Davutoglu: "Turkey could become the world's wise country"
Next year Turkey will emerge as an influential and wise country whose principles, values and suggestions are taken seriously, said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday. "We have all the opportunities to act as a country that creates solutions to conflicts, and to lead the way for others," he told state broadcaster TRT. "We have the chance to become the world's wise country. This is our next goal." Ankara has already succeeded in one of the main goals of Turkish foreign policy, namely boosting its international profile, he said, adding that in the future Turkey's profile will grow even more prominent. "We want to become a country that has principles and values and a certain power of influence," he said. This year Turkey not only managed to strengthen its strategic ties with NATO, the European Union and Council of Europe, but also expanded cooperation with neighboring countries and extended its activities to new regions such as Africa, the Far East and Latin America, he said, adding that Turkey has successfully blended the values of the East and the West. On the Iranian nuclear issue, Davutoglu said that Turkey has taken a principled stand. "We will definitely step in because every crisis where we failed to do so caused our nation to pay the price, strengthened terrorism, and led to economic problems. We can't be indifferent to matters related to our neighbor Iran, especially the nuclear issue," he said. "The world knows how effective Turkey's Iran policy is, so the ball will return to our court every time." On the severely strained Turkish-Israeli relations in the wake of Israel's deadly attack this May on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Davutoglu said Turkey is still waiting for an apology and compensation from Israel. "Turkey's demands are clear," he said. "We are as determined as we were on May 31 [the day of the attack]. If Israel wants to normalize its relations with Turkey, it should take this into account."