Istanbul, July 19 () - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has vowed to bring the “order and justice” of the Ottoman Empire to today’s world.
“God willing, we will bring the order and justice of the Ottomans to today and into tomorrow” he said while congratulating party members at his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul headquarters on July 17.
Davutoğlu’s remarks came after a group of party members started chanting “Ahmet Hoca [teacher], bring us to Ottoman [times]” while he was giving a speech about the political outlook after last month’s general election, in which the AKP lost its parliamentary majority.
In his 2001 book “Strategic Depth” (which had its 100th print run last year), the former professor Davutoğlu articulated a vision drawing on Turkey’s geography, economic power and imperial history to reconnect with its historical “hinterland” in the former Ottoman territories.
As Aaron Stein, the author of “Turkey’s New Foreign Policy” told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview earlier this year, Davutoğlu is regarded as the architect of a dramatic shift in Ankara’s regional policy after the AKP came to power in 2002.
Davutoğlu’s interpretation of geopolitics “is based on an assumption that the spread of Western power into the Balkans, Central Asia and the Middle East is incongruent with Turkish national interests and must be reversed” Stein suggested.
Critics are skeptical about the suggestion that Turkey should become more involved in the Middle East, but weeks before he was picked by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as his successor as prime minister, Davutoğlu slammed such skepticism in a fiery speech during Ramadan last year, again delivered at the AKP’s Istanbul headquarters.