Washington briefing: Turkish government ideologue appointed foreign minister

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday May 08, 2009

Ahmet Davutoglu. Armenian Reporter

Washington - Ahmet Davutoglu formally replaced Ali Babacan as Turkish foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle announced on May 1. As top foreign policy advisor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mr. Davutoglu has been credited with masterminding the Turkish foreign policy that has seen Ankara become more independent of Washington and improve relations with Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Prior to joining the government in 2003, Mr. Davutoglu, was a professor of international relations at several Istanbul universities. He was born in 1959 in central Turkish city of Konya.

Mr. Davutoglu has argued that better relations with neighbors would allow Turkey to play a more prominent and independent international role rather than serve as Cold War-style Western ally.

During a visit to Washington last October Mr. Davutoglu insisted that Turkey wants "to have best relations with Armenia," and "good relations" with Armenians everywhere in the Diaspora, and that he and his government "don't see Armenia as a threat; we don't see Armenians as enemies."

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