(dated July 31, 2015)
Marcus Alexander Templar is a former Cryptologic Linguist and Principal Subject Matter
Expert in Intelligence Analysis of the U.S. Army. During his military career, he has supported
intelligence operations on a national level, and served as instructor in a number of U.S.
His academic research includes the political ideology of Bulgarian intellectuals after the
Commune of Paris and the effect of their ideology to the establishment, development, and
activities of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) aka VMRO. The
research also examines the organization’s activities in order to create a communist regime of
Bulgarians in Macedonia at least 20 years before the founding of the USSR.
More specifically, his work analyzes the relationship and interaction among members and
factions of the organization (IMRO) with contemporary political, pan-Slavic movements and
governments, as well as the organization’s political and terrorist activities. Academically he is
intrinsically interested in matters of national security, public governmental policy, and strategy.
He holds a BA from Western Illinois University (Macomb, Illinois ) in the Social Sciences
and Humanities, a Master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, Illinois) in
Human Resource Development, and a second Master’s in Strategic Intelligence from the National
Intelligence University (Washington, DC) specializing in the southern Balkans and Turkey.
He is a member of the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) of the UK’s Political Studies
Association (PSA), National Intelligence Education Foundation of the USA, Armed Forces
Communications and Electronics Association, National Intelligence University Alumni
Association, National Military Intelligence Association of the USA. He is also a member of the
Exclusive Unclassified Professional Network for Intelligence and National Security
Professionals, “Intelligence Community”, of the United States.
Two neighboring countries, regionally belonging with one to the Middle East and the other
to Southeast Europe, have been “singled out the crossroads of Europe – Turkey, Greece, and
related issues – as being particularly volatile and important in the near term.”1 Immediately after
WW II, this statement was reflected in the focus of the Truman Doctrine.2
The Truman Doctrine considered both countries of equal importance because the one’s
political stability affected the other’s stability. “Truman justified his request on two grounds.
He argued that a Communist victory in the Greek Civil War would endanger the political
stability of Turkey, which would undermine the political stability of the Middle East. This
could not be allowed in light of the region’s immense strategic importance to U.S. national
security.”3 Matters have changed since the 1950’s. Nevertheless, the narrow focused
vision with long-term implications Ozal (Özal) Doctrine saw Greece militarily insignificant and
politically vulnerable. The late President of Turkey Ozal was quoted stating, “We do not need to
make war with Greece. We just need to send them a few millions illegal immigrants from Turkey
and finish with them”.4
This monograph attempts to provide information to help the reader understand the issue of
Strategic Culture of the Republic of Turkey.5 The purpose is not to analyze or explain the subject
of strategic culture per se, but simply to offer information that an intelligence analyst would need
to understand what makes Turkey as a whole behave in a certain way and the reasons for their
behavior and national personality.
Yet, attempting to offer information relevant to the formation of strategic culture does not
mean that I have answered all possible questions that one might have. I do, however, offer
different points of view relevant to cultural intelligence.
The Strategic Culture of Turkey
Although most experts would ascribe the strategic culture of Turkey to the events that took
place between the end of WWI (November 11, 1918) and the Treaty of Sevres (August 10, 1920),
the cause for Turkey’s strategic culture goes back to the 18th century. Since the Battle of the
Treaty of Kü.ük Kaynarca (July 21, 1774), the Great Powers of the time habitually intervened in
the domestic affairs of the Ottoman State and later Empire under one pretext or another imposing
their will in accordance to their national interests.
The then Great Powers (Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) did
not just interfered in the domestic affairs of the Ottoman State, but made decisions over the
sovereignty of the state and even carved and shared territories without consideration for the Sultan.
The powers agreed for the need of political reforms both in Bosnia (Austro-Hungarian interest),
but also in the Ottoman territories in which their majority had Bulgarian population (Russian
interest). Through wars, Russia succeeded in claiming several Ottoman provinces in the Caucasus
(i.e. Kars and Batumi) and gave autonomy or independence to principalities of especially Christian
Turkish military personnel are unable to explain the fact that on the one hand Turks believe
that their military is the best in the world while simultaneously Turkey’s leadership is fearful of
Greece military “might.” In order to understand this mentality one must understand the strategic
culture of Turkey.
Turkey’s strategic culture is a culture of uncertainty and insecurity, which thus far
exhibited as follows.
1. Turks are fixated with unity in homogeneity, culture, and sameness as if they all belong
to one ethnic and one religious group. Nevertheless, oneness “is built upon the very
qualities and values that define and sustain them – mutuality, cooperation, stability, and
interconnectedness.”6 Such values in Turkey are artificial and superficial assertions
that reflect the result of Turkey’s national educational system as enacted by Kemal
Ataturk, not the character of its ethnic or its religious composition.
a. Their concept of national security is reduced to only physical dimensions, such
as sovereignty and territorial integrity. Such narrow understanding of national
security gives rise to Turkey’s reluctance to compromise.
b. Turks perceive enemies everywhere, who, in their minds, are responsible for an
eventual instigation of domestic instability and disintegration of their country.
c. Turks pervasively distrust outside powers, including neighbors and even their
own allies, no matter how small or weak they might be. And in order for the
Turks to feel secure, they need a secure perimeter of at least 200 kilometers
beyond their country’s borders.
3. Risk-Avoidance. Turks would never take over an operation unless success, as they
understand it, is certain. Because the national pride is at stake, Turks have come to
conclude that failure is an indication of incompetence. Whether it is an intellectual
incompetence of the planners or the sub-standard competency of the enforcers, it is
Since power is nominal until tested, Turkey’s strategic culture of insecurity make its
leadership reluctant to get involved in the conflicts of others afraid that its perceived powerful
military could prove incompetent. As compensation to that, Turks employ political intimidation,
extortion and psychological coercion using the threat of military involvement in hope that the
adversary would not call their bluff. Turk officials have even resorted to intimidation and namecalling
against Pope Francis for mentioning the genocides committed by the Turks because he
stated, “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your
own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians,
Assyrians, Chaldeans and Greeks”.7 Most of the time, Turkey employs bullying tactics against
states that she considers weak and simultaneously geopolitically isolated or semi-isolated
countries. Such an attitude amounts to cowardice.
Only if success is 100% guaranteed with minimal casualties, Turkey would take action
especially after the lesson she took from the invasion of Cyprus. Moreover, in order to secure the
best deal possible, Turkey engages in long-term negotiations dragging its feet until the last
moment of a set deadline while maneuvering back and forth and aiming at the best deal that they
can make in order to save face, raise their prestige, but also maintain their national security and
territorial integrity. In addition, Turkish ministers and diplomats never sign diplomatic
instruments, which could by a long shot be detrimental to the national security of their country.
They often seek exceptions from such diplomatic instruments or their articles or they altogether
abstain. At this point, it should be added that Turkey is not a signatory of the Vienna Convention
on the Law of Treaties signed in Vienna, 23 May 1969. It does not recognize any of the
conditions of the Treaty.8
Turkey is known as having the second most numerous military within NATO, second only
to the U.S. military. However, if one considers the results of the invasion of Cyprus in terms of
human losses and military equipment including aircraft and ships, the punishment that Turkey
suffered in 1974 it becomes obvious that the its General Staff has learned a valuable lesson. The
invading forces were stuck on two beaches for two weeks and only after ceasefire was declared by
the UNSC, the Turkish Army took two more weeks to occupy the area that it does at present. In
addition, Turkey got away with alleged war crimes by executing prisoners of war9 and civilian
hostages10, changing demographics11, all of which constitute violations of the law of war. Not
one person raised an issue of prosecution or at least an investigation of International Criminal
Court (ICC) including the Greek and Cypriot governments. There is no statute of limitation for
During the invasion of Cyprus, Turkey took heavy casualties. Its casualties enumerate
almost one quarter of the invading army of 40,000, equipped by NATO heavy-duty equipment
against a lightly armed and equipped Greek Cypriot National Guard, lost 19 aircraft against no air
force and 2 ships against no navy. After such poor performance, one understands why PM
Davutoglu (Davutoğlu) is hesitant to test the effectiveness of his military. After all, what if the
proud Turkish military performs as badly now as it did in 1974? In the era of information, it will
be impossible to hide the results of a combat test. It is why Turkey practices military extortion
against adjacent countries.
Reasons for Such a Strategic Culture
Early Days: The Secret History of the Mongols and Ergune-Khun
The Adam and Eve of the Mongols according to The Secret History of the Mongols started
with a man named Börte Üjin (or Brindled Wolf) and a woman named Ghoa Maral (or Beautiful
Doe) coming across the “inland sea” of Tenggis (Lake Baikal), where they brought a son into the
world named Batacı, the seventh ancestor of Genghis Khan.
Mongol was initially the name of a tribe roaming along the Ergune River, a tributary of the
River Amur or Tamur, east of present day Mongolia. In the legend known as the Secret History of
the Mongols, the Mongols, in order to deflect their enemies, got engaged in a bloody battle.
Although they managed to prevail, the carnage was such that only two men and two women
survived. The two couples, fearing that their enemies would go after them, fled into an
inhospitable area which was surrounded by mountains. In this environment of abundant grass and
a healthy steppe climate, the two families multiplied. They became numerous and masters of the
art of smelting iron or blacksmithing. The smelting iron helped the Mongols escape through the
gorges and move on to the current Mongolian steppes to the Kherlen and Onon River.12
The way they did it is this: They piled wood and coal in the area where the iron was located
and they set fires at specific points. Then they blew on the fire with bellows. As time passed, they
needed more space. They melted the iron part of the mountain thus opening a path to the steppes.
The symbolism of the wolf and colors surrounding the myth are a significant part of the
stories. Wolf signifies sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts, appetite for freedom,
sensitivity about feelings of threat, lack of trust in someone or in yourself. Wolf also is guided or
misguided by instincts. On the other hand, blue signifies the celestial love of truth; grey means a
feeling of being trapped, while turquoise means success.
This is the legend of Ergune – Khun or Early Days. The birth of the Turkic national
identity springs from the Altay Mountains of Central Asia. According to the Asia Minor Turkish
version of the legend, Turkic tribes, after suffering a series of defeats from their enemies,
regrouped under Bumin Kaghan (died c. AD 552), and founded the Gök Türk13 (= Sky Blue Turk)
Empire. Bumin Khaghan14 was the chieftain of the Turkic people who was so-called a
“blacksmith slave”15 under the sovereignty of Rouran Khaganate.16 In addition, he is mentioned as
“Tumen”, (commander of ten thousand)17 of the Rouran Khaganate. Because the location
surrounded by mountains was restrictive to the growing population, the Turks sought a way out
with the help of a grey female wolf named Aşine who led them through a maze of mountain
The Persian Legend of Turan
The term ‘Turan’ originally applied to the Iranians’ dark neighbors in what is now
Baluchistan.18 Nevertheless, in the Persian epic of Shahnameh ( شاھنامھ†) or the Manifest of Kings
authored by Hakim Abol-Ghasem Ferdowsi Tusi between 977 and 1010 AD, the author describes
the land of the Tur or Turya beyond the river Amu Darya, but not as far as Mongolia. It covers
Turkmenistan, the south areas of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to China. The fact is that the Iranian
settlement of the region was delimited in a territorial sense, although its exact boundaries were
very imprecise zones. The toponym Turan ( توران†) means “land of Tur” as Iran ( ایران†) means the
“land of the Aryans” and for the first time ever it appears in the above mentioned epic.19
The story goes as follows. In chapter two of Shahnameh, Shah Feridoun divideδ his land
to three parts; he gave the western part called Rum and Khaver to his son Selim. He further gave
the land in the north to his son Tur from whom the name of the area, Turan. He gave the third part
to Irij and from him the name of his area was called Iran. But the book Shahnameh does not even
mention the Turks at all.20 Bosworth commented on this as “hence as [Tadeusz] Kowalski has
pointed out that, a Turkologist seeking information in the Shahnameh on the primitive culture of
the Turks would definitely be disappointed.” 21 Thus, a fictitious Iranian story became the source
of ethnogenesis for the Turks of Asia Minor. This is how the myth of the Turanoid Turks was
Turan meets Turkey
Ziya Gokalp was noticed in 1911 when he published the poem “Turan” in the newspaper
Rumeli of Thessaloniki (present day the Capital of the Greek region of Macedonia) over the
signature of “Demirdaş”. He also published the poem in Thessaloniki’s nationalist magazine Genç
Kalemler (Young Pens) under the name Tevfik Sedat. The same poem was also included in
Gokalp’s work, Kızıl Elma (Red Apple) published in Istanbul in 1941. Gokalp’s feelings toward
Turkism are found in the last four verses of “Turan”,
Damarlarımda yaşar şan-ü ihtişamiyle
Oğuz Han, işte budur g.nlümü eden mülhem:
Vatan ne Türkiye’dir Türklere, ne Türkistan
Vatan, büyük ve müebbet bir ülkedir, Turan.
Oghuz khan who lives in my veins
his glory and grace fills my heart with inspiration,
not Turkey, nor Turkistan is homeland of the Turks,
but the great and everlasting land of Turan”.
