Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Foreign Policy Understanding: A Blend of Westernist and Multiculturalist Eurasianism
Given that Turkey has increasingly been pursuing an active and multidimensional foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, discourses of Eurasianism have been perceived as one of the dynamics of this foreign policy course. In particular, Turkish foreign policy has undergone significant changes in its understanding during the Davutoğlu era, beginning in 2002. Accordingly, it may be claimed that Westernist and multiculturalist Eurasianism discourses have frequently been interpreted by the polity and consequently implemented in foreign policy–making in Turkey. This article examines how Turkish Eurasianism and its various discourses have been embraced and implemented by Ahmet Davutoğlu, first as a foreign minister and then as the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. In the examination of this era, the discourses of Turkish Eurasianism are also briefly conceptualized
Keywords: Eurasianism, Turkish Eurasianism, Westernist Eurasianism, multiculturalist
Eurasianism, Turkish foreign policy, Ahmet Davutoğlu Depuis la fin de la Guerre froide, la Turquie a poursuivi une politique étrangère active et multidimensionnelle, et les discours sur l’Eurasisme ont été l’un de ses axes privilégiés. Durant la période de Davutoğlu, à partir de 2002, la politique étrangère turque a subi des changements importants dans sa compréhension du monde. Depuis cette date, les discours sur l’Eurasisme occidentaliste et multiculturaliste
ont été fréquemment interprétés et mis en œuvre dans l’élaboration de cette politique étrangère. Cet article conceptualise brièvement et présente les discours sur l’Eurasisme turc et examine les façons dont ils ont été adoptés et mis en œuvre par le Premier ministre en exercice, Ahmet Davutoğlu, d’abord en tant que ministre des Affaires étrangères, puis en tant que Premier ministre de la République turque.
Mots-clés: Eurasisme, Eurasisme turc, Eurasisme occidentaliste, Eurasisme multiculturaliste, politique étrangère turque, Ahmet Davutoğlu
There is a wide consensus among the students of international relations that Turkish foreign policy between 1923 and the early 2000s may be divided roughly into four periods: an inter-war period (1923–45), the Cold War era (1945–1980s), a period of a new world order (1990s), and the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) era (2002–present) (Larrabee and Lesser 2003; Küçükcan and Küçükkeleş 2012; Hale 2013;).
These periods differfrom each other. Generally speaking, until the 1980s, Kemalism had the upper hand; it was able to permeate and shape every level of society, and it was publicly unchallenged. In political life, this resulted in the emergence of a Kemalist civilian–military bureaucratic structure which did not allow elected governments to fully implement their own foreign policy programmes (Laçiner 2001, 281). However, these conditions have gradually changed since Turgut Özal’s election. With the rise of Ahmet Davotuğlu, pro-activism in Turkish foreign policy has increased further. The foreign policy understanding of Davutoğlu and the AK Party has been multidimensional, similar to that of Özal and İsmail Cem. While Özal stressed building economic relations with countries in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Central Asia, and Cem pointed out that Turkey was overlooking the importance of historical and cultural elements in foreign policy–making, Davutoğlu has made efforts in both directions to broaden Turkey’s foreign policy horizon and to integrate cultural and historical dimensions into the Turkish foreign policy–making process (Küçükcan and Küçükkeleş 2012). For instance, for the first time in history, during the AK Party era Turkey has had embassies/consulates in almost every country in the world.In this way, this period differsfrom other periods of Turkish foreign policy since 1923.
Therefore, this article first briefly examines the discourses of Eurasianism. Then, a special emphasis will be put on whether the discourses of Eurasianism have been applied or performed during the Davutoğlu era in Turkish foreign policy. In doing so, a number of indicators, which have been determined and chosen after in-depth analyses of Davutoğlu’s speeches, mindsets, and initiatives, will be used to examine whether this period presents any Eurasianist approaches, explicitly or implicitly. In this regard, this article will reveal the impact of Eurasianist ideology in the Turkish foreign policy–making during the Davutoğlu era.
Discourses of Turkish Eurasianism
Eurasianism began as a way of thinking, an ideology or geopolitical approach, intended to save the Russian Empire from collapse and to create a propitious sphere including all Eurasian nations. This version of Russian Eurasianism, or classical Eurasianism, had various discourses, which is one reason that Russian Eurasianism faded away around the 1930s. Having many participants and eminent founders who were …
How to Cite:
TUFEKCI, O. (2014), “Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Foreign Policy Understanding: A Blend of Westernist and Multiculturalist Eurasianism”, The Arab World Geographer, 17(3): 275-289.