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Friday , November 22 2019

Erdogan Empire between Abdul-Hameed’s pipe dream and Ataturk’s reality

Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

TURKISH politics has witnessed a comprehensive change over the past eight years to the point of Turkey indulging in regional issues after the ruling government became convinced that joining the European Union is no more than a wishful thinking, and that returning to the dream of establishing an empire is the only option for the Justice and Development Party founded on the Islamic ideology choreographed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The overall situation witnessed in Syria and Iraq due to Turkey’s interference, whether directly or indirectly, conveyed the message of reality to Ankara that the new project for dominance cannot be achieved through the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab countries, because the group has crashed in several countries.

Syria, which Turkey has transformed to its backyard with the support of extremist groups and facilitation of access to foreign militias, is no longer the same Syria. A good number of the people were zealous toward revolution, which at the moment, could help Turkey achieve its objective of infiltrating deeper into the Arab world.

Today, the decision maker in Turkey seems to have realized the truth that invading an Arab country, even under the circumstances of existing dispute, is not acceptable by Arabs, Muslims and the international community due to the fact that the balance of power changes as the situation in the world changes, and the invader does not get legitimacy from the local political group to interfere in local affairs.

Ankara should learn from the four decades of Iran’s failure to execute its expansion ideology, even by using the sectarian card in many Arab countries. Its expansionism project is actually based on a series of deadly flaws.

If Iran took advantage of the weak condition of Lebanon to reach the domains of authority through “Hezbollah”, then it failed in achieving the ultimate objective; in fact, it ended up putting Lebanon under the international scope after destroying its economy and pushing it to collapse and the series of crises emerging like fungus is testimony to that.

Iran’s expansionism scheme wasn’t better off in Iraq. The recent protest in several Iraqi cities has proven to be a curse – not only on the political class but Iran and its scheme of infiltrating into the State domains.

In Yemen, it is advisable to take a closer look at the state of affairs in order to understand where Iran’s interference has dragged the country into. Tehran has failed despite spending billions in Yemen to enhance its influence and render it a passageway to Saudi Arabia with the aim of controlling Islam’s sacred sites so as to give its expansionism scheme a religious tone.

In the past forty years, Iran has attempted to achieve its objective, which is inscribed in the country’s new constitution “to export revolution”. However, it failed to do so in Bahrain despite its small population size. Not even its mercenaries were able to turn the mood of Bahrainis who are in full support of their leaders.

It also failed in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, and the ruling families in those countries are still enjoying wide support from their people who rally behind them and the nation.

Based on these facts, do decision makers in Turkey think they will be able to achieve their expansionism scheme if forty years of Iran’s attempt to implement its ideology pushed the country into isolation – and shunned by almost every country; despite the billions it spent on the regional gangs? Would Turkey’s scheme succeed, just because it depends on a Sunni political group (Muslim Brotherhood)?

The dream driving Turkey to establish an empire and its bloody interference in Syria and massacre it’s committing today will neither cancel Kurdish rights recognized by the majority of the world nations.

Therefore, the question is: why this military incursion by Turkey, which has over 17 million people, against Kurds in Syria who are about 3 million? It is possible for Kurds to impose their independence if they retaliate. This leaves everyone to wonder if Ankara’s leaders believe that suppressing Syrian Kurds will eliminate Kurds demand for their own nation.

This schizophrenic political demeanor is similar to that found in Iran, and both of them seem to be heading the path of the Ottoman Empire, which was described towards its fall as a sick person despite the fact that the empire occupied a huge chunk of both Arab and the Muslim worlds, but it fell at the end and broke into pieces, and as it seems, the Justice and Development Party is dragging Turkey into becoming the sick person. It seems that its leaders did not read their history properly to know how the dream of Sultan Abdul-Hameed evaporated, because he failed to accept the reality, which existed at that point in time.

The only question is: Will Recep Tayyip Erdogan relive Abdul-Hameed’s error or will he finally wake up from his slumber and return to complete the course Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had taken?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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