Davutoglu Legacy in Turkish Foreign Policy

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Since the time he came to prominence as the chief Foreign Policy Advisor of the leading figures of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), Prof. Davutoglu has played a key role in the formulation and implementation of Turkey’s foreign policies over the last fifteen years. As a prolific intellectual and International Relations professor, Davutoglu, has contributed to new Turkish foreign policy under the sucessive JDP rules more than any other person. His masterpiece, the Strategic Depth, has sold many copies and served as the main intellectual source of many foreign policy initiatives and concepts to be adopted in the recent past.


His ‘zero problems with neighbors’ foreign policy, alongside the concepts of ‘ryhtmic diplomacy’,  ‘multidimensional foreign policy’, ‘soft power’, ‘central country’, ‘humanitarian diplomacy’, ‘global engagements’ seem all to owe their existence and legitimacy to this book that he authored on the eve of the establishment of the JDP in 2001.


Davutoglu became sucessfull in putting into practice many of his ideas due to two particular factors. First, sucessive electoral victories of the JDP under the reign of Recep Tayyip Erdogan  easied the way for Davutoglu to express his opinions more loudly and subsequently secure the support of the ruling elites. Absent the strong one-party JDP governments over the last fifteen years, Davutoglu’s ideas would not have easily found their ways to shape Turkey’s foreign policy interests and behaviours. Unless the key figures of the party, such as Erdogan and former President Abdullah Gul, lent their support to Davutoglu’s ideas, and shared the vision that Davutoglu lays in his wrtings, one would not be able to speak of any Davutoglu legacy in Turkish foreign policy.


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