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Answers to Ianus, hope to hear more opinions and from others

Reader comment on item: Kastelorizo - Mediterranean Flashpoint?
in response to reader comment: A question or two

Submitted by Alexandros (United Kingdom), Mar 1, 2012 at 11:41

Ok, Ianus your questions are really awesome and you could be actually more right than me, but here is my opinion based on facts, on the thoughts expressed in the book of the Turkish "Grand Master", on Brzezinsky's and Kissinger's books and opinions expressed from time to time and of course my own judgement.

You wrote "A neo-Ottoman and Pan-Turkic empire within a larger US protectorate over Eurasia is a viable and useful option for the US grand strategists, isn't it? What do you think?" i am going to answer with a question.

If you already have a neo-Ottoman empire why do you need to be a protectorate of someone who is so far away?

How i see things goes like this. You have correctly used the term thug, Turkey is supposed to be a democracy for a lot of years now, even though everyone new that the army was in charge and the army had decided to play the thug of the states so to gain interests against neighbour countries, this is what happened for example in Cyprus, this is what is happening in IRAQ. Since AKP came to power though things have gone a bit further. The Thug has become strong and acquired connections that the boss does not have. The Thug is not actually used by the boss, but is using the boss. Turkey has started to "blackmail" situations. Since a Muslim party won the elections against the odds, since the army, and the CIA probably, were clearly against such a thing, then Turkey could also change camps, except if they were satisfied, in this case they were still going to support the State's interests. Turkey began to practise absolutely independent foreign policy, no strings attached. Still though the Americans needed them and still do. Soldiers in IRAQ and Afghanistan, enhanced relations with IRAN since the islamic party came to power and with Pakistan, where the United States have probably lost any kind of influence made the situation even better for the Turkish side, the unexcused huge "fear" of Russia also was another advantage for Turkey.

As a result, they gained in military technology because of the extensive collaboration with USA and Israel, the AKP made more out of it and now they have launched a programme which enhances a lot the military independence of Turkey. Turkish warships, helicopters, tanks, long range missiles are already in progress and close to production. They also supplied a huge number of F-16s to Egypt and they started to do the same to Pakistan rebuilding and building very important relations and they are trying to trade weapons with Malaysia and Indonesia. They enhanced their relations with Iran playing the same game they are doing with Greece, they say we are friends lets solve all our problems and collaborate and then they enhance their Panturkic theories on the Northern Iran and they send warships going around the Aegean even close to Athens, respectively.

But collaborations are not enough, the new-Ottoman empire, which is an ideological expansion basically, but would not say no to any territorial gains, suggests that Turkey should make clear that they are the head of this formation, so this means that they have to prevail against the neighbour countries and for this they use any means they can, they exploit every situation.

Iran wants nuclear power and so does Turkey, if Iran constructs nuclear weapons this is going to be one more excuse for Turkey to have nuclear weapons, if the west decides to attack Iran, Turkey will play the supportive card and then as guarantor of the security they will ask to have nuclear weapons. They have also abandoned Israel in favour of Hamas and the support of the muslim world and especially the muslim brotherhood.

The Arab spring, now this is something. I believe that one thing is for sure, for some reason the West decided that these tyranny kind of reigns should end, was this intention for all of them? I do not know and the reasons could be many, and I do not want to underestimate the people's efforts, but i think that every revolution had a different story behind it. Egypt and Tynisia were according to plan and i assume this because the army did not want to support the regimes. In Lybia perhaps it happened sooner that planned? i mean it was obvious that the west waited to see who would be the successor and then support them except from France but this was because of arm deals that were in progress, in Syria they have failed. Turkey waited also to see how they could exploit this situation. They supported the muslim brotherhood in every country and especially in Egypt where they see a very strong ally, they already control them in military aspect, now they must gain political influence. In Syria they support the opposition because Asad was always hostile and suspicious towards them and because in this way there is no more Russia in the region, this is also good for the States. Additionally they will gain extreme influence on a future government in Syria since they would have helped them to prevail and instead of an opponent they will have one more government in their globe of influence. I also assume that is Asad falls then Hesbolah will either have the same future or they will extremely adjust so to keep control, all these are good for the States and Israel as well, are they truly though?Israel will have avoided 2 enemies, which already do not threat it that much and will have gained a surrounding from muslim brotherhood. Will the States and israel be able to control the nationalism in these countries, i doubt it. Israel will have to collaborate and probably compromise a lot.

Of course AKP acts inside Turkey as well, they have almost thoroughly destroyed any kind of political opposition, they arrested all political enemies, with the excuse of making the state more democratic, and they started to talk with the minorities in Turkey, since all of them are not dangerous any more, there is hardly any Greek or Armenian left in Turkey after the latest pogroms of the 50s, so the Patriarch is going to improve their image in the end without risking any danger for them. At the same time the prime minister announced that the goal is to create an islamic youth. You would probably wonder who would i prefer as a Greek the generals or AKP as heads in Turkey. nobody would be the answer because both of these sides are extremely nationalists, the difference is that AKP is even more ambitious. In any case both want to control half of the Aegean so for me it would be the same.

If Turkey and Egypt make a new Ottoman Axis and they have power over Syria, Palestinians and Lebanon and collaborate strongly with Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia, what exactly do they need the Americans? How could Israel react? And how could the States control such a situation? There is also China and Russia to compete and EU. In the end Greece, Israel and Cyprus will have either to compromise with loss of sovereignty or to fight back. Is this fight going to remain political? i hope that all sides will come to their senses.

In any case i think that the Americans have not appreciated the situation correctly. For example, when the Greek government support clearly American positions, then there are a lot of voices that disagree with this, even though, Greece and Greeks belong sentimentally in the West and the majority sees a logic behind the State's positions and if these positions are agreeable with the Greek interests people do not react at all. Turkey on the other hand does not belong in the West, it is a society pressured from nationalists sentiments and forced into the West, as long the West agrees with the turkish interests they are handled, but a small failure in the interest alignment is of massive importance in Turkey. In the end exploiting their geopolitical position and their religion are not controlled by the West but they control the West. Another factor that enhances this situation is the failure of the State's policy in the region, the unreasonable confrontations that had as a result huge financial problems, the weakening of the armed forces and the incapability to engage troops effectively and this is going to last. If the same policy keeps on then the West will become addicted to Turkey and in the end the addiction will win, this is what happened to the Byzantine empire, kind of at least.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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