Davutoglu on the record: A case of consistent inconsistence
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has had a history of making conflicting remarks, which illustrates an irresolute and wavering foreign policy.
A round-up of Davutoglu’s contradictory comments on regional developments in the past few years have been recently published in the Turkish media.
In a recent and most surprising about-face, Davutoglu suddenly decided to confirm the threat posed by the ISIL Takfiri terror group, ordering airstrikes against targets controlled by Takfiri militants inside Syria.
This as back in August 2014, Davutoglu, who was the then Turkish foreign minister, refused to call ISIL a terrorist group, saying the militants were driven largely by anger.
“The structure called ISIL, in its core, could be viewed as a terrorized, radical group, but people joined there … we should know it like this. Previous discontent, anger, discrimination and insults gave birth to a wide reaction in a big front,” he told the NTV news channel.
But earlier this month, the premier described ISIL as “a terrorist organization” and “an obvious threat” and said that attacks against the group were on Turkey’s agenda following an ISIL bombing in the Turkish town of Suruc, which claimed the lives of at least 32 people.
In another contradictory stance, Davutoglu told journalists in Ankara in July 2012 that the borders between Turkey, Syria and Iran were artificial, saying “let’s render these borders unimportant, like they did in Europe.”
Three years later in July 2015, the Turkish government decided to build a 151-kilometer wall and dig a 450-kilometer moat on its border with Syria.
Turkey’s attacks against ISIL targets come amid accusations that Turkey is providing assistance to ISIL militants operating in Syria. The Turkish government has also been under fire for facilitating militants’ border crossing into the Arab country, which has been grappling with foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
And now the pledge of no boots on the ground…
Meanwhile, on Monday Davutoglu was quoted as saying that Turkey will not send ground troops into neighboring Syria, where it has allegedly been targeting ISIL positions.
“We will not send ground forces,” Davutoglu told a group of Turkish newspaper editors according to the Hurriyet daily.
“We do not want to see Daesh (ISIL) on our border,” Davutoglu said.