Turkey: Why Minister Davutoglu went to France

Right Vision News
November 12, 2009 Thursday

Turkey:Why Minister Davutoglu went to France

Pakistan

Pakistan, Nov. 12 — Foreign Minister Mr. Ahmet Davuto?lu had a very
busy October, during which he took so many trips that I cannot recall
the number. Some of these visits brought him to Iraq, Iran, Syria,
Pakistan and several Balkan countries.There also were historically
unprecedented events last month such as a visit to Serbia and the
Armenian opening. Even though these trips were quick and generally
one-day working visits, their preparation certainly took a long time.

What is worth noting is that synchronized developments around these
visits were commented on by international experts as proof of Turkey’s
determination to re-establish its influence in the historical Ottoman
geography.Mr. Davuto?lu’s travel plans for November include many EU
countries and the United States. As we are not able to talk about a
new kind of relationship to be established with EU countries, we
cannot say that he has another "opening" in mind toward these
countries. As for the US, Ankara and Washington concluded several
treaties just after Barack Obama’s inauguration. So there isn’t any
new situation to be discussed there, either. However, we must expect
international commentators to claim that Turkey has tried to put back
on track the EU accession process through these visits.Let’s imagine
for a moment that Turkey’s objective is indeed to become very
influential in the territories that belonged to the Ottoman Empire. To
claim that, we also have to admit that any other actor doesn’t have
some kind of influence in the same area or that there aren’t any other
actors who are fighting with each other in different manners to get or
to preserve their influence in these regions.One may think: How would
it hurt anyone if Turkey becomes a source of stability for this
immense geography? However, it seems that Turkey’s openings are being
watched with concern by some actors who don’t care about the stability
it can generate and who don’t want Turkey to become too influential
because they only want to understand whom Turkey will share this
influence with and in what degree this can limit others’ room to
maneuver.Before anything, we must emphasize one fact: Turkey is
probably establishing a new kind of relationship in the surrounding
region, which happens to be the Ottoman Empire’s geography, but it is
not doing it single handedly. It acts as the strategic partner of
Russia and the US. These two great powers are a part of this very
process, and there is a balance of interdependence and mutual
understanding. As Turkey doesn’t intend to "integrate" into Russia or
the US, it’s choosing to develop a strategic partnership with them.
Consequently, it doesn’t try to establish a strategic partnership with
the EU because it simply wants to fully integrate into the European
family. But as this "family" keeps ostracizing its distant cousin, it
perceives Ankara’s openings toward Turkey’s neighbors as this
country’s effort to replace the family with a new family. In other
words, as long as the EU keeps pushing Turkey away, it’s normal to
expect Turkey to seek new channels for its economic and financial
development and political stability. Besides, these openings would be
needed anyway if Turkey were already an EU member.The main reason for
the astonishment emanating from Turkey’s recent foreign policy
actions, which are, in fact, quite natural, is that this process is
not conducted in coordination with the EU. But here is the point: If
the EU refuses to contribute to or join Turkey’s openings, this will
mean that it has decided not to include Turkey within the EU. So it’s
not senseless for Mr. Davuto?lu to start his November schedule with a
trip to Paris. He wanted to detect Europe’s decision.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Right Vision News.

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