Turkish Foreign Minister Speaks at Harvard Sponsored by the Kokkalis Program

September 28, 2010

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – September 28, 2010 – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in his first public address since attending the United Nations General Assembly, urged for a new political order based on inclusiveness and outlined Turkey’s proactive foreign policy approach in response to a new emerging world order.

Speaking at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Davutoglu delivered his address "The Philosophical & Strategic Challenges to the Emerging World Order - Rethinking the Transatlantic Alternative" to over 750 students and faculty.  

His talk analyzed changes in the political, economic, and cultural dynamics of a post-Cold War globalizing world.

In addition to a more inclusive and transparent political order, he urged that, “…there should be a new economic order based on justice, and a new cultural order which will be all inclusive in the sense of accommodating all cultures.”

Davutoglu has been foreign affairs minister since May 2009. He previously served as chief foreign policy adviser to Prime Ministers Abdullah Gul and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Academically, he was a professor at Marmara University and the chairman of the Department of International relations at Beykent University.  His extensive publications include his seminal 2001 book Strategic Depth: Turkey’s Place in the World, which outlines a large portion of the foreign policy agenda he is now putting into play.

Davutoglu’s Harvard lecture outlined Turkey’s foreign policy principles based on a self-confidence that will enable Turkey to play a more active role in the region.  The six operative principles include: the balance between security and freedom; “zero problems with the neighbors;” proactive diplomacy in the country’s surrounding regions; compatible global relations; active participation in all global and international issues; and active involvement in international organizations.

 “We want to be a dynamic force in Trans-Atlantic alliances,” Davutoglu said.  “We want to be an asset for the EU and NATO and not a burden.”

The foreign minister further stressed that Turkey’s active role in the Middle East is compatible and not competitive with U.S. goals in the region, assuring that cooperation with the U.S. remains strong.

While at Harvard, Davutoglu was received by Harvard University Marshal Jackie O’Neill and Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood.  He also met with Turkish students and distinguished faculty members, including International Relations expert Dr. Joseph S. Nye. 

Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe sponsored this event, which was attended by the Program's founder Mr. Socrates Kokkalis. The lecture was part of the Kokkalis Program lecture series, contributing to the efforts to bring developments in Southeast Europe to the forefront of discussion at Harvard. Co-sponsors include the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, HKS Middle East Initiative, and the Harvard CMES/WCFIA Seminar on Turkey in the Modern World.

The video of the lecture is available at: link

 

Bio of Ahmet Davutoğlu

Article-World Politics Review, 2 February 2010

Article-Journal of International Security Affairs, Spring 2010

 

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