Low profile

Low profile

Nobody can criticize Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for his honesty and performance. Then why is he being suspended? We are learning the causes of this from the chief advisors of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

One of them, Aydın Ünal said, “After Davutoğlu, there will be a low-profile prime minister.” According to Prof. Burhan Kuzu, “One has to listen to the natural leaders and act accordingly.”

These statements were explaining why Davutoğlu was dismissed and at the same time giving clues as to what kind of a system is being envisaged. 

First of all, Davutoğlu could have never been “low profile.” I had the opportunity to know him from way in the past. His self-esteem, self-confidence and personal mission sense are very high. He has taken maximum care not to be in contradiction with the “natural leader.” He has always been respectful to the “legendary leader.” 

But when it came for the time “to act accordingly,” this would mean for Davutoğlu to remain “low-profile,” it was not possible. 

Main differences 

Davutoğlu emphasized he was not a “caretaker prime minister.” With his own initiative, for instance, he advanced relations between the EU and Turkey. As a matter of fact, the EU even issued statements such as “Our addressee is Davutoğlu.” 

The visa-refugee agreements and the opening of new chapters with the EU were described by Davutoğlu as: “A very successful summit; a new era has been opened. The EU and Turkey have discovered each other. A psychological threshold has been crossed.” (March 18) 

I wrote in my column on April 24 that “the prime minister’s Strasbourg trip was successful.”

However, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance toward the EU is very different: “The EU tells us to change the anti-terror law for the visa-free agreement. Sorry but, come on. We are going our way and you should go your own way.”

To separate ways with the EU! This is an extremely important and strategic matter.
The two also contradicted each other on legal stance matters, such as the trial without arrest of journalists and academics.

Constitution and system 

Erdoğan is continuously and persistently making the “local, national, Turkish-style, one-headed” emphasis on the subject of the constitution and system of governance. 

However, Davutoğlu had said, “We cannot talk about system day and night.” Moreover, it was also Davutoğlu who said, “We should allow the new constitution to simmer.” Also, the prime minister emphasized a “freedom-based constitution” with “universal values and separation of powers.” 

These words also belong to Davutoğlu: 

“It may be considered that the current crisis may be overcome with the president affiliated with a political party or other models but this system will be in place 20 years, 30 years later. In other words, 30 years later we will not be here. Then we should think and talk about how Turkey would be best managed at that time.” (Dec. 16, 2015)  

Yes, Davutoğlu had also said, “There is not one millimeter difference between us,” but at the beginning of this speech he said, “Regarding the determination in the struggle against terror.” (April 17) 

What next…

Abdullah Gül, Bülent Arınç, Ali Babacan, Sadullah Ergin, Hüseyin Çelik... With Davutoğlu made to withdraw, a “balancing” factor on the government side of Erdoğan’s walk to the new constitution and new system has been removed. 

Now, the new prime minister and the new cabinet will be more “low-profile” and “listening to the natural leader” more than at any other time. Power will gather more so in one hand. Also, if the renewal of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is obstructed and if it falls below the election threshold, then the election side would also be easier to manage to a certain extent… 

 Like everybody else, I am also very curious how we will spend the next couple of months. 

I am also curious about how Davutoğlu, who has self-confidence and a very strong belief in the correctness of his views, will act on matters of principle, of which I have only cited a few above. Will he remain low profile?