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“Neo-Ottoman” Turkey?

ANKARA – Nowadays, the international media are obsessed with the question of who “lost” Turkey and what that supposed loss means for Europe and the West. More alarmingly, some commentators liken Turkey’s neighborhood policy to a revival of Ottoman imperialism. Recently, a senior Turkish columnist went so far as to quote Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as saying that “we are indeed neo-Ottoman.”

As someone who was present when Davutoğlu made his presentation to the parliamentary faction of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), I can attest to the fact that he did not use such terminology. In fact, Davutoğlu and all of us in the AKP foreign-policy community never use this term, because it is simply a mispresentation of our position.