Gokalp introduced the Persian legend of Turan into the Turkish pre-Islamic era
differentiating “Turkey from a theocratic concept of the ümmet, [thus he] prepared the Turks for a
secular view of religion, culture, and civilization.”22 In addition, Gokalp “introduced a new
mythical land, where all the Turks and other Turkic nations were supposed to have lived and
hopefully will again live “their golden age” but he created a new nationalistic movement
“Turancılık” that emerged from this idea. This poem was in both cases written in order to awaken
the pride of the Turks in themselves, awaken their national consciousness and self-esteem”.23
In The Principles of Turkism, Gokalp asks and answers his own question: “What is
Turkism?” Turkism means to exalt the Turkish nation (Türk.ülük, Türk illetini yükseltmek
demektir). This statement and the first verse of Mehmet Emin Bey’s poem Türk.e Şıırleri (Turkish
Poems), Ben bir türk’üm, dinim, cinsim uludur (I am a Turk. My religion and my race are
noble) could be considered the basis of the Turkish education and the upbringing of each Turk,
Statements as the ones below reconcile the westernization of Turkey without
compromising the Turkish ways. It is the same attitude that brought Turkey to the
threshold of Europe but it is also unwilling to become a European country. In Gokalp’s
view, although civilization changes, the culture does not.
1. “Although some anthropologists once claimed that there was a relationship between
these anatomical types and social traits, scientific criticisms, especially those by
Manouvrier who enjoyed a reputation second to none among other anthropologists have
proved that no such relationship exists. And since race has no relationship to social
traits, neither can it have any with nationality, which is the sum total of social
characteristics. Therefore, we must seek the meaning of nationality elsewhere”. 24
2. “In ancient societies, social solidarity rested entirely on the religious bond; and when
religious unity is based on consanguinity, the latter is naturally the basis of social
solidarity. At our present stage of social development, however, social solidarity rests
on cultural unity, which is transmitted by means of education and therefore has no
relationship with consanguinity”.25
3. “[A] nation is not a racial or ethnic or geographic or political or volitional group but
one composed of individuals who share a common language, religion, morality and
aesthetics, that is to say, who have received the same education. The Turkish peasant
expresses it as “the one whose language is my language, whose religion is my
In order to make his point, Gokalp mistranslated words such as nation, community of
believers, nationality, ethnicity and citizenship. He further explained that a nation does not have to
be monoethnic. A nation may include many ethnic groups since “a nation is not a racial or ethnic
or geographic or political or volitional group but one composed of individuals who share a
common language, religion, morality, and aesthetics, that is to say, who have received the same
Additionally, Gokalp did view the Kurds as a distinct national and cultural movement
stating “Among the Kurds, Arabs, too, nationalism started as a cultural movement. Political and
economic forms of nationalism followed as second and third stages.”28 Gokalp’s ethnic origin is
actually unknown although some experts have him as of Turkmen, Kurdish or Zaza descent. One
thing is clear. From his works one can assume that all his life Gokalp strove to prove his
Turkishness. He wrote, “I would not hesitate to believe that I am a Turk even if I had discovered
that my grandfathers came from the Kurdish or Arab areas because I learned through my
sociological studies that nationality is based solely on upbringing.”29
Ziya Gökalp: Turkey’s National Poet and the Father of Turkish Nationalism
“It must be emphasized that the importance of the work lies in its contents and not in its
standing as a great work of literature. Gokalp was a journalist and publicist, a propagandist if you
will, not a literary genius, and as a writer he had many failings, all of which are reflected in this
work. He was repetitious, he digressed, he was frequently vague and frequently illogical and
inconsistent.30 Robert Devereux, the translator of Gokalp’s book “The Principles of Turkism”,
made the aforementioned statement. Mehmed Ziya Gökalp (23 March 1876 – 25 October 1924)
was a Turk sociologist, writer, poet, and political activist.31
Although the book presents Gokalp’s beliefs rather ostensibly and monotonously, it is
obvious that Gokalp had been influenced by David Émile Durkheim’s theory on nationalism, but
somehow he adjusts it for the reality of the early 20thn century Turkey, especially the “Devlet-i
Aliyye-i Osmâniyye” or “Great Ottoman State”. To accentuate the strengths of Durkheim’s theory
of Social Idealism, Gokalp compared it to Marx’s Historical Materialism which he discounted the
kind of determinism that Marx had advocated as belonging “exclusively to economic phenomena,
while other social phenomena, be they religious, moral, aesthetic, political, linguistic or
intellectual, can never be determining causes but only results. Thus, for Marx, all social
phenomena other than economic phenomena are in the nature of epiphenomena”.32
Gokalp reconstructed Durkheim’s theory of Social Idealism on the multi-religious and
multi-cultural substratum that the Ottoman State had provided and then he turned around and
applied it to solidly Muslim nationals of the Turkish Republic. Such an assertion became more
obvious when one reads Gokalp’s contention “Türk.eleşmiş Türk.edir” (= whatever has become
Turkish, is Turkish), which he declares in the third stanza of the poem Lisan. The title, Lisan, is
Arabic meaning language which he prefers over the Turkish word dil. But the whole book of his
directs the reader not as much to Gokalp’s Turkocentrism, but to the Turkish language. To
Gokalp, the citizens of the republic are Turks, Arabs and Kurds as long, i.e. Muslims, who by their
religion are members of the Ümmet (Ummah in Arabic). All other ethnic minorities are
insignificant since they are too small to threaten Turkism.
Gokalp was influenced by the philosophy of Emile Durkheim, especially by the latter’s
description of collective consciousness which was the basis of Gokalp’s essence of his
reconcilement of mutual relations between Islam, modernity, and nationalism. In his description
of the nation, Gokalp states, a nation is not a racial or ethnic or geographic or political or volitional
group but one composed of individuals who share a common language, religion, morality or
aesthetics, that is to say, who have received the same education.33
Kemal Ataturk (Atatürk) was more specific to the reality of the country he found, declaring
that, a nation is not one element. There are various bonded Muslim elements. Every Muslim
element which makes this entity are citizens. They respect each other, they have every kind of
right, racial, social and geographical. We repeated this over and over again. We admit this
honestly. However, our interests are together. The unity we are trying to create is not only Turkish
or Circassian. It is a mixture of one Muslim element.”34
Because Gokalp based his theory on the language, which in his view is identical to culture,
he devised his own lexicon, so to speak; he even invented new words abolishing many that he
found to be “non–Turkish”. As Western languages borrowed Latin and Greek words for new
scientific concepts, Gokalp believed that Turkish should do the same from Persian and Arabic and
so he used hayatiyat instead of biyologya, later biyoji, or biology.
Such an understanding of social structure was the inspiration that help Kemal Ataturk to
impose the national education system of Turkism, to invent grammatical rules and terminations of
parts of speech that the Ottoman language lacked, and to abolish most “foreign words”! The result
was the Vatandaş Türk.e konuş (citizen, speak Turkish) campaign and the early 1930s.
Uriel Heyd discusses in Goklap’s short biography in Foundations of Turkish
Nationalism.35 Robert Devereux, the translator of The Principles of Turkism into English, does
not hold Gokalp’s litary ability to high esteem. Specifically, Devereux wrote,
It must be emphasized that the importance of the work lies in its contents and not in
its standing as a great work of literature. Gokalp was a journalist and publicist, a
propagandist if you will, not a literary genius, and as a writer he had many failings,
all of which are reflected in this work. He was repetitious, he digressed, he was
frequently vague and frequently illogical and inconsistent.36
(What has become Turkish is Turkish)
Society and Education
Today Turks consider their country to be a world power, something that contradicts reality
that creates psychological problems for the population. The course the Turkish history taught in
the elementary and middle level education in Turkish schools is the reason behind the
overwhelming Turkish military machine directed towards the exterior and also the interior of the
country. The Turkish educational system is based on the inculcation of the students, who are
constantly reminded of the country’s military victories.
Prompted by these theories of a nation, Kemal Ataturk designed the new Turkey in
concurrence. In his speech for the 10th anniversary of the republic October 29, 1933 (Republic
Day), Ataturk stated “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene” (How happy is one to say, “I am a Turk”).
From 1972 and until September 8, 2013, that phrase was added to the already existing
Student Pledge which children had to recite just after singing the İstiklal Marsı, the national
anthem of Turkey on a daily basis. Between October 28 1933 and September 8, 2013, the Pledge
has been modified a few times with the latest version being the one of 1997. The text of the
Student’s Pledge was, “I am a Turk, honest and hardworking. My principle is to protect the
younger to respect the elder, to love my homeland and my nation more than myself. My ideal is to
rise, to progress. Oh Great Ataturk! On the path that you have paved, I swear to walk incessantly
toward the aims that you have set. My existence shall be dedicated to the Turkish existence. How
happy is the one who says, “I am a Turk!”37 Finally, the government of Turkey has abolished the
Pledge as of September 8, 2013,38 although students remember the cliché “May my existence be a
gift to you!”39
The issue of democracy and its functions is of paramount importance in Turkish society, but
with a twist. The Turkish society is hierarchical, male-dominated and autocratic, stressing the
benefit and the values of a group; it is the result of traditional values and peer or social pressure.
Western democracies base their function on individualism. Thus, the meaning of democracy in
Turkey encompasses mostly the quality of voting, although even that is restrictive since, in general
terms, the patriarch determines the political preference of the family.
The relationship of individuals within the family, but also the community is tied to loyalty,
patronage and respect for authority. Such a connection resonates from the formal education. Turkish
schoolbooks, especially of those of Social Sciences, make very interesting reading considering that they
were established on a socialist basis of a heterogeneous nation. The schoolbook on Elementary Social
Studies of the fifth grade states: “One of the special characteristics of the Turkish race is respect for
those above one and love for those below” while simultaneously reminds people “social harmony is
dependent on this respect and love.” (İlköğretim sosyal bilgiler No 5 1999, 23).
Diversity of any sort is rare and discouraged as being the enemy of the social order and cohesion,
since “one of the elements that makes the Turkish nation is the subordination of the individual’s own
interests to those of the nation.” (İlköğretim sosyal bilgiler No 5 1999, 18) After all “societies which
fail to instill unity and togetherness cannot live as a nation; they are broken up and destroyed.”
(İlköğretim sosyal bilgiler No 5 1999, 11). The famous female Turk , Elif Shafak, said it best: “Turkey’s
mainstream culture is deeply suspicious of “difference” – be it cultural, ethnic or sexual. Turkish
society is stubbornly patriarchal and homophobic. Sameness is venerated. The Prime Minister tells
us that every Turkish woman should have at least three children while the government talks about
the need for creating a ‘new, pious Muslim youth’.” (Shafak July 25, 2014).
In Turkey, two ideological groups of equal significance coexist; one on the left, Kemalism
as represented by the Republican Party, and one on the right, the Grey Wolves that is the unofficial
militant arm of the Nationalist Movement Party of Turkey. Although these groups fall into two
different political camps, they both aim at the same outcome, Turkey’s hegemony.
Nevertheless, the definitions of a nation as outlined are ideologically based and they
survive only as long as the ideologies endure. They have nothing to do with the ancient Greek
understanding of a nation, which is based on distinctiveness of a people’s common origin,
ethnicity, language, and historical past. These ideologies were conveniently invented in order to
hold together different peoples under one central government as a means of governmental control,
people who otherwise would be fighting each other.
In the case of communism, the advertisement of recognition of minorities resulted in the
perception of equality to all. In reality, it was devised in order to provide privileges to the
minorities as part of their manipulation by the regime. Giving the privileges to the minorities that
the majority did not enjoy, the system prepared the minorities to fight tooth and nail for the regime
in hopes of not to losing their privileges.
It is exactly how Turkey wants its minority in Greece. If the Muslim minority of Thrace,
under pressure from Turkey and the Human Rights Court, changes the name from “Muslim” to
“Turkish”, it will allow Turkey to openly intervene anytime it feels that its “minority” is in danger.
As it is right now, Turkey cannot use such an excuse in order to “intervene”, since the Pomaks and
the Roma are not Turks. The FYROM is seeking equally enticing means through its non-existent
minority in Greece in order to regulate Greece’s control over Greece’s own territory.
A characteristic of Turkey’s assumption that it is a World Power is that before Turkey
received the green light to start negotiations regarding its EU membership on December 17, 2004,
both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Erdoğan) and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül made
statements on what Turkey would accept and what it would not accept. They sounded as if the EU
was applying to join Turkey and not the other way around.
Moreover, the membership of Turkey into the EU is a problematic one since Turkey does
not meet all criteria for membership. There are two schools of thought on the matter. One
subscribes to the thought that Turkey is not ready yet but it should be accepted, and as an EU
member and under the watchful eyes of all EU countries, it will be forced to change and conform
to all EU prerequisites and standards. The other school of thought is that Turkey should be
admitted into the EU after it fulfills all obligations. It is what all other countries had to do before
they became members of the supranational club. My view is that if Turkey were admitted as is
such a move would create a bad precedent. A prospective candidate country should not pick and
choose what it likes or dislikes. Besides if Turkey gains the EU membership without changing its
mentality, it would have no motive to change at all.
Case in point is the matter of Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus. On one hand, Turkey is
willing to accept the invitation of the Republic of Cyprus for membership, but on the other, she is
not willing to recognize that country. Since all candidate countries negotiate with each individual
country member, the question is how can Turkey negotiate with a country that it does not
recognize? Can the EU accept a country that demands membership a la carte with all privileges,
but with limited obligations? Wouldn’t such a move create a precedent for other candidates to pick
and choose what they like or dislike from the membership? These and other similar questions
touch upon the EU’s institutional and legal foundations.
Understanding what democracy is all about and what makes democracy strong is rather
difficult to penetrate the Turkish intellect. The day that Turkey implements full democracy, human
rights and social peace it will be the day that the Turkish Republic has reached the point of
maturity. Egalitarianism, freedom of expression, human rights and social peace are the strengths
that make a society and country democratic. Turkey is still distant from these principles.
Every Turk Is Born a Soldier
The slogan “every Turk is born a soldier” is something that characterizes Turkish life. Parents
inculcate the message from father to son as the manifestation of pride that governs the Turkish society,
but also the social attitude reflecting the norm of values.
Ben bir Türküm: dinim, cinsim uludur: I am a Turk, my faith and my race are great;
Sinem, .züm ateş ile doludur: My breast and soul are full of fire;
İnsan olan vatanının kuludur: He who serves his native land – he is a man;
Türk evlâdı evde durmaz; giderim!40 The sons of Turks will not stay at home; I go!
Teaching the course of history is relentless and full of military achievements, sometimes even
imaginary or at least argumentative. Turk heroes are always depicted as warriors leading the nation to
victories.41 But that part of being Turkish is “protecting every grain of the motherland’s soil with
our lives and our blood.”42 Because of this, Turkey’s relationship to its military and especially to the
Army is rather unique.
Through the educational system, the Turkish military establishment has been able to infuse
certain values. In 1999, the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense
published the book 2000’li yıllara girerken Türk ordusu (The Turkish Army in the year 2000) in
which it identified the Turkish military with the Turkish nation as an institution and the epitome of
the most important values of Turkishness. The conclusion of this book was that the Army is the
symbol of national unity and the guarantee of future.43
Turks consider the military as an institution that they can trust. They feel proud not only of
serving their country, but also proud of their military. There is a great bond between the military and
the people and that is supported by the educational system of Turkey. Military service is not a burden
to the Turkish family, but an honor and those killed in action are considered as “martyrs.” This comes
as a contrast, however, to how the upper class considers the military service as an interruption to one’s
career. Of course, the members of the Kurdish community would rather have its children fighting the
Turkish Army than joining it and that creates the problem that Kurds have to fight against the
Peshmerga, the organization of Kurdish freedom fighters. Oftentimes, after military service, young
Kurds join the PKK fully trained.
The relationship of the Turkish Army and the government resembles a silent partnership
unknown, and I would argue incomprehensible, to Westerners. In Western democracies, the military
falls under the Ministry of Defense, which is accountable to the head of the government. In Turkey, this
is not true. The duties of the Minister of Defense and his Ministry are administrative, handling issues of
Military Justice Affairs, Research and Development, NATO Infrastructure, Recruitment, Plans,
Policy and Agreements, etc..44 Thus in matters of military operations the equivalent to a Minister
of Defense of any Western country is the Chief of General Staff, not the Minister of Defense.
The Management of the defense of the Turkish Republic is in the hands of the Army
generals, not of the Minister of Defense. The Chief of the Turkish General Staff (TGS) reports not
to the Minister of Defense, but to the Prime Minister. The Chief of the TGS “is charged with the
overall command and control of the Turkish Armed Forces. He is also responsible for conducting
the military operations effectively and the operational readiness of Turkish Armed Forces,”45 The
Armed Forces are comprised of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, which are subordinate to
the Turkish General Staff. In peacetime, the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard are subordinate to
the Ministry of Internal Affairs while in wartime they report to the Army and the Navy
The reason that I always stress the importance of the Army in Turkey is because modern Turkey
owes its existence to the Army, not to the Navy. The Air Force is the product of modern times. Ataturk
led the Army to victory and so the Army is considered more important than any other service. This is
why the Chief of the Turkish General Staff is always an Army General.47
As a matter of routine, the outgoing Chief of the TGS recommends and approves his successor
without objection by the Prime Minister. Army officers have actual seniority among officers of equal
rank of the other branches of service.
Turkish society unquestionably accepts the role of the military as the guarantor of domestic
peace and prosperity as well as the number one significant factor to regional stability. Since the
establishment of the republic, Turkish military has launched five coups d’état (1960, 1971, 1980,
1993, and 1997).
On April 2007, a statement published by TGS in its official website served as a warning
regarding the Turkish presidential elections. “The following are excerpts of a statement by the
Turkish military, quoted by the Anatolia news agency, in which it said it would defend the
country’s secular system. The statement was in reaction to a disputed vote in the Turkish
parliament in which the Islamist-rooted ruling party’s candidate narrowly failed to be elected
It is observed that some circles who have been carrying out endless efforts to disturb
fundamental values of the Republic of Turkey, especially secularism, have escalated their
Those activities include requests for redefinition of fundamental values and attempts to
organise alternative celebrations instead of our national festivals symbolizing unity and
solidarity of our nation. Those who carry out the mentioned activities which have turned
into an open challenge against the state, do not refrain from exploiting holy religious
feelings of our people, and they try to hide their real aims under the guise of religion.
An important part of these activities were done with the permission and within the
knowledge of administrative authorities, who were supposed to intervene and prevent such
incidents, a fact which intensifies the gravity of the issue.
This fundamentalist understanding, which is anti-republic and harbours no aim other than
eroding the basic characteristics of the state, finds courage in recent developments and
discourses and extends the scope of its activities.
Developments in our region give numerous examples that playing on religion and
manipulating the faith into a political discourse can cause disasters. There are accounts in
our country and abroad that a political discourse or an ideology can destroy the faith itself
and turn it into something else when it is imposed on faith… Doubtlessly, the sole condition
for the Republic of Turkey to live in peace and stability as a contemporary democracy is
through defending the basic characteristics of our state which are defined in the
The problem that emerged in the presidential election process is focused on arguments over
secularism. Turkish Armed Forces are concerned about the recent situation. It should not
be forgotten that the Turkish Armed Forces are a party in those arguments, and absolute
defender of secularism. Also, the Turkish Armed Forces is definitely opposed to those
arguments and negative comments. It will display its attitude and action openly and clearly
whenever it is necessary.
Those who are opposed to Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s understanding ‘How
happy is the one who says I am a Turk’ are enemies of the Republic of Turkey and will
remain so. The Turkish Armed Forces maintain their sound determination to carry out their
duties stemming from laws to protect the unchangeable characteristics of the Republic of
Turkey. Their loyalty to this determination is absolute.49
The Deep State
Subsequent investigations by the Turkish government produced credible evidence that
retired high-ranking military officers were members of Ergenekon with possible collaborators in
the active Army. The evidence showed that from the time of its existence, the Deep State illegally
employed dictatorial measures against anyone and anything they considered enemy of the State.
Their activities spread even in Cyprus while it was still under British rule.
Operations or plans such as Sarıkız (Blonde Girl), Ayışığı (Moonlight), Yakamoz (Sea
Sparkle), Eldiven (Glove), Sledgehammer (Balyoz Harekâtı) are names of alleged Turkish military
coup plans that never materialized. In 2009, the failed coup Operation Cage Action Plan (Kafes
Operasyonu Eylem Planı) has indicated that the Turkish military is very uneasy with the Islamic
direction of the political sector of the country.
The government had arrested more than 200 people, including writers, members of civil
organizations, members of the judiciary branch, former and active high-ranking military officers
charging them with membership in an illegal ultranationalist organization and of plotting to
overthrow the Turkish government. Such arrests have shaken the foundations of the Kemalist elite
and has given the signal to others that the civilian government is determined to turn the tables
around. Some of the officers entangled in such plans were freed either form lack of sufficient
evidence or as a gesture of good will by the new President toward the military.
Whether the revelation of plans for coups were factual or imaginary, besides the obvious, it
had another purpose, the “cleansing” of all senior officers and neutralization of all civil powers
who might have been an impediment to the plans of the PM Erdogan to consolidate his power. In
this manner, Erdogan and its Turkish Muslim Brotherhood thumb Ataturk’s accomplishments
without daring to do it overtly, while simultaneously he establishes the Caliphate.
Turkey has been entangled in a confrontation in which either winner is seemingly against
Western democratic principles. Islamists advocate democracy hoping that it is enough to
positively appeal for Turkey’s ascension to the EU, but it is more probable that after they achieve
it, they will impose Islamic laws testing the tolerance of the Union. On the other hand, the
generals who want to keep Turkey secular know that the only way to achieve their goal is by
imposing an undemocratic government, something the EU does view kindly.
The Myth of Location
The most important strategic maritime passages, also known as chokepoints or bottlenecks
are the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz. They have
a number of issues such as capacity constraint issues with disruptions, closures due to political
motives or natural causes. Such chokepoints could have a substantial effect on the world
economy. What makes these chokepoints so vital is that all pose preeminence in geostrategic
importance. Any disruption on the global freight circulation through the world’s four most
important strategic maritime passages would bring to a halt the world economy and such
disruptions could be construed as casus belli.
The straits of Dardanelles and the Bosporus are getting narrower and shallower due to
continuous centuries long aggradation. Simultaneously, modern developments in weapons, ships,
aircraft, and communications support the notion that the Dardanelles are losing their geostrategic
importance. This is something that politicians of Turkey have realized for at least 20 years now
and it is why they plan to replace Bosporus with the “Kanal İstanbul”. The reality is that besides
the cost of more than US$ 10 billion as of now, the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime
of the Straits, depending on its interpretation, might disallow any modifications or worse the
closing the Straits without the consent of all the signatories of the treaty, besides Turkey.50 The
reason for finding a viable solution to the canal issue is compelling necessity if Turkey is to
maintain its geostrategic importance. It is also an issue of environmental concerns. The straits are
a series of waterways that connect the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea and it is one of the ways that
precious oil from Asia can be transported through them. Nevertheless, the “Kanal İstanbul” solves
only half of the problem. The strait in the area of Dardanelles is equally important, but also points
that the passage problem is the worst and replacing the treaty of the Straits with a new one is easier
said than done considering that in the last one hundred years what constitutes national security has
turned 180 degrees against Turkey in many ways.
For the purpose of this paper, I have spotted two points, A and B. Point A designates the
south entrance of the Bosporus (30 kms long and 1,000 m. wide; approximate coordinates
28°56’28.98″E 40°57’54.41″N). Point B designates the northernmost point of the Dardanelles, off
Gelibolu (68 kms long and 1.2 kms wide; approximate coordinates 26°43’32.03″E 40°24’19.97″N).
The waters between the two points form the Sea of Marmara with an approximate distance
of 118 nautical miles. In the area of point B, just northeast of Gelibolu, the distance between the
two coasts, north (European) and south (Asian), of the strait is about 1.83 nautical miles.
The seabed of point A is about 24 m. deep51 and the seabed of point B is only 27 m.52 while
the floor is a flat aggradation plain at the center. Taking as a starting point the northern coast, the
depth gradually increases to the center for a distance of about 0.7 nautical miles from 18 m. to 15
m. and then to 27 m. On the southern coast and for a distance 0.74 nautical miles the depth remains
18 meters. Thus, the strait is navigable for a distance of 0.31 nautical miles (580 m. or 634 yards),
27 m. deep. The remaining 0.08 nautical miles makes up for the undersea slopes from both sides of
If we consider the medium wave of 2m., the sea level from the floor of the sea at point A
fluctuates between 22 m. to 26 m. and the sea level from the seabed at point B fluctuates between
25 m. to 29 m. In either case, such depth is not enough to host a full ship whose draft is 25 m.,
because of serious concerns of their dynamic under keel clearance (DUKC).53
Conditions such as waves, depth, underwater currents, tides, darkness, visibility, wind, etc.
that change constantly affects safe navigation. In bad weather conditions, a tanker would require
even 20% DUKC in order to navigate safely, something that is unrealistic for any modern
supertanker in that area even with a tug boat guidance.54 Considering that, tankers seek the deepest
point of the strait possible with the breath of tankers fluctuation between 24 to 70 m. and
depending on their width of the ships the deepest point becomes more challenging when two ships
try to bypass each other in a choppy weather (squat and trim, motions allowance)
Because the passable space between the two coasts is narrow in area due to seabed
shallowness, the nature of the relief of the seabed at the A and B locations, i.e., being muddy or
rocky, and the constant undersea currents, ships have to pass dangerously near each other. Such
traffic and the geometry of the waterway and human error could easily be the basis for a deadly
collision. One must consider the constant traffic of different types of ships along with the oil
tankers that consist about 10% of the total traffic.
Between 1953 and 2002 and at the south entrance of Bosporus, 461 accidents have taken
place and between 1982 and 2003, 608 accidents occurred, 564 ships did not have a pilot onboard.
Such accidents are detrimental to the environment. The human toll because of accidents between
1995 and 2005 has been 174 people in Bosporus and 95 people in Dardanelles. This following
example is suggestive of the seriousness of the matter. On “March 13, 1994, crude oil carrier M/T
Nassia collided with the bulk carrier M/V Shipbroker, both Cyprus registered. Twenty-seven
people lost their lives, 9,000 tons of petroleum spilled and 20,000 tons burnt four days long
affecting the marine environment severely. Traffic in the Strait was suspended for several days and
the Shipbroker burnt totally.”55
The July 20, 1936 Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits adopted at Montreux,
Switzerland regulates the legal regime of the straits of Dardanelles and Bosporus and the United
Nations Convention recognizes this on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (art. 35/c, 311/5). The
Montreux Convention also regulates the passing vessels of all types according to their
displacement and armament and provide coverage of the straits during peace and wartime whether
Turkey is belligerent or not. The fact is that through internal regulation and lexical interpretation
Turkey has modified the Convention of Montreux depending of the contemporary alliances or
political expediency, starting with the change of the name to “Turkish Straits”.
Minorities in Turkey: Attached to the Past, Envisioning the future56
The other issue that one encounters is whether a religion is the main criterion of ethnicity
or the language; or national conscience or is it something else or a conglomeration of all. If
language is the criterion, then there are about 2.5.-3 million Greeks living in Turkey. If religion is
the criterion then Greece officially has 2,500 Greeks mainly in the area of Constantinople. Some
taking into consideration other factors talk about crypto-Christians. Lighting candles or having
icons does not necessarily mean that those who worship in this manner are Orthodox Christians.
Some scrutiny might reveal that the worshippers adhere to Alevism. On the other hand, it might
indicate crypto-Christians. We simply do not know. So let us take the number out of worship and
stick to facts.
Turkey is a nation-state, i.e. a country formed by numerous ethnic groups and one
dominant nation that embodies and represents the country; it is administratively a unitary state.
That means that the political power exists at the national level with limited local authority.
Despite the fact that the population of Turkey is politically Turkish, ethnically Turkey is
not a homogeneous country. Because of this, Turks in general feel rather insecure being afraid of
the disintegration of their country, but also they feel that enemies surround them.
US Ambassador Charles Warren Hostler convincingly argues that the present Turkish
society is “a mixture of Greeks, Slavs, Kurds, Persians, Armenians, Georgians, Circassians, Arabs,
and other [indigenous] groups… It was only in Anatolia proper that the majority of the Ottoman
population showed a certain uniform type which had evolved from a Greek substratum.” He based
his comments not only from his personal observations and experience, but also “on A. J. Toynbee,
Eliot Grinnell Mears, and the authors of three official British publications dealing with the Turkish
world, who have emphasized the extremely heterogeneous ethnic composition of the Anatolian
Turks.” 57 Although all Turks entertain the thought that they descent from the Turkish invaders of
the AD 11th century, the reality is that only about 20% of them do.
The minority issue in Turkey is nothing new. Turkey inherited numerous minorities from
the Ottoman Empire, which succeeded the territories of the Byzantine Empire. Even though more
than 46 ethnic and/or linguistic minorities live in Turkey, with Istanbul excepted from the count as
being the most ethnically diverse city in the world, Turkey recognizes the only existing minorities
from the time of the Ottomans, i.e. the Rum millet, Jewish, Armenian, Syrian Orthodox, and later
Vlach. Somehow, Armenians formed three millets under the Ottoman rule.58 The rights of these
“nations” or milletler wither away as the time passes due to increasing intolerance.
The issue of Turkey’s minorities in relation to its bordering regions and its relations with
its adjacent countries make Turkey a primary candidate for territorial disengagement on ethnic
foundations. Turks in general adhere to the Sunni version of Islam, which is the fundamentalist
version. Other minorities, ethnic and religious, are: Turks Alevi, Y.rük Sunni, Y.rük Alevi,
Turkmen Sunn, Turkmen, Tahtacı, Abdal Alevi, Azerbaijani Turks, Shiah Azerbaijani Turks,
Karapapakh, Uigurs*, Kirgiz, Kazakh, Uzbek, Uzbek – Tatars, Krimea – Tatars, Nogay – Tatars,
Balkar / Katachay. In addition, one finds in Turkey Muslim immigrants from Balkan countries and
Daghestan. Other minorities are Sudanese descendants of slaves, Estonians, Kurds Sunni, Kurds
Alevi, Kurds Yezidi, Zaza Sunni, Zaza Alevi, Ossetes, Hemshinli, Albanians, Kuban – Kossacks,
Russians, Molokan, Poles, Gypsies. Others are Armenians, Greek speaking Muslims, Arabs
Sunni, Arabs (Alawites/Nusairi), Arabs Christians, Arameans (Asyrians), Syrian Orthodox
(Jacobites), Arameans (Asyrians), East Syrian (Chaldeans), Circassians, and related groups,
Ingush, Gerogians, and Laz. Christian Greeks, Jews, Germans, and Uigur are found only in
cities.59 According to a Turk officer, Greek speakers number between 2.5 and 3 million with most
of them living between Karaman and Trabzon (including Karaman, Kayseri (Caesareia), Sivas
(Sevastia), Amasya, Tokat (Evdoksia), Ordu (Cotyora), Gerisun (Gerasous), Trabzon (Trapezous).
Although we know the identity of most ethnic and religious groups, we do not know their
Besides the well-known acts of genocide that the modern Turkish state refuses to
acknowledge in fear of hurting the pride of the Turkish people, but also lawsuits in international
courts, Ottomans committed acts of forceful migrations of their minority subjects and massacres.
The following is a partial list of Turkish massacres from 1822 up until 1909:
1822 Chios Greeks 50,000
1823 Messolongi Greeks 8,750
1826 Constantinople Janissaries 25,000
1850 Mosul Assyrians 10,000
1860 Lebanon Maronites 12,000
1876 Bulgaria Bulgarians 14,700
1877 Bayazid Armenians 1,400
1879 Alashkert Armenians 1,250
1881 Alexandria Christians 2,000
1892 Mosul Yazidies 3,500
1894 Samsun Armenians 12,000
1895-96 Armenia Armenians 150,000
1896 Constantinople Armenians 9,570
1896 Van Armenians 8,000
1903-4 Krushevo Vlach speaking Greeks 60 14,667 61
1904 Samsun Armenians 5,640
1909 Adana Armenians 30,000
TOTAL 358,477 62
Often the public confuses the religious sect of the Alevis of Turkey with the Alawites of
Syria. Although etymologically both derive from Ali ibn Abu Talib, the name of Muhammad’s
son-in-law (he married to Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Al-Hashem), the two religious sects are
not the same and their names are not interchangeable. The Alawites (Alawīyyah in Arabic) aka
Ansari and Nusayri are Shiah sects. The Alawites consider themselves descendants of the
followers of the eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari (d. 873) and his pupil, Ibn Nusayr (d. 868). To
avoid confusion with the Alevis in Turkey, the Alawites are called Arap Alevileri (“Arab Alevis”).
Regarding the Kurdish population, professor Rustem Erkan of the Department of
Sociology, Dicle University Faculty of Arts, has considered that “Istanbul is Turkey’s largest
Kurdish city” with a population of 5,627,068 Kurds (2009) out of the city’s 14.16 million (2013).63
The Kurdish population in Turkey is 25% or about 20 million. The award-winning writer on
Middle Eastern culture and politics, Sandra Mackey, has stated, “as much as 25% of Turkey is
Kurdish.”64 That means about 20 million Kurds and this number excludes the Kurds living abroad
The role of Gendarmerie in the Turkish military and even in the Turkish society is rather
underestimated, because analysts tend to identify Gendarmerie’s functions with the Western type
rural Police role. One of Gendarmerie’s tasks, which is not advertised but it is present, is the
suppression of the Turkish populace when it is needed. Because the number of Gendarmerie was
small the Ottoman Empire devised an auxiliary system.
The idea of the establishment of the Village Guards goes to the Sultan Abdül Hamid II,
who established the Hamidye Regiments consisting of local Kurds and used against the
Armenians. There is another force in the Ottoman Empire with similar formations called
Başibazuk, a force of unruly volunteers (thugs) with passion for killing Christians and love for
looting their properties. Their role was decisive in the suppression of the ephemeral Krushevo
Republic and the killing and looting of the mostly Greek population of the villages of Krushevo in
August of 1903
Köy Korusucu (village guards) and Gecici Köy Korusucu (temporary Village Guards) are
two different entities in substance. On March 18, 1924 the TBMM (Parliament) of the newly born
Republic of Turkey passed the Village Law (Köy Kanunu) number 442. There are a few
amendments to this law, but the Chapter VIII as amended on March 26, 1985 and again on July 02,
1990 sets forth the details of the village guard system. Basically, the Village Guards are Bekci
(volunteers) who are accountable to the Muhtar or the Headman and the Village Council. Every
village in Turkey has village guards and they are very few in number; somewhere between one and
However, Temporary Village Guards are not in every village. They only live and operate
in Eastern Turkey. They are local Kurds and Turks, but they all local people and their total number
are estimated up to 100,000. They are accountable to the nearest most senior Gendarmerie
Commander. Say, if there is a battalion nearby a given village the temporary volunteers report to
the Battalion Commander. If the unit is a Company they report to the Company Commander. To
my knowledge, they can report to as high as the regimental Commander. One must have in mind
that the highest unit in a Turkish Province is a Gendarmerie Regiment, which translates to 81
regiments, one per province. These regiments are the real force, even when they are co-located
with the Regional Gendarmerie Command. The Command has a Headquarters & Headquarters
Service Company for administrative purposes only.
With the amendment of 1985, the Temporary Village Guard Force was established to
defend villages from PKK raids. The system had to change, because it deemed necessary to arm
the villagers against the PKK, which demanded protection money from the villagers. The state
uses this system to funnel money to the region, protect the pastures to the livestock, which went in
some areas down to zero and encompassed the source of income to the region.
At present, Turkey is experiencing an existential fight, demonstrating that the Western
perspective that sees Turkey as an island of stability is proving to be awash of instability. Turkey
perceives the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq as a threat to its
national security and indeed its own existence. Turkey aspires to one day join the European Union
(EU) and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq is the basis of a Kurdish autonomous
territory within the Turkish Republic, something to which the Turks are not at all receptive. A
Kurdish autonomy would signal to the Turks the beginning of the end of the Turkish Republic as
we know it. As a member of the EU, the Turkish State would be unable to suppress individual
freedoms, which would lead to collective self-determination.
The Peace Treaty of the Sevres of 1920 saw the establishment of the States of Armenia and
Kurdistan in the southeast corner of what presently is the Republic of Turkey. Yet, its
replacement, the Peace Treaty of Lausanne, which ended the Turkish War of Independence
between the Allies of the WWI and the Ankara-based Grand National Assembly of Turkey led by
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, made no mention of Kurdistan establishing the Republic of Turkey at its
present boundaries. The Kurdish people had to wait for another opportunity that did not
materialize until the second Gulf War (2001).
The present political and military situation in Turkey is occurring due to the rising intensity
of the effort on behalf of members of the PKK (Partiya Karkaran Kurdistan), a leftist party, which
is responsible for a number of indiscriminant deaths.
But as far President Erdogan is concerned “there is no Kurdish issue” doubting that any pro–
Kurdish political party would be able to surpass the 10% election threshold to gain seats in the
Parliament.67 Thus far, Parliamentary deputies of pro-Kurdish affinity (Kurds or not) run as either
independent or as members of other parties. In the coming up elections of June 9, 2015, The Halkların
Demokratik Partisi or Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of the Kurds is a left-wing political party,
fraternal to pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP). It must be noted that an election
threshold is a rule that requires that a party must receive a specified minimum percentage of votes,
either nationally or within a particular district, to obtain any seats in the parliament. The normal
election threshold is between 3-5%.
Alevism: A way of Life
The original invading Turks coming out of Persia, and like Persians, followed Shia Islam.
The only reason Sultans changed to Sunnism was the unity of the state after the Ottoman State had
expanded to include many more Sunni than Shia. Alevism originated in Shia Islam but developed
to a syncretic religion and way of life with the incorporation of people through conversion of other
religions and customs such as Christian Greeks, Armenians, et.al.
While most people’s attention points at the Kurds of Turkey, the reality is that Turkey’s
cohesiveness is more in the hands of the Alevi religious minority than the ethnic Kurds. That the
establishment of a Kurdish state is not a matter of time, but it is a matter of timing is, without any
doubt, a fact. It is too obvious. What is not obvious and unexpected to most people is the rise of
Alevism in Turkey, which could play an important role, perhaps the role of regulator and even the
catalyst in the Kurdish effort for statehood. One could argue that Alevism could be the face of a
new Turkey, democratic and tolerant toward the minorities. Whether that would unfold the 600-
year-old hidden Christianity is altogether a matter of speculation.
“We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to
Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses
and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction
between any of them, and we are in submission to Him” (Surat al-Baqarah :136).
