25 May 2018   Uri Avnery: The Luck of the Gambler - By: Uri Avnery




19 May 2018   Uri Avnery: The Day of Shame - By: Uri Avnery

17 May 2018   Blaming the victim - By: Daoud Kuttab




13 May 2018   My Home is Beit Daras: Our Lingering Nakba - By: Ramzy Baroud

11 May 2018   Uri Avnery: Who is the vassal? - By: Uri Avnery

10 May 2018   The vengeful audacity of The New York Times - By: Daoud Kuttab















5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

31 January 2018

Basking In The Shadows Of The Ottoman Era

By: Alon Ben-Meir
print     send by email

It is hard to fathom why Turkey’s President Erdogan, who embarked on the most impressive social, political, and economic reforms during his first ten years in office, turned around and systematically destroyed all that he had achieved. In doing so, he transformed the country into a police state where Islamic nationalism runs supreme.

It is no secret that Erdogan is an ambitious man who aspires to become the leader of the Sunni Muslim world and dreams of restoring the “glory” of the Ottoman Empire. He is sparing no efforts to extend Turkey’s wings over countries that he can manipulate and exploit in the Middle East and the Caucasus.

Even a cursory review of his actions at home and abroad unmistakably shows that there is a pattern to his madness to resurrect not only images but the influence of the vanished Ottoman Empire that died disgracefully in the wake of World War I.

The Ottoman Empire will always be remembered by its last infamous chapter—the genocide of the Armenian people. Thus, when Erdogan recounts the presumed splendor of the Ottoman era, it should have a chilling effect on any country with which Erdogan seeks active bilateral relations, because there are always sinister intentions behind his overtures. To expand his regional influence, Erdogan has followed the footprint of the Ottomans by first taking extraordinary coercive measures to consolidate his absolute powers at home.

Following the July 2016 failed military coup, he ruthlessly cracked down on his real and perceived political adversaries, including anyone suspected of having an affiliation with his arch enemy Fethullah Gülen, whom he accused of being behind the coup.

He took control over the civilian and government institutions by repeatedly extending the state emergency laws. Instead of continuing to promote freedoms and human rights to encourage creativity and competitiveness, he is choking the Turkish people’s natural resourcefulness and ability to excel. With little or no opposition at home, Erdogan moved to promote his Ottoman penchant to establish military bases in Qatar and Somalia, and military ties with Tunisia. Now he is scheming to build another military installation on the strategically located Sudanese Island of Suakin.

Erdogan intends to utilize the island as a military outpost, the way it had served during the Ottoman era. Egypt and Saudi Arabia believe that Erdogan’s military adventure will upset the regional balance of power, which is the recipe for instability and incessant violence. Thus, instead of alleviating the plight of the nearly 20 million Turks under the poverty line, Erdogan is spending billions on his foreign exploits.

To seize on the chaotic conditions in Syria, Erdogan decided to undertake a military offensive to crush the Syrian Democratic Force (YPG), which he accuses of being supportive of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), against whom he has been fighting a war of insurgency for 34 years. Although he asserts that his purpose is the elimination of all terrorist elements to protect his people, his real objectives are: establishing a permanent foot-hold in Syria, which was ruled by the Ottomans; maintaining the support of his nationalistic constituency; demonstrating that he is independent and free to use his military as he sees fit; and most importantly, preventing the Syrian Kurds from cementing their autonomous rule.

Hence, instead of solving the conflict with his own Kurdish community, who merely seeks to preserve their culture, he invades Syria under false pretenses to secure his other objectives which are consistent with his Ottoman vision.

In the Balkans, Turkey is systematically entrenching itself by increasing its commercial and cultural presence which is evocative of Ottoman rule. In Albania, Turkey is building the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline through the country to supply gas to Europe, and a Turkish consortium is looking to build the nation’s second airport.

He is investing in Kosovo’s infrastructure, building its only international airport, and managing the country’s energy. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is assisting the Balkan and Caucasian countries in the fields of industry, agriculture, infrastructure, finance, healthcare, and education.

In addition, Erdogan is blatantly interfering in other neighboring countries—including Afghanistan, Albania, Georgia, and Kosovo—where he is exerting inordinate pressure on their governments to close all schools affiliated with the Gülen movement, threatening to use his economic and political levers against these countries unless they fire and replace the teachers with others who subscribe to his religious Islamist orientation.

Rather than investing in infrastructure, housing, education, and healthcare in the Southeast (Turkey’s poorest region), he is financing foreign projects aimed at influencing and preserving cultural heritage dating back to the Ottoman Empire, further solidifying Turkey’s regional outreach.

Although theoretically Turkey still seeks membership in the EU, the accession process is basically frozen, and Erdogan certainly prefers to leave it that way because he is not willing to reverse course and reinstate freedom of the press and human rights, on which the EU insists as a precondition to discussing accession in earnest. Thus, instead of making Turkey a model of Islamic democracy that meets the principal requirements of the EU, he transformed Turkey into an authoritarian Islamic state that resembles the Ottoman governing style.

Turkey’s role in NATO appears to be increasingly waning as Erdogan continues to gravitate toward Russia, which is considered the West’s staunchest adversary, cozying up to Putin who declared war on American democracy. Recently, he reached an agreement with Moscow to buy the S-400 Air Defense System, and to cooperate in building three nuclear plants – though for civilian purposes they could easily be converted to nuclear weapons production. This development severely erodes Turkey’s reliability as a NATO member and as a Western ally

The West must no longer invoke Turkey’s geostrategic importance as an excuse for doing nothing to arrest Erdogan’s adventurism. No punitive action should be ruled out to stop him from further destabilizing the region because of his ill-fated aspirations to resurrect some semblance of the Ottoman Empire and satisfy his lust for ever more power.

* Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. - alon@alonben-meir.com



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

27 أيار 2018   "صفقة غزة" وشرعيات الأمر الواقع..! - بقلم: د. عبير عبد الرحمن ثابت

26 أيار 2018   الغموض يلف المستقبل..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

26 أيار 2018   صحة الرئيس ومسألة الرئاسة..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

26 أيار 2018   من سيخلف الرئيس محمود عباس..؟ - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن



26 أيار 2018   لعله التوقيت الفلسطيني الدائم..! - بقلم: تحسين يقين

26 أيار 2018   .. وماذا بعد الوصول إلى قاع المنحدر؟! - بقلم: صبحي غندور

25 أيار 2018   العالول والقدوة هما المرشحان الأوفر حظا..! - بقلم: محمد خضر قرش

25 أيار 2018   كل السلامة للرئيس.. فماذا عن سلامتنا؟ - بقلم: عدنان الصباح

25 أيار 2018   السويسري القبيح..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

25 أيار 2018   السلام وعين النملة..! - بقلم: حمدي فراج

25 أيار 2018   مخيم اليرموك له وجه..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم


25 أيار 2018   في حب الكلاب والقطط..! - بقلم: ناجح شاهين








31 اّذار 2017   41 سنة على يوم الأرض: تماسك الفقراء - بقلم: بسام الكعبي





27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


21 أيار 2018   رسالــــــة.. إنك تحرثين روحي - بقلم: فراس حج محمد

20 أيار 2018   حكواتي.. في رمضان قديم - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

20 أيار 2018   ورحل "حارس التراث الفلسطيني" الباحث نمر سرحان - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

6 أيار 2018   حول القراءة ومظاهرها غير الثّقافيّة..! - بقلم: فراس حج محمد



8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2018- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية