Erdogan getting rid of neo-Ottomanism

Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu has resigned from his post. At the same time, he announced that he is also leaving his position as the leader of the ruling party "Justice and Development". His decision to leave office was announced after a meeting with President Recep Erdogan. This step shows the solution of the president was to get rid of the odious prime minister, who was the personification of a failed "neo-Ottoman" foreign policy.

Neo-Ottomanism + pan-Islamism

Ahmet Davutoglu is the ideologist of the doctrine of neo-Ottomanism, which formed the foundation of Turkish foreign policy since 2009, when Davutoglu became Foreign Minister. The basic provisions of the strategy are described in the book "Strategic Depth", which Davutoglu published in 2001. According to the book, Turkey needs to restore its influence in the former space of the Ottoman Empire. This idea was combined with Davutoglu’s reliance on the "Muslim Brotherhood" network movement, which approached the future prime minister during his work in the Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur in 1990-1995. On this basis, Turkey has moved closer to Qatar and became one of the sponsors of the "Arab Spring". In fact, Davutoglu’s "neo-Ottomanism" means the rejection of the pragmatic policy dictated by the interests of Turkey as a nation state in the name of its transformation into a global Islamic Center.

Disastrous results

This policy completely meets the interests of the United States, as it allows the beginning of the process of defragmentation of the Middle East with the support of Turkey and Qatar. The result of Davutoglu’s activity became a chain of color revolutions and civil wars from Syria to Tunisia. Although the Turkish government formally declared that it adheres to the doctrine of "zero problems with neighbors", the neo-Ottoman and aggressive Islamist foreign policy line associated with Davutoglu limited this strategy only to the level of slogans. In fact, Turkey has been plunged into civil war in Syria, something it itself initiated, it has maintained hostile relations with Greece and tensions with Cyprus and Armenia, had a quarrel with Iraq because of the invasion of the northern part of the country and therefore endangered relations with Iran as a main backer of Baghdad. A side effect of the chaos in the Middle East has been the rise of the Kurdish factor and the beginning of the war with Kurdish separatists in the territory of Turkey.

The main provocateur

It was Davutoglu who voiced the most radical initiatives of the Turkish leadership for the invasion of Syria. However, his most serious crime against Turkey was the break of relations with Russia, which isolated the country from their most important partner and made it directly dependent on the United States and Qatar.

According to the Turkish and world press, Davutoglu was behind the shoot down of the Russian aircraft on the Turkish-Syrian border on 24th November 2015. According to his reported declaration, the Turkish armed forces executed his order.

The American factor

Davutoglu was Erdogan's main competitor in the struggle for power within the AKP (Justice and Development Party). The failing foreign policy of Davutoglu was associated with the president as the first person of state. The Neo-Ottomanist virus introduced by Davutoglu was destroying the stability of the Erdogan regime, increasing the chances of its displacement during the inevitable deterioration of domestic and foreign circumstances. The US regarded Davutoglu as the most likely successor to Erdogan in this situation, hence the striking differences between the two figures in the light of Western media. If Erdogan is still accused of authoritarianism, such serious accusations will not sound like the address of the architect of the Turkish catastrophe - Davutoglu. If Erdogan was received very coldly, the Americans warmly welcomed Davutoglu. On May 5th, Davutoglu was scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington, but he could not do this because of the resignation.

Erdogan is looking for a way out of the crisis

By shifting Davutoglu, Erdogan removes his main rival in the fight for power and one of the principal conductors of American influence. The Turkish leader thus showed a willingness to change Turkey's foreign policy in a more rational and pragmatic way that is consistent with the national interests of the country.