Activities of GRM

List

Lecture by Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey

Seminar & Lectures

2017/5/24

Global Leadership Forum

Title:
"The Future of National, Regional and Global (Dis)order: Exclusive Populism versus Inclusive Global Governance"

Speaker:
H.E. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey

Date: 2017. 5.24 (Wed) 14:00~16:00
Venue: Clarke Memorial Hall, IMADEGAWA Campus

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 “I am at home;”
With these words the former Prime Minister of Turkey Prof. Dr. Davutoglu described his visit to Doshisha University. Having spent most of his early professional years in academia as a professor of Political Science and International Relations, Prof. Davutoglu could certainly appreciate and enjoy the atmosphere of university and sharing opinions with Doshisha students. His Excellency delivered two lectures on the day of 24 May. In the morning lecture titled, “The Methodology of Strategic Thinking: The Case of the Middle East,” Prof. Davutoglu lectured directly to audience students only. At lunch time, he shared a discussion over lunch with the students. Explaining the importance of diplomacy in resolving conflicts, Prof. Davutoglu stressed upon the value of “humanitarian Diplomacy.” The world right now is going through many changes and with that new political actors emerge. His Excellency pointed out such changes compel us to seek new modalities characterized mainly by inclusiveness and respect for others. Peace can become hard to achieve when there is an absence of “reference points” or values that can change the existing reality, according to him.  “Change can come only with new ideas,” said Prof. Davutoglu. During the discussion period, one student responded to His Excellency that dictatorial regimes and authoritarian governments pose a real obstacle towards a meaningful change. Can there be a hope? asked the student. Prof. Davutoglu said that he was an optimist. In case of hopefulness, no ideas would come up to get us out of such situation. He gave an example of the three million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey at the moment. He stated that the cost of caring for the Syrian refugees in Turkey since 2011 has surpassed 20 Billion U.S dollars so far. “If a Syrian patient reaches any hospital in Turkey, he/she would never be turned away,” it is Turkish and Muslim culture, rooted in history. People in Turkey would never turn away someone who knocks on your door asking for help.

In the afternoon session, His Excellency Prof. Davutoglu described the current impasse and crisis that global society is facing at the moment. His talk started by describing how over modern era, a system with new set of rules governed the aftermath of a war or a conflict. The 17th Century’s Peace of Westphalia ended a thirty-year war in Europe. After the end of WWI, the League of Nations was established. Later on, after the WWII, the United Nations was announced and founded. According to Prof. Davutoglu, when the cold war ended in 1989, no such system or conference was established to function as a point of reference in terms of principles, values or a reference in solving conflicts. What we have right now is the politics of securitization without offering alternatives that included different political actors or answering grievances.

The audience asked questions after the public speech on various global issues and conflicts. His Excellency was Candide enough and pretty much personable in reaching out to each student asking the question. One student asked the former prime minister about his leadership style. His Excellency advised that the most important element of leadership is when “you have peace inside you.” “That is the most important quality of a leader,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Davutoglu possesses the extraordinary qualities of a friendly, personable character and a sharp intellect which greatly helped through an amazing political and academic careers.  His talks and lectures provided a perspective of global issues and problems that can be effectively if handled with commonly shared values and inclusivity.

(Reported by Dr. Iyas Salim, Advanced Research and Education, Doshisha University)
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