Turkish Erdogan pursues the Ottoman dream and ends up disrupting Western Asia | Analysis | Latest India News


The Recep Tayyip Erdogan government will create a museum in honor of Mehmed the Conqueror, the Ottoman Sultan who captured Constantinople and took the first big steps to expand the Ottoman Empire. “For the first time in Turkey, a museum bearing the name of a sultan will be built in Edirne,” Professor Zekeriya KurÅŸun of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University in Istanbul told the state-run Anadolu Agency. The deadline is next year.

The museum in the Turkish province of Edirne across the Bosphorus Strait – which forms the continental border between Europe and Asia – is considered one of the continuous stages, large and small, to rename the Erdogan’s regime as the successor of the Ottoman regime.

The 66-year-old Turkish leader himself has not mince words, declaring in 2018 that the Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire. Son of a coast guard who lives in a 1,000-room presidential palace in Ankara, larger than the White House or the Kremlin, Erdogan reinvents himself; from a model democrat in the Islamic world a few years earlier to the new champion of Islamism to adapt to the new role.

This aspiration pitted Erdogan’s Turkey against Saudi Arabia for its claims of global Islamic leadership. Saudi Arabia was one of the territories controlled by the Ottoman Empire in its heyday, with the exception of parts of Europe, North Africa, and other countries in West Asia.

This is also why Erdogan’s move to Hagia Sophia was also an unambiguous message to the Islamic world. It is a sign towards achieving “freedom” for the al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, the third holiest site for Muslims, Erdogan said as the museum was converted into a mosque in July. .

Erdogan’s ambitions are expected to further complicate the situation in the Islamic world which is already experiencing increasingly conflicting trends, including sectarian conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis, Arabs against non-Arabs and apprehensions around the political Islam of the Brothers. Muslims.

Erdogan sided with Qatar in its ongoing dispute with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, closely engaging in regional hot spots against the two Arab majors, and worked hard to mobilize the non-Arab Muslim countries.

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Non-Arab Sunni majority countries such as Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia have joined forces with Shia Iran and Arab Qatar to counter the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian axis in the Islamic world. These divisions are further compounded by Shia Iran’s support for Shia-majority Iraq, Syria, and sections in Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

At Malaysia’s first meeting last year, 20 countries came to the summit designed to put the Turkey-powered front in competition with the Saudi Arabia-led Organization for Islamic Cooperation, or OIC.

Pakistan, which supports Erdogan’s efforts, withdrew from the summit at the last moment due to pressure from Riyadh. But Imran Khan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sparked a diplomatic storm last month when he signaled that Islamabad could approach Ordogan’s Islamic front to discuss Kashmir at the ministerial level if the OIC was not willing. Imran Khan later appeared to support this approach when he explained, in a TV interview, that every country – he was talking about Riyadh – had the right to act in its national interest. He did not say that this principle would also apply to Pakistan.

Over the past month, pacts negotiated by Donald Trump between Israel and first, the United Arab Emirates in August and last week, Bahrain, offered Erdogan the opportunity to criticize the Gulf kingdoms.

Erdogan, presented himself as the defender of the Palestinians, threatening to suspend diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates in retaliation. Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1949, but that fact did not stop Erdogan from holding on.

“The movement against Palestine is not a step that can be swallowed,” President Erdoğan said last month when he spoke of the possibility of severing ties with the United Arab Emirates, according to a Reuters report. Israel and its two new partners, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, will sign on the dotted line in Washington on Tuesday.

Already, the Turkish president is playing a more active role in regional affairs and showing strength.

According to the Washington Post, Turkey has a military presence in Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Somalia and Afghanistan and peacekeeping troops in the Balkans and its navy patrols the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea where it has claimed responsibility. energy and territorial interests.

The Post, which mapped Turkey’s growing military footprint, said Ankara had also invested in Sudan to enable it to build a naval base on Suakin Island, once ruled by the Ottoman Empire, which gave it would give direct access to the Red Sea.

In South Asia, Turkey’s growing proximity to Pakistan, whose voice of Erdogan echoes in Kashmir, has soured relations between Ankara and New Delhi. As when President Erdogan launched a plank in New Delhi last August at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi canceled his visit to Ankara in October and did not hesitate to condemn the military operation of Turkey in northern Syria.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, Prime Minister Modi also scheduled meetings with Cyprus, Armenia and Greece, all of Turkey’s rivals in the region.


About William Ferguson

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