Davutoglu Lays Out Turkey’s Foreign Policy Principles


(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


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