Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before their meeting in Istanbul December 23, 2010.? Read more » REUTERS/Osman Orsal
In the first of My Europe, a series in which writers look beyond the financial crisis, Orhan Pamuk laments a growing callousness to migrants and minorities
In the schoolbooks I read as a child in the 1950s and 1960s, Europe was a rosy land of legend. While forging his new republic from the ruins of the Ottoman empire, which had been crushed and fragmented in the first world war, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk did fight against the Greek army, but with the support of his own army he later introduced a slew of social and cultural modernisation reforms that were not anti- but pro-western. It was to legitimise these reforms, which helped to strengthen the new Turkish state’s new elites (and were the subject of continuous debate in Turkey over the next 80 years), that we were called upon to embrace and even imitate a rosy-pink ? occidentalist ? European dream.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu smiles as he waits for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Naji al-Otari to arrive for a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Ministers from Turkey and Syria are holding talks to build on already thriving cooperation between the neighbors. Erdogan and al-Otari chaired a meeting of their countries’ ministers aimed at boosting their trade and cooperation.? Read more » (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has been restructured and new rules introduced to accommodate Turkey?s newly expanded foreign policy role, especially in places like Africa. (click here for article)
1. The time of service required in the Foreign Ministry before a diplomat can be appointed as an ambassador has been cut in half, from approximately 20 years to around 12 years. This ?fast-tracking? will increase the number of ambassadors as Turkey opens new embassies around the world.
All indications suggest that 2011 will be a year in which Turkish foreign policy will face serious challenges.
Gone are the heady days when the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, administration was said to be forging ahead with proactive steps designed not just to bring peace and stability to the region but also to place Turkey on the map as an influential player that can arbitrate serious international disputes.”
Mavi Boncuk | Having been appointed to a senior UN post by the UN secretary-general, Ambassador Levent Bilman has become the latest Turkish diplomat to help increase Turkey?s visibility in multilateral diplomacy with posts at international organizations, while Ankara termed the appointment a ?a concrete sign of Turkey?s soft power.?
Turkey?s state-run airline is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable in Europe. It also sponsors the European basketball league and European soccer clubs FC Barcelona and Manchester United. Turkish Airlines is scheduled to begin new non-stop flights Los Angeles from the airlines? largest hub, Istanbul…
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, Iraqi President Jalal Tabani, left, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu seen during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010.? Read more » (AP Photo/Tolga Bozoglu, Pool)
Mavi Boncuk |Boosting intraregional trade and prioritizing energy, transportation and finance among member countries were the key issues discussed at the 11th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, held in Istanbul?s Çırağan Palace.