Turkish FM lobbies for UNSC seat, raises 'Gülenist letters'
NEW YORK - Anadolu AgencyTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has met representatives from 80 countries on April 5 in New York in a bid to gain support for Turkey's candidacy to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2015.
"Turkey is going into an international campaign after leaving a national election campaign behind," Davutoğlu said at a press conference at UN headquarters, referring to the March 30 local elections.
Davutoğlu said Turkey "had the support toward winning" membership as a result of its performance on the Security Council in 2009-10. "A country normally waits one or two decades to re-run for the membership," he said. "Turkey is an exception in this sense."
The minister, after meeting 54 representatives of African Union countries, said most of those nations had promised to support Turkey's bid for its fifth term on the council.
The Security Council elects 10 non-permanent members to two-year terms, during which they serve alongside the five permanent members. Turkey, which has been a member of the UN for nearly 70 years, has been elected four times.
Question about the Gülen-linked schools abroad
When asked about Turkish schools abroad, which are reportedly linked to the Gülen movement, Davutoğlu said: "I wouldn't tell this if I wasn't asked, but I mean the [Turkish] schools in the United States... Some civil society representatives complain about their own countries [Turkey] by sending letters to foreign officials."
Reminding he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been visiting the Turkish schools abroad frequently before the rift between the government and the Gülen movement, Davutoğlu continued: "Some foreign officials conveyed those letters to me. We have the right to question to whom these efforts serve."