Τurkey : the new Middle east problem? (article, published in Elefteros Typos at 06 November 2014)
Τurkey : the new Middle east problem?
In 19th century Turkey was considered by the West “Europe’s sick mate”. Weak, debt loaded, the Ottoman Empire, was incapable to be self-managed and gradually lost its power in the Balkans and North Africa. In contrast modern Turkey possesses a good economy, appears healthy, politically stable, but it does concern anew the western diplomacies. Because this steardy ship that is being captained by the Islamist Erdogan, is being routed to a future sinking. The Middle issue is back on the table because of her. That as a result of the economic growth it experienced in the beginning of the 21st century that provoked the incontrollable willingness to practice a more aggressive external policy than it can afford. The pattern started becoming apparent in 2009 when Erdogan positioned Ntavoutoglou as minister of external affairs. He gave birth to the empire of new othomanism, in which, Kemalism is apolitical lobotomy that cost his country its real identity. Which is what? That Turkey belongs sequentially in three areas: South in the Muslim world, East in Eurasia, Est in the Western world. His position is not having problems with the neighboring countries. And as much as possible, to be the mediator for the problems in the area. So it plays the mediator between Bosnia and Serbia, Syria and Israel, Iran and US. As target has to be needed and become irreplaceable, in general, in the area. With the appearance of the “Arabic Spring” it practiced that strategy, Erdogan and Ntavoutoglou went over their head, and for short while they managed to convince the US and the West, that their country that Turkey was the real model for the Islamic world. And that, because their political party was democratic and not extremist. Not unstable as Egypt, not anti-democratic as Saudi Arabia. This originally successful strategy, intoxicated them, and from 2011 changed: they started as new “bosses” to intervene in Middle East countries, to request that old governments be gone and Muslim brothers to replace them. Where they did not succeed, like Egypt or Syria they became threatening. In particular after their failed friendship, with Assant, they started to assist terrorist Muslims like the Das. To the Western countries and Israel they behaved in non-friendly manner. They refuse the recognition of Cyprus, an EU country. As for the Kompani siege, they play both sides of the board. On one hand they are against Kurdish terrorism on the other hand they do not condemn jihad terrorists that decapitate innocent hostages. Today’s Turkey lives in a paradox. It blossoms economically, it loses in external affairs losing friends and increasing in enemies that become sworn ones, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Also it continuous to diminish the possibility of being accepted in the EU. Even the well possessed US is not trusting it. Which actually means investors will start distancing themselves from Turkey. Subsequently that will lead to economic crisis and dangerous disposition. The issue at hand is today how can Turkey be prevented to cause any harm. And that is the concern of Western diplomats and government.