POLITICS > Assad should have respected our deal: Turkish Foreign Minister


Foreign Minister Davutoğlu expresses regret over the Syrian president’s refusal to listen to Turkey’s advice in an August 2011 meeting. ‘Our analysis was right. We did what our conscience required,’ says FM

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Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks at the ambassasors’
conference in Ankara.  DAILY NEWS photo

Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks at the ambassasors’ conference in Ankara. DAILY NEWS photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu expressed regret yesterday over the fact Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had refused to listen to Turkey’s advice at the time and suggested the picture in Syria could be different if al-Assad had heeded Ankara’s advice.

“I wish he wouldn’t contravene the 14-article text on which we agreed upon in a seven-hour long meeting only three days after the meeting. Then, these [tragedies] wouldn’t have been experienced in Syria,” Davutoğlu said yesterday in the opening speech he delivered at the fifth ambassadors’ conference held by his ministry.

The minister was referring to a lengthy meeting with al-Assad that was held in Damascus in August 2011. Following the meeting, al-Assad rebuffed Turkey’s appeal to end the crackdown on the opposition and said his government would press ahead with its fight. “Our analysis was right. We did what our conscience and strategy required,” Davutoğlu said, noting that Turkey has long tried to convince al-Assad.

Underlining the democratic progress seen in North Africa in the last year, Davutoğlu said this progress was not reversible.

“Once people became used to voting there is no turning back. That is a nice virus. No [Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali, [Hosni] Mubarak and [Moammar] Gaddafi will come to these countries anymore,” he said.
While Turkey boosts ties with global powers it does not consider one country to be an alternative to another, the Turkish foreign minister has said.

‘Turkey would take every risk necessary’

“Because those global powers know that now history flows through Ankara, parties that ignore Ankara cannot understand history. The one that risks relations with Ankara will take risks in all regional policies,” Davutoğlu said. Davutoğlu noted that the number of diplomatic missions in Ankara was 148 a decade ago, but has grown to 240 now as the number of Turkey’s diplomatic missions abroad also increased. “From now on, those who want to understand history must be present in Ankara, Istanbul and every other place in Turkey because from now on we will be more actively present in shaping of the flow of history,” Davutoğlu said. It was impossible to run after history, but one should run through or ahead of history, the foreign minister said.

Turkey would take every risk if necessary, even if it meant they made some mistakes, but would never behave spinelessly, Davutoğlu stated. The minister also suggested that Somalis and Palestinians have become a diaspora for Turkey.

In the past, whenever there was a campaign against Turkey, it was Turks and Azerbaijanis who took to the streets, but now they are accompanied by Somalis and Palestinians thanks to Turkey’s intense diplomacy within those geographies. Recalling that the theme of this year’s ambassadors’ conference was “humanitarian diplomacy,” he said this notion had three dimensions. The first dimension is the principle that the state should facilitate the lives of her people, the minister noted, citing Ankara’s move for visa liberalization with the EU.

The second area of humanitarian diplomacy was the attitude in regions of crises, Davutoğlu said, giving Turkey’s policies for Somalia as an example. He defined the third dimension as “humanitarian ownership in the U.N. system.”


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Notice on comments

ilker avni

1/3/2013 11:12:16 PM

@Hisham Majed The proof was in the headlines a few months ago when the Turkish security forces captured pkk who informed Turkey that Iran is supplying them with weapons and know how Allso secret Iranian agents captured by Turkish security.Try reading the Daily more often.Instead of Iranian propergander,Irans population made up of thirty per cent Azeri Turks and Kurds dont forget that.

ilker avni

1/3/2013 10:37:03 PM

@ Mara At least Davutoglu doesnt go around falling over drunk and nutting the ground with his head like Mrs Hilary Clinton.lol

Peter Kypros

1/3/2013 9:34:06 PM

I am wondering what the foreign minister would say if the Arab Spring hits Turkey with people asking for more democracy and end to theocracy and more rights for minorities?

american american

1/3/2013 9:00:32 PM

history flows through and is not made in ankara

ilker avni

1/3/2013 8:26:39 PM

@Mara So you judge Turkey, on her sucess,s as disapointments,the fact that they are 240 diplomatic missions set up in Turkey from 148 a decade ago as disapointing do you? how many are there in Israel? Zero problems with neighbour,s has been a sucess,Turkey is at peace with its neighbours,Turkey is not at war with any neighbour or is that a disapointment to you allso ?

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

1/3/2013 8:03:18 PM

I do not think that the FM is right. Even if Esed accepted and followed Turkey's road map, which is basically to allow the muslim brotherhood to form a political party (participating in the elections), the syria would be still entering to a civil war. The reason for it is that the other groups would never accept a one sided democratic approach anyway, particularly Kurds would not accept it. We can see now how much of public's will the muslim brotherhood is representing in Syria.

hisham majed

1/3/2013 7:17:11 PM

@Ilker...."both fighting the west for what end". They are fighting the West for soverignty and independence. It is something Turkey and most of the world has lost to Us/Zionists. Iran will be dissapointed by Turkeys change of direction, but as the Iran General said recently,' the repurcussions of the Syrian crises will effect Turkey far more than it can ever effect Iran'. With regards to your PKK claim, show us the prove!!

Kevin Snapp

1/3/2013 5:30:57 PM

Forgetting that politics is the art of the possible, Turkey boldly spoke up for Syrian freedom, encouraging tens of thousands of Syrians to die for it, mistakenly thinking Assad would fall quickly. Now, after undermining its own army, Turkey must house and feed more than 100,000 refugees and faces chaos across its longest border. When history flows through a place, it often washes things away.

Pawel Bury

1/3/2013 4:58:40 PM

Talking about yourself doesn't make you important. Erdogan and Davutoglou never understood that. Turkey deserves better.

mara mcglothin

1/3/2013 4:09:39 PM

Yeah MURAT History flows through Ankara mainly because Turkey owns NATO and has zero problems with their neighbors. Everything that comes out of this man's mouth is a huge embarrassment to Turkey on the World stage. Very disappointing.
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