In modern times, the rise of Alevism and its influence in the modern society has distraught
the Kemalists as well as the Sunnis. In an effort to warn against attempts to deepen the problems
between Alevis and Sunnis in Turkey, the current Prime Minster of Turkey, Erdogan, stated, “If
Alevism is loving Caliph Ali, I am a perfect Alevi, because I love Caliph Ali so much. He is the
son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. He is the fourth caliph. But I have nothing to say to those
who say I am Alevi, but don’t live the way he [Caliph Ali] did.”68
Nevertheless, it is not that simple. Alevism oftentimes has been characterized as a political
movement of the oppressed masses versus a predominant right wing interpretation of Sunni Islam,
which was the version of Islam of the high castes for the Ottoman State. It is as if the simple
people who were forcibly converted to Islam espoused Alevism as a means of revenge against the
class who had imposed Islam on them. Perhaps it is why some people consider the Alevis as lost
Christians. But Alevism is hardly a religion. Alevism is not in itself a religion, but rather a way of
life that has come under the influence of various religions.69
The way of life of the Alevi in Turkey resembles the way of life in no other Islamic
country. It resembles neither the Shi’a of Arabia and Iran, nor of Libya and Egypt.
Anatolian Alevism displays a quite individual structure, having adopted an Alevite form
after coming under the influence of all the various cultures that had previously existed in
the region. Of these may be mentioned Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam.
Nevertheless, it has fused with none of these… It is a movement which, in struggles
between the oppressors and the oppressed, has always sided with the latter…Alevism is
situated neither totally within nor totally outside the religion of Islam.70
A similar judgment can be found in the “Programme” of the Kurdistan Alevi Union:
Alevism is a religious belief which formed and proliferated within the process of
development of Islam among the peoples of the Middle East, Mesopotamia and Anatolia. It
spread more particularly among the impoverished nomadic and semi-nomadic Kurdish and
Turkmen tribes. While Sunnism, the predominant Islamic right-wing interpretation and
evolution, was preferred by the dominant feudal classes and states, Alevism was the
religious belief held by the oppressed classes whose interests were totally opposed to those
of the ruling classes and states against whom they conducted a perpetual struggle. This
was, in effect, a class war that assumed a religious form and was conducted under the guise
of a struggle between different faiths and religions. Alevism was a rebellion, a resistance, a
flag of liberation raised against the ruling classes who, with Sunnism, the dominant form of
Islam, adopted a feudal structure and established centralised states and empires…71
The Qur’an to an Alevi is nothing but an old book written only as a guide to forms of
worship and it cannot be taken as point of departure at the present day. Alevis see the Qur’an from
the historical point of view. Umar, a reputed thug, Uthman and the Ummayad dynasty canonized it
in a way that benefited themselves.
The Ummayads are the same people behind the assassination of the cousin and son-in-law
of Muhammad, they beheaded the fourth Caliph Hussayn who was Muhammad’s grandson and
killed Hussayn’s six-month old son in the aftermath of the battle of Karbala.
Subsequently, how could the Alevis respect a book that was manipulated in any respect by
its “editors” and excludes information about Muhammad’s family? The only message that keeps
repeating is to kill, degrade women, and declare inequality among people?
This is what a dede, i.e. sheikh (a man from Muhammad’s lineage who is the leader in the
cem or temple) says about the difference between the Sunnis and the Alevis. I have slightly
modified the statement in order to facilitate the reading.
We congregate together.
We perform the ritual dances and play the ritual music.
We sing songs, hymns and incantations.
We drink wine.
We mourn for the twelve imams.
We keep the Muharrem72 and Hızır fasts.73
We perform the yearly sacrifice, the votive sacrifice, the social sacrifice, the sacrifice of
We recognize no kadı.74
Do not ask us about our sect.
We recognize no sects.
We say, “we have our path” 75
Any politically or ethically motivated upheaval could lead to administrative re-organization
of the Turkish republic; some even suggest the disintegration of the country, as we know it.
Turkey is united only because is an illiberal democracy. It succeeds in doing so through its
compulsory education and the unofficial role that Sunni Islam plays. The establishment holds all
peoples within its territory under complete control and considers as traitor of the country anyone
who advocates a true democratic reform, and through the traditional Turkish sociological custom
of sameness, Alevis have been forced to go into taqiyah, i.e. protection through deception.
In Arabic the word taqiyya ( تقیة†) means protection, cover, shelter. It is why the white
knitted cover that Muslim men wear is called taqiyya. In Shi’a tradition the notion of religious
concealment had developed in order to cover a Shi’a Muslim from a threat, persecution, or
compulsion by their Sunni “brethren.”76 “Conversely, Sunni Muslims, far from suffering
persecution have, whenever capability allowed, waged jihad against the realm of unbelief; and it is
here that they have deployed taqiyya—not as dissimulation but as active deceit. In fact, deceit,
which is doctrinally grounded in Islam, is often depicted as being equal—sometimes superior—to
other universal military virtues, such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.”77 As a matter of
social inclination and in the name of protection, although not in the Bible, those who believe in
Christianity but living within the realm of Islam developed the taqiyya. They are forced to pretend
that they are Sunni Muslims so that they find employment, avoid harassment and persecution. This
is happening in Turkey at present.
An insurrection of the Kurdish regions would hardly be local and would probably spread
all over the country; all hell will break loose. I suppose the answer lies mostly on freedom of
religion, which affects not only the ethnic minorities, but also those who consider themselves
ethnic Turks and Sunni Muslims. The notion that crypto-Christians exist all over the country is
not a secret; what is unknown is the number of those who officially profess Islam, but keep a small
shrine and light candles somewhere in secret.
Alevism (Turkish Alevilik) is the second major religious grouping after Sunnilik, and since
1990, the Alevis have become more visible in society and more active in the political arena. Their
beliefs are grouped in their confession of faith “Alevis acknowledge they are from Ahl al Kitab
(arabic أھل†الكتاب†( or the People of the Book by stating that the last four holy books (Quran,
Gospel, Torah and Psalms) have all equal significance in guiding people to the Divine Truth. This
confession is called “The Four Books of Righteousness” (“Dört kitabın D.rdüde ‘Hâkk’”).78
The Alevi understanding of the Quran is esoteric based on Sufism as developed by
Mevlana ar- Rumi and his own understanding of Aristotelic philosophy.
Alevis consider themselves to be part of the wider Shi`a movement, who revere Ali
(Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law) and the Twelve Imams of his house. Like all extreme Shia,
their reverence for Ali verges on deification, for which reason classical Sunni ulama classified
them as ghulat (exaggerators), outside the orthodox Islamic fold. Alevis are also called Kizilbash
(the name of the Turkmen followers of the Safavid Sufi order of the 15th and 16th centuries), and
Bektashi (followers of the Anatolian Bektashi Shia Sufi order founded in the 13th century).
Further names used signify specific tribal and linguistic identities: Tahtaci, Abdal, Cepni, Zaza, or
names of great men revered by the Alevi: Caferi, Huseyni.79
Alevis are monogamous and consider women equal to men. Alevi women are free to dress
in modern clothing and are encouraged to get the best education they can being free perform any
occupation they choose. Gender segregation in the private and public domain in non-existent, a
fact that allows women to worship together with men. The Alevi society follows traditional values
of right and wrong, honor and shame. Alevi women are not required to wear a headscarf (hijab),
veil (niqab) or body coverings such as jilbāb or burqa as an indication of modesty. Since the Alevis
focus on the internal rather than the external representation of a person, any cover of women’s hair
or body is unrelated to honor, morality or social, political and even economic worth.
They have undergone a re-politicization in civil society due to many factors including the
fall of communism and its effect on leftists close to Alevilik, the rise of Sunni political Islam and
the counter-reaction among the Alevi population, the Kurdish issue, political and economic factors
of modernization and social change, and the role of the media.
Alevilik revival is a reconstructive, modern, and urban response to growing class
inequalities related to Alevis’ political and economic downward mobility. It is unclear whether the
Alevi politics will add to Turkish democracy as it currently stands. Without acknowledging its
class basis and the ethnic issue, Alevi politics will not be fully democratic.
Alevism is a fusion of different religions, cultures, or philosophies with diverse religious
beliefs from Islam, Turkic shamanism influenced by Buddhism, and Christian Orthodoxy.
According to Turkish university research conducted in 2005, 44% of Alevi respondents selfidentify
as Muslim and 56% do not.80 One could easily consider them as the known crypto-
Christians, since they believe in a Holy Trinity (Allah, Muhammad, Ali), in St. George, in
confession after which they drink wine and eat bread, and cheese, their monks are celibate.
Because of such practices Alevism has attracted many Orthodox to their ranks since the fall of
Byzantium. It is very important to know that the vast majority of the Alevis live in Cappadocia.81
Because of this reality, it is difficult for anyone to predict what the role of these minorities
would be in case of an insurrection which could lead to the possible disintegration of the Turkish
republic, as we know it. It is a real toss up.
Map of Alevis and Kurds in Turkey82
Turkey’s greatest nightmare is a full democracy by Western standards. Under the present
conditions, it will probably never happen. Considering that a Western type democracy is the
foundation of the EU provided that the EU exists in the near future, Turkey’s chances to join are
One might even argue that Islam has been replaced by Kemalism, which was the actual
“religion” of Turkey for many years. Selective Islamic values exist in a society that does not eat
pork, but drinks and gambles both of which are against the teachings of the Quran. Turkey has
been erroneously depicted as an Islamic country and a model democracy. It is a democracy by
Islamic standards, but by U.S. and EU standards, it could be called a “hybrid” democracy83 or an
The supposition that Turkey is an Islamic county comes from the point of view of the
Turkish education as implemented by socialıst Kemal Ataturk based on Ziya Gokalp’s perception
of how the new Turkey should be. Statistically speaking, not one educated Turk would dare say
that their country is 100% Islamic. Such a claim would have been a statistical impossibility and a
lie considering that, at least on the surface, four millet live within Turkey.
In his speech on April 20, 2005, the former Chief of the General Staff, General Hilmi
Özkök, reiterated, “Certain circles attempted to describe Turkey as a country serving as a model of
moderate Islam. Almost 99 percent of Turkey’s population consists of Muslims. Turkey,
however, is a secular and democratic welfare [i.e. socialist] state upholding the principle of
preeminence of the rule of law. Turkey is neither an Islamic state nor an Islamic country.
Reaching the conclusion that countries with a predominantly Muslim population could easily be
transformed into democracies by portraying Turkey as a model could be misleading.”84
The Military is in charge of keeping the secular status in Turkey85 and leading the country
to the Europeanization dreamed of by the founder of modem Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Nevertheless, the military is the same institution which does its best to keep Turkey away from the
European Union fearing complete democratization of the country and, consequently, the loss of
their own privileges and ability to intervene in the political arena when they please. Simply put, the
Turkish military wants their cake and to eat it, too.
However, whatever the Constitution and the Chief of the Turkish General Staff might feel
or say, the fact is that Turkey in the last years has turned into an Islamic State with very limited
tolerance of those who disagree with the system. Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example
of how, when Islamists (mild or otherwise) rule a county, even the most basic liberties are
systematically suppressed. According to Haşim Kılıç, President of Turkey’s Constitutional Court,
“A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey.” In some cases, “The prosecutor demanded a heavier
penalty for the victim than for her torturers.” On the other hand, the European Commission
identified government interference in the judiciary while it has noted that bans imposed on social
media are the major sources of concern regarding Turkey’s candidacy for full membership.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, proud of the achievements of the Islamic state
remarked, “We have made the conservative, pious [Muslim] masses not just a part, but a major
actor of the political system.”86
Essentially, Davutoglu agrees that the members of the ISIL87 are part of his administration.
Davutoglu’s very subjective assessment disagrees with the Quran that the true Muslims are neither
pious nor care about democracy. He talks as if he neither has read the Quran or he tries to sell
nonsense to the world, especially the Western politicians.
Democracy is not something Islam accepts, since Islam instructs its followers to owe
loyalty to the Islamic Ummah (people, nation), not to the country of their citizenship. By Islamic
standards, Islam is a Muslim’s citizenship.
By the same token, Yusuf al-Ayri, a leading al Qaida ideologue, wrote shortly before his
death, ‘One of the worst products of secularism is democracy, which abolishes the
authority of the sharia over society and opposes it in form and in content. The Most High
said, ‘the command is for Allah’ [sura 12:40]. Democracy says that the command is for
none but the majority of the people.88
The Muslim understanding of society is based on the Ummah (Ummatin Wahidat or “One
nation”) as it refers to a unified Islamic world.89 Such a nation which in Turkish is Millet is based
on the Qur’an (16:123; 3:95; 4:125) that denotes a community that gathers around a prophet and
the values he conveys. It does not refer to an ethnicity or nationality. What are essential are the
values, ideals, and traditions that constitute a community. Thus, the Qur’an speaks of “a nation of
Abraham” or the community of Abraham, in conjunction with all other prophets who came after
Abraham and their congregations as well.
