By Daniel Larison
Mr. Erodogan’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is a proponent of a philosophy which calls on Turkey to loosen Western ties to the U.S., NATO and the European Union and seek its own sphere of influence to the east. ~Robert Pollock
If we actually take seriously what Davutoglu has said, this is a gross distortion at best and dishonest at worst. Just last month, Davutoglu said this:
Turkey’s relations with other global actors aim to be complementary, not in competition. Such a policy views Turkey’s strategic relationship with the United States through the two countries’ bilateral strategic ties and through NATO. It considers its EU membership process, its good neighborhood policy with Russia, and its synchronization policy in Eurasia as integral parts of a consistent policy that serves to complement each other. This means that good relations with Russia are not an alternative to relations with the EU. Nor is the model partnership with the United States a rival partnership against Russia.
What he calls a “multi-dimensional foreign policy” here combines with the so-called “zero problems” approach to Turkey’s eastern neighbors. Pollock could argue that what Davutoglu proposes is not realistic, not least because some of Turkey’s Western allies are refusing to be part of a “multi-dimensional” Turkish foreign policy. He could also say that there are people in the AKP who want to do these things, but Davutoglu apparently isn’t one of them. Pollock might also point out that the “model partnership” description of the U.S.-Turkish relationship is diplomatic boilerplate invented to paper over the deterioration in U.S.-Turkish relations. So it simply isn’t true that Davutoglu proposes loosening ties to Western institutions and allies. If that is Davutoglu’s “real” intention, as opposed to the one he has stated publicly, Pollock provides no evidence that this is so.
Pollock writes later: