Washington briefing: 151 countries vote Turkey into the UN Security Council

by Emil Sanamyan and Lusine Sarkisyan

Published: Saturday October 25, 2008

UN Security Council.

Turkey successfully concluded its five-year $50 million campaign for a two-year nonrenewable term on the United Nations Security Council, as it was voted in by 151 countries on October 17, Turkish and international news agencies reported.

There are a total of 192 countries with United Nations membership. Countries voted in secret, and because Turkey was competing against Austria (which also won a seat, with 132 votes) and Iceland (which did not, with 87 votes), few countries have made their votes public. But Turkey lobbied heavily around the world from Latin America to Africa to Pacific Island nations.

President Abdullah Gül described the vote as "a significant success that should be a source of joy to every citizen. The support given to Turkey is a reflection of the feelings of love and friendship that are felt for our nation and the trust the international community has in our state," the Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM) reported citing Turkish media on October 18.

Turkey's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Baki Ilkin reportedly broke down in tears of joy during a television interview following the vote.

Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish government's leading foreign policy advisor, said the outcome as "neither chance, nor bribery," even though Turkey spent $20 million paying off the debts of smaller nations to the United Nations.

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