A group of former Turkish diplomats issued a statement on Friday in which they accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of implementing an "adventurous" foreign policy.
According to a report published by Turkish daily Hurriyet, the former diplomats, among them many retired ambassadors, were responding to criticism leveled by the Turkish PM. "Erdoğan often criticizes retired ambassadors who slam the government’s foreign policy, especially when there are concerns that Turkey is drifting away from the West. The prime minister calls them 'mon chers,' a French term intended to humiliate the diplomats." The report said.
In their statement, the diplomats said "Foreign policy is a long-term and serious job. It’s a serious pursuit that requires knowledge, foresight and calm analytical abilities.
"Mr. Prime Minister has of late made a habit of sprinkling his speeches with phrases from foreign languages. He started with an English phrase at Davos with ‘one minute’ - lately he’s shown a liking toward ‘mon chers,’” read the statement.
Stressing that diplomacy was not an easy job and many diplomats face threats during their service, the statement claimed: “Young or old, and regardless of rank, civil servants are in crisis areas in the most dangerous parts of the world. They represent our country, provide humanitarian aid, and carry out diplomatic contacts - and along with them there are those who provide management, technical and communication support. Who among them deserves this jeering?”
The retired ambassadors asked whether Erdogan was caught up in neo-Ottomanism.
“Foreign policy isn’t about bravery and adventurism. Those who claim to know history well need to remember the misfortunes brought to our country because of adventurous and imaginative cheap hopes - like the 'mass prayer in Jerusalem.' The penalty for such free heroic acts being paid with the lives of our innocent people is a source of distress,” the former diplomats said.