Turkey: Opportunity amid chaos

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posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 08:01 AM
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Will Turkey attempt to increase it's influence and become a dominant regional power?



Only a century ago, vast lands were under the territory of the Ottoman Empire. Administrated from Istanbul, Ottoman lands stretched to Damascus, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Mecca. The empire was one of the most prolific powers of all time, lasting from 1300 until the aftermath of World War One.Ottoman Empire Wiki

This thread is not primarily about Ottoman history, but about lingering imperialistic ambitions that may linger in Turkey. It is easy to imagine a 60 year old Turkish aristocrat listen to stories of the glory Ottoman years from his grandfather and wish to one day replicate his homelands prior status.

This isn't pure speculations, there are some whispers:

Speaking on the House floor Friday afternoon, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claimed President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East was “a massive beginning of a new Ottoman Empire that [he] can take great credit for.”
thinkprogress.org...


The official television station TRT has recently started to refer to Turkey as a "global power." These days, the book du jour in Turkish power circles is Stratfor founder George Friedman's The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. It predicts the rise of a hegemonic Turkish empire in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire.
www.forbes.com...


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lashed out at Turkey for supporting the insurgents fighting against his government, saying his ambitious neighbor is dreaming of “a new Ottoman empire.”
www.presstv.ir...


What if this were true?

The time seems ripe for Turkey to make a play if it were ever going to. And is it possible that the perception that Turkey is fairly moderate may garner some support from Western countries?

With such a blessing, Turkey may campaign to once again make Istanbul the capital of an expanded Arabian power.

Iran is hurting from sanctions, Libya and Egypt have new, untested regimes. Iraq is recovering from war.

There may be opportunity for Turkey to step in for a power grab. The scarier thought is if Saudi Arabian and gulf state monarchies were on board for a unified Islamic world, the rest of the region would be at mercy to this alliance.

I wonder what the fate of Jerusalem would be in this case?

With the precedent of American foreign policy historically tolerating less than ideal Middle Eastern regimes when economically suitable, it would be easy to see a scenario where the West assisted in establishing a new regime in the region. The American economy grew alongside Chinese expansion, major growth in one area can stimulate the world economy. A unified Arabia could potentially be an economic powerhouse similar to China.

And, if the new regime were friendly with the West we would also have an alliance that trumps any threat that China might bring in coming decades as it expands.

Enemies becoming friends as a stronger enemy shows up.



Yet there’s another relationship critical to the entire US policy in the Middle East and the direction of the Islamic world: Turkey.



Turkey is a successful example of a non-Arab land where Islam and democracy coexist and the economy prospers.
www.csmonitor.com...

There already exists a foundation of relatively high trust between the West and Turkey, especially when compared to more fundamentalist regimes. Maybe it is time to use the fundamentalist's ideology against them. Bin Laden spoke of a new caliphate, some say it is bound to happen. Maybe the decision will be to have Turkey initiate and lead the movement so at least it is a more friendly caliphate. Ottoman Islam is considered by many to be moderate and could certainly be so in 21st century context.


Just a few facts about Turkey- population is about 75 mil, GDP is 1.073 tril(#1 in Middle East), GDP per capita is 14,517.

But this would not be as much a Turkish nationalist movement, as I see it playing out (if it does, this is still speculation.) It would certainly have those elements within Turkey, but there would also be the layer of establishing the caliphate that resonates in other countries throughout the region.


Thoughts?


Oh yeah forgot there is a bit of related current events:


(Reuters) - Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Monday the "worst-case scenarios" were now playing out in Syria and Turkey would do everything necessary to protect itself, as its army fired back for a sixth day after a shell from Syria flew over the border.

www.reuters.com...




Abdulla Gul, President of Turkey



Husnu Ozygein, Richest man in Turkey, banking
edit on 10/9/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:18 PM
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Think . . "Arab Spring".
The Turks are not Arabs.
So there is a bit of conflict in interests.
More likely to me would be a reconstituted United Arab Republic that existed in the early '60s.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 



Short answer : Yes .

Turks will also be effective in Central Asia and beyond .



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Turks are not Arabs, but they are Muslims. And, they have historically controlled land in Arabia.

Muslims normally self identify by religion first, nationality second.
edit on 10/9/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 

Turks are not Arabs, but they are Muslims. And, they have historically controlled land in Arabia.
And there is still a residual resentment against the Turks for having done that.

Muslims normally self identify by religion first, nationality second.
They do not speak the same language, so I see no validity to what I have to take as being an assumption on your part.
edit on 9-10-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 




Turkey’s Ministry of Education has announced the start of a new program that will see Arabic taught to students in Turkey’s public schools.
easymovetoturkey.wordpress.com...

Arabic isn't the official language, most of them speak some though. Especially in prayer, the Koran is written originally in Arabic.

And, you're right, my comment that Muslims self identify by religion first is a bit anecdotal. But, it was my college Arabic language teacher that said it and I believe it.



All of this stuff is pretty inconsequential, though. There still exists a sentiment in Turkey to increase their sphere of influence in the region and world.
edit on 10/9/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 

There still exists a sentiment in Turkey to increase their sphere of influence in the region and world.
Right, but that same feeling exists in other countries which will find itself in conflict with Turkey's aspirations.
I am not discounting the possibility that they may end up being partially successful.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by PatrickGarrow17

The official television station TRT has recently started to refer to Turkey as a "global power." These days, the book du jour in Turkish power circles is Stratfor founder George Friedman's The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. It predicts the rise of a hegemonic Turkish empire in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire.

Funnily enough this book sprang to mind when I saw the thread title. I read it a few years ago and found it to be quite interesting. The first half is solid but it begins to get very speculative after that (which one might expect for a book entitled "The Next 100 Years"), but forecasting is part of what Friedman does for a living after all.

It is interesting nonetheless; he certainly has a lot of interesting predictions regarding the future of Turkey. You can read it for free in PDF form here:
www.fd.unl.pt...



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:53 AM
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reply to post by Soshh
 


Thanks for the link, I'll check it out for sure.

I don't really adhere to this theory that a new caliphate will rise from Istanbul, I just think it's an interesting possibility worth talking about.





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