Davutoglu: "Foreign mediation between Turkey and its citizen is out of the question"
Speaking in a televised interview yesterday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denied rumors that an Independent Commission on Turkey delegation in Turkey this week led by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari was visiting to engage in mediation regarding the Kurdish issue. Stressing that it would be wrong to attribute special meaning to the commission's visit, Davutoglu said, "Turkey is a country with strong sovereignty and established democratic institutions. We never needed a mechanism like mediation for our domestic issues, and it is out of the question for us to accept such a thing." Calling Ahtisaari a friend of Turkey who views it objectively, Davutoglu said, "This is not the first time Mr. Ahtisaari has visited Turkey and had contact with our society. It is wrong to ascribe such a special meaning to the delegation's visit. Whenever he comes to Turkey he also meets with us. … Turkey is an open and democratic society. Any European academic, politician or anyone can visit Turkey or any part of Turkey. We're not a closed society. Seeing this visit as an extraordinary thing is not right. We should be very open to such things because we have very high self-confidence." Again dismissing the mediation claims, Davutoglu, in strongly worded remarks, said, "Mediation between Turkey and its citizens is out of the question. There can never be a need for mediation between the Turkish Republic and its citizens. We never had and will never have a need for mediation in relation to our domestic issues. It is out of the question for us to accept such a thing." The delegation was also received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and met with Chief Negotiator for European Union talks Egemen Bagis. Also Ahtisaari expressed uneasiness over the mediation speculation, saying that they hadn't had talks with only a particular sector of Turkish society but everyone. In its latest report on Turkey, last year the commission expressed confidence that Turkey's further convergence with Europe and its eventual EU membership would bring huge benefits for both the country and the Union.