep framing the issue of Israel and South Africa. Talking about it inside the Israel-South Africa frame reinforces it in people’s minds, even though they try to vigorously deny any connection.

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    http://warincontext.org/2010/05/23/how-israel-offered-nuclear-weapons-to-apartheid-south-africa/
    How Israel offered nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa
    by Paul Woodward on May 23, 2010
    Secret agreement signed by South Africa’s minister of defence PW Botha and Israel’s minister of defence Shimon Peres in 1975.
    *(if you go over to war in context or click the link you can see the actual handwritten secret agreement signed by Peres)
    The Guardian reports:
    Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    And secondly, Nadine, if Israel and the US started taking the
    report of crimes committed by Israel and Hamas seriously, I
    would have no problem discussing Goldstone’s actions as a judge
    during Apartheid.
    On the contrary: His role is actually an interesting subject, and
    may even provide useful lessons for Israeli and Arab judges in the
    second decade of the 21. century. If I were Goldstone, I would
    even consider writing an autobiographical book on the subject,
    describing his role, his thoughts and feelings, and reflecting upon
    the lessons to be learned from his experience representing The
    Law under a repressive regime. What do you think?

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    what I’m trying to say is that any Israeli reference to South Africa
    under apartheid is suicide PR-wise under the current
    circumstances. Apartheid is the elephant that some people are
    starting to talk about, but Israel would do wise pretending that
    apartheid does not exist and never happened.
    Personally, I would recommend a double strategy for Israel:
    Nonstop PR talk about Jaffa oranges and high tech industries,
    while politically trying to steer in the opposite direction of the
    policies that make the world think “apartheid” when they hear the
    word “Israel” or see Lieberman’s face in the news.

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    “smear campaign against Goldstone and his
    actions in South Africa during apartheid?”
    Are you saying that Goldstone wasn’t on the bench under Botha’s government? You’re trying to have it both ways. For Israel the association with Botha is supposed to be damning, but for Goldstone, it’s no problem, he’s making the right anti-Israel noises now, so he’s our guy.

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    Slightly off topic – but related to the uranium enrichment
    agreement:
    The revelations in the Guardian (UK) about Israel trying to sell
    the bomb to South Africa in the 1970s make big headlines in
    the web editions of major papers like El Pais (Spain), Le Monde
    (France), Die Zeit (Germany), Haaretz (Israel), even in Dagbladet
    (Norway).
    New York Times? Not so big – just an AP article saying that
    Peres “categorically denies the report”. Surprise, surprise.
    In any case, it will become harder now to keep silent about the
    elephant in the room, and disconnect it from the discussions of
    Iran’s nuclear program, the nuclear proliferation issue and an
    arms race in the Middle East. One would also expect more
    counter propaganda from Lieberman’s office, spread to all the
    Israeli embassies, to divert attention. May I suggest a
    continuation of the smear campaign against Goldstone and his
    actions in South Africa during apartheid?
    The political PR advisers of the current Israeli government must
    be among the dumbest in the world – no Goebbels in sight.

    Reply

  17. nadine says:

    “Davutoglu says only that Turkey’s “orientation and strategic alliance with the West remains perfectly compatible with Turkey’s involvement in, among others, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasus, the Middle East peace process, and Afghanistan” and Turkey’s “constructive involvement in the Iranian nuclear issue are integral parts of Turkey’s foreign-policy vision for the Middle East.”
    Sure, Turkey’s membership in NATO is entirely compatible with its new strategic alliance with Syria and Iran. Nothing to see here, move right along.

    Reply

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