Ahmet Davutoglu: ‘We Are a Part of the West’


From Newsweek:  What is Turkey up to? A stalwart member of NATO, many believe it is now tilting east. In May, it sealed a nuclear-exchange deal with Iran, and in June Ankara voted no on U.N. sanctions against Iran. Then, the killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla by Israeli forces led to a crisis between the longtime allies, and further questions about the direction of Turkey’s foreign policy. Semin Gümüsel Güner and Selcuk Tepeli of NEWSWEEK Turkey recently met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss these issues. …

Turkey voted “no” on further sanctions against Iran. Might Washington have taken this as a vote against it?

We have explained several times that it was not a “no” against the U.S. or Mr. Obama. That was a “yes” vote for diplomacy.

Can Turkish foreign policy continue these moves toward the East at the risk of losing the West?

We are a part of the West. If the West sees us as outside and an object that can be lost or won, their logic is wrong. We have an equal right to speak in NATO as any other country. No one has the right to see the Western alliance as its domain and name another as inside or outside of it. If Western values are soft power, economic interdependency, human rights, then we defend them. We, however, are now facing a test. Nine civilians were murdered on the high seas. Are we going to voice objection when human rights are violated by an Eastern or Muslim country but remain silent when Israel violates human rights? If this double standard is a Western value, we are not for it.  (photo: Reuters)

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