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Turkey and the Dream of Ottoman Revival

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#1    Erikl

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:13 PM

By HILLEL FRADKIN AND LEWIS LIBBY

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently visited Diyarbakir, the most important Kurdish city in Turkey's troubled Southeast. As the post-World War I political structure of the Middle East buckles, Kurdish separatist ambitions have become an increasingly important issue, not just for Turkey, but for Syria and Iraq as well.

Mr. Davutoglu's solution to the Kurdish problem is to turn the clock back 100 years, to the time before World War I when the Ottoman Empire held sway. Yet the minister is less likely to see a new era of Turkish-enforced regional stability than something much less pleasing to his taste.

Speaking at Dicle University in Diyarbakir on March 15, Mr. Davutoglu called the past century a "parenthesis": a departure from the authentic political order to which Kurds, Turkey and the Middle East will soon return. His talk, titled "The Great Restoration: Our New Political Understanding from the Very Old to Globalization," was colored deeply by the "neo-Ottomanism" that both he and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan champion.

The departure, Mr. Davutoglu said, began with "the mold that Sykes-Picot drew up for us," referring to the agreement between the British and French governments in 1916 that ended centuries of Ottoman domination of the Middle East. With the Sykes-Picot agreement and the League of Nations mandates, Mr. Davutoglu proclaimed, foreign hands had imposed a political order alien to Middle Eastern traditions, one of "emergent states based on nationalist ideology."

Mr. Davutoglu said this era is finally and happily coming to an end. "We are now in a new era of restoration," he proclaimed. "The real issue is actually rebuilding the mentality that we have lost."


In this view, the unifying force of Islam will heal longstanding domestic and international divides. This, coupled with Sunni Turkey's political, economic and military strength, will lead to Turkey being restored as the natural, dominating leader of the region. A new political understanding, Mr. Davutoglu said in Diyarbakir, will restore the "ancient unity" that connects not only Turks and Kurds, but also "Albanians, Bosnians and Arabs."

The foreign minister correctly underscores three important developments affecting today's Middle East. First, that the Western-inspired, nationalist ideologies adopted in the wake of Sykes-Picot are waning. In the states created as a result of the agreement—Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon—nationalist ideologies are giving way to ideologies of Islamist inspiration.

This is also the case in Egypt and Turkey, whose modern forms also date from the end of the First World War. It's true as well, of course, in Iran, which since 1979 has shed Western tutelage for an Islamist ideology, albeit one of a Shiite variety.

Second, that certain political aspects of today's Middle East could come to resemble those from before World War I. Syria, Iraq and Lebanon may eventually shatter into smaller states or quasi-states, resembling provinces and districts of the Ottoman Empire. This will reflect and encourage the more local attachments characteristic of that era.

Third, that the dominant role of outside powers is ending. All Middle Easterners are convinced—some with pleasure, others with regret—that America is a fading force in the Muslim world. The U.S. may yet be invoked to pressure Israelis, but Middle Easterners know of America's economic woes and its leaders' distaste for confronting Muslims.

These three developments won't, however, restore the "ancient unity" that Mr. Davutoglu so romantically invokes. Much more likely is an era of Middle Eastern disunity and disorder.

The unity of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as it was, derived from Ottoman power, both Caliphate and Empire. Contemporary Turkey cannot fill that role. Ankara's frustrations in the Syrian civil war show that.


Worse still, Turkey has a rival in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is aided at times by Turkey's ancient foe Russia. Prime Minister Erdogan initially sought a virtual alliance with Iran based on common Islamist orientations and distaste for the West. But that proved fanciful. The new Islamist enthusiasm has heightened religious sensibilities, stoking ancient rivalries of Sunnis and Shiites. A profound and violent fault line runs through the region.

Indeed, the Middle East may soon most resemble the ancient "disunity" of the 16th and 17th centuries, when Ottoman Sunnism contended with Iranian Safavid Shiism. That time around, the Ottomans prevailed.

