Ambassador Yazgan: “Maarif is One of the Most Critical Liberos of Turkey Abroad...”


The guest of the 12th Country Representatives Consultation Meeting of the Turkish Maarif Foundation was H.E. Fatma Ceren Yazgan,  Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Georgia.

Yazgan attending the seminar held at the Foundation’s Headquarters in İstanbul noted: “Diplomacy is not to say ‘I am right’ in a debate, but is an art of having others to do what you want them to do once the debate is over. Diplomacy is to engage in precautionary dissimulation - concealment sometimes and sometimes it is to talk straight in a way to make your presence[/power] felt; sometimes it is to threaten and it is not to tell the truth as is at other times. Diplomacy is an action taken to protect our own interests and establish them in the long run. There is no end to it. All nations are in this game. As our late Foreign Minister İhsan Sabri Çağlayangil said, if you do not want to be on the menu, you will sit around the table.” 

Yazgan stressing that Ministries of Foreign Affairs in all countries are established for a need, pointed out the importance of diplomacy in intergovernmental relations. “Those who are tackling inside a country cannot see the developments outside because they do not have time for this. So, some should focus on abroad and inform others who are in the country. Since we are the continuation of the Ottoman [Empire], the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a very old history. The Foreign Ministry becomes the Foreign Ministry when we improve our relations with Europe because Europe is the place where the diplomacy is played most successfully and relentlessly in interstate relations. Small states grow by wars and diplomacy is a part of the war.”

Ms. Ambassador underlined that Turkish Maarif Foundation is one of the most critical liberos of Turkey abroad. “Just as the case is with other soft power elements, with Maarif, we are starting to regain the power we lost. Because you are working for the future generations. You are the most vital institution to serve to the promotion of Turkey in the future. At the same time, you are working for positioning Turkey’s power in the long term,” she said.

Yazgan emphasized that Turkey should determine her own priorities and the center should develop a strategy in accordance with these priorities. She said that the needs should be determined by coming from the field towards the center as it is critical to see the facts in the field and forwarding them [to the center].

Yazgan wrapped up her remarks as: “Turkey’s opportunities should be used by joining forces all together. If we do this, we can show Turkey’s power and effect. Academics in Turkey should attend seminars in Maarif schools. Activities that continue as raising children in [Maarif] schools should be enriched through involving in the process the faculty members coming from Turkey. Diplomacy, at the same time, means to utilize our own resources and to achieve strategically the most-layered goal with the resources of others. Telling the success stories of Maarif students is one of the most critical contributions that will be made to Turkey’s soft power efforts."

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