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Daily News Analysis

Davutoglu, Turkey’s professorial PM

Crescent International

Davutoglu to Erdogan: Are you sure I can be prime minister? Will I get to move into your office?

Istanbul, Crescent-online
Friday August 22, 2014, 10:11 DST

With the presidency now tucked under his belt, Recep Tayip Erdogan chose his long-time friend and former professor, Ahmed Davutoglu, hitherto the country’s foreign minister, as the party’s pick for prime minister.

Erdogan vacated the prime ministerial post after winning the presidency. Davutoglu also becomes the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) chairman.

Davutoglu was nominated on Thursday (August 21) following a meeting of senior leaders of the AKP.

“I believe our candidate for party leadership and prime minister will realize the ideal of a new Turkey and the AKP's targets for 2023,” when modern Turkey celebrates its 100th anniversary, Erdogan told supporters of his party.

Before becoming foreign minister in 2009, Davutoglu, 55, had served as advisor to Erdogan. Lacking Erdogan’s charisma, Davutoglu remained in the shadows, a role the chief liked.

The outgoing president Abdullah Gul, also a long-time ally and friend of Erdogan’s, has been sidelined. In fact, Gul admitted as much when prior to presidential elections, he said there was no room for him in Turkish politics any more.

Gul was less strident in his statements but Erdogan’s ambitions got the better of him. Unable to run for another term as prime minister, Erdogan decided to go for the presidency pushing Gul aside.

While the presidency is largely a ceremonial post, Erdogan wants to change the constitution to become a hands-on president. Davutoglu will not oppose him who is credited with formulating Turkey’s ‘zero-problem’ policies with neighbors. This policy, however, has unraveled over events in Syria and Iraq.

Under Erdogan, Turkey has also moved much closer to Zionist Israel despite his public anti-zionist rhetoric. Trade between the two countries has soared.

This has come about despite the brutal Zionist attack on the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 in which nine Turkish citizens were murdered in cold blood in international waters.

Erdogan’s government has stalled the prosecution of Israeli generals and politicians in Turkish courts thus showing where his priorities lie.

Davutoglu's nomination will be approved by an extraordinary congress of the AKP on August 27 and he will take office the next day.

Compared to Erdogan, Davutoglu is a political lightweight and will operate under the president’s looming shadow. Erdogan has it all figured out.


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