Monday, December 17, 2012

Morality disease in Turkish foreign policy

Personal political wrangling is running so high between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, with the latter bringing down the level so down that even news agencies had to censor the offensive remarks. The debate is all about morality and the shocking news is that the entire theatre is all redundant.

Unable to find an agenda item to slam the government, Turkey’s main opposition party, with strong links to the Turkish version of Alawites, has put Turkish main foreign policy maker Davutoğlu on the target in the hope of scoring domestic political gains. Davutoğlu is one of the few politicians in Turkey who holds a PhD degree and is regarded as a very intellectual man. His command of the Turkish language is perfect and I would say he is one of the best among politicians in speaking a good deal of Turkish. But according to Kılıçdaroğlu, brain of a bird is better than his.

Davutoğlu also deserves the blame. He has put too much emphasis on his government’s foreign policy being “moral” and “principled.” He always confronts arguments and criticisms levelled against his government that are accusing his foreign policy establishment of being hypocritical behaving differently for various situations. In an attempt to be consistent, Davutoğlu and co. were very good in twisting any situation to sound moral and ethical. For someone who claims (and, sadly, believes) that the country’s foreign policy is putting “human at the center of the foreign policy-making,” being hypocritical, inconsistent and supporting non-democratic regimes elsewhere is a suicide.

I have a small tip to both politicians: Quit petty talk. No foreign policy-maker needs to be moral in his/her conduct of the foreign policy. National interest must be at the center of the country’s behavior abroad and with other countries. A diplomat or a foreign minister cannot sacrifice nation’s interest just to be consistent and “principled.” Sometimes world events push politicians to be ruthless and force them ignore many abuses of human rights and dignity because this is what state interests require.

It is easy to be an activist advocating a certain agenda. But a good politician is the one ready to flip and flop as his/her country’s interests shift.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mahir,

    In the name of peace of goodwill, when does a nation's "ruthlessness" become a force for international instability and war? And when should other nations and/or people justifiably oppose such maneuverings?

    Rachel Cunningham