Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “History flowed fast in 2012. It will flow faster in 2013 and we will work harder.”
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “History flowed fast in 2012. It will flow faster in 2013 and we will work harder.”

The Fifth Annual Ambassadors Conference with the theme of “Humanitarian Diplomacy” started in Ankara on 2 January 2013.

At the opening session of the conference, Ambassador Mr. Naci Koru, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey gave information about the infrastructure and organization of the Ministry. Deputy Minister Koru said that the number of Turkish Representations was 172 in 2008 and this number reached to 209. He added that the new Embassies will be opened in 2013. “France has the highest number of representations in the world, followed by the U.S. and China” said Deputy Minister Koru emphasizing that Turkey is at the 9th place and will be in the first five within a few years.

Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mr. Feridun Sinirlioğlu pointed out that the coming year will be as difficult as the year 2012 in his address. Stressing that Turkey is a key actor in the Mediterranean basin and so remain Undersecretary Sinirlioğlu also added that Turkish diplomacy has always acted and will act with this understanding. Undersecretary Sinirlioğlu said that Turkey in recent years has assumed important responsibilities in the field of humanitarian diplomacy and foreign aid which amounted at 85 million Dollars ten years ago exceeded 3.5 billion Dollars for more than one hundred countries on five continents.

Referring the important foreign policy developments in 2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, in his opening speech, stated that Turkey’s relations with all the global powers will continue by strengthening and the role of Turkey will increase at the international platforms even more. “We will take steps distinguishing Turkey. Turkish diplomacy will break the habits, will break the mold.” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.

With regard to the “Humanitarian Diplomacy”, theme of the conference Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that Humanitarian Diplomacy has three aspects and first aspect is that a state provides better services to the citizens of its own. Pointing out the projects aiming to facilitate the lives of Turkish citizens living abroad, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said “We believe that our people are the power of Turkey. We will continue our efforts to liberalize visa policies”.

“The second aspect of humanitarian diplomacy is the attitude towards the crisis areas” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu giving the example of Somalia. He said that Turkey is the first country that opened an embassy in Somalia and the staff of the Embassy work with great sacrifices. He also added that today the impact of Turkey is felt in every street in Somalia. Foreign Minister Davutoglu stated that the Turkey's refugee policy as a part of humanitarian diplomacy is a “myth” and Turkey did not close and will never close its doors to the Syrians in line with its traditions. Concerning the Rohingya Muslims in Arakan, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu stressed that Turkish Embassy in Myanmar played a great role after the incidents started in Arakan.

Pointing out the third aspect of humanitarian diplomacy as “the humanitarian ownership in the UN system”, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu mentioned that there are figures showing that UN system is lacking conscience.