dimanche 10 juillet 2011

Italians discover Ahmet Davutoğlu, Hasan Kanbolat

04 July 2011

Italians discover Ahmet Davutoğlu

I was in a rocky Italian village, Montagnaga, where Dr.
Ermanno Visintainer, a renowned Turkologist, resides.
He is not only an  academic but also a truly passionate
Turkologist. His wife, Gerlma Borcigin, is of Mongolian
origin. Her sister completed a master's degree at
Boğaziçi University. He met his wife in İstanbul
and their little son, Timuçin, speaks both Mongolian
and Italian.
Visintainer is the founding president of a think tank
named Vox  Populi (Voice of the People).
I was at a workshop, “Mediterranean: Liquid Continent,”
held by Vox Populi in Trento-Montagnaga, on July 1-3.
 Italian parliamentarians Riccardo Migliori and Giacomo
 Santini served as Organization for Security  and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observers in
Turkey  during the June 12 general elections. At the
workshop, they praised Turkish democracy, recent
changes in the political, economic and democratic
 spheres as well as Ahmet Davutoğlu's foreign policy
 style, particularly on Mediterranean issues.

At Vox Populi they published an edited volume on

Davutoğlu's  seminal book in Turkish, “Strategic Depth:
 Turkey's International Position.” Its Italian title is
“La Profondita Strategica Turca nel  Pensiero di Ahmet Davutoğlu” (Turkish Strategic Depth in Ahmet
Davutoğlu's Views). The Italian press in particular used
to publish  false reports on Davutoğlu's book. This is
why they considered translating the book into Italian.
However, because it was so  voluminous, the book's
 translation from Turkish to Italian seemed impossible.
They gave up on a direct translation and decided to
 instead write a book of analyses of Davutoğlu's book.
 The Italian  book contains three preface pieces by
Professor İskender Pala, Italia's envoy to Ankara,
 Gianpaolo Scarante, and Turkey's envoy to Rome,
 Hakkı Akil. An article by Davutoğlu was also
 translated for the book.

Each author commented on a part of the book. Visintainer

 analyzed  the philosophical priority of Davutoğlu's book,
 while renowned Italian writer Andrea Marcigliano
 focused on NATO, Italian Turkologist Fabrizio Beltrami
 on Turkey's foreign policy in Arab countries,
Leonid Savin on relations between Turkey and the Russian
 Federation, Andrea Forti on neo-Ottomanism, Daniele
 Lazzeri on Turkey's economic policies, Augusto Grandi
on trade relations between Italy and Turkey, Andrea Liorsi
 on policies pursued by the Turkish Naval Forces, Giancarlo
 Lagana on northern Cyprus, and Angelo Mecca on the
links between Byzantium and Turkey.

The authors contend that Davutoğlu's work is a remarkable

geopolitical book considering both the Western perspective
and the Turkish approach. This is why they believe Davutoğlu
to be a leader of a new line of thinking. They are preparing to
hold conferences on the book in both Venice and İstanbul.
According to Visintainer, Turkey, as underlined by Davutoğlu,
 is at the center of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa)
and Italy is a bridge between Europe and Africa.

Trento, a city in the center of Trentino province, is located in

the Adige Valley in the north of Italy. According to research
by Visintainer, the people in the town of Moena in the province
 of  Trentino believe that they are descendents of two janissaries
who came to the area after the Siege of Vienna. They display
Turkish flags during a festival in August and wear Turkish
 national outfits. The historical fountain in the town has Turkish
 imagery. Belluna, a neighboring town, has a village bearing a
Turkish name, Karaköy. The village, now deserted, has a
similar past. The Dolomite Mountains in the north of Italy
have been home to a people called the Ret, who were related
 to Turks. The legends of Turks and Italians have many s
imilarities and resemblances. They share a common history
and past starting from Siberia through Asia and Europe.

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