Turkey's perilous ambitions

(To Gino Lanzara)

Impertinence belongs to politics; who therefore more than Rice can it enter by right into the meanings of Oscar Wilde? To begin with: talk (about him), maybe badly, but talk about it. Oblivion would certainly be the worst punishment for a politician who aspires to appear in the Ottoman Olympus, as late as possible, full of dusted off glory and not before having celebrated the Republican centenary in 2023. It is a pity that the enterprise, at the moment, is quite difficult, given both the continental ideological antagonisms and the internal contradictions, and above all the extreme complexity of a country that still perceives itself as Great State, where the concept of nation rests on the need to organize itself politically on one master race1 able to forge its leaders where the idea of State in itself it dominates the confessional one.

Turkey lacks resources, not political and nationalist will which is also reflected in the educational aspects, so much so as to transform the school into a temple of state doctrine catechesis, even if often based on scientifically inconsistent, sometimes denial, but propagandistically functional theories. . Turkish nationalism is not only that of the Cape, but also that of the secular opposition, since it is Turkey itself that generates it as it lacks the European internationalist tradition. With the advent of AKP (Party of Justice and Development founded by Erdogan in 2001, ed), with its promises of democratization and social openness, the beautiful souls they believed in the reform of school curricula finally free from ideological ties, especially in the historical religious context; it was possible to peacefully acknowledge that the promises ended Shakespearean dreams. Turkish historical memory is therefore forged in function of the present, it becomes a geopolitical narrative expression because it reveals what is the national perception of one's own place in the world.

Symbology goes hand in hand; hence the appropriation of the symbol rabaa2 the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt; hence the conversion into a Hagia Sophia mosque, a sounding board full of meanings and political projects that turn cultural heritage towards a future in which Turkey legitimizes itself as an Islamic political leader authorized to claim an imperial past to show to Saudi antagonists, Egyptians and Emiratis.

Looking at the contemporary history of Turkey requires particular attention: if it were a film, its vision would require the ability to follow images at frantic speed, especially those of the Paris Peace Treaties of 1919-1920 which effectively determined a nationalistic conflict in the world. basis of the crimes of GM II.

Geopolitical at heart, Kemal Atatürk in 1935 decided to name the newly created Faculty of Arts as Faculty of Language and History and Geography, summarizing the symbiotic relationship between the two subjects.

The Turkish geopolitical approach puts the state at the center, giving it a secularism that is not automatically extended to the figure of the head of the turn. If it is true that the Turks have always had a religion, it is equally true that Atatürk considered Islam a foreign ideology propagated by a non-Turkish people; a divisive ideology different from the nationalism it aggregates, but which exotic atheistic materialism cannot replace3 so much so that he could not prevent the rise of Erdogan, an example of an element refractory to Kemalist socialization. Paradoxical to think that Kemal was Macedonian and Erdogan, leaning towards the impossible melting pot Turkish Arab and bearer of some sort of clash of civilizations, probably of Georgian origin; paradoxical to note that the current number of observant Turks is decreasing.

In Turkey the leader, who to be such must conquer power, is an expression of national sentiment, not the other way around; as in present-day Russia, with which Ankara shares interests but not friendship, the power emanates from the person who exercises it, not from the office he holds; understanding such an intense feeling leads to understanding the concept of deep state, I have always lived with the first Teškilati Mahsusa4 by Enver Pascia5, not unrelated to the Armenian genocide, then with the Counter-guerrilla of the NATO-US era, and made a comeback with Gülen, Erdogan's archenemy.

Another paradox of a country lacking in sofas for women of power is the presence of the fairer sex in the ganglia of deep state with Asena6 Meral Güner, one of the few women admitted to Gray Wolves meetings, best known by her husband's surname, Akşener, and former interior minister in the Erbakan government. Together with the events that accompany the evolution of the deep state, they have been back in vogue since the 60s confessable wishes to liaison with the Kremlin, which has been in existence since 1921 and repeated with the current pipeline Turk Stream, the S400 missile systems7 and nuclear projects, which from time to time remain in the context of the various coups d'etat. After all, Turkey and Russia, as always, are looking for each other not for something, but against someone, now the EU and the US.

