Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu had 25 hours of negotiations with his Iranian counterparts in Tehran during his visit that lasted 30 hours.Turkey's message was clear: Don't pursue a policy based on sect in the region. In a more clear way the message was: Don't give so much support to Nuri Al Maliki in Baghdad and Bessar Al Assad in Damascus.
I think expats in Turkey are having a hard time understanding the existence of this ban in Turkey, which is both a democratic and a Muslim country. Even Christian countries refrain from imposing similar bans due to their attachment to fundamental human rights. They cannot do it.
No one really understood what the statement, "The government does not talk, but state institutions may talk," actually meant. But it seems, whatever was intended with it was attained. What was intended? To prepare society for dangerous contact with potential social and political ramifications.
The book "Islamism, Democracy and Liberalism in Turkey: The Case of the AKP," co-written by Ergun Özbudun and William Hale, can be mind opening for foreigners who have questions about Turks, Turkish politics and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Turkish-American relations are not the kind that will be severed, even during the period in which Turkish-American relations were in their most problematic phase. The importance that the US, which headed one of the poles in the Cold War years' bipolar world, had for Turkey was obvious. And its weight as a country that was victorious in this war is indisputable.
You probably know Albert Einstein's popular quote "It is easier to split an atom than to break a prejudice." Prejudices about the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) prevent many people who look at Turkish foreign policy from "outside" from interpreting it correctly.
No matter who says what, Turkey is continuing to make Israel pay for its banditry on the Mediterranean Sea. The state of Israel is paying the price for the logic and for the law and morality defying aggression against the Mavi Marmara. And it will continue to do so.
No matter what else is said, the first set of decisions made by the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) indicates that the period of democratization in Turkey is progressing. The YAŞ meeting was an important step toward doing away with military tutelage through the message it sent to military officers with the propensity for coups and interventions.
The mere fact that the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan-Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu meeting took place is concrete proof of the positive transformation in the republican People's Party (CHP).
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terror is a three-decade-long extrinsic problem; however, Turkish-Kurdish unity is a 1,000-year-long event. We are, by way of the mandate placed on us by history and geography, forced to live together. The inability to live together, for both Turks and Kurds, means "drowning in one another's blood." This is why we must coexist, what else did you happen to think?
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with US President Barack Obama was important. Uncomfortable with the agreement crafted in Tehran by Turkey and Brazil, the US administration was disappointed again by Turkey's negative vote in the UN Security Council to the sanctions on Iran.
One of the stale questions in Turkey is this: "Is Turkey changing axis in its foreign policy?" The only explanation for why a foreign policy, the basic principles of which have been clearly declared and which has been in force for the past eight years, is still being subjected to this question has to do not with a "change in axis" but with the "stagnation in minds.
The "fourth wave" of decisions regarding sanctions from the UN Security Council will not be sufficient to bring Iran to its knees; however, it does make it clear that the UN order has come to an end. The agreement brokered by Brazil and Turkey with Iran has removed the legitimacy of the UN's decisions regarding sanctions. An insistence on sanctions despite this proves to be nothing more than a diversion from the real issue at hand.
Looking at the developments that have taken place in the last 72 hours we can say that Israel is starting to see the "facts of life." I am not talking about the UN Security Council's harsh condemnation of Israel, the pressure put on Israel to release those who were in detention or the pressure imposed on Egypt to open the "Rafah border" to Gaza, which it keeps closed because of pressure from Israel.
Relations between Russia and Turkey became particularly warm following the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The Turkish Parliament's rejection of a government motion on March 1, 2003 to allow US troops to open a northern front against Iraq through Turkey and Turkey's establishment of balanced relations among itself, the US and other global powers were not overlooked by Russia.
Özdem Sanberk has been using the phrase "elephant in the room" on television profusely these past few days. It is being used to refer to the "Karabakh issue" in the negotiations being held between Armenia and Turkey. Both sides know and see the problem, but for some reason, they just can't talk about it or put it into writing.
Will the "normalization process" for Turkey-Armenia relations be able to recover from the "deadlock" that it is in? For the past couple of weeks, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has been searching for a "way out" through an "exchange of letters" and "shuttle diplomacy." But looking at the announcement made in Yerevan, it seems that these efforts have not been successful.
After returning from the US, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shut the doors to the Republican People's Party's (CHP) offers of "compromise." In my opinion, this was the wrong thing to do, and he should have continued to keep the doors open to the CHP's offer.
Are the protocols signed with Armenia still alive? Even if they are alive, it is obvious that the process is under intensive care. The atmosphere that Armenia is trying to create via the Turkish press points to Ankara as the party responsible for this.
Sometimes to find what is right you need to start from the mistakes. That is what the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is most likely doing with respect to the constitutional amendments. The MHP is saying, "If the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] is for it, then I am against it."
In "The Grand Chessboard," Zbigniev Brezezinski argues that a populist democracy has never acquired international supremacy. Although he essentially maintains that the US becomes "more democratic" inside in order to be "autocratic" outside, which restrict its military deterrence, there are still lessons that the Obama administration can learn from Brezezinski's words.
"Foreigners" like Gareth Jenkins, who obviously has difficulties in making sense of what is happening in Turkey, and "locals" like Soner Çağaptay, who are aware of what is really happening but who deliberately distort the truth, should not mislead Western diplomats, academics and journalists.
It appears President Abdullah Gül's remarks during his visit to India that "this Parliament has missed the opportunity to pass a new constitution" has bothered or at least offended some Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members. But there's nothing offensive or disturbing about Gül's statement.