The perception of the world according to Usama Bin Ladin and Ayman az-Zawahiri is
expressed in this statement. “Until the whole world is under the sway of Islam, the world is
divided into two: the House of Islam (dar-al-islam), where Muslims rule and the law of Islam
prevails; and the House of War (dar al-harb), comprising the rest of the world.”90
This, of course, does not mean that Muslims do not want to live in a Western type society.
It simply means that based on their way of life and their religion, they never assimilate into
western culture. They want to live in a Western type of a society, but under the rule of Islam.
Intermarriage is impossible unless the non-Muslim converts to Islam.
The Quran permits Muslims to conceal anything including crimes and expect that no
Muslim would squeal on them under the Taqqiyah doctrine. “At-Taqqiyah also means that a man
conceals his belief due to a fear of losing his honor or life. This is permissible according to all, the
Ahle Sunnah and Imamiyah.” It is stated in the Quran that “A believer, a man from among the
people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith’ [Surat Ghāfir (40:28)]” and “except by way of
precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. [Surat ‘ li `Imrān (3:28)].”91 Western
politicians who are welcoming more Muslims into their Christian countries expecting their
assimilation into their society are at best naïve. Since demographically speaking, Muslims multiply
much faster than Christians, countries that used to have a Christian culture will turn into Muslim
countries in a few years, depending, of course, on the native population and number of the Muslim
In 2004, Turkish newspapers wrote alarming articles citing disintegration when
Evangelical Christian and Mormon missionaries allegedly “roamed” the Turkish countryside with
Bibles trying to convert “devout” Muslims. Attempting to convert Muslims to any other religion is
a capital offense according to Sharia Law. In December 2009, The Greek Orthodox Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew told CBS’s 60 Minutes that “the Orthodox Christians in Turkey are treated
as second-class citizens” and “[they] don’t feel that [they] enjoy [their] full rights as Turkish
citizens.”92 A member of the Austrian Parliament projected a video that included a few disturbing
facts of beheadings within Turkey while the Turkish state approached the matter with
indifference.93 The same member of the Austrian Parliament mentioned the killing of priests in
Turkey in 2008 and the killing and beheading of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Luigi Padovese
in Iskenderun (Alexandretta) on June 3, 2010.
Thus far, Turkey’s strategy is rather sinister while becoming more complex as the days
pass. Turk politicians see ISIL’s expansion from northern Syria to western Iraq as a blessing in
disguise which takes the form of keeping the Kurds busy. Such policy aims at weakening the
Peshmerga in Iraq thus forcing the Kurds to reinforce its losses with Kurdish fighters from within
Turkey. In this manner, Turkey by allowing the bleeding of Kurdish fighters from Turkey to Iraq,
Turkey solves its domestic headaches rather painlessly.
This becomes obvious with the siege of the Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobane by the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Lebanon-Syria) which was defended by the Syrian Kurds.
Turkey’s excuse for not intervening was that since other countries refuse to do so, why should she?
PM Davutoglu was quick to point out that Assad’s regime was actually to blame for the rise of
The Shia Iran supports the Alawite (Shia sect) Assad regime which supports the (Shia)
Hezbollah in Lebanon against the Christians and the Sunni Muslims. On the other hand, the Sunni
Kurds fight against the Sunni Turks in Turkey for their independence. In Iraq and Syria Kurds
fıght against the Sunni ISIL, which according to Davutoglu is supported by the Alawites of Assad,
an argument, which thus far has no merit. In reality, Turkey wishes to see the Assad regime dead
and a new pro-Turkish Sunni government installed in its place. Some U.S. members of Congress
feel the same way. No matter what one wants to see in Syria, it is the will of the Syrian people that
Turkey, thinking that the ISIL issue preoccupies the West, sent an exploratory ship
accompanied by two warships into the Cyprus’ EEZ violating the Law of the Sea. That open
provocation, intimidation, and extortion against a small defenseless Cyprus, which Turkey has
already military attacked, showed Turkey’s real face, and after 40 years it still occupies 37% of
Cyprus territory, which is not acceptable to Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Egypt and indirectly the
Turkey’s contention that islands do not have entitlement of a continental shelf, not only is
illogical, it is against the political norms of international law. According to Turkey’s argument,
the British Isles fall under the continental shelf of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway.
These countries have rights over the British gas and oil. Iceland’s shelf is actually Norway’s,
which has the sole right to explore it. My favorite one is Indonesia. If Indonesia does not have
continental shelf, then she illegally explores and draws minerals, which she sells to the world
market. By not having a continental shelf Indonesia violates the rights of Malaysia, Thailand,
Cambodia, and Vietnam. Simultaneously, the Philippines infringe the rights of the People’s
Republic of China. Somehow, Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei would disagree with
Turkey’s assertion. Turkey gives as reason for its illogical contention “special circumstances”; but
such “special circumstances” exist only in the Aegean? What about the Channel Isles95 or even the
Aland Islands?96 Yet the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has taken
into consideration all the possible issues and yet concluded that the islands have Insular Shelf as
part of the Continental shelf of the country to which they belong.97
Turkey has obviously miscalculated the resolve of Western states. This is a reinforcement
of the notion of a gap between the conceit of its political leadership, which has rubbed elbows with
a weak leader of the Turkish Navy on one hand, and the reaction of Cyprus’ friends such as Egypt
and Israel on the other. Turkey has not realized yet that the established arguments about its
geopolitical position and its Islamic pacifism are not part of the current reality. The dilemma for
Turkey is to emerge out of the myth of “location” and “leader of Islam” while simultaneously
keeps its current prestigious position. After all, it is Turkey which has created the problem with
EEZ and the occupation of Cyprus, it should be Turkey that should resolve it.
Blending the above, Turkey’s foreign policy is in a state of a perfect turbulence of a
combination of the four elements, i.e. earth, water, air, and fire sunk in a time warp. The known
doctrine “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” takes a different turn resembling the Bedouin
adage, “my brother and I against my cousin, and my cousin and I against our family”. This is a
reminder of the scorpion and frog fable, scorpions know the consequences of ego, conceit,
superiority complex, and repudiation, but they refuse to see the consequences; “I could not help
myself. It is my nature.” Taking the end of the fable, Turkey’s foreign policy could reach the same
The ethnocentric and nationalistic official motto of the Republic of Turkey attributed to
Mustafa Kemal, “Peace at Home, Peace in the World” is the result of the Turkish mentality of
besiegement. It alludes that a domestically peaceful Turkey is the guarantee for a peaceful world.
Compilation of Power
The conflict of NATO with Russia over Ukraine, the rise of ISIL in Turkey’s backyard and
Turkey’s sudden love affair with Iran has brought up a few issues never manifested before.
Defending its national interests, Turkey chose to distance itself from the interests of the NATO
Alliance that offered it cover during the Cold War and to forge partnerships with Russia and Iran
and its allies south of its borders even if these alliances could prove temporary with long-term
political significance in favor of Davutoglu’s doctrine. This is nothing new. Contradictions
between rhetoric and action in Turkish policy on almost anything is traced back to the Ottoman
Erdogan is a sinister politician who dreams to surpass Kemal Ataturk celebrating the
centennial celebrations of the Turkish Republic, but with a twist. He intends to start a new Turkey
that would politically combine the glory and luxury of the Sultanate with the religious control of
all Muslims under the Caliphate. One could assume that once Turkey succeeds in combining a
political and religious power, it would then demand, or rather impose a real partnership to the EU
and even NATO. Its goal seems to be the leadership of all the Turkic and Islamic World. It is an
impossible task by any means. Turkey lacks what it takes to be a superpower at this point in time.
The new “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed the world his new ‘Ak Saray’
(‘White Palace’), a sprawling, ridiculously lavish compound that has 40 times the floor space of
the more familiar White House. The roughly 2,150,000-square-foot complex cost a reported
$350M to build, which unsurprisingly has a lot of people in the country criticizing the leader’s
autocratic ways. Erdogan, who will be moving out of the more modest two-story palace built by
the first Turkish president in the 1920s, insists that this change symbolizes a ‘New Turkey’ under
his leadership. Of course, the symbolic shift is also supposed to manifest in the design of the
It is clear that Erdogan wants to surpass Ataturk and that is why he wants to make Turkey
the center of the earth. He utilizes means which in his view would compensate for Turkey’s
increasing loss of geostrategic importance due to the advancing globalization and, in particular, the
range of modern weapons, the size of modern vessels and the fuel capacity of modern aircraft.
Erdogan’s impression of megalomaniac plans, such as building an airport that would surpass that
of Dubai are, in reality, a method of making Turkey an important stakeholder and a center of
stability in the Near East, the Caucasus and the Balkans.
The Unholy Cycle:
The Connection of the Turkeys to the Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
The Turkish National Assembly abolished the Caliphate on March 3, 1924. Almost
immediately, various movements started, but of local political significance. An elementary-school
teacher, Hasan al-Banna (1906-49), founded the Society of the Muslim Brothers in Ismailia in
March 1928, which was not specifically or exclusively political. The movement aimed to reform
individual and social morality based on an analysis of what was wrong with Muslim societies.
Hasan al-Banna specifically stated,
You are not a benevolent society, nor a political party, nor a local organization
having limited purposes. Rather, you are a new soul in the heart of this nation to
give it life by means of the Qur’an … When asked what it is for which you call,
reply that it is Islam, the message of Muhammad, the religion that contains within
it government, and has as one of its obligations freedom. If you are told that you
are political, answer that Islam admits- no such distinction. If you are accused of
being revolutionaries, say, ‘We are voices for right and for peace in which we dearly
believe, and of which we are proud. If you rise against us or stand in the path of our
message, then we are permitted by God to defend ourselves against your injustice.’ 99
With this statement, Banna reinforced the Qur’an’s teaching that all Muslims owe loyalty to the
Ummah or Islamic Community and not to the country in which they were born. The problem rests
in the way the Qur’an was canonized by the Umayyad dynasty, which not only distorted the
written texts of the Qur’an, but also their meaning. Such distortions had spread to all other books
that Muslims consider holy and it is why the Alevis of Turkey do not take the Qur’an literally.
Members of ISIL behave in a the strictest mode dictated by the Quran, Hadith, Sunna, Sharia as
the Umayyad’s arranged them.100
Al-Banna’s reason for the re-establishment of the Caliphate was the Western influence over
the colonialized Muslims. One of the quotes that we have inherited during the visit of six
Egyptians at Al-Banna’s home in Ismailia is, “We know not the practical way to reach the glory of
Islam and to serve the welfare of Muslims. We are weary of this life of humiliation and restriction.
Lo, we see that the Arabs and the Muslims have no status and no dignity.”101 Later, in a written
statement in 1942, al-Banna rejected all forms of Western political or social organization.
The Western way of life -founded in effect on practical and technical knowledge,
discovery, invention, and the flooding of world markets with mechanical products-has
remained incapable of offering to men’s minds a flicker of light, a ray of hope, a grain of
faith, or of providing anxious persons the smallest path toward rest and tranquility. Man is
not simply an instrument among others. Naturally, he has become tired of purely
materialistic conditions and desires some spiritual comfort. But the materialistic life of the
West could only offer him as reassurance a new materialism of sin, passion, drink, women,
noisy gatherings, and show attractions which he has come to enjoy.102
The morals of the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to spread were not just against Christian
teachings, but also against excesses of Sufism.103 The solution could be found in the interpretation
of the Qur’an by genuine ijtihad.104 Although in the beginning that was true, slowly the
philosophy of the movement changed and from the reformed sharia that gives rights to women it
changed to a philosophy closer to Salafism, which is an al-Qaeda’s philosophy. Everything had to
be based on Islamic teachings. Although the implication was designed to be strictly an Egyptian
affair, it spread all over the Muslim world. Essentially Salafism and Wahhabism are identical
The Muslim Brotherhood was behind the assassination of the Egyptian President Anwar
Sadat, Major General Raouf Khayrat (head of the counter-terrorism police), Rifaat el-Mahgoub
(Speaker of the Parliament), and dozens of European tourists, Egyptian spectators, and more than a
hundred Egyptian police officers.
Muslim Brotherhood in Shia Islam.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood follows the Sunni Islam, the Shia Islam has developed
its Brotherhood version in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon creating the Hezbollah (Party of God) and Ad-
Dawah (Invitation, i.e. proselytization).105 Both have focused on building grassroots institutions
and funding welfare projects.106 These groups and their many local offices still enjoy popular
support and power.107
The Muslim Brotherhood and Nazism
In 1933 Ahmed Hussein, founded the Young Egypt Party, or Green Shirts, declaring,
“Everyone must believe that the will of the people is the will of Allah, and that Egypt is
above all.” Needless to say, this reminds one of the well known “Deutschland Über Alles.”
The party slogan was “Allah, Fatherland and People.”
Another political party that started in 1930’s was the Wafd Party or Delegation Party.
The Wafd Party was a nationalist liberal political party in Egypt that started in the 1930s and was
abolished in 1952 by the Free Officers Movement, led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel
Nasser. The Wafd imitated the fascist style with its Blue Shirts.
