The professor and ambassador who surpassed everyone in the AKP
The Davutoglu we know!
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
In Ankara, which at the moment is affected by heat, experienced political analysts, in order to take their mind of the fatigue due to the rapid political developments in Turkey, jokingly told us that “with Ahmed Davutoglu as Prime Minister one might need help from astrologers to explain Turkey’s future, as he has the same date of birth by Recep Tayyip Erdogan”. Indeed both Turkish leaders were born on February 26.
The 55-year old Prime Minister of Turkey is five years younger than his predecessor Erdogan, who ascended to the highest office in Turkey after his election to the presidency of the Republic.
In reality, however, there is no need for astrologers as Davutoglu had been Foreign Minister of Turkey since 2009 and has shown many samples of his work.
In 2009, when Erdogan had chosen him as a minister in this important ministry many were caught by surprise. This appointment had been preceded by special secret missions as ambassador.
Davutoglu was not an MP at the time and the selection of an extraparliamentary academic had caused frictions in the ruling AKP.
He studied political science and international relations and received his doctorate at the University of Bosphorus. Davutoglu has worked many years as a professor at the Islamic University of Malaysia and continued his career in private universities in Turkey.
With his kind, gentle and smiling demeanor, however, he initially managed to receive positive comments.
“Zero problems” turned many!
When Davutoglu assumed the Foreign Ministry he set a policy of “zero problems with neighbors”.
Critics point out that during his tenure, and now that he is leaving the Foreign Ministry, he “managed” to lead Turkey’s relations with Israel, Egypt and Syria to the nadir and as result with no ambassadors in Tel Aviv, Cairo and Damascus.
At the same time, Ankara has strained relations with Iran and the central government of Iraq.
In regard to the greek-turkish relations, the Prime Minister of Turkey caused no major crisis in recent years, however, his statements regarding the status of the Aegean revealed some of his intentions. Davutoglu had argued that “Kastellorizo is not located in the Aegean” and that it should be included in discussions on the shelf!
“Turkey has shown that it can become a major strategic power even without the European Union, but has added significant strategic “weight” in its EU accession”, he declared as Foreign Minister of Turkey.
Erdogan’s alter ego
The new president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent years trusts him completely. Davutoglu’s collaboration with the Head of MIT Hakan Fidan is considered to be excellent and Erdogan heavily bases his decision making on the views of these two men. Davutoglu was elected MP in 2011, while Fidan is not involved in the AKP.
The critics of Erdogan in the AKP point out that that he removes the power from the ruling party and trust two people who do not come from the party’s base. There were many who expected that the outgoing President Abdullah Gul, who was co-founder of the AKP, would take over as Prime Minister, but Erdogan has let them down.
“Prime Minister of Turkey from 2014 until 2024 will be Davutoglu, while Erdogan will be the leader. These two men will build the ‘New Turkey'”, predicts the political analyst of the newspaper Sabah, Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı, who has reliable contacts inside the government camp.
The question is what the vision of a “New Turkey” involves. Some in the turkish capital wish this vision does not end up like the “zero problems” one, that is “the destruction of foreign policy”, as the political analyst Cengiz Çandar points out.
The headscarf bearing doctor of the Turkish Prime Minister
Sare Davutoglu is the first lady of Turkey and shows to the world that the headscarf is not an obstacle to the acquisition of knowledge by a woman. She is a gynecologist with a significant career. She led the team in the childbirth of Erdogan’s grandson by his daughter Esra.
She met Davutoglu when she was a student and the Prime Minister was completing his PhD. They have been married for 30 years and have 4 children, three daughters and a son. She says she wants to continue working in the gynecological clinic of Ankara.