Envoys gather in Ankara on theme of ‘strong democracy, dynamic economy’

Envoys gather in Ankara on theme of ‘strong democracy, dynamic economy’

Envoys gather in Ankara on theme of ‘strong democracy, dynamic economy’

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu will also be attending the annual conference. AFP Photo

The Turkish Foreign Ministry is gathering together the country’s far-flung ambassadors for a review of the nation’s foreign policy amid an agenda that has been dominated by an extensive domestic graft probe.

Starting today in Ankara, participants will discuss many issues in Turkey’s foreign policy, from the Syrian crisis to the coup in Egypt and relations with the EU. The sixth annual Ambassadors’ Conference, which is being organized with the participation of all ambassadors serving at home and abroad, will continue in Adana and Mersin from Jan. 16 to 19.

The conference, which is focusing on “strong democracy,” comes as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is struggling with a corruption probe which has implicated former Cabinet ministers.

The other highlights of the conference’s theme are “a dynamic economy and efficient diplomacy.” Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who is in charge of the country’s economy, blamed the bribery and corruption investigation for a $49 billion dive in the Turkish equity market on a day that the national stock exchange announced a long-awaited tie-up with Nasdaq OMX.

In terms of the third focus of this year’s gathering, the “efficiency” of Turkey’s foreign policy has long been questioned, particularly in regards to the Syrian conflict.

Slovenia’s president, Oman’s foreign minister and the new secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will attend the conference.

Within the context of the conference, Davutoğlu will meet with police officers who were wounded in an attack last year on Turkey’s embassy in Somalia and the families of those who were killed in the incident.

He is also expected to meet with the daughter of Enver Şimşek, who was killed in a neo-Nazi attack in Germany, and German citizen Andreas Heuler, who provided first aid to Şimşek in the wake of the attack, as well as with Turkish citizens who were kidnapped and released in 2013.