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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The uttered word - tactlessness

This is from the man who stated: 
“western democracy is akin to a bus station but the final destination is the Islamic caliphate.”

1. He's at it again but this time at promoting (dreaming of?) a  neo-Ottoman revival and ... He's has upset the Greeks, (again).  Obliviously he does not believe in the laws of reciprocity, (as he so claims).  
"Erdogan said that Thrace is very important to Turkey.

During the municipal elections tour he said that “Thrace is also Thessaloniki, Komotini and Xanthi. It’s Kardzhali and Vardar. If we go a little further it’s Skopje and Pristina, it’s Sarajevo.”

 He continued: “Thrace is the living witness of our common history with Europe. It represents our past in the region. Today, Thrace is in the center of all our Balkan relations along with Adrianople, Tekirdağ, Kırklareli and of course Instanbul.” Source: Greek Reporter, December 2013
 Compare his statement with that of the Greek response by Konstantinos Koutras;

"Today, the only criteria is to abide by the international law and the rules of good neighborly relations based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the nations in the region."

There is a deafening silence in the EU fortress in Brussels and as well NATO.  Erdogan conveniently forgets that once upon a time, Greeks lived in most of modern-day Turkey for a very very long time, in fact up to the 1950's.

2. Previously he went to Kosovo a in late October and managed to upset the Serbs.In Prizren, he uttered the words “Turkey is Kosovo, and Kosovo is Turkey.” Kosovo is seen as being under a Neo-Ottoman tutelage, (not far from the truth given the mosque building & revision of school textbooks. Now, judging back his latest statement, he also include Pristina and also Sarajevo.   He also added that both nations shared the same history and civilization. “My family, I and ministers of my delegation feel like at home. Today I greet all Albanians, Bosnians, Turks and Gorans,” he said. (Look at the flags).  He continued his speech with the need for stability, peace and a mutual future.  There is a glaring disparity in the words spoken. Of course, the Serbian government picked up on this and condemned his words just as the Greeks have done lately.  He also flashed the sign of the rabia, the 4 fingered hand, the synonymous with Egypt's anticoup protests and the Muslim Brotherhood. Additionally, Erdogan was accompanied by the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who said “Erdoğan is our brother who will be with us for better and for worse” in his speech in Prizren.

3. Next clue with regards to the Neo-Ottoman dreamer is from the 6th of June in Istanbul:"I want you to shout so loudly that Sarajevo and Zenica can hear you,". Why would he say that in Istanbul to a Turkish crowd of supporters. It doesn't make sense nor is it a throw-away line, as he had previously mentioned Sarajevo in his election victory speech in 2011. On a visit to Bosnia, Erdogan spoke about the words uttered to him by Izetbegovic, shortly before he died, - "Bosnia is entrusted to you", you being Turkey. That did stir up a debate in the region. To add this is a comment made by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who in Sarajevo in 2011:
“In our traditions, we celebrate Eid at home. This is what I am doing, I celebrate the Eid with my family in Sarajevo. Bosnia is our home and Bosnians are our family members.”

 Furthermore, Davutoğlu spoke about "that he wished to see regional cooperation that would enable people to travel from Bosnia to Sudan without a passport". 

By joining the dots, a picture is emerging, some kind of Turkish vision of regional unity and cooperation.  It seems to be based unique on a shared faith too, based on Islamic values. Maybe this vision of cooperation is something of a mirror reflection of what is happening within Turkey's borders.  There has a slow realisation by the Turkish authorities that are not just Turks, per se but there are many different entities and ethnics living in Turkey, all brought together during the Ottoman rule.  This has resulted in moves to recognise these different groups for who they are, drawing upon the common past of the Ottoman period. 

This vision, which is heavily depend on Turkey's historical legacy, is a recurring theme which is being played out across the former lands of the Empire, notably Syria and Egypt of late. It is viewed by some as "Turkish interference" in other countries' internal affairs. What remains to be seen is how serious is this message being considered? This vision is destined to fail if it the diversity of cultures, languages, different religions of both the Balkans and the Middle East is deliberately ignored. 


1.Ahmet Davutoğlu wrote a paper in 1997, " THE CLASH OF INTERESTS: AN EXPLANATION OF THE WORLD (DIS)ORDER", in which he described the following:
The collapse of the Soviet system has strengthened the strategic position of the Muslim world from the following perspectives:

 (iii) the geographical link of Muslim communities in the Balkans (Bosnia-Albania-Kosova-Macedonia-Western Thrace) has become a significant regional access for
Muslims to reach Europe;
2a.   1.6 million migrants coming to Turkey (mostly from the Balkans) between 1923 and the mid-1990s. Getting to Zero Report,The Transatlantic Academy.

2b. Having ruled for the better part of six centuries as the Ottoman empire, Turkey as a post-imperial successor state has now come to demand a certain level of respect in its international dealings. p23, Getting to Zero Report,The Transatlantic Academy.

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