This time, a nuclear Iran may dominate. Today Sunni Islamism is divided into powerful and potentially rivalrous camps. Arab Salafists and their Muslim Brotherhood cousins vie with the Turks for control. And meanwhile, Kurds, so long abused by Ankara, may in two decades outnumber Turks in Turkey. They may have their own state in Iraq sooner than that.

Ironically, order and peace in Mr. Davutoglu's new era may still depend on the restraining hand of outside assistance—and the natural partner remains the U.S. Turks have relearned an ancient lesson recently: that it is unwise to rely on the tender mercies of Russia or the staying power of Europeans. China and India may seek economic advantage, but they have yet to invest in establishing a Middle Eastern order. Both countries, moreover, have their own Muslim problems.

Will America resume a strong Middle East presence willingly? Or will it see itself as forced into the role? To know that, we must ask when Washington's current foreign-policy "parenthesis" will end—and whether it will end painfully or well.

Mr. Fradkin is director of the Center on the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute, of which Mr. Libby is senior vice president.


http://online.wsj.co...3650005160.html



Edited by Erikl, 25 May 2013 - 10:15 PM.

Posted Image

"We live in a world where when Christians kill Muslims, it's a crusade; When Jews kill Muslims, it's a massacre; When Muslims kill Muslims, it's the weather channel. Nobody cares"

#2    and then

and then

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

The ayatollahs AND the Kurds may beg to differ on his ambitions.  No doubt that Israel and the west should be aware, see this coming and begin to prepare for a NATO and a west without Turkey.  It's only a matter of time.  Turkey will be a key player in the Ezekiel chp 38/39 prophetic war against Israel.  They will be broken on the mountains of Israel.  So it is written and I believe it will come to pass.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#3    third_eye

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:42 AM

View Postand then, on 27 May 2013 - 04:55 AM, said:

2 Peter 3:3  - "First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires,""Third, you don't need three eyes when you haven't even learned to use the two you were born with.  Believe as you wish - it is your right and obligation.  Why does it bother you that someone else would do the same?  I stated a belief that I hold.  It obligates no one to anything and harms no one.... so why mock it?

Why do you say I mock when verily you know that I jest ?
Why even ye yourself says that I scoff when if even if I do mock, would not mocking be scorned ?

I have no chapters for that ...
as for harm .... you know you do much harm ... but that is between you and yours... not I

.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

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#4    and then

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 12:36 PM

View Postthird_eye, on 27 May 2013 - 08:42 AM, said:

Why do you say I mock when verily you know that I jest ?
Why even ye yourself says that I scoff when if even if I do mock, would not mocking be scorned ?

I have no chapters for that ...
as for harm .... you know you do much harm ... but that is between you and yours... not I

.
If you are jesting then I take no offense from it.  I am willing to take you at your word.  But perhaps you could explain to me how I can be causing anyone any harm by stating an opinion of belief in scripture?  Actual, physical or emotional damage to another human being simply by uttering a thought?  Really now...explain how that works to me.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#5    third_eye

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

View Postand then, on 27 May 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

If you are jesting then I take no offense from it.  I am willing to take you at your word.  But perhaps you could explain to me how I can be causing anyone any harm by stating an opinion of belief in scripture?  Actual, physical or emotional damage to another human being simply by uttering a thought?  Really now...explain how that works to me.

Posted Image

but in your case ... the killing entails the shedding of blood too ...
look ... nobody wants or even intends to get between you and your beliefs ...
least of all me ... but when you intend to pave your way with the clarion call for blood ...

man ... that's not cool ... you know ?
don;t sully JC's good name is what I'm saying ... and yes that is what you're doing
you may think you're all onward good christian soldier but you're lying with JCs name to get what you want
that is no different than a muslim doing it sullying allah's name ... to get what they want. those which you call a 'terrorist'

that's what I mean when I say you and 'them' are the same ... only you have the benefit of not being labelled a terrorist
when you lie with godly intentions to cause harm ... when you lie intentionally twisting teachings of religion ...

man ... that's just so not cool ... you know ?


