News / Europe

Turkish Foreign Minister Named Next Prime Minister

Turkey's president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sit together during a party meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 21, 2014.
Turkey's president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sit together during a party meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 21, 2014.
Dorian Jones

Turkey’s ruling AK Party has chosen Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as the successor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who is now the president-elect.

The central committee of Turkey’s ruling AK Party named Foreign Minister Davutoglu as the new prime minister, a move that will take effect later in the month.  The choice was widely predicted.   

Announcing the decision to senior members of the party and media,  Erdogan said he consulted widely before making a decision.

"What is expected of the new prime minister is to realize our dream of the new Turkey," he said, adding that Ahmet Davutoglu’s hard work and ambition influenced the decision, reached on merit.  He said Davutoglu "is committed to a foreign policy with a conscience and our belief is he will continue this commitment as prime minister," said Erdogan.
Davutoglu promised he would continue the work of Erdogan.

"I will continue this restoration movement started 12 years ago when Turkey was seen as the sick man of Europe,"  he said.  "Our celebrated journey will reach its target.  The AK Party will stand as a monumental rock against its adversaries.  The AK Party struggle for rights and democracy is not limited by years or centuries."
Analysts describe the 55-year-old Davutoglu as a close and loyal ally of Erdogan.  He stood firmly by the prime minister during last December’s police investigations into high level government graft, which implicated Erdogan’s family.

Davutoglu joined the AK Party in 2003 as Erdogan’s chief foreign policy adviser.  He comes from an academic background and speaks three languages.  In 2009, he became foreign minister and is widely credited with being behind Turkey's adoption of a more Middle East-oriented foreign policy, what has been dubbed by some as “neo-Ottomanism.”

Analysts say part of that policy is backing the Muslim Brotherhood across the region, and strongly supporting Syrian rebels fighting the Damascus regime.  The policy has proven controversial, with Turkey having broken or strained diplomatic relations with all of its southern neighbors.

Soli Ozel, political columnist of the Turkish newspaper Haberturk, says Davutoglu has a low standing within the party, but that suits Erdogan’s ambitions as president.

"I suspect Davutoglu will be a weak prime minister because although he has invested heavily [in] domestic politics lately, he is still not a very well-rooted domestic politician.  This is precisely what Erdogan wants, the president-elect.  He wants a prime minister who cannot really challenge him, and in Davutoglu he has that person," said Ozel.

Erdogan has declared he will take a far more active political role as president than usual.  Under Turkey's constitution, the presidency is a broadly ceremonial position with parliament having the real power.

Davutoglu is expected to be elected head of the ruling AK Party at a party congress scheduled for next week.  He will then take over the prime minister’s office after Erdogan ascends to the presidency on August 28.  


You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: turk 1000
August 21, 2014 3:12 PM
Corruption at it's best. The Ak party wants to go backwards in time, while screwing the people of Turkiye in the process. So afraid of a coup, Erdogan put all high ranking generals in jail, with out any charges. Can you say, NAZI???

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 21, 2014 2:59 PM
Anything born of a snake grows laterally. The new prime minister appointed by the new president who is more or less a terror is old wine in new wineskin. Ahmet Davutoglu cannot but be what Erdogan was. But he will find himself in trouble when the president, overbearing as he ever was, will try to overshadow him in the office, by allowing the office of the president overlap that of the PM. Certainly that is where the trouble will start from, unless Ahmet Davutoglu agrees to be just a stooge. However, it is expected that Davutoglu will use his wealth of exposure to correct some of the mistakes of his president and reposition the country, Turkey, to more friendliness than the enmity Recep Tayyip Erdogan so courted with all his energy in office. Time will tell if the swap of office will also translate to swap of responsibilities, and if Davutoglu will bring the desired changes to improve diplomacy that Erdogan threw to the birds in his regime of hate and mudslinging.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs