French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to revive France’s imperialist, colonialist past. He is longing for colonialism’s dirty, ruthless methods, massacres, tortures, and its unjust, sly, cunning and tyrannous practices of seizing the wealth of other states. He is currently striving with all his might to revive this past.
In fact, France never really detached itself from this dirty past – it was unable to. In past years, other leaders or governments always had a colonialist interest in Africa and the Middle East. It was sometimes done in secrecy, sometimes in broad daylight, but France never completely pulled away from these regions. France, which is in the top 10 among all developed countries, owes its development, its welfare to the sufferings it brought upon Muslim or African nations. In this sense, France, which is attributed with Western democracy, welfare and development, is a perfect example of the hypocrisy of human rights and democracy.
Those who want to see beyond the curtains of this civilization and modernism showcased by France should visit the museum under the Martyrs’ Memorial in Algeria. When they behold the suffering deemed worthy for the people of Algeria, who are yearning for their freedom, independence, and honor, they can do nothing other than feel ashamed regarding the hypocrisy and fraudulence of every word that was uttered in the name of civilization, modernity, and especially in the name of France-based human rights and democracy.
When Macron made an appearance in Lebanon, it became clear that his ebullience for colonialism, which is reflected by his speech, posture, and gait, promises nothing good to the people. Macron, who aspires to his country’s past, has nothing to offer Lebanon, but rather, there is a lot he is considering taking from it.
While making an appearance in Lebanon, both Macron’s plans and policies were evocative of the past. The areas liberated in Libya from warlord Khalifa Haftar, whom Macron supports, is rife with mass graves, which are a result of the massacres committed on these lands. It is a complete French colonial practice. History repeats itself in one way or another, and everyone reveals today the same qualities in their histories.
Why do those who accuse Turkey of being enthusiastic to revive the Ottoman Empire simply because it is defending its trampled rights not say a word to France? Furthermore, the Ottoman Empire has no shameful practice in its history regarding these regions that it needs to hide. The majority of Middle Eastern nations yearn for an Ottoman empire – even more so than Turkey. Does the reason behind this not require contemplation?
Thus, what brings to mind the Ottoman Empire recalls aspects of France and Europe’s colonialism, and in this memory, the Ottoman Empire appears as a pure experience.
In fact, Turkey has no such aspiration; what it is doing today is nothing other than acting in accordance with its history, character and identity. It does not have its sights on anyone’s territory. Yes, it wants to be powerful, but it does not seek to use this power against anyone. It has no other concern than to boost its production and provide welfare, dignity, and freedom to its own people. In this context, it is afflicting harm to no country that it has relations with; it does not threaten their stability, nor is it resorting to cunning behavior such as seeking unilateral gains. Therefore, Turkey is a country that all nations in this region pursue.
If this seems to some as the Ottoman Empire, then they have a problem. Those who have a problem with the Ottomans know very well that since they betrayed the Ottoman Empire, in fact, directly their own nations now, they will eventually be called to account for this betrayal, and they are thus expressing their emotions through their haste and panic. Though Turkey never mentions the Ottoman Empire, this is what they see in Turkey’s rise. There is nothing Turkey can do about this. Everybody is, after all, on their own with the psychology of what they experienced in their own past.
Coming back to Macron. In response to the criticisms aimed at Charlie Hebdo, which republished the vulgar caricatures about Prophet Muhammad not so long ago, he supported the French satirical weekly newspaper saying, “The president cannot comment on journalists’ editorial selections.” If this statement was in fact true, we may not have had anything to say.
However, we know that the journalists in France are really not all that free in their editorial choices. For example, it is not even possible to conduct an investigation that presents the number of Jews who died in the genocide during World War II even one less than 6 million. Nobody can write a single sentence regarding this matter. This subject is not within the scope of freedom of expression. We remember very clearly what happened to Roger Garaudy.
However, a more recent event is Macron publicly slamming Le Figaro reporter Georges Malbrunot for reporting on his interview with Hezbollah officials, in the name of French interests. It is like a cartoon strip. Even this dialogue alone shows the magnitude of the false freedom Macron has afforded to Charlie Hebdo and that it is in fact his own preferences.
The meeting Macron, who longs for France’s colonialist past, held with Hezbollah officials despite his disrespectful attitude towards Islam and Muslims, is a reflection of his panic concerning the revelations of his dirty negotiations and deals.
This is, of course, worth further scrutinization. However, what is certain in this picture is that Macron seems like a Charlie Hebdo caricature – efforts to represent an aspiration in a twisted, bad, but not at all humorous manner.