Erdogan leads the game on the verge of a foul

Who will give Erdogan “victory” and who will keep Turkey?

Erdogan leads the game on the verge of a foul

Although historical parallels are ambiguous, risky, conditional and probabilistic, although similar events that occur in different historical settings may lead to completely different results, the method of historical parallels itself allows us to generalize the previous historical experience in its comparison with today’s. It helps us to learn the “vertical trunks” of history, especially in countries where the emergence of almost cloned historical characters has long been the norm. Turkey is one of those camps that provides abundant food for such reflections.

If we evaluate the state of this country externally, we see first of all Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who looks uncomfortable as a politician both on the regional level and in terms of his current perception in the West.

He is a reformer, marking the boundary of the country’s transition to another experiment – from Kemalism to neo-Sumanism, the restoration of the country’s influence within the borders of the former Ottoman Empire. Ideally, it means the desire to move from the status of one of the peripheral countries in Europe to the status of a leading or significant power in the Middle East. It is impossible to build such a structure based on the Kemalist ideas of Turkism. Hence, the transition to the ideology of political Islamism in the European package, a kind of “new caliphate” and the recognition that the era of European modernization according to Ataturk is over, but with serious problems in confronting the still strong principles of Kemalism with the ideology of new Islamism. The outcome of this struggle is not obvious, but it is historically traditional for Turkey, if we bear in mind the repeated and unsuccessful attempts in the Ottoman Empire to modernize the European type. This is the first point.

Second: the period of globalization and close cooperation with the EU has led to an increase in the ethnic identity of the Kurds in Turkey, who were unwilling to be considered “mountainous Turks”. If during the Ottoman Empire the Armenian issue was “solved” in its own way, and then, in the 1920s, Ataturk got rid of the Greek population, today the so-called “Kurdish pain” is the most painful for Erdogan, as the problem of preserving the territorial integrity of the country is at stake.

The third point: the turbulent processes in the Middle East, except for Iran, cover the territory of the former Ottoman Empire, which modern Ankara refers to the zone of its historical national interests.

Fourth point: Turkey is the only country in the region that lost from the so-called Arab Spring that erupted in 2011. That is because it is in the zone of influence of destabilizing factors, first coming from Syria and now from Libya.

On those two fronts, Erdogan is playing a game on the brink of a foul. But the most surprising thing is that on these two bridgeheads, as one Arab edition writes, Turkey relies almost on the same political forces, calling them differently.

It is no coincidence that many experts now recall how, after the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912, a treaty was signed in Ears, on the outskirts of Swiss Lausanne, whereby the Ottoman Empire ceded Libya to Italy and withdrew all Turkish officers, soldiers and officials from the areas of Tripoli and Barca in exchange for privileges in other areas. As a result, the Libyans were left alone during the invasion of the Italian army, as was the case with other colonies in the Ottoman Crescent region, which the Turks refused in favor of England and France.

What happened next is known. In Istanbul, the government changed, it was headed by the Itilafist Kjamil Pasha, defeat in the Balkan wars, the elimination of Turkish domination in the islands in the Aegean Sea, the cession of Edirne (Adrianople) to Bulgaria and the Young Turk coup. After, already during the First World War, a secret Sykes-Picot agreement on the division of the Ottoman Empire appeared. Today, Erdogan’s problem is precisely that any agreement, whether on Libya or Syria, must be interpreted by him as a “victory” to avoid internal upheavals. In Syria, the danger is that militants in Idlib have nowhere else to flee but Turkish territory. And how can one not remember the historical rake when Turkey turned not into a new Ottoman Empire, but into a newly discovered experimental geopolitical system.

Stanislav Tarasov, REGNUM news agency.

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