Christian Life 

Turkey's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines how Turkey is attempting to expand its core into the eastern part of the country and how this affects the region.



TURKEY is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage.Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire the country became a secular state comprising a majority Muslim population. Like the Balkans, Turkey lies at the crossroads of Islam, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Turkey – historically and through to the present day – vies with Egypt for predominance in the region. The country shares a border with eight other countries – including those of Syria and Iraq. Situated on the border between East and West, Turkey continues to look both towards the EU and the CIS nations.

Aside from the current civil war in Syria, Turkey has to contend with Kurdish separatists, and accusations of an Armenian ethnic cleansing in its modern history. Turkey is one of the countries mentioned in the Gog/Magog cohort of nations which will mount a future-day invasion of Israel (Ezek 38:1-6).

Relationships between Turkey became very strained over the 'Gaza Flotilla' incident in 2010 when the Mavi Marmara – a Turkish-registered vessel – was boarded by Israeli special forces in the course of protecting Israel's embargo on direct shipments to Gaza designed to choke off supplies of weaponry to Hamas. Most recently Israel has taken steps to restore the relationship.

See also reports: 'Where Catholicism, Islam and Orthodoxy meet'
and 'James Bond, Putin and Ezekiel'




"Turkey's Geographic Challenge is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Stratfor, 26/03/2013

Feedback:
Editor 27/12/2014 00:43
"Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab Street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the SCO."

Read full report - http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4979/turkey-eu-nato-sco
Editor 27/12/2014 01:28
"Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab Street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the SCO."

Read full report - http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4979/turkey-eu-nato-sco
Editor 05/05/2016 12:08
THE (DANGEROUS) AMBITIONS OF TURKEY’S PRESIDENT ERDOGAN

While Turkey has challenges on several fronts regarding the conflict in the region the EU immigrant crisis has put the country into a very advantageous position regarding the prospect of EU membership. Traditionally Turkey has adopted an ambivalent stance regarding whether or not (a) it is an Islamic country (b) it faces ‘East’ or ‘West’ and (c) it wants to be part of the EU.

Existing EU countries and the EU itself has also been divided on whether it wants to have Turkey as a member.

The immigrant crisis has allowed Turkey to negotiate a very favourable deal with the EU in terms of financial support and access to visa-free travel in the EU countries.

In the ‘big picture’ Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making continuing progress in his bid to cement his position of power, to crush opposition (political, military, media) and extend territorially eastwards. This is manifest in his efforts to eradicate Kurdish separatism and may also see expansionary movements into northern Syria, and even Iraq.

Basically Erdogan is looking to be the (Sunni) Caliph of a resurrected Ottoman Empire.

Despite adamant denials from the Turkish administration, rumours of mounting tensions between Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have long circulated in Turkey. In fact, since Erdogan chose Davutoglu, then the foreign minister, as his prime minister in September 2014, relations between them have been fraught.
According to a recent Stratfor report: “The rift between Turkey's leaders reflects Erdogan's ambitions to consolidate his power; not only over his party but also over the country as a whole. To gain greater power, Erdogan has been seeking a new constitution that will create an executive presidency. In response, Turkish politicians have challenged what they call Erdogan's dictatorial tendencies.”

In terms of developments in the continually troubled region, Turkey needs a lot of watching.

Refs:
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7079/turkey-ambitions

https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/turkeys-president-pursues-power-any-price

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