A conversation with former Ambassador Murat Salim Esenli
Turkey is a nation full of history, nature and culture. As the web never fails to remind us, however, the nation is currently facing a particularly hard time. On October 25th, we – as Global Governance students – had the opportunity to host Murat Salim Esenli, who gave us a clearer picture of what is currently going on. He has been Ambassador of Turkey to Italy since November 2016 and served as Deputy Undersecretary for European affairs from 2013 to 2016.
Moreover, Mr. Esenli has also delivered lectures on the subjects of diplomatic analyses and Turkish foreign policy, both in Istanbul andnternationally.
Turkey is the 16th largest economy in the world, with 81 million people and its GDP on top of the world, with youth being the most important factor for Turkish development.
Mr. Esenli gave us a general picture of the political, economic and social situation in Turkey, and stressed the fact that we – both insiders and outsiders – should always pay attention to make a clear distinction between reality, journals and media.
After the general picture was drawn, we had the chance to ask questions interact with our guest, thus creating a dynamic atmosphere that so often characterizes our Global Conversations, and that really enriches us all.
The debate began thanks to a phrase that the guest pronounced: “let’s talk about us”. The majority of questions were about the difficulties of his job, the challenges of his career, and the importance of communication. In particular, two Turkish girls from GG1 asked him two specific questions about his policy and expressed their personal opinions regarding the whole event.
The first girl asked him an interesting question about the ethics of having a president’s son in law as the Minister of Finance and Treasury, appointed by the President himself, especially given to the fact that the Minister is only 40 years old. The Ambassador focused his answer on the age of the Minister and said the political party in power always supported the youth and never hesitated to give them important positions and tasks in general.
Then, the other Turkish girl opened her question by stating that, in her opinion, “our country has to work more on freedom of speech”. She then asked Mr. Esenli a quite distinctive question about the Gezi Movement, that captured nationwide attention a couple of years back, and which mainly consisted of youth protests against the government. Former Ambassador Esenli underlined how youth contentment is important for the Turkish President, and the discussion went back to the importance of the new generations, a topic that goes beyond Turkish borders and that concerns every country, at a global level.
Thanks to this experience GG students were able to perceive the complexity of a career in international politics, and understand that absolute and categorical answers are very rare to find, especially when it comes to diplomatic affairs!