The Erdogan effect on Arab streets - SELÇUK TÜRKYILMAZ

The Erdogan effect on Arab streets

Matters concerning the division of the Ottoman Empire played a great role in the process leading up to World War I. West European states, big and small, had achieved their imperialist expansion strategy goals, and had carved up Africa. As the grand state’s vast territory produced wealth in every aspect, they were heading toward us for war. Thus, preparations were made to stop the “Last of the Crusades.” Marching into war alongside Germany was not the result of a lack of foresight. The Ottoman region was on the target board of expansionist and colonialist West European countries.

The increasing activities in our region, especially on the part of the British and French, had started to yield results, and the tribal leaders of the Gulf region began to play double agent. The superiority of gold and technology was critical to the tribe leaders turning towards the U.K. and France. We have to accept that we were inadequate in public wars. Though Kuşçubaşı Eşref and Mehmet Akif Ersoy had carried out an effective propaganda activity in the desert, it was clear that we were not effective in terms of developing the technological means of the age and disseminating intellectual knowledge. The number of journalists such as the likes of Egyptian Mustafa Kamil Pasha was limited. Hence, we could not activate the region’s dynamics. Tribe leaders were able to achieve their puny goals.

The U.K. granted a state to tribe leaders, while France granted it to minority groups. Years later, those who were given power started to conduct operations against Turkey. Such operations need to be interpreted within the context of colonialist relations. We need to include the terrorist elements sent to Turkey by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protest in the same context.

As those who rule states and organizations are indebted to the centers on which they are dependent, they use the power against the region’s dynamics. Dependent states such as the UAE not only carry out operations against Turkey but they are also carrying out a fight against local and national dynamics across the entire region. It can be said that the Egyptian administration is also unlike any other in terms of harming its own people.

Additionally, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rising popularity throughout the region points to a major difference from the administrative elites of countries such as Egypt and the UAE. Our president’s calls finding a response across the region necessitates deep analyses. There is no doubt that these extraordinary times are producing rich content for those working in the various areas of social sciences. In the region where Kuşçubaşı Eşref and Mehmet Akif Ersoy carried out propaganda activities a century ago, millions clearly share the same sentiments with Turkey. This is further confirmed by a poll conducted in Egypt. According to this poll, one-third of participants state that they want to see Erdoğan as a state leader. The Erdoğan effect on Arab streets cannot be considered an ordinary matter.

When the UAE signed a deal with Israel to normalize ties, it was indeed well aware that it was taking action against the region. The ruling elites of this small country are using Arab nationalism in order to legitimize their anti-Turkey stance. Egypt also demonstrated a similar approach in terms of its anti-Turkey sentiment. The poll in question shows that the elites carry no weight with the public.

While the U.K. paved the way to power for tribal leaders, France did the same for minorities. The photographs from Emmanuel Macron’s latest Lebanon visit show that France is still carrying on operations in the same vein. Interestingly, supportive statements came from Turkey as well with respect to this visit by Macron. They tried to generalize certain groups’ pro-Macron sentiments in Lebanon in efforts to encompass the entire region. Besides efforts to veil the colonial governance implemented by France in our region and its results, the same groups’ attempts to trivialize the rising love for Erdoğan on Arab streets is also extremely significant. Events that can be explained within the context of imperialist relations need to be closely monitored. It can be concluded that the UAE and France are not just guiding certain terrorist groups in Turkey.

Our region is now as active as it was a century ago. The resources presented by the Black Sea and the Mediterranean promise power to Turkey. This is why they have taken action once again with the Crusader spirit.

While we were defeated a century ago, their invincible empires could never again reach their former power again either. They could not succeed despite being present in our region for three decades. This indicates that history is changing.

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