Turkish Opinion Piece

Please read this and reply w/ your critique of this article taken from YSE.


"Every country is going back to its imperial map. They are making a return to their region, their domain, their past partnerships, to the areas in which they are strongest, to what is most familiar.

The forced maps, forced powers, forced countries and forced transformation programs of the 20th century have been pushed aside. Now everybody is clinging to their own identity. Entering partnerships, supranational organizations, regional alliances which never even crossed our minds in the 20th century has become a necessity in order to strengthen this, remain standing and to resist the stormy world of the future.

Now, no country can remain standing on its own. No country can become a center of power alone. No country can resist the world of the 21st century, isolating itself from its surroundings and with its own means alone.

Hence, every country must bring down its imperial files from the dusty shelves and return to its own map. If you noticed, Russia is doing the same, Iran is doing the same, as are the UK and France, and returning to their old colonial regions.

Russia and Iran's new expansion map

Turkey is also doing the same. It needs to, and will do so, because if it does not do this, we will even lose Anatolia. In order to protect Anatolia, it needs to develop a new relationship model with Arabs, Kurds, Iran or whoever else is in the region.

If we are comparing President Vladimir Putin's Russia to Tsarist Russia, if we are mulling over Moscow's new imperial map, if we are trying to understand why he has turned to Ukraine and south Caucasus, and why he is so aggressively intervening in the Mediterranean and the Middle East through Syria, this is the reason. Russia too has returned to its imperial past.

If we now see that Tehran is different compared to the 1979 revolution, if we are seeing a new Persian expansion, and trying to grasp the meaning of its intervention from Yemen to Lebanon and lastly to Syria, this is the reason. Iran has also chosen to be imperial rather than Islamic, to go beyond the traditional Persian map and become a regional hegemony.

It too has brought down its old plans from the shelves and is eyeing an ambitious expansion map in the entire region from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

Anatolia, Damascus and our new line of solidarity

After this stage, it is no longer possible to confine Turkey to the borders of Anatolia alone. The Turkey of the 20th century promises no future for us. Whatever is in the Red Sea or Persian Gulf, whatever kind of territory the eastern Mediterranean is, they all concern us. The moment we remove our hand from the Caucasus or move away from the Balkans, the moment we watch the new map works extending from Iraq to Syria, we will lose even Anatolia. The moment we choose to meet the new front formed throughout the Syria border at the zero point of our border, this front will enter into Anatolia, our cities and villages.

We know that defending Anatolia begins from Sarajevo, Baku, Damascus and Baghdad. Moreover, it starts from the Red Sea, Caspian and the Suez. Even our geopolitical memory tells us this. The Syriafication of our southern provinces through the PKK is a sign that the line of defense has gone back to the heart of our country. It is very sad but true.

A new geography map for Turkey should at least be shaping our political mind. Our geography does not consist only of Anatolia. Our history, our common legacy, common cities should be our new common map of solidarity against the invasion of the region, not an imperial ambition.

These maps will be no more in a decade

From this stage onward, Turkey is Seljukian. From now on, Turkey is Ottoman. It is a joint mind, a joint will pursuing the goal of mentally joining the region, which needs a Fatih and a Yavuz. It needs to be this way. Turkey included, no country will have the chance to remain standing alone in the region.

Every country, every community needs one another. Unless we are able to overcome the disintegration, separation, conflict-causing strategies, the entire region will enter a period of disintegration worse than the Mongol invasion. The disintegration has reached our borders and pushing this away from our borders and our region, and will probably be the start of a new
centuries-long history.

It is time to speak openly and lay on the table the truth despite how disturbing it may be. The point the 20-year destructive storm has reached today is the re-drawing of the map of the entire region. Most of the political maps and country borders you see today will be non-existent in 10-20 years.

Small states, big fronts

Then we will see small states and big fronts. Thus, it is time to intervene in this map. This is not expansionism or an imperial ambition, it is a fight to protect ourselves. If we do not or if we cannot
intervene in the map today, we will be waging wars for a century for the maps drawn for us.

Turkey's political mind, its knowledge based on centuries, is capable of drawing a path for the entire region, it can turn into a joint mind, form a defense shield. Allow me to repeat, saving the region is saving Turkey. A Turkey separated from the region can never remain standing.

The jet crisis between Turkey and Russia lifted the veil covering the war that was continuing deep down. It brought out the intentions all the countries were hiding. It revealed Russia's plans and Iran's goals. Criticizing Turkey in such an atmosphere and questioning the things it does is betrayal. Because Turkey cannot remain a submissive country among all this imperial ambition. It must do whatever is necessary and take bold steps. This is a matter of life and death for the country.

The Gulf and Saudi Arabia, next target after Syria

Russia and Iran are openly targeting Turkey. It is battling Turkey in Syria. The moment they achieve what they want in Syria, they are going to turn to the Persian Gulf and strike the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia. In the period, they are going to make Turkey continue to fight ethnic terrorism through the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

This is why they are trying to build the Northern Syria Corridor. This is why they are trying to take under control all of Turkey's connection points with the region.

Baghdad's harsh attitude regarding Ankara's sending troops to Mosul is directly Tehran's attitude. The bluff that “we will then call Russia and Iran," is actually an attitude that deciphers the front that has been formed. Russia, Iran and Iraq have become a joint front. I would just like to say, think for a moment the kind of map that will reveal if this alliance is joined by Syria, too.

Let's draw our own map

Card are being played openly now. It is power that is making itself felt, not diplomacy. Every country is obliged to show all its skills in this chess game. This applies to Turkey as well. The slightest neglect, blindness will lead to heavy costs in the history of the future.

As the entire region is being re-shaped a century later, it is also going to reveal a new Turkey. So today, we going to decide on how Turkey will be. A small country governed and under control, or a Turkey that re-establishes itself after a century? We should never allow this map to be drawn without Turkey. Otherwise the map of Anatolia will be redrawn.

After this stage, we are both Seljuk and Ottoman. We have no choice left but to impose our own map on those who are imposing a map on us."

www.yenisafak.com/en/columns/ibrahimkaragul/new-solidarity-l