.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#6    Corp

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

If any attempts to revive the Ottomans happened I'm fairly sure that the Greeks and the Balkans would flip out along with the rest of the Middle East.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse...A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

#7    and then

and then

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:18 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 27 May 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

Posted Image

but in your case ... the killing entails the shedding of blood too ...
look ... nobody wants or even intends to get between you and your beliefs ...
least of all me ... but when you intend to pave your way with the clarion call for blood ...

man ... that's not cool ... you know ?
don;t sully JC's good name is what I'm saying ... and yes that is what you're doing
you may think you're all onward good christian soldier but you're lying with JCs name to get what you want
that is no different than a muslim doing it sullying allah's name ... to get what they want. those which you call a 'terrorist'

that's what I mean when I say you and 'them' are the same ... only you have the benefit of not being labelled a terrorist
when you lie with godly intentions to cause harm ... when you lie intentionally twisting teachings of religion ...

man ... that's just so not cool ... you know ?


.
Quote me ONCE where I called for ANYONE'S blood.  I have no intention of trying to defend my words when all they do is acknowledge what is predicted in the Bible.  The fact that you either do not believe the veracity of the scripture or are unfamiliar with what it says is not my responsibility.  But you MUST indict me because you are like your father.  Predictable.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#8    Yamato

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:23 AM

View Postand then, on 28 May 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

Quote me ONCE where I called for ANYONE'S blood.  I have no intention of trying to defend my words when all they do is acknowledge what is predicted in the Bible.  The fact that you either do not believe the veracity of the scripture or are unfamiliar with what it says is not my responsibility.  But you MUST indict me because you are like your father.  Predictable.
I think it's more the implication that you're constantly making in your statements than so much pulling a trumpet out and explicitly declaring it in a single statement.  

The reality is that people are suffering from what might be the worst practice of tyranny in the world today.   I don't want anyone pulling that crap on anyone.  Just because someone is a Zionist doesn't give anyone the right to enjoy a 2nd standard in the practice of law and ethics.   Israel must be held to account for its transgressions or else the message to the world is that anyone else can do it and get away with it as well, with the sufficient amount of political cover e.g. "alliances".

As if I need bureaucrats to tell me who to be friends with.  Let the people decide.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#9    Yamato

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:44 AM

I met a few families from the west side of Istanbul who were like ultra-liberal secularists, and around dinner and wine, even they revel in the glory of the Ottoman Empire, which was a superpower in its day. They are largely anti-Erdogan for his Islamist reforms too, FWIW.

They didn't like me talking about their humiliating military aerial defeat against Greece either.   Or their problems with the independent-minded Kurds on their SE border.

Turks are banned from Youtube by their government due to Greek propaganda.   Erdogan has amended the Constitution and is taking the nation on a more Islamic direction.  So much for their EU bid.

Erdogan needs to play with his expensive metal toys though, while the people can't be allowed to do what they want online.
http://greece.greekr...-general-staff/

Edited by Yamato, 28 May 2013 - 07:12 AM.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#10    third_eye

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:40 AM

View Postand then, on 28 May 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

Quote me ONCE where I called for ANYONE'S blood.  I have no intention of trying to defend my words when all they do is acknowledge what is predicted in the Bible.  The fact that you either do not believe the veracity of the scripture or are unfamiliar with what it says is not my responsibility.  But you MUST indict me because you are like your father.  Predictable.


Quote

7 And I heard the fourth voice fending off the Satans and forbidding them to come before the Lord
8 of Spirits to accuse them who dwell on the earth.

    (Other Apocrypha, The Book of Enoch)

Quote

3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

    (King James Bible, 1 Peter)

Aye ... predictable indeed ...

~peace

.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer





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