Turkish Minister Speaks At IOP

Davutoglu calls for an inclusive socioeconomic world order

Turkish Prime Minister
Keren E. Rohe

Prime Minister of Turkey, H.E. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu addresses the audience during an IOP forum last night. Davutoglu spoke on Turkey's efforts with Armenia, Kazakhstan, and other neighboring states and addressed questions from the audience.

Ahmet Davutoglu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Turkey, advocated for a new, all inclusive global order at a heavily secured event at the Institute of Politics last night.

“There should be a new political order that is all-inclusive, transparent, and just,” Davutoglu said, in light of changes in the global climate since the end of the Cold War.

According to Davutoglu, this ideology extended to the role of the United States in the world, and he argued that the United States should become “more philosophical and all-inclusive,” in order to sustain its global power.

Davutoglu also described a need for a new economic and cultural order that is fair and inclusive toward all countries.

During the question and answer session, Davutoglu discussed the Israeli attack on a Gaza aid flotilla in late May that killed nine Turkish activists and drew outrage from the Turkish population.

In response to a question from Can Soylu ’14 about how public opinion affects foreign policy decisions, Davutoglu said that in a democratic country, one has to accept that public opinion varies between positive and negative and added that at times, groups not affiliated with the government will take action that has broad, negative effects on public opinion.

“I would have been even more pleased [with his response] if he had talked about how this event shaped Turkish relations and how we were going to pick up the pieces from this incident,” Soylu said later to The Crimson.

Answering another question regarding the flotilla incident, Davutoglu said that “Palestinians have suffered enough,” and went on to advocate for a two-state solution to the Arab Israeli conflict.

“If we think that some countries have more rights than others, it is difficult to achieve this peace,” he said in reference to Israeli settlements.

Earlier in the day, Davutoglu met with a group of Turkish students from the College and the grad schools, A. Cansu Aydede ’11 said. The conversation, during which Davutoglu answered students’ questions, was conducted in Turkish.

One of the questions concerned Turkey’s opinion of the European Union. Davutoglu responded that Turkey had done everything the E.U. had asked, such as resolving tensions in Cyprus, and that it is now the responsibility of the European states to make progress. “From now on, it’s up to them,” he said, according to a translation by Soylu.

—Staff writer Monika L.S. Robbins can be reached at mrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

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