In the 80s, Kemalism began to fade to give way to the Turkish-Islamic synthesis. Political figures follow one another: some are fundamental: the Kurdish Abdullah Öcalan, the ambitious premier and later president of the Republic Turgut Özal, the preacher Fethullah Gülen. Gülen, supported by the Clintons and organizer of the network Service8, is magnetic: he lectures, creates a network of wealthy faithful, becomes a leading player in the deep state, orders his followers to infiltrate the meshes of the state whose doors Özal has thrown open for him. The military, guardians of the Kemalist orthodoxy, perceive themselves to be overtaken by the subtle political power oriented towards the Atlantic; the mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, begins to ascend to the firmament.

The military decides to intervene against winding religious extremism, they enter into tactical agreements with Israel; however in 2001 the situation got out of hand: the Americans now look to Erdoğan, who forges an alliance tactics with Gülen repaired in the USA, while an economic crisis of rare intensity hits Ankara. While Erdoğan gives political protection to the imam, who guarantees him the support of the deep state that he has cultivated, the military, who are trying to ban the AKP, retreat, and the first arrive purges with the Ergenekon case, one of the most questionable trials in Turkish history against the leaders of the FA; who to trust?

Erdoğan senses that Gülen, who controls the judiciary, could reserve the same fate for him as the military to whom he offers a indispensable supporting role; this is why, in the equation of power, he tries to forge relations with the Kurdish Öcalan and the PKK. While the internal offensive against Gülen starts, he takes sides with Qatar, against Saudi Arabia, in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood disjointed by the fall of Egyptian President Morsi. It is no coincidence that no less than 15 billion dollars reach the coffers of Ankara from the Emir Al Thani. Erdoğan tries to appropriate the political thrusts of the inconclusive Arab Springs, he launches into Syria convinced of the rapid end of al Asad, sacrifices Davutoğlu's convictions and career on the altar of raison d'état.

Between 2012 and 2016 the picture is defined: geopolitical realism defeats Gülen and the American mentor; the Pascia rejoin their ranks. The words of one of Ahmet Davutoğlu's advisors now make sense9 when it states: "We have to accompany Mr. Atatürk to the grave”, And they are all the more significant if we consider the criticisms addressed to the Gazi about the Treaty of Lausanne when it provides for the cession of islands to the never too hated Greece.

Erdoğan is not Nasser, and Turkey is not Egypt; it would be wise not to forget the lessons that history in MO has imparted from time to time to the most ambitious leaders, hypnotists inspired by dangerous populisms to whom the failed experiment of the United Arab Republic that temporarily linked Cairo and Damascus was not unrelated; what is certain is that if Ankara has managed to present itself in such a striking way it is because the Sunni MO has shown an unstoppable pan-Arab decline due to political and economic differences, due to the lack of ideological clarity and despite the common cultural basis that instead facilitated the Islamist phenomenon.

It is no mystery that Erdogan intends to move along three lines: one that sees him as the Sunni hegemon; another panturca, negligently forgotten, ranging as far as Turkestan and Xinjiang; the last, neo-Ottoman, which would be extended from the Balkans to the Arabian theater. Attention therefore to the second carrier, the least publicized, which contemplates the blood ties extended from Istanbul to Turkish-speaking Central Asia occupied by the Stan countries according to the Panturanic doctrine, which would like all the peoples of common Turkish origin to be united colonized by the Russians, facilitated by the Soviet fall in turn due to a huge regional power vacuum, and by temporary economic growth.

If Turkish-speaking solidarity represents Eurasian political leverage, the Mediterranean objective instead concerns the expansion of sovereignty in the face of a marked internal democratic regression, marked by the events of Gezi Park, by the persistent phenomena of corruption, by the useless, farcical and momentary removal of 10 Western diplomats, the latest act of a policy that intends to create, as regards the architecture of the rule of law, an area off-limits to the EU Council.

It is precisely the finding of the impossibility of making a breach in Europe that pushes us once again to look to the steppes of Central Asia to give life to an entity extended from the Bosphorus to China, despite Armenians and Kurds. The turanism10 it is transnational, broad, gathers the Turkish Altaic peoples, extends the concept of Pan-Turkism; in recent years it has represented a milestone in the policy of the Hungarian Fidesz which led Budapest to ask for observer status by the Turkish Council.

Ankara's panturca ideology therefore aims to create a Eurasian coalition united by a common background representing a potential threat to Russia, which sees its Eurasian leadership of Soviet ancestry threatened.11, and for China, interested in Xinjiang and its relevance to the BRI.

