It was a very cold day in Washington DC. Snow, snow and more snow. At exactly 10 o’clock, I entered The State Department building at Foggy Bottom.
I walked to the reception and told the guy there why I was here. I showed him my press card. He looked at it and typed something on his computer. A little later, a young diplomat from the Turkey Desk arrived.
He introduced himself and we walked to get our coffees just behind the security gates. Then we entered the elevator and there we were on the 5th floor. There were 6 diplomats in the room. Two of them were women. We sat down, all of them introduced themselves. And for the next 3 hours, we discussed the Middle East, as well as the relations between Turkey and the USA. It was a very serious brainstorming session.
They were telling their point of views and I was telling them about mine which I believe was for the benefit of Turkey. Telling them the mistakes they made so far… And they were very candid about the mistakes they made.
Why I’m writing all those? Because if you don’t know what is hidden inside the brains of foreign diplomats, you will always be duped with empty promises. Remember we are quite famous for that. So, you have to think the way they think, you have to understand their priorities. If you don’t, you will always be cheated.
Maybe the most important part of those discussions is to ask the right question at the right time. And in a very calm manner even you knew that your question will upset them. If they believe that you are really on top of the subjects you are talking about, they will show their respect.
There is also another very important fact for this kind of diplomatic relationships. That is friendship. If you know the right people to talk to before your diplomatic meetings, it will help you a lot. At the end of the day you will know in advance, what they have in their minds.
If you are a young journalist interested in foreign news, keep these in mind. You won’t regret it.
And now I am looking at Turkey and its dilemmas. So many… big mistakes. So many disappointments….
In my upcoming articles I will try to explain these mistakes we made and still making.
Stay sharp friends…