Turkey's "Neo-Ottomanism"

(Spectator-UK) Jake Wallis Simons - Turkish President Erdogan seems determined to reinvent the secular Muslim country he inherited as draconian, Islamist, and with vaunting regional ambitions. For Western powers, the urgent question is how to deal with the mutation of a NATO ally into a "neo-Ottoman" threat. A hundred years ago, the Turkish Republic was founded on secularism. Ataturk banned religion from the public realm, prohibited the Arabic call to prayer, and encouraged men and women to mix. But for years, Erdogan has done all he can to reverse the Turkish liberal consensus. Erdogan now controls 5,500 miles of northern Syria. In Libya, Turkish muscle enabled the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord to crush the rebel Khalifa Haftar. Turkey controls Europe's gas supply and migrant flows. Moreover, Turkish soft power - its films, television and fiction - have long been winning hearts and minds across the Muslim world.

2020-11-26 00:00:00

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