IN VIDEO: Is Davutoğlu Turkey’s next Prime Minister?
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu talks to an injured Palestinian from the Gaza strip as she is carried on a stretcher to an ambulance after the arrival of a group of injured Palestinians at Ankara's Esenboga airport, early August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ümit BektaşAn adviser to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has been appointed as a chief adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office two weeks before the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) elects its new leader. The appointment of Ali Sarıkaya was interpreted on Aug. 12 as yet another sign that Davutoğlu could soon become prime minister.
The AKP will choose its new leader and prime minister during a congress scheduled for Aug. 27, one day before President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will take over the job from outgoing President Abdullah Gül.
Sarıkaya’s name was linked to the position of deputy foreign minister in the past. He was once a student and a close aide of Davutoğlu when the current foreign minister was a university professor.
The former scholar, who is known for his humble character, has recently reinvented himself as a politician. The “proactive foreign policy” that he formulated took him to several conflict zones, from Libya to Syria.
In a refugee camp in southern Turkey, he chanted "Turkey and Syria are one" in Arabic last year, together with the Syrians who fled their war-torn countries:
Exhibiting his oratory skills more passionately than ever before, he gave a fiery speech on Gaza last month:
Davutoğlu gradually became a key player, not only in foreign policy, but also in domestic politics. He was the Turkish official who defended the government’s conduct regarding the Soma mining disaster in an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour:
And he tried to add a human touch to the cold manners of diplomacy. Like when he sang in Spanish with his Ecuadorian counterpart Ricardo Patino:
...or when he tried to prevent his fainting Burkinabé counterpart from falling: