Rising Turkey Versus Receding Arabs

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Foreign Policy, Occupation, Turkiye Channel: Opinion Views: 5625

While most Arab states are basking in their impotence and bickering amongst themselves over a long list of issues, Turkey is slowly, but definitely, asserting itself as a leading power in the Middle East, besides Israel and Iran. Turkey, especially under the rule of Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been taking, and continues, to take strident steps in expanding its influence eastward, effectively grooming itself for the auspicious title of the leading state in the Sunni Muslim world.

The Turks are filling a certain psychological-strategic vacuum in the Middle East, especially the Arab region.

To be sure, this vacuum was created mostly as a result of the receding influence of traditional Arab powers, such as Egypt, which has become very much a stagnant, non-aspiring entity, thanks to its crippling subservience to the United States.

The continuing aggrandizement of Turkey's regional status is a real success story, which could be seen as a role model for other countries.

The Rising Sun of Turkey

Indeed, when the AKP came to power in 2002 through the ballot boxes - not political thuggery, as it is often the case in most Arab countries - it sought quietly and wisely to tackle a host of chronic problems besetting the Turkish republic.

Eventually, the successful treatment of these mostly economic ills produced amazing effects and aftereffects, enabling the Turkish economy not only to reel from its erstwhile chronic stagnation, but also to make phenomenal growth, especially in the production and export sectors.

Today, Turkey is the world's 17th economic power. It is also a country that can proudly stand up and say "No" to Israel and the United States.

Internally, the Turkish government sought to quietly resolve, or at least defuse, the enduring Kurdish problem mainly by acknowledging Kurdish grievances and recognizing the legitimacy of the Kurdish people's linguistic and cultural rights.

This very much helped stabilizing the domestic arena, and enhancing internal security, an essential requirement for economic prosperity.

Under the Erdogan's leadership, Turkey succeeded in resolving old problems with Armenia, thus depriving Israel and the American Jewish lobby of a sensitive pressure card that had been used repeatedly against Turkey in order to keep it revolving in the Israeli-American orbit.

Nonetheless, the most remarkable thing about the AKP has been its adamant determination to preserve its free political will especially vis--vis the United States and Israel.

Seven years ago, when the United States was about to invade Iraq, the Turkish Government firmly refused to allow American warplanes to use the Incirlik Air Base to attack Iraq.

Prime Minister Erdogan defended the decision, which he said reflected the collective will of the Turkish people.

This happened while most Arab regimes were vying among themselves to please and appease the Bush Administration, which was slaughtering Iraqis in the tens of thousands.

Erdogan did not have to explain anything to the Americans. He just said "No" and that was it.

Maintaining his country's dignity in a world that looked more like a jungle and less like a civilized human community, Erdogan  did not hesitate to fly in the face of  the world's special sacrosanct state, Israel, for its manifestly murderous and Nazi-like aggressions against the helpless Palestinian people.

Eventually, while carefully maintaining relations with Israel, for certain practical necessities, Erdogan made it blatantly clear to the leaders of the Israeli regime that the future of Turkey's relations with the Jewish state would very much depend on Israeli behavior, especially toward Palestinians.

These are serious words coming from the leader of Israel's erstwhile strategic ally in the Middle East. Israel got the message, but remains at a loss as to how to internalize and come to terms with it.

It is true that non-Arab Turkey is not going to become a pro-active ally of Palestinians in the foreseeable future.

However, one can safely argue that from now on, Turkey will not play deaf and dumb, and it will look the other way if, and when, Israel decides to embark on another Nazi-like, genocidal episode against the people of Gaza or other Palestinians.

At the very least, Turkey will no longer be counted as a strategic asset for Israel as it had been the case for many years  prior to the  AKP's advent to  power.

The Stagnant Arab World

In contrast to the Turkish success story, the Arab world remains divided against itself, with many Arab states struggling to remain afloat economically while seriously and conspicuously ceding their sovereignty and national dignity to the United States, Israel's guardian ally. In fact, the collective Arab situation is probably the worst since the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate, following the World War I. The collective Arab failure to perform a comparatively easy task, such as lifting the crushing blockade of the Gaza Strip, seems to reflect profound impotence and paralysis transcending all levels.

Similarly, the intensive preoccupation of each Arab state, or Sheikhdom, with its internal affairs, is really precluding any concerted Arab effort toward economic and political integration.

The main reason for this enduring political paralysis - this overwhelming calamity -  is the continued prevalence of tribal mentality and dynastic despotism throughout the Arab world.

One of the most solid expressions of this tribal mentality is the fact that the mostly autocratic Arab rulers, irrespective of whether they adopt the royal or republican polity, exist in order to control their people and perpetuate themselves and their sons in power, not to lead their nations and advance their interests.

For example, Egypt is a country of 80 million people that has immense human and other resources at its disposal.

This very important country, which had once been nominated to become an African tiger, has been retreating in every conceivable sphere of life, thanks to the regime's despotic policies and dismal political management.

Predictably, this state of affair helped breeding and deepening the feelings of collective depression, apathy, and helplessness among ordinary Egyptians, which in turn pushed thousands of professionals to leave the country in search for dignity, respect, and work abroad.

The Gulf States

As to rich Arab countries ruled by ignorant, decadent, and dynastic despots, they are caught in the grip of the same frustrating circle, because the ultimate strategy of the ruling Sheikhs is to remain in power at any price, including succumbing to the will of foreign powers.

Needless to say, these despots are in many instances plainly ignorant, as they have scandalously failed to translate the immense financial resources at their disposal into tangible and durable economic realities.