The Muslim Brotherhood seized the opportunity to justify its existence in a 1938
“If the German Reich imposes itself as a protector of everyone who has German
blood running in his veins, Muslim faith makes it the clear duty of every strong
Muslim whose soul is drenched in the doctrines of the Koran to consider himself the
protector of every other Muslim whose soul has also been drenched … in Islam.”108
The Brotherhood spread to North Africa countries such as Libya, Algeria and Tunis, which
were under colonial rule. The spread of Salafism in those countries became instrumental in their
becoming independent. Encouragement against French colonialism and respect for the Axis, and
especially for Germany, was the fact that France had capitulated to Germany in nine days. That
revealed to them that France was not a power that they should be afraid of.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine
In the section “The Relation between the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Muslim
Brotherhood”, Article Two of the Charter of HAMAS, the organization states, “The Islamic
Resistance Movement [HAMAS] is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The
Muslim Brotherhood movement is a global organization and is the largest of the Islamic
movements in modern times.”109 From this it is clear that the HAMAS organization is actually the
Muslim Brotherhood, which intends to efface anything and kill anyone that does not adhere to its
version and understanding of Islam.
The HAMAS, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL are doctrinally connected and the only
difference between ISIL and the Muslim Brotherhood is tactics. HAMAS is doctrinally closer to
ISIL, but it covers its intentions under the cloak of the liberation of Palestine, which presupposes
the destruction of Israel. As Eman Nabih puts it, “the difference between Muslim Brotherhood
and ISIL, is deception, which is the main factor MB [Muslim Brotherhood] are using in their
tactics, till they dominate a country’s joints, then they raise the sword against their opponents.”
And he continues, “other terrorist groups like ISIL, may disagree with Muslim Brothers tactics,
because they use slaughter and intimidation right away, in order to have full control on a country.
and to build an Islamic empire based on their own fascist provisions which have nothing to do with
Islam or moderate Muslims.”110 It seems that they are attempting to seek the materialization of the
poem composed by al-Hilli,111
White are our deeds
Black are our battles
Green are our lands
Red are our swords.
Along the same lines other statements such as this warn, “Along with the Muslim
Brotherhood, both of these are Islamic extremist groups, violent in their ruthless pursuit of
objectives – ISIL to create a caliphate empire, and HAMAS to eliminate the State of Israel.” 112 It
is clear that, although HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood have as their political goal the
elimination of Israel, once they do, they will spread terror and destruction on all Christian sites, let
murdering innocent people because of their beliefs.
Even Muslim dignitaries have warned European countries of the danger that the HAMAS,
Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL’s silent alliance pose to the world. The crown prince, Zayed al–
Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi royal family had informed the British Foreign Office of the danger he
felt in London from members of the Brotherhood. In his speech before the European Parliament,
Strasbourg, France on March 10, 2015, King Abdullah II stated that ISIL is nothing less than a
criminal organization. He specifically stated that we are fighting “a war against an expansionist
ideology that feeds on hate; that is committing murder in the name of God and religion to justify
evil actions that no religion tolerates — a war against terrorists who disrespect Islam’s values and
humanity’s values. … Those outlaws of Islam who deny these truths are vastly outnumbered by
the ocean of believers,”113 Those people who see HAMAS as a liberation movement, should be
thinking again. Supporting HAMAS means supporting Turkey’s dreams.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey
The religious and cultural affinity of the present Turkish political leadership towards the
Muslim Brotherhood and its branches all over the world including, but not limited to the Muslim
Brotherhood of Egypt, HAMAS, ISIL and a few others, has Turkey in an opposing camp of its old
allies such as Egypt, Israel, Libya, etc. The leaders of the Justice and Development Party, aka
AKP, are members of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood.
In 1969, Professor Netfccmettin Erbakan, later a Prime Minister of Turkey, published a
manifesto, which he called Millî G.rüş or National Vision, in which he articulated the combination
of a political ideology turned into a movement stressing the Islamic “nation”, not the ethnic one.
In that manifesto, Erbakan called for the strengthening of Islamic values in Turkey at the expense
of Ataturk’s secularism. The word G.rüş is also translated as “opinion”, “vision” or “perception.”
In addition, the manifesto expressed the view that Islamic moral and religious education are very
important while advocating special attention be paid to industrialization, development and
economic independence.114 He also called for a closer cooperation of Turkey with all Islamic
countries while keeping countries that espoused Western values away. Such views resulted to his
removal from office.
The Millî G.rüş or National Vision is one of “the leading Turkish diaspora organizations in
Europe”.115 However, it is not the national vision that the term refers to, but a religious one.116 The
religious vision the moral and spiritual strength of Islamic faith (Iman) and explains the Muslim
world’s decline because of its imitation of Western values (such as secularism) and inappropriate
use of Western technology. Such a dogma opposes the secularism envisioned by the socialist
Mustafa Kemal. The Millî G.rüş is active in most European countries and also in many countries
around the world.
On a visit to some mosques in Kreuzberg, the predominantly Muslim district of Berlin, I
gathered a sampling of fliers on offer. All were in Turkish, and most were from the Islamic
organization Milli Gurus. Milli Gurus was formed 10 years ago in Germany by supporters
of Turkey’s Islamist Refah (Welfare) party. Refah was eventually banned in Turkey. Its
more moderate Turkish offshoot, the Justice and Development Party, is the ruling party of
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.117
Erbakan’s Millî G.rüş ideology helped him become the founder and leader of several
prominent Islamic political parties such as the National Order Party (MNP), the National Salvation
Party (MSP), the Welfare Party (RP), the Virtue Party (FP), and the Felicity Party (SP). Despite
the fact that the Welfare Party was outlawed in 1998, Erbakan’s ideology gave the nucleus of a
new political party, the Justice and Development Party or Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP).
Some prominent members from parties developed from Erbakan’s ideals are: from the Welfare
Party Recep Tayyıp Erdogan118 and Abdullah Gül,119 Bülent Arınç120; from the former Felicity
Party, Numan Kurtulmuş121 and from the Virtue Party, Cemil Çiçek.122
Although the Welfare Party or Refah in Turkey have withered away, the Millî G.rüş
remains alive and well. It claims some 87,000 members across Europe, including 50,000 in
Germany. It helps run about a fifth of Germany’s 2,500 mosques where it distributes its Islamist
If the connection of Millî G.rüş to the Welfare Party and the new trend of religious vision
were allowed to develop, it would change the future of Turkey’s strategic culture. Although we
see some adjustments in Turkey’s behavior, I submit that it is rather early to ascribe a new national
vision that would seriously affect the strategic culture of Turkey. The foundations of socialist
secularism set by Ataturk while maintaining the nationalist education of the country with the
military as its guardian, it would not be easy for anyone to truly modify a system that gave Turkey
its present political and military prestige.
After the end of the Ataturk party’s rule and the start of the Democratic Party’s era, the
Brotherhood started collaborating with Necmettin Erbakan, who in 1969 founded Milli G.rüş, the
Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. “In 1996, Erbakan attempted to facilitate the rise of a new Islamic
power, the Eight Islamic countries group, made up of Libya, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia,
Nigeria, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Also, the [Muslim] Brotherhood fielded a strong presence at
the 2006 celebration of 533 years’ occupying Constantinople.”124
Ukraine is one of the primary weapons sellers, especially rifles of “Avtomat Kalashnikova”
or AK series such as AK-47, AK-74, AKM, and AKMS, which are most commonly used by
Islamists. Most of the weapons are remnants of the USSR cache. According to published reports,
Turkey has been caught red-handed supplying weapons to the rebels of Libya, which are members
of the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL.
In August 2014, the pro-Tobruk government’s Operation Dignity’s military commander,
Khalifa Hifter, reportedly ordered his forces to shell a ship heading to the Libyan port of
Derna carrying a cache of weapons from Turkey. Three months later, Turkish media
reported in November 2014 that Greek authorities found 20,000 AK-47s in a ship heading
from Ukraine to Libya. The Turkish captain said the ship was headed to Turkey’s southern
Hatay port, but Libyan authorities said that maritime traffic data indicated that it was bound
But even if the rifles were headed to the region of Hatay, whether the port was Iskenderun
(Alexandretta) or Antakya (Antioch), who exactly was the recipient? ISIL perhaps? Or were they
directed for MİT ’s personnel which is imbedded in ISIL and fights against the Kurds? While
Erdogan was the Prime Minister, he ordered all services, and especially the Gendarmerie
Command, to leave untouched any truck with cargo belonging to the MİT regardless their final
destination. Unofficially, these trucks carried rifles, ammunition, missiles, rocket warheads,
mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition, while officially they carried humanitarian assistance to the
According to AL-Monitor, the public prosecutor, Aziz Takci defied the orders from above
and directed the trucks to be searched, which resulted in his removal from his post and 13 soldiers
involved in the search were taken to court on charges of espionage. Their indictments call for
prison terms of up to 20 years. A group of hackers leaked many documents and in turn they
circulated in the Internet. The documents that circulated before Turkey banned their publication,
summarized the incident:
• On Jan. 19, 2014, after receiving a tip that three trucks were carrying weapons and
explosives to al-Qaeda in Syria, the Adana Provincial Gendarmerie Command obtained
• The Adana prosecutor called for the search and seizure of all evidence.
• Security forces stopped the trucks at the Çeyhan tollgates, where MİT personnel
tried to prevent the search.
• While the trucks were being escorted to Çeyhan Gendarmerie Command for an
extensive search, MİT personnel accompanying the trucks in an Audi vehicle blocked the
road to stop the trucks. When MİT personnel seized the keys from the trucks’ ignitions, an
altercation ensued. MİT personnel instructed the truck drivers to pretend their trucks had
malfunctioned and committed physical violence against gendarmerie personnel.
• The search was carried out and videotaped despite the efforts of the governor and
MİT personnel to prevent it.
• Six metallic containers were found in the three trucks. In the first container, 25-30
missiles or rockets and 10-15 crates loaded with ammunition were found. In the second
container, 20-25 missiles or rockets, 20-25 crates of mortar ammunition and Doushka
[DShK ДШК] anti-aircraft ammunition in five or six sacks were discovered. The boxes had
markings in the Cyrillic alphabet.
• It was noted that the MİT personnel swore at the prosecutor and denigrated the
gendarmerie soldiers doing the search, saying, “Look at those idiots. They are looking for
ammunition with picks and shovels. Let someone who knows do it. Trucks are full of
bombs that might explode.”
• The governor of Adana, Hüseyin Avni Coş, arrived at the scene and declared, “The
trucks are moving with the prime minister’s orders” and vowed not to let them be
interfered with no matter what.
• With a letter of guarantee sent by the regional director of MİT, co-signed by the
governor, the trucks were handed back to MİT.
• Driver Murat Kislakci said in his deposition, “This cargo was loaded into our trucks
from a foreign airplane at Ankara Esenboğa Airport. We are taking them to Reyhanli [on
the Syrian border]. Two men [MİT personnel] in the Audi are accompanying us. At
Reyhanli, we hand over the trucks to two people in the Audi. They check us into a hotel.
The trucks move to cross the border. We carried similar loads several times before. We
were working for the state. In Ankara, we were leaving our trucks at an MİT location. They
used to tell us to come back at 7 a.m. I know the cargo belongs to MİT. We were at ease;
this was an affair of state. This was the first time we collected cargo from the airport and
for the first time we were allowed to stand by our trucks during the loading.”
• After accusations of espionage by the government and pro-government media, the
chief of general staff ordered the military prosecutor to investigate. On July 21, the military
prosecutor declared the operation was not espionage. The same prosecutor said this
incident was a military affair and should be investigated not by the public prosecutor, but
the military. The civilian court did not retract its decision.126
What is Next?
The birth country of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has declared it, a “terrorist
organization,” as other countries have done so, as well. It is why “the court in Cairo has sentenced
529 members of them to death so far in 2014 and has imprisoned many others.”127 Nevertheless,
in Turkey, the Brotherhood has elected officials such as Prime Ministers and even Presidents.
The questions that one could ask are: Why? How did it start? Is it something old or
something new? Although the concept is rather old, the opportunity for Turkey’s involvement in
wars of the Middle East was provided by the American invasion of Iraq starting in 1990. It is a
well known fact that Turkey did not give any assistance to the United States and its coalition in
both Iraqi wars. Instead, Turkey gave a lot of excuses why she could not participate in either of
them. The whole game played in a matter of wait and see hoping in an opportunistic political
commotion to have the cake and eat it, too.
In the meantime, Turkey’s apologists in Washington, such as The Brent Scowcroft Center
on International Security,128 the Gephardt group,129 and the Livingston Group130 have periodically
worked on maintaining Turkey’s excellent reputation and prestige among the Washington political
elite, NATO and the EU promoting a positively image of Turkey. But Turkey does not want to
rely on paid “guns” for longer than is necessary. Turkey needs to have a direct control over its
own fate; it needs to have its own clique. Turkey can use the services, the opportunities that the
military might and reputation as these lobbyists have established, and the services that some
religious fanatics can offer their services to Turkey on the platter. One must consider that Turkey
pays an average of US$10 million annually not just for the lobbying these three groups provide,
but also to election and re-election campaigns of politicians in the United States and Europe, Press,
and various periodicals and organizations.
