Expect to hear a lot more of the name Ahmet Davutoglu. The former university professor who became Turkey's foreign minister last year is the man behind Ankara's landmark new diplomatic outreach, including a previously unimaginable rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia and a new warmth with Syria.
Some Western analysts are dismayed at these developments, interpreting them as a sign that Turkey is turning East at the expense of the West. The mild-mannered Davutoglu typically gets angry at these suggestions, saying these comments come from those who begrudge Turkey its expanding role in the region.
Yet while Davutoglu is no stranger to Turkish politics—he began serving as chief foreign-policy adviser to the ruling AKP in 2002—he remains something of a cipher, even in his home country. To remedy that, NEWSWEEK's Turkish-language partner, NEWSWEEK Türkiye, recently examined the forces that shaped Davutoglu and how he is changing relationships with Turkey's neighbors in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus.
Some of the highlights from the magazine's comprehensive profile, written by Yenal Bilgici with reporting by Semin Gümüsel and Nevra Yaraç:
Davutoglu is not without his critics, who have accused him of double standards for criticizing Israel's actions in Gaza while failing to condemn the approach of a fellow Muslim—Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir—in Darfur. But even those who don't support him see him as a statesman who is both a thinker and a doer. And right now, he's the talk of more than just Ankara.