The geopolitical issue of South-East Europe became of very importance for the scholars, policymakers, and researchers with the question of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire as one of the most crucial features of the beginning of the 20th century in European history. A graduate collapsing of the one-time great empire was accelerated and followed by competition and struggling by both, the European Great Powers and the Balkan national states, upon the territorial inheritance of it. While the European Great Powers have the aim to obtain the new spheres of political-economic influence in South-East Europe, followed by the task to establish a new balance of power in the continent, a total collapse of the Ottoman state was seen by small Balkan nations as the unique historical opportunity to enlarge the territories of their national-states by unification of all ethnolinguistic compatriots from the Ottoman Empire with the motherland. A creation of a single national state, composed by all ethnographic and historic “national” lands, was in the eyes of the leading Balkan politicians as a final stage of national awakening, revival and liberation of their nations which started at the turn of the 19th century on the ideological basis of the German romanticist nationalism expressed in a formula: “One Language-One Nation-One State”.[i]Continue reading →
A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and buttress it when challenges come. Continue reading →
Almost a century has passed since the Ottoman Empire was dismembered and Mustafa Kemal set out to build the modern Turkish state on its ruins. Twenty years ago, no one in the West would have called into question the achievement of the man who eventually, with considerable justice, styled himself Atatürk (“Father of the Turks”). But many now fear that the political and cultural revolution he instigated in the 1920s will be overturned and that Turkey will cease to function as normal nation state, turn on the West, and try to upend the existing order in the eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Continue reading →
“Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?” The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.
“I’ll tell you one thing. President Trump’s trade war with China won’t end well. I mean, come on. China’s outplayed the U.S. at this game for over a quarter century. They have the upper hand. Continue reading →
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey “gave away” Greek islands that “used to be ours” and are “within shouting distance”. “There are still our mosques, our shrines there,” he said, referring to the Ottoman occupation of the islands. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
Turkish propagandists also have been twisting facts to try to portray Greece as the aggressor.
Although Turkey knows that the islands are legally and historically Greek, Turkish authorities want to occupy and Turkify them, presumably to further the campaign of annihilating the Greeks, as they did in Anatolia from 1914 to 1923 and after.
Any attack against Greece should be treated as an attack against the West.
There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openlythreatened to invadethe Aegean.Continue reading →
Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences that make it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosporus Bridge just north of Istanbul connects Europe and Asia across the Bosporus Strait.
Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkey’s well-educated population of 83 million and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under $1 trillion. Continue reading →
While most would agree “it is high time for the West wake up and take Ankara to task”, then what? The megalomaniac running Turkey will only turn to China and Russia, further emboldening them. He has already purchased S-400’s from Russia in Turkey’s biggest hint to the West/NATO that its loyalty lies elsewhere and can be officially transfered quickly. They also don’t care if the equipment isn’t compatible with NATO equipment. It will be compatible overnight (with the axis powers) if they so choose.
This is one of those situations where a problem has gone on too long without a correction. The West is going to have to grow a spine or this will result in Turkey’s Hitler reestablishing the Ottoman Empire through bloodshed. It also is likely that it’s too late and Turkey won’t be stopped without going to war against it — which it also will likely foresee and officially align itself with the Sino-Soviet alliance beforehand.
(Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)
Turkey’s ruling party, and even much of the opposition, seem intent on, if not obsessed with, invading and conquering these Greek islands, on the grounds that they are actually Turkish territory.
“The things we have done so far [pale in comparison to the] even greater attempts and attacks [we are planning for] the coming days, inshallah [Allah willing].” – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, February 12, 2018.
The head of the state-funded Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet, has openly described Turkey’s recent military invasion of Afrin as “jihad.” This designation makes sense when one considers that Muslim Turks owe their demographic majority in Asia Minor to centuries of Turkish persecution and discrimination against the Christian, Yazidi and Jewish inhabitants of the area.
In an incident that took place less than two weeks after the Greek Defense Ministry announced that Turkey had violated Greek airspace 138 times in a single day, a Turkish coast guard patrol boat on February 13 rammed a Greek coast guard vessel off the shore of Imia, one of many Greek islands over which Turkey claims sovereignty. Continue reading →
Like any other nation, you will never understand modern day Germany if you don’t learn about its past.
Truly scary is that the Bible declared that very Pergamon altar as the throne of Satan.
Germany has a bizarre historical connection with Islam that lies beneath much of the present day crisis in Europe. One could argue that these connections are just the product of historical coincidences, but with Germany the coincidences seem to add up regularly.
When one studies the age of European imperialism, Germany came late to the game, almost as an afterthought. Bismarck, for all his authoritarian faults, felt that imperialism would do Germany no good, and wanted no part of it. He was overridden by public opinion, and Bismarck’s policy was later repudiated by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who wanted Germany to take her “Place in the Sun.”
Imperialism would not have destroyed Germany, per se; smaller and weaker nations such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and even backward Spain all had empires. Continue reading →
Berlin on Monday slammed Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit a NATO base near Syria and warned it could move its troops elsewhere.
