Zatik consiglia:
Iniziativa Culturale:



Turkey’s ’visionary’ diplomats shape ’visionary’ diplomacy
ERZURUM - Hürriyet Daily News - Monday, January 10, 2011
To find ways to clarify their mission for themselves, the general public and their foreign hosts, Turkey’s ambassadors gather to discuss the ‘visionary’ diplomacy espoused by the leader of the Foreign Ministry, Ahmet Davutoðlu. Ambassadors say they enjoyed their trip to Erzurum, after days of meetings in Ankara, and the chance to meet locals and learn about the culture and history of the region on the side of the weeklong conference

Turkey’s “visionary diplomats” are in pursuit of “visionary diplomacy,” as stated in objectives set by the foreign minister, and met last week to discuss ways to explain the country’s evolving foreign policy to the countries where they are posted.

The conference, the third of its kind since 2008, began in the capital last Monday and continued in the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum as part of efforts to communicate the new foreign policy to the entire country. Last year’s ambassadors’ meeting took place in the southeastern Anatolian province of Mardin; Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoðlu said plans were under way to hold the next conference in Edirne.

In the opening address of the conference in Ankara last Monday, Davutoðlu set a target for Turkey, saying that Turkey would be at the top of the “wise” countries in the world. In his assertive address, the foreign minister said diplomats would not only be firefighters rushing to stop crises in any corner of the world but also city planners, which means the pursuit of a policy preventing crises from happening.

Every year prominent figures visit Turkey and address the country’s diplomats. This year Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou were distinguished guests. Papandreou attended the Erzurum leg of the program, where he inaugurated the city’s new sports facilities with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoðan; Erzurum will be hosting the Universiade winter games beginning later this month. Earlier he joined a working breakfast with Erdoðan, and when their bilateral meeting extended for four hours, the Turkish prime minister did not leave the hotel for Friday’s prayers.

The Greek leader’s messages of friendship in the stadium warmed the audience’s hearts, and his speech was often interrupted by applause. Erdoðan, accompanied by his wife Emine, asked his counterpart why he did not bring his spouse with him.

Papandreou’s address to ambassadors, however, sent some unexpected shockwaves to many diplomats in the room as well. Papandreou called Turkey an occupier in northern Cyprus and criticized Ankara for violating Greek airspace.

Davutoðlu, who accompanied the Greek prime minister to see him off at the airport, told Papandreou that he could have made a more visionary speech, instead of letting fly the arrows of criticism, one source involved in the talks told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

But Turkish diplomats said the Greek leader had to make those comments for domestic policy concerns, as his position at home was not solid enough. One diplomat said the Greek prime minister’s appearance in Erzurum was significant alone because it is an Anatolian city where Turkey’s struggle for independence began. Turkey fought enemy forces including Greece during its war of independence.

Diplomats said once the Greek leader resorted to criticism-laden rhetoric, Erdoðan occasionally left the context of his previously written speech and gave spontaneous responses, which received nods from the ambassadors in the room.

“We had to applaud the Greek prime minister’s speech, but the Turkish prime minister’s applause was even louder of course,” said a source.

Some critics said Erdoðan’s response to Papandreou at the conference was not tough enough. “But he was the host. It would be unbecoming to a host to use tougher language on his guest,” said a Turkish diplomat. He added Papandreou was one of the most visionary leaders of Greece and he actually compensated at the press conference with Erdoðan when he called Erdoðan “gardaþým” which means “my brother,” used in Thessalonica.

In return, Erdoðan said: “The word ‘gardaþ’ also exists in Anatolia [as kardaþ]. History has already declared us friends.”

WikiLeaks joke

Turkey’s ambassadors spent the weekend in Erzurum shopping, chatting with locals and visiting the historic sites of the city, radiating images reminiscent of those from Mardin last year.

Interesting dialogues happened like when Turkish Ambassador to Washington Namýk Tan asked the locals who they were, one answered, “You are a spy.” That anecdote was also shared with Davutoðlu, who smilingly said it was because of Wikileaks.

The ambassadors were also curious to learn about Erzurum. “I could have listened to Papandreou from Ankara, too. There should be a reason why we are here. This is public diplomacy,” said one ambassador.

The Erzurum trip did not interrupt the foreign minister’s intense diplomacy traffic. He was in close contact with parties involved in the run-up to the nuclear talks between Iran and the West set for Istanbul on Jan. 21-22. He also spoke with the Sudanese foreign minister ahead of the referendum in Sudan.


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
© Zatik - Powered by Akmé S.r.l.