Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed Ahmet Davutoğlu as Turkey’s new foreign minister on May 1, 2009. Davutoğlu has been a close associate of Erdoğan, and his chief advisor on foreign policy since 2003. Davutoğlu is known as the intellectual architect of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) foreign policy and has been influential in a number of major foreign policy developments. There is a consensus that it was Davutoğlu who changed the rhetoric and practice of Turkish foreign policy, bringing to it a dynamic and multidimensional orientation. He set the vision and the style of the new foreign policy line and provided a framework for pursuing it. At first, Davutoğlu’s new vision and style were subject to much discussion; many wondered at first whether it would be suitable for Turkish foreign policy. After seven years, the discussion has mainly shifted to whether his policy would be sustainable without the AKP and himself in the advisor’s chair.
The Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy
Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed Turkish foreign minister on May 1, 2009. Chief advisor to the Turkish prime minister since 2002, Davutoglu is known as the intellectual architect of Turkish foreign policy under the AK Party. He articulated a novel foreign policy vision and succeeded, to a considerable extent, in changing the rhetoric and practice of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey’s new dynamic and multidimensional foreign policy line is visible on the ground, most notably to date in the country’s numerous and significant efforts to address chronic problems in neighboring regions. Davutoğlu’s duty will now shift from the intellectual design of policies to greater actual involvement in foreign policy as he undertakes his new responsibilities as minister of foreign affairs. The Davutoğlu era in Turkish foreign policy will deepen Turkey’s involvement in regional politics, international organizations, and world politics.
Continuing commitments to involvement with the West, while deepening connections with the East, are the hallmarks of Davutoğlu’s integrated foreign policy approach.
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