Ahmed Davutoglu cut his political teeth by the side of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to became prime minister and leader of the Justice and Development party.
The new president’s faithful aide will assure continuity, even if he lacks support from some party members. Davotoglu has confirmed his determination to stick to the same course as Erdogan.
“If my candidacy is supported by the General Conference delegates, then no one should be in any doubt that the great restoration that has taken place in the last 12 years will continue,” he said recently.
Davutoglu was born in Taşkent in Konya province in 1959. He is a party-line conservative Muslim, like his predecessor.
Having been in charge of Turkish diplomacy since 2009 he is one of the architects of the country’s more muscular international presence, through NATO and by virtue of sitting on a geopolitical crossroads.
He initially took credit for a successful “zero problems with our neighbours” policy, but in the last two years relations with Egypt, Syria, Israel, lraq and Iran have gone sour, in part because of some ambiguous positions:
“We don’t want nuclear weapons in the region but we also don’t want limits on nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,” is one such statement seized upon by his critics.
Davutoglu may well be Turkey’s new prime minister but it will take time before it is clear if he is not just waiting in Erdogan’s shadow to inherit, or if he takes his own decisions less than a year ahead of parliamentary elections.