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Turkish FM Davutoglu unveils new manifesto for Turkish diplomacy

05 January 2010 [13:09] - TODAY.AZ
With 200 diplomats home for a major Foreign Ministry seminar, Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu unveils his newest vision for ‘strategic depth’ and urges for ‘hard power’ and ‘soft power’ to be used in harmony.
In an adaptation of a famous quote from Atatürk, he says, ‘There is no diplomacy of a line, there is diplomacy of the surface. That surface is the globe’

After introducing the “strategic depth” doctrine in an academic book he authored a decade ago, Turkey’s foreign minister disclosed Monday a new manifesto for Turkish diplomacy in a step forward for the strategic depth concept.

“We have a lot to say in the international arena. And there are plenty of big nations who will hear us,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told a conference of Turkey’s ambassadors from all over the world.

The weeklong meeting, titled “Democracy, Security and Stability: Outlook for 2010 in the world and in Turkish foreign policy,” is the second gathering of ambassadors, who number roughly 200, after the first conference in July 2008.

While emphasizing the need for a new political understanding in the new world order, the foreign minister outlined five essential planks for future Turkish diplomacy: mental adaptation; self-confidence; cohesion between national and universal discourse; foreign policy coordination at home with relevant ministries and institutions; and the ability to read universal developments vertically and horizontally.

In his address, Davutoğlu referred to a well-known quote from modern Turkish founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: “There is no defense of a line, but there is a defense of the surface. That surface is the entire homeland.” The leader was describing his strategy in geometric and military terms before the Battle of Sakarya in 1921 and in response to criticism for telling troops to retreat in the face of advancing Greek forces.

The minister transformed the famous quote into a new understanding of Turkish foreign policy: “There is no diplomacy of a line but there is the diplomacy of the surface. That surface is the entire globe.”

He later gave an anecdote of the maps all over the world to picture Turkey’s location in the world. “All maps are subjective. When you take a look at it from Japan, Japan seems to be at the center and when you take a look at it from the United Kingdom, it seems in the center. However, whatever map you take a look at, Turkey is always at the center.”

Davutoğlu said: “We must have a message for the world. We are in the position of doing justice to this region. There is no other country in the world that has the same location as us. We must be active in these five, six regions simultaneously … Turkey’s diplomacy can only be compared with that of five or six countries in the world.”

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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