The Turkish Council12, which has a similar structure to that of the Arab League, the Organization internationale de la Francophonie and the British Commonwealth, is Ankara's pick for finding alternatives to a foreign policy that sees it encircled in the Mediterranean and closed in Brussels, perhaps as a renewed one Atlantic bridge to the Kremlin.

On the other hand, the rise of Pan-Turkism could lead to fuel a latent regional instability characterized by multi-ethnic states animated by strong nationalisms, and where Armenia and Georgia still fear a Russian-Turkish condominium.

How much can the confessional aspect weigh now? While the removal of the lay aspect in Turkey may prove acceptable in Russia, it is much less so in States which have a very relative consideration of sectarianism. The list of participants, however, shows what presents itself as a set of authoritarian and populist leaders, a useful platform on the internal political level and to obtain a certain independence from the prevailing hegemons.

The program approved and projected to 2040, sets objectives oriented towards foreign policy, economic cooperation and international relations, with the establishment of a common investment fund. Remarkable, from the point of view of one far-sighted transport geopolitics, efforts to improve links between member states, including the east-west trans-Caspian corridor from Turkey to China.

All agree then? No, no rose is without thorns; meanwhile, no one seems to recall that, once it was dissolved, no empire was ever reconstituted, and that none of the Turkish partners intended to recognize the Republic of Northern Cyprus; the lack of political support on such a felt issue denies the floral propaganda of a Turkish Union, and relaunches a realistic and pragmatic vision centered on the economy completely free from ethnic considerations, proof of this is the decision taken regarding the establishment of the Fund Turkish for investment. And here the perplexities resurface, because in the face of high foreign policy positions, the financial debacles of the Turkish lira take on a share, never so volatile and inflated even in the face of presidential reassurances, rich in demagogy but poor in effective foundation and light years away from growth and from the democratic aplomb of the 2000s.

The specter of Gezi Park is reconnecting, as are the political elections, which are weighed down by the failure of the administrative offices, which have certified significant defeats in the largest Anatolian urban centers. At the moment, and in the worst sense of the term, military expenses and those for pharaonic infrastructures and of dubious opportunity remain sultanal13.

Like it or not, the state indebtedness in hard foreign currency is a huge blow to the public budget and inflation hits the working class; Durmus Yilmaz, one of several former central bank governors, asserted that the Rice is turning Turkey into "A laboratory for bizarre experiments", where foreign orders, albeit in large quantities, cannot be satisfied due to the rise in the cost of raw materials, and where the general stampede is already in the ropes.

Other than the Organization of Turkish States; if in Italy warm autumns were feared, in Turkey as of now one could bet on a hot spring. After all, only according to populist and senseless analogies could one aim at an export economy based on a currency of little value: if this were the case, Central Africa would dominate the markets, and a 48% loss on the dollar and the zeroing of reserves would not would cause no concern.

Beyond the borders, despite the proclamations, the Turkish koine is struggling to take off: the former Soviet Turkish speakers spoke Russian, certainly not Turkish; what would remain of the AKP and Erdogan if 2023 did not confirm the Rice in command, despite his attempts to amend the electoral law, and what if the opposition manages to produce a real alternative? Probably the most disruptive anciran policies would end and a new regime would be more moderate, but it would certainly be difficult to imagine a complete political upheaval.

And the Turkish speakers of the Organization? At the window, waiting, as it always has been, for the winner of the round, in contrast with the West and ready for a Russian Iranian liaison in Eurasia. Not easy.

1 The 1905 theory of the Tatar Yusuf Akçura

2 4 fingers

3 Between November and December 1947, during the seventh congress of the Kemalist single party, İsmet İnönü his successor adopted lor slogan "There cannot be an irreligious nation»

4 Internal Security

5 general and politician, leader of the Young Turks revolution

6 Wolf woman

7Strategically, the acquisition of the missile systems has given Moscow a considerable advantage on its southern flank, and has removed Turkey from the ranks of NATO countries holding F35, not to mention the request for the acquisition of F16, which have now become extremely precious. S400 could become a reason for deterrence and negotiation

8 Service

9 Strategist of political Islam, former foreign minister and then premier

10 The Turanian lowland is located between present-day Turkmenistan, bordering Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Traditionally the term refers to all of Central Asia.

11 In particular with Kazakhstan, rich and strategic

12 It includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Turkmenistan and Hungary observers

13 Bosphorus bridge and new presidential plane purchased used by the Gulf countries

Photo: Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri / presidency of the republic of Turkey / web