Why I did not attend PM’s Davos chat with the media
Participants in the annual Davos meetings, organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), gather under several groups. One of these groups participates as “world media leaders.” Eight years ago, they selected 100 media leaders from around the world based on a survey they held, after which they invited them every year. I was one of them.
Leaders chat with the media at Davos every year, and I try not to miss any of them. This year, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was one of the world leaders scheduled to talk to the media group. I should have been there, but I did not go.
The reason is very simple: If I had gone, I would have asked this question: “The theme of this year’s G20 is anti-corruption. But before you left, parliament acquitted the four ministers accused of corruption in a close vote. You said these four ministers should have gone to the Supreme Council voluntarily. What kind of action plan can you suggest for anti-corruption during G20?”
I knew this question would put Davutoğlu in a difficult situation because I don’t think he has a convincing answer. I did not go to that hall because I did not want to put the prime minister of my country in a difficult position.
You could say that I should have gone and not asked any questions. No, that would not be in accordance with my identity as a journalist. For this reason, instead of being blamed for not asking questions, I preferred not to attend. If there is an opportunity in Turkey one day, I will ask him as openly as possible.
We, 30 journalists from the “world media leaders” group, spoke to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He started explaining the situation of his country very clearly: “We are going through an invasion, not a civil war; 7 percent of my country is being occupied. This is 20 percent of the region where our industrial investments are located. There are 9,200 Russian soldiers on our land. This is an attack on Europe’s security, not just on Ukraine.”
Another interesting fact he told us was that those who have invaded these regions are using Russian gas worth $7-8 million daily, without even paying for it. “In other words, we pay for the gas the occupiers are using,” Poroshenko said.
He sounded sincere when he said: “I am a man of peace, not a man of war.”
Poroshenko's conditions for peace are an immediate cease-fire, the immediate release of 600 Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia, and the return to the Minsk Process. “We can solve the Ukrainian crisis in two weeks once the Russian troops are withdrawn,” he said.
On Putin, he has a very interesting view. He said Putin was a very emotionally motivated person who “views incidents as if he was an emperor.”
“While the South Stream project was on the agenda and Ukraine was trying to be bypassed, in those days, I told him, ‘This is not an economic investment, why are you doing this?’ He told me, ‘This is an investment. Like an investment in nuclear weapons. It will become convenient one day,’” Poroshenko said.
We also asked Poroshenko if he was content with the level of solidarity in Europe and the Western world. He answered as follows, “If this question is asked to me in such a media environment as this, my answer would be affirmative.”
So, indirectly, we got the real answer...