Some Arab Sheikhdoms are actually so stupid that they have squandered billions of dollars building ostentatious, but economically fruitless, projects, such as high towers to show off their wealth.

However, these tribal chieftains lack the primary means to shield their economies from real financial cries, as we saw recently in Dubai.

It is this destructive tribal mentality that has prevented culturally homogenous countries, such the member states of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council, from establishing  a real common market or achieving monetary unity.

Nor has it been able to build a credible military force that would shield these countries against a possible foreign aggression.

There is no doubt that the collective Arab situation will continue to deteriorate further until the collective Arab house collapses completely.

This is unless the Arab masses wake up from their dormancy, despair, and apathy, and decide to empower themselves and restore the usurped Arab dignity and freedom.

Arabs are not stupid, and they can, if they want, learn from Turks, our brothers in faith.

However, you can lead the proverbial horse to the water place, but you cannot force it to drink.

It is really sad that in the very country where the Qur'an was revealed unto the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) while wealthy billionaires are running after their beastly desires and mendaciously claiming to be upholding the rule of Shari`ah.

Well, what is the kind of Shari`ah that allows a decadent prince, for example,  to squander the Umma's resources on his prurient desires, while millions of Muslims cannot find food to feed their kids?

In the Qur'an, Allah warns such decadent people that their punishment would only be a matter of time.

[If ye turn back (from the Path), He will substitute in your stead another people; then they would not be like you!]( Muhammad, 38)

In the meanwhile, we say to our Turkish brothers, welcome back. We have long missed the Ottomans.

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Foreign Policy, Occupation, Turkiye  Channel: Opinion
Views: 5625

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Older Comments:
As a Turkish muslim citizen I'd like to mention one very important point; you cannot change governing habits of the rulers of a country if you do not change the mentality and the habits of the people, and this is a long and a slow process of education. The article is praising the political progress of Turkey in the last 10 years of governing time of AKP and Erdogan, ignoring the less-known civil revolution of education that started at least 30 years ago. A generation is re-educated and re-shaped by a non-governmental, free-willed and volunteering movement with the postmodern Islamic and scientific sytem of education. This kind of movement needs three groups of volunteers that devote their lives for their da'wah;
Firstly, educators which can be a monitor, a teacher or a professor in any part of the educational system,
Secondly, financial supports which can be a businessman, a worker or an officer that can donate his money without hesitation,
And finally, motivators which have a deep Islamic knowlegde to motivate the other two groups, collect the money from the second group and transfer it to the first.
By this system, the Turkish people created a network of universities, schools and private courses which can be expressed as thousands in the native country and hundreds all over the world; educated hundreds of thousands of youngsters every year. By this way a generation is re-shaped with the Islam.
Otherwise, how can a muslim country be saved from the political and financial manipulation of the capitalist west in 10 years by using politics? There is no such example...

To progress a neutral Muslim country/Muslim Science city just like Swisszerland/Japanese Tsukuba City must also be created to provide university education and industrial training.
All qualified Muslims must be allowed to further their education with food and health services provided. The cost is high, but this is the price to pay for Muslims to produce their new generations. Hope and longing to see Muslim students from all ages, all mazhabs, all countries; solat, study, training in one mosque, one lecture complex, one research lab, one workshop, one canteen, one sport arena and others. Assalamualaikmum

Very encouraging brother Umit, by inviting the Arabs to work together with Turkey progress is going to be very fast. United Nation of Islam (UNM)where progress and welfare of Muslims must be the main objective must be formed. The best brain of ummah from all Muslim states must work together to produce food, reproduction of medicines and books. Surely OIC member coutries are willing to donate billion, 500 millions, 100 millions, whatever catagories they wish. Poor Muslim coountries help by allocating land for agricultures. Many more Muslim can do with billions of dollars and billion of work force. Insyallah.

Im a Turk, and i firstly would like to say that what Turkey is doing, is not just for Turks but for all muslims.
Secondly i believe that although Arab nations are lacking self belief, passion and power for Deen i do not blame them so much! For many years the western mentality as prevailed above all others, and has established itself as the predominant cultural leader around our world, and many muslims and many Arabs have looked to the west for all cures and turned their backs to ourselves!
I often see disslike by many non practising Arabs towards me because i ma a Turk, and many practising Arabs welcome me as a very welcomed brother.
I believe that all the Arabs need to do, is grow with the Turks and not turn away from us, and to look in the Quran for the cures not the west. This way all muslims would once again unite and prosper together. Dhould we not want for our brothers, what we want for ourselves also??
The Arab nations and Turkey together and all muslim Turkic and other muslim nations combined have enough of the worlds resources not to mention the numbers to definately change the world for the better, i mean while Arabs fight amongst themselves as to whom is better and more worthy of praise i.e Algeria and Egypt, the world continues to develop and progress and leaving Arabs behind.
Once in Baghdad muslims united were the absolute leaders of knowledge but sadly now we are lagging far far behind other brothers and sisters of the scriptures and in turn in some a way dishonouring Islam as our religion teaches Ilm!

Assalamu Aleykoum!

Arabs desperately need a regime change, starting with a strong demand from every single arab person for a free election and the removal of kings and princesses.

No doubt the Koran was revealed in the Arab states but it is up to the Arabs themselves to correct their attitude base on the Koran that they can easily understand. Just imagine if all the Americans takes the place of the Arabs. The American are all Muslims, Koran from the sky, land rich in oils and above all very hard working and fantastic in will power. And the Arabs minus Islam, with their present attitude America will be the largest zoo on planet earth. Come on, Arab brothers wake up and look around, now is 2010. You have 270 more years to go before it is too late!