DavutoIlu hires PR firm in Brussels to improve image abroad

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu has reportedly hired top PR company Burson-Marsteller to improve his image abroad.
The contract with the company began on Nov. 3, just two days after Davutoiluand’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won an unexpected landslide victory in a repeat parliamentary election on Nov. 1, EUobserver website reported on Friday.
and”The company is providing communication support to highlight the prime ministerand’s leading role in international efforts to address the refugee crisis and his commitment to open dialogue and consensus, which is crucial to ensuring the stability and future prosperity of Turkey,and” Karen Massin, the CEO of the companyand’s Brussels office, said.
The client, as listed in Burson-Marstellerand’s entry in the European Commission transparency register, is the and”Office of Prime Minister of Turkey,and” according to the report.
The report said the work was worth less than 9,999 euros but cautioned that the low figure might be due to the fact that the contract is new. Its activities so far include setting up background briefings with journalists and the prime ministerand’s press team, with a view to lining up interviews in Ankara, it also said.
Burson-Marsteller had a turnover of almost 10 million euros in Brussels last year, according to the report, and is one of the cityand’s biggest lobby firms. EUobserver said the US firmand’s Berlin, London, Paris, and Washington offices also appear to be working on the deal with the Turkish Prime Ministry.
Unlike President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose increasingly visible shift to an authoritarian style of governance has been widely criticized at home and in Europe, Davutoilu repeatedly claims that his government is committed to the rule of law and freedom of expression and ready for conciliation with the opposition. But whether he can pursue a political agenda independent of Erdogan is open to debate.
Marc Pierini, the former EU ambassador in Turkey who now works with the Carnegie Europe think-tank, said Davutoilu has ideas that are different than Erdoganand’s but underlined that Erdogan has become even more powerful after the Nov. 1 election.
and”He [Davutoilu] has, on occasion, voiced differences on freedom of the press. But the problem is, it doesnand’t change anything,and” he was quoted as saying.
An EU diplomatic source, however, noted that Davutoilu, although dependent on Erdogan, and”might be waiting for his moment.and”
and”Heand’s an ideologue, an intellectual, and a man who represents certain values. Unlike Erdogan, for instance, he really wanted to fight corruption,and” the same source told EUobserver.


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