Yerevan /Mediamax/. Retired Turkish diplomat Unal Cevikoz has said that Western media’s coverage of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) foreign policy could have triggered neo-Ottoman ambitions among policy makers.
Touching upon the widespread belief that Turkey aimed higher than its capabilities in the Middle East in an interview to Today's Zaman, the retired Turkish diplomat placed responsibility on the Western media.
Unal Cevikoz said that the “neo-Ottomanism” theme appeared in the Western media extensively following Turkey’s regional policy of 2002-2009.
According to the retired diplomat, the Western media's coverage of Turkey’s foreign policy led to overconfidence in the Turkish government.
“The idea of neo-Ottomanism was imposed on Turkey,” pointed out Cevikoz.
According to him, in order to strike a balance between its ambitions and capability, Turkey should have acted together with the international community.
Unal Cevikoz served as Turkey's Ambassador to Azerbaijan (2001-2004), Iraq (2004-2007) and the UK (2010-2014). From 2007 to 2010 he was the deputy undersecretary of the MFA for bilateral political affairs. In 2008, he headed the Turkish delegation in negotiations aimed at the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations in Bern. In September 2008, he visited Armenia as Turkish President’s special envoy.
In November 2014, he published his article “Turkish-Armenian Relations Need a New Game-Changer” in Turkish Hurriyet Daily suggesting the border with Armenia be opened.