The German foreign ministry described as “absolutely unacceptable” Turkey’s latest ban on a visit to the Incirlik base in southern Turkey, used by the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
Germany has about 250 military personnel stationed there, flying Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refuelling flights for partner nations battling IS jihadists. Continue reading →
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved his dictator status which was his long-held ambition to expand his powers after the referendum handed him the reins of supreme power. However, the integrity of the vote is seriously questioned and the slim victory of just 51.4% approving a series of constitutional changes converting Turkey’s political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one, means there is going to be tension in Turkey looking forward. There will be no real checks and balances in place.
The opposition parties naturally called for the vote to be annulled because of a series of irregularities, The electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps has really called into question did the people really vote for this dramatic change.Continue reading →
Europe could become the site of a new global war in the East as tensions build there against refugees and the economic decline fosters old wounds.The EU is deeply divided over the refugee issue and thus it is fueling its own demise and has failed to be a stabilizing force. After five days of demonstrations, Romania’s month-old government backed down and withdrew a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses. They were still acting like typical politicians and looking to line their pockets. After one month, the people have rising up saying “We can’t trust this new government.”
On the eastern border of the EU, only a few hundred kilometers from Berlin as well as Vienna, there is a growing danger that the world will stumble into a global war primarily from through the incompetence of the politicians in the EU as well as in the East.The EU is more concerned about punishing Britain and trying to hold on to overpaid political jobs that to address the real issues facing Europe.Continue reading →
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Turkish Republic converted the Hagia Sophia to a museum in 1935, and Turkey’s current Islamist government is now converting it into a mosque. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)
This is how the minds of Islamic supremacists seem to work: If you want churches to remain churches, it means you are “disturbed by the Koran or Islamic prayers,” and you disrespect or “insult” Islam. According to Islamic scriptures, those who “insult” Islam or its prophet Muhammad are to be executed.
So if one wants to survive under Islamic rule, one has to submit to Islam and accept one’s own inferior status. There is apparently no place for diversity or civilized, equal coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic nations.
“I can only think of one reason [to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque]. As a shout of Islamic triumphalism. What a mistake that would be. Christians would rightly consider it an intentional insult. The international community would see it as an open rejection of its diversity agenda. Moreover, I think that a relatively secular Turkey acting so radically would demonstrate to the world that despite moderate Muslims’ many assurances to the contrary, contemporary Islam is intolerant in outlook, belligerent toward non-believers, and dangerously hegemonist in its intentions.” — Wesley J. Smith, author.
The West did not protect Anatolian Christians during the 1914-1923 genocide. It does not seem as if the West will protect Europe against what seems to be the current bloodless Muslim invasion, either.
The process of converting the historic Hagia Sophia church-then-museum in Istanbul into a mosque, in the works for the past three years, now seems to have been finalized.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the Eastern nemesis of the European elite. No one else in Europe except him speaks about defending “Christianity.”
“Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims … This is an important question, because Europe and the European identity is rooted in Christianity.” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The last chance to save Europe’s roots might well come from the former communist members of the EU — those who defeated the Ottomans in 1699 and now feel culturally threatened by their heirs.
Cypriots know much better than the comfortable bureaucrats of Brussels the consequences of a cultural collision. Ask about their churches on the Turkish side of the island; how many of them are still standing?
Austria’s fate is now at stake.
Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots.
After the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, Russian intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov writes in an article, titled “People With Big Ambitions: What the Turkish Coup Means for Russia,” that Moscow has grounds for satisfaction with the current situation. Lukyanov believes that Turkish president Recep Erdogan now needs to find reliable foreign partners to support his regime. However, Erdogan’s “zigzag” policy has hardly gained him respect in any foreign capital, and Turkey might now regard Moscow as a possible strategic partner. Lukyanov writes that Turkey relations with the EU are worn down. The EU abandoned the idea of a common European home and if Turkey will reinstate the death penalty, as mooted after the failed coup, this would doom Turkey’s chances of joining the EU and force Ankara to leave the Council of Europe.
According to Lukyanov, the primary reason for the EU’s diminished desire to cooperate with Ankara is that the European countries never fully accepted Turkey as “one of their own.” Russia can sympathize with Turkey, as it as well has been treated by Europe as a “barbarian at the gate” notwithstanding the common cultural and historical heritage. Lukyanov views Erdogan’s need for new allies, as an opportunity for a Turkey-Russia partnership, for offsetting and even reducing Western geopolitical influence. Lukyanov writes: “Europe is no longer the center of the world. Earlier, if Europe sneezed, the whole world caught cold.Now, however, three-fourths of humanity is simply uninterested in what ails these strange people with their oversized ambitions and diminishing ability to implement them properly.” Continue reading →
On May 16, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France signed an agreement that had been negotiated by Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot to divide up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence after the end of the Great War and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. The Sykes-Picot Agreement, now 100 years old, has been denounced ever since for perpetuating a supposedly artificial division of the Middle East into unpopular nation states whose existence only fuels conflicts. Many now suggest that it is time to discard Sykes-Picot in order to solve the region’s myriad problems. Continue reading →