''We Must Build a New Middle East''
In Cairo to attend a meeting of the “Quadripartite Meeting on Syria” involving Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met with Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi at the Ittihadiye Palace.
Davutoğlu emphasized that Turkey had to date done all in its power to halt the bloodshed in Syria, and went on, ''We support President Morsi’s views regarding Syria which he expressed in Mecca and Tehran. Turkey and Syria share the same position and perspective regarding a solution in Syria.”
Following the meeting, Davutoğlu gave a statement to the press, saying that there was no limit to the cooperation between Turkey and Egypt and that Turkey was ready to share its experience with Egypt.
Davutoğlu said that relations with Egypt would be elevated to the highest level and continued, ''Together with Egypt and other states, we will build a new Middle East.”
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu: Turkey Is the Protector of the Innocent
Speaking at a conference on “The Arab Awakening and Peace in the Middle East; Muslim and Christian Perspectives,” Foreign Minister Davutoğlu noted Turkey’s role in the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said, ''Turkey is the protector of the innocent in the Middle East. Whoever is innocent, it protects them alone.”
Davutoğlu held a dinner for participants at the conference on “The Arab Awakening and Peace in the Middle East; Muslim and Christian Perspectives” in the garden of Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul.
Speaking there, Davutoğlu said, ''Christians, Muslims, Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Nushayris, Druze, Suryanis... This Middle East belongs to us all together.”
Davutoğlu went on to say, “The Republic of Turkey sees no sect, ethnicity or religion when it looks at the regional phenomenon known as the ‘Arab Awakening’.” He then concluded by saying:
''We stand alongside Tahrir Square in Egypt, without looking to see whether the young people there are Christian or Muslim. We have stood alongside Tahrir Square, the philosophy of Tahrir Square, the spirit of Tahrir Square. When we look at Syria we do not see Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Alawites. We stand by the entire Syrian people.''
Davutoğlu stressed that Turkey stood by those waging a struggle for “the honor of mankind” in the Middle East, and said, 'The Republic of Turkey took a strategic and moral decision when Buaddhidhi set himself on fire in Tunisia. We will stand by ordinary people of the Middle East in this war of honor. We will bring the common identity of this region to life against those who wish to divide the region and create new cold wars in it, an identity that represents our cities. We will oppose anyone who kills and oppresses.”
Davutoğlu recalled that the Middle East was where all the Abrahamic faiths had flourished and said that the following questions needed to be asked, ''Why has this wide territory, where all the Abrahamic faiths developed, a shelter for all mankind like a giant plane tree, become a place of war, ethnic and sectarian clashes and terrible slaughter? Why does the region sadly have no deep-rooted political culture? Why do violence and anger predominate in this land that gave birth to religions of mercy? Why does this region, on which our Lord had bestowed the greatest and wealthiest natural resources, have no great and developed economies that provide prosperity for their people?” Davutoğlu also stressed that these questions should not be asked from an external perspective, and continued, ''We must not ask as orientalists. We must ask by looking at matters from the inside, by looking in the mirror, asking our own selves. Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, Catholics, Armenians, Orthodox or whatever, we must all look in the mirror as we ask these things. But we must see only ourselves in the mirror. We must see representatives of this whole future, in the same way we are all here together today.”
-''What we want to do here is make a kind of covenant” -
Davutoğlu said the presence in Istanbul of representatives of the divine faiths was significant, and continued, ''What we want to do by means of this meeting in particular is to make a kind of covenant. Let me say this; we must work together with clergy, politicians and intellectuals for our common destiny. We will not let ourselves be divided. We must rebuild our region with a common vision.”
Davutoğlu referred to Istanbul as ''the last capital of the heritage of ancient civilization” and emphasized that it was a center where great civilizations had lived side by side for centuries and went on, ''Istanbul is open to all and the city of all the representatives of all ancient civilizations, not just to us Turks, citizens of the Republic of Turkey. ISTANBUL IS YOUR CITY AND WILL BE YOUR CITY, THE CITY OF ALL MANKIND, FOR ALL TIME.”