The "peaceful period" from 2004 to 2009 in the Cyprus file is coming to an end. It was during this five year period that Turkish diplomacy, which has been subject to harsh pressure since the 1974 Peace Operation, was able to relax a little.
Take a look at some words from the pen of a Turkish newspaper columnist who is a staunch defender of the authoritarian, secularist mentality in Turkey. This piece aptly demonstrates just what rot encompasses not only the very architects of this particular mentality, but also those who would defend it. It appeals directly to the members of this nation's military.
The result of the "low seat" crisis between Turkey and Israel is important in terms of revealing the new power balances in the region. Turkey showed that it was behind its claim of being "a supra-regional power" by not taking a step back from the crisis and even intensifying it in a controlled manner.
The 1982 Constitution has been in force for 28 years with some trivial and significant amendments. Five parliamentary elections have been held and 16 governments have been established under it. All of them were civilian administrations, but none of them were bothered by living with this shame.
"Given the current state of affairs, it is essential that the party which will replace the Democratic Society Party (DTP) stop being a satellite of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), develop its own personality and be established with greater participation to the highest extent possible and review its discourse, actions, attitudes and behaviors.
For the first time, a political party is acting with political will to settle an issue that has been taking its deadly toll on Turkey for many years. For the first time, this party is backed by a voter base large enough to help it proceed with the intention of solving this problem.
Turkey's performance in the last seven years of its foreign policy has been a success story. Not stopping at addressing problematic relations with its immediate neighbors, the country has transferred its vision of regional peace from the Western Balkans to Afghanistan's east, from the northern Black Sea region to southern Africa.
Exempting judges and prosecutors from being asked questions is out of the question. If they abuse their powers or do not comply with their responsibilities it is very normal that action is taken against them according to standard procedures.
Regardless which perspective you look at it from, the visit to Iraq last week by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was "historic." Although his trips to Basra and Mosul without stopping in the capital of Baghdad had special meanings of their own, it was his stop in Arbil, the heart of the northern Kurdish region, that made his visit "historic."
Once again we've come across the same question: Is Turkey changing its axis in foreign policy? What kind of explanation can be provided for why a foreign policy that has been in effect for seven years and has clearly declared basic principles continues to face this question?
Once again external dynamics are shaping the fate of Turks. After spending its entire history dealing with plots set up because of its location, Turkey is, for the first time, coming face-to-face with opportunities suggested by it geographical location, which sometimes shapes Turkey's fate by creating crises and at other times by generating vision.
No one should be surprised if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invites Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Bağış to develop a "unified discourse" on the EU issue, as there are stark differences in the two ministers' approach to relations.
There are 15 million children that are of primary school age in Turkey. The number of children who are in the first grade this year is about 1 million. In about 15 years, these children will take their places in different areas of life and start to make their impact on the fate of the country.
Foreign policy meetings organized on the shores of the Bosporus in İstanbul in the past week were a concrete reflection of Turkey's growing influence in the region. There were signs that İstanbul, which was the capital of the region for 400 years, is starting to reassert itself in the region with its "order establishing" identity.
News from Paris reveals that Monsieur Nicolas Sarkozy intends to turn the issue of Turkey's membership in the EU into a "blood feud." We know that opposition to Turkey gets a lot of public attention on the European political stage.
When we look at the position of actors in the civil-military or Kurdish-Turkish issue, we see that there are reasons to be optimistic about a solution for the Kurdish issue, but it's difficult to believe that the solution will take effect in the near future.
Earlier this week, we were in Baghdad with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and had a chance to observe the current state of Turkish-Iraqi relations. Given the fact that the likelihood of an armed conflict was considerably high in 2007, it is really surprising to see this perfect harmony in relations attained in the hot summer days of 2009.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared on behalf of the government that it has launched a "study" on the Kurdish issue. What is the "study" being prepared? An "initiative" to bring a solution to the Kurdish problem.
"Challenge" is one of the most functional words in English. It is used to describe both "risks and hardships" and "opportunities and possibilities." This word is a perfect candidate for describing the situation Turkey found itself in after the end of the Cold War. Thus, we can say that Turkey faces a "challenge."
There is no point in imagining or unnecessarily elevating expectations. The PKK will not cease fire; will not come done from the mountains.
The precautions that the Northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders said that they will take will not assure Turkey of the steps it's going to take.
In the December of 2002 when Turkey's Foreign Affairs Iraqi-Cyprus-EU files plunged into a dark endless tunnel, Ahmet hodja is a name that succored and took the government out of this dark tunnel and to top that he also opened 'new frontiers' for foreign politics and for the staff that carried out these politics.
His father, Haydar Aliyev was one the shrewd politicians of the defunct Soviet empire. He was a man who could make extremely flexible diplomatic manoeuvers without forcing the sensitive and fragile political balances of the region.
The new US president Barack Obama, has put forward his will for cleaning the wreckage Bush administration had created in Turkish–American relations. Ankara and Washington has declared that they now look at the matters of the region from nearly same window. They are obviously agree in principals.
Even if the Kurdish problem is essentially arising from the 'inside', for a solution the 'regulations inside' are not going to be enough is quite obvious. Concurrently this is also a 'regional problem' and par of the solution is 'outside'.
For two days there has been a symposium being done on the subject 'The Irrevocable Principles the Constitution' in Ankara at Bilkent University. The speech that the Supreme Courts rapporteur Associate Professor Osman Can here did with his academic identity saw the most interest.
The new chief of general staff started his mission with new hopes. He went to the southeast and talked with the non-governmental organizations... The strategists that oriented criticism towards the current policies in Ankara listened long and took notes.