Today Turkey is playing a pivotal role in the escalation of violence in the Middle East along with a number of other regions, namely Europe. To understand the origins of this evil one must take a closer look at the policies Ankara has been pursuing.
What could possibly have gone wrong in a secular and democratic nation that was built by Ataturk to replace a sectarian sultanate? How could it have slipped so fast back to the state of a fanatical and obsessive sectarian state that is practically living in accordance with Sharia law? But the problem doesn’t there, since the sitting Turkish authorities have been active in supporting ISIL by buying stolen oil from this terrorist group, along with providing it with weapons and reinforcements. And now Turkey has gone as far as providing close fire support for militants that are fighting Syrian Kurds.
It’s all started back in 2002 when Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power after the victory the Justice and Development Party (AKP) enjoyed during the parliamentary elections in Turkey. He has virtually become the first sectarian prime minister of Turkey. We must not forget that this party was founded upon the sectarian movement “New Look” and the banned sectarian Virtue Party, while Erdogan had always called for Turkey’s deviation from the principles of a secular state and his pan-sectarian beliefs landed him in prison.
In this regard it should be reminded that back in 1999 Erdogan cited the words of a Turkish poet: “Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.” That’s how Erdogan envisioned the conquest of Europe and the creation of the so-called Neo-Ottoman Empire.
To achieve this goal Erdogan has decided to go all in with an idea of Pan-Turkism with a distinct sectarian flavor. While being unable to provide an answer to countless social problems in the country, he has been searching instead for internal and external enemies to push the blame on, while investing considerable resources in various propaganda campaigns.
This statement can be illustrated by a stream of publications that have been appearing in the Turkish media during recent years that criticized the European Union “for the continuous prolonging of negotiations on the accession of Turkey to the EU ever since 2005.” And the longer negotiations were stalled, the more bitter Ankara’s criticism has become. But then Ankara came up with an argument to pose to Europe, it seems, it cannot resist – the flow of refugees to Europe. Now the EU is forced to pay large sums and provide preferences to Turkey in vain hopes to at least get this flow reduced. According to the German Die Welt, Turkish authorities’ came as far as demanding the European Union to double the amount of financial assistance allocated to fight illegal migration, increasing it to the staggering 5 billion euros.
According to Erdogan’s plan, those poor souls that have reached Europe will out of the “gratitude for the assistance” that Turkey provided, form a Neo-Ottoman lobby that will help him extend the boundaries of his “empire.”
A similar position is being exploited by Ankara while dealing with Crimean Tatars. Thus, Ukraine’s and Turkey’s Foreign Ministers have reached an agreement at a meeting in Istanbul that the Crimean Tatars that are dwelling in Turkey are to be provided with Ukrainian passports, which, according to Anakra, will allow it to form “a large Tatar ethnic group living in exile.” It is believed that this group is going to be governed by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. Both Kiev and Ankara are trying to use Crimean Tatars to meddle in the situation in Crimea. Ankara hopes that once it has established full control over the MCTP it will start lobbying Turkey’s interests in Russia.
According to preliminary estimates of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, a total of 500,000 local Tatars will agree to obtain Ukrainian citizenship, while their legal status shall be governed by a special bilateral agreement between Ankara and Kiev which is to be signed in the near future.
A large-scale propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting Russia’s policies has been used in Turkey to create an image of a vicious enemy that is to be opposed no matter what the cost. This envy is supposed to allow Erdogan to rally various social groups under the banner of fighting a common enemy, or at least that’s what Turkey’s President believes.
By creating such a distorted image of both Russia and the EU, the sitting government in Ankara is trying to secure the positions of the Justice and Development Party, opening the way to presidential reform that Tayyip Erdogan eagerly seeks. It’s possible that new parliamentary elections will be held in September-October to facilitate this goal. There’s little doubt that opposition forces are going to be used as a pretext, since they have allegedly blocked the work of the constitutional commission entrusted with a mission to draft a new Basic Law for the country. Ankara has already declared that it cannot rule out the possibility that it will reduce the duration of curfew introduced in the south-eastern regions of Turkey to ensure that some elections are conducted, along with withdrawing military troops that have been so far waging a veritable war on the Kurdish population of the country. However, certain “problematic” areas, such as Cizre, are going to “enjoy” a state of war for months to come.
In the meantime, Erdogan and his regime will continue his “secret” collaboration with ISIS, along with blackmailing the EU and escalating tensions on the border with Syria in an effort to put together a coalition that would embark on the military adventure in this war-torn country. However, neither NATO nor the United States is supporting Turkey, and Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem to be willing to risk it all as well.
In this situation an “unexpected” incident near the Syrian-Turkish carried out by ISIS could become an ideal solution for Turkey, providing it with a “legal” pretext for the invasion of Syrian territory. But ISIS has no resources to carry out such an attack since it’s stuck fighting in Syria and has practically been surrounded near As Sin. Under these conditions, only hosted Turkish secret services could provide Ankara with a pretext that it needs so desperately. Erdogan ability and willingness to create such pretexts and manipulate public opinion in accordance with his plans is well known and documented. So, it would be a safe assumption that the violent terrorist attack in Ankara carried out on February 17 was organized by Turkey’s intelligence agencies.
Meanwhile, a list of crimes that Turkey is committing daily keeps growing. All this brings the world to the moment when the Turkish people along with the international community recognize the sinister face of the ruling government in Ankara closer, making an international tribunal that will judge them for their crimes virtually inevitable.
Martin Berger is a Czech-based freelance journalist and analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.