These lobbyists worked to incorporate into NATO and the EU Turkey’s allies in the
Balkans, i.e. Albania, the FYROM, Bosnia, and Kosovo while Germany helped in this effort
supporting their traditional ally, Turkey. In addition, the role of the UK on the side of Turkey
must never be underestimated considering that the UK helped to bring Turkey into the Cyprus
issue in the early 1950s in order to use Turkey as the counterbalance to the Cypriot fight for Enosis
or union with Greece. If Cyprus had indeed united with Greece, the UK would be able to justify
its two bases on the island. The same was the reason behind the encouragement Turkey received
to invade the island in 1974.
Politicians, and especially American politicians, must NEVER recklessly go along with the
UK’s foreign policy, because the UK takes care of its own national interests, which are not
necessarily identical to those of the United States.
Greece and Cyprus, which Turkey had invaded in 1974 and occupied 37% of the Cypriot
territory with the excuse of protecting the Turkish minority, are the losers. And while the invasion
of Cyprus seems to some governments as an isolated incident, the question remains whether
Turkey is going to invade other countries in order to protect its “religious minority” whether in a
physical sense or in religious sense under the guise of the Caliphate’s explicit or implicit powers
Upon the appointment of Hakan Fidan, a former Master Sergeant of the Turkish Land
Forces as the Chief of the MİT 131 the plan for the restoration of an Islamic Community as Erbakan
had envisioned under the leadership of Turkey was put in effect.
The Arab Spring started on December 18, 2010 and spread from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt.
Although Turkey was not involved in the beginning of the insurrections, it assisted the movements
morally and materially. Within a few months, the Syrian Civil War started with unrests, which
began in the early spring of 2011 within the context of Arab Spring protests.
Turkey, promoting itself as champion of human rights, organized the “Gaza Freedom
Flotilla” (May 31, 2010) cooperating with the “Free Gaza Movement” and the “Turkish
Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief” (İHH), against legitimate
military operations of Israel, which was concerned by the HAMAS’ weapons refurbishment of its
arsenal. The construction materials that the Hamas government sought were to be used for the
construction of underground tunnels from Gaza to Israel. The operation resulted in nine activists
being killed including eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish American who were aboard the ship
MV Mavi Marmara (Blue Marmara).
The idea of a democratic Syria seemed enticing to the governments of many countries,
including the United States, which embraced it immediately as if a democratic Syria meant an
automatic alliance or at least a friendly disposition to the West. The U.S. government and a
number of U.S. Senators supported the insurrection of the Syrian opposition to the Assad regime
and provided weapons and money. The training took place in Turkey and Jordan. However, soon
after the Syrian insurrection, a number of opposition groups started defecting forming the ISIL
which used as its core former officers of Saddam Hussein along with Islamic fundamentalists.
The challenge that ISIL provided to Turkey and the excuses that its PM Davutoglu offered
for not engaging the terrorists, although viewed as an unholy alliance in the fight of a common
enemy, the Kurds, also gave basis for another explanation of Turkey’s hesitance. Evidence has
surfaced that MİT personnel has been imbedded in ISIL in order to fight against and eliminate as
many Peshmerga as possible. A number of wounded members of the MİT who fought with ISIL
have been cared for in Turkish hospitals in Hatay province.
Turkey has launched a proxy war using ISIL, HAMAS, and the Muslim Brotherhood in
order to eliminate or weaken the Kurds regardless of their actual location, i.e. Turkey, Iraq, or
Syria, while simultaneously it silently supports ISIL, not just in neighboring countries, but
throughout the Muslim world and Europe, by feeding their terrorist movement with members of its
In an article published in the G2 Bulletin on October 29, 2014, under the title, “Turkish
President Gathers Power to Fulfill Islamic ‘Caliphate’ Vision. Angling for Constitutional Change to
Maintain Authority”, Joseph Farah describes Erdogan’s political maneuvering as having only one
thing in mind: grabbing and holding power and desiring the scepter of the Islamic Caliphate.
Erdogan wants to become the next Caliph. This is the reason behind Erdogan’s new Presidential
Palace. Erdogan aims at declaring the formation of a new more glorious Caliphate on the same
day that the Turkish National Assembly abolished the previous Caliphate 100 years earlier, i.e.
March 3, 2024 making himself the next Caliph.
Nevertheless, with the Caliphate old glory along with the old Ottoman language
(Osmanlıca), must come the language that Ottoman Caliphs used to speak. Such a notion has been
overtly expressed when President Erdogan expressed his views stating, “There are people who do
not wish Ottoman to be taught and learned,” Erdogan told a meeting of Turkey’s religious council.
“Regardless of whether they want it or not, Ottoman will be taught and learnt in this country.”132
One would assume what Erdogan meant is that the Osmanlıca should be taught just as in Greece
courses of ancient Greek or Latin were taught before 1980.
Osmanlıca had problems even at the time it was spoken. It had problems with its
vocabulary, grammar and most of all script. Introducing the same language one century later
would be a real challenge to all Turkic speakers. After the invasion of Persia, Turks lost almost
70% of their original vocabulary to mostly Persian and Arabic through Islam. Turks using an
alphabet that phonetically did not suit their language forced a segment of Eastern Orthodox Turks
who lived in the region of Karaman to use a modified Greek alphabet in order to write their
religious books. Such Turks were the Karamanlı who, although they spoke a dialect of Ottoman
Turkish, used Greek script.
Turkey’s aim is world domination through any means. Since it cannot dominate the world
in a political sense, it can succeed in a religious sense. Even though Turkey would not be able to
militarily intervene in order to save the religious rights of the Islamic Ummah, the mere fact that it
would be the seat of the Caliphate would give it the moral and religious right to intervene in the
domestic affairs of each and every country in which even one Muslim lives. It started in Cyprus
and Greece and the rest of Europe will be next and that with the help of the materialization of the
Caliphate with Ankara as its seat.
Since the Schengen Agreement was signed, all Turkish governments implement with
religious devoutness the Ozal Doctrine,
The uncontrolled f1ow of illegal immigrants has multiple dangers for Greek national
security because 1) it can destabilize social cohesion through demographic denaturation. 2)
it encourages the spread of organized crime and terrorist networks. As an illegal
immigrant, a high level operative of Al-Qaeda passed the Greek border and was arrested by
the Greek authorities since he tried with forged documents to receive political asylum.133
At present, Turkey indeed destabilizes Greece using illegal migrants as the physical destabilizing
factor in the country in order to hit the already battered economy by creating a humanitarian crisis
and creating appalling and unsafe conditions in various regions of Greece. Consequently, these
conditions generate fear among the inhabitants and tourists. Simultaneously, Turkey, the instigator
of Greece’s destabilization, projects itself as the power that can take care of all the ills that Greece
is incapable of solving. Such an attitude reminds us of the mafia that after its hoods destroy one’s
property, it presents itself as the protector, for a fee of course. In this case, Turkey wants to offer
more than just “protection” to Greece.134
But the issue is graver and more widespread. According to the Mayor of the city of Kos,
island of Kos, “more than 250 people arrive from Turkey daily. They damage the boats so that the
Greek Coast Guard will rescue them. Most of the illegal migrants who arrive in our country are
wealthy. They possess very expensive mobile telephones with GPS and go straight to the police
station.”135 That means that the illegal migrants are more organized than people think. It seems
that they are being sent to Greece and from there to Western Europe. If manipulated right, these
migrants could constitute means of destabilization, not only to Greece, but also to Europe as
dormant as they seem at this point. This is the Ozal Doctrine at work.
Therefore, illegal migrants pass from Turkey into Greece by land or by sea, aided by the
Turkish authorities while the EU is silent. The fact that Turkey keeps violating relevant
agreements that impose on it the burden of controlling the exit of migrants on to European Union
territory does not bother any EU country except Greece. Turkey is non-cooperative even when
proof exists that Turkish authorities assisted Turk smugglers arrested by the Greek authorities
along with illegal migrants.
Even members of the U.S. Congress side with the villain against Greece. One of them is
Senator Dan Coats, Republican from Indiana who refused to release a Senate Resolution on the
194 Anniversary of Greek Independence from the Ottoman State, on the principle that he disliked
a statement by a Greek Minister regarding illegal migrants. Thus, by his deed he insulted the
memory of the Greeks who fought and died for Greece’s independence in 1821 after 400 years
under the Ottoman yoke. The truth is that the Senator’s “principle” stopped there. The Senator
somehow muffled the fact that Greece faces a humanitarian catastrophe because of Turkey and
Turkey’s deliberate failure to honor its own signature.
“When Americans died because Turkey refused to let us use our military base in Incirlik,
Turkey to invade Iraq, Greece came to our rescue with their base at Souda Bay in Crete,
Greece. Greece is one of only seven countries in the world that has been our ally in every
international conflict in the 20th Century — it has always come to our rescue. In recent
years, thousands of our ships and planes and hundreds of thousands of American military
men and women involved in the Middle East have desperately needed Greece’s Souda Bay
base, that Greece has graciously given it to us.136
While this is what Turkey and its paid “guns” and especially its present President wants to
see happen, the reality is that Turkey is not a homogenous country in ethnic nor in religious terms.
A declaration of independence by the Iraqi region of Kurdistan will open the gates of hell. A war
between Turkey and the new state of Kurdistan with Turkey provoking the war, assisted by its
Washington lobby, is not out of the question. No matter what, once Kurdistan gains independence,
the region with the same name within Turkey will demand union with the independent country or
at least autonomy. In a pragmatic sense, Turkey’s territorial integrity is already in question to the
point that we might see the country as it was on the map of the Treaty of Severs, at least at its
eastern regions. A Turkey of zero problems is becoming a Turkey with zero friends.
In the meantime, Turkey tries to abstain from getting actively involved in the internal
Islamic strife in hope that at the end, after the two camps are exhausted, it will come up as the
“honest” broker in magnanimity of the new Caliphate. No harm, no foul! The question that all
people should raise is whether the new Caliphate is going to continue the legacy of ISIL such as
beheadings, crucifixions, stoning, burying people alive, or even using their dai in order to
proselytize all those who in the mind of the “great” Caliph are infidels?
The Turk Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu while addressing the provincial congress of his
ruling Justice and Development Party in Kurdish-dominated Diyarbakır stated, “Turkey wants a
Middle East that is home to Turks, Kurds, Arabs”. Obviously, the Middle East of his dream
excludes all other ethnic groups such as Jews, Assyrians, Greeks, and a few other ethnicities and
religions whose Middle East is their home for thousands of years. He continued, “Turkish,
Kurdish and Zaza braves will be together everywhere again. Hopefully, this brotherhood will
become eternal,” and “Turkey would continue representing Islam, with the crescent on its flag”.137
It is not that Turkey’s flag would or would not have the crescent on it; it is that Davutoglu spoke as
if only Muslims live in Turkey.
Turkey, NATO and the Kurds
The cornerstone of NATO’s unity rests on Article 5 as complemented by article 6 of the
Washington Treaty of April 4, 1949, the Charter of NATO. Any NATO country has the right to
invoke it expecting the support of all members. After September 11, 2001, the United States was
the object of brutal terrorist attacks she invoked article 5 and 6 of the NATO Charter. The
Strategic Concept of April 24, 1999 considered that “Alliance security interests can be affected by
other risks of a wider nature, including acts of terrorism, sabotage and organised crime, and by the
disruption of the flow of vital resources”. 138 Thus, NATO engaged “actively in the fight against
terrorism, launch its first operations outside the Euro-Atlantic area and begin a far-reaching
transformation of its capabilities”.139 Because of Turkey’s invocation of articles 5 and 6, NATO
has an obligation to defend its member against terrorism in accordance with the Final
Communiqué of the Ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Reykjavik, dated
May 14, 2002.140
One must always distinguish the three Kurdish factions in the area. While the PKK is
considered a terrorist organization due to its illegal activities within Turkish territory, the
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) operates within Iraqi territory. The Syrian Kurds aka the
People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), operate in northeastern
Syria which as of 2014 is considered an autonomous part of Syrian Kurdistan. The Syrian
Kurdistan consists of the cantons of Cizîrê, Kobanê and Efrîn. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or
PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê) is considered a terrorist organization because of its illegal
activities within Turkey.
The designation of PKK as a terrorist organization internationally stands on an ambivalent
footing for a number of reasons. Although the EU as involved in terrorist acts, individuals
member countries accept it as representing the views of an ethnic group and allow offices within
their borders. The European Court ordered the Union to take PKK from its terrorist list since it had
failed to offer the proper justification for such an action. But the EU is not a defense organization
with an obligation to intervene on the side of members in trouble.
For as long as Turkey defends itself from PKK forces within its own territory, it is within
its legal rights to do so. Things are nebulous if or when the Turkish military attacks bases of the
KRG and YPG in Iraq or Syria because in Turkey’s opinion they are actually members of the PKK
staged outside Turkey, but operate within its boundaries. The other account is that PKK is based
in Iraq and Syria, but operates in Turkey.
The following diagram discloses the relations between Turkey on one hand and PKK,
YPG, KRG and the Islamic State on the other.141
The strategic culture of Turkey is one of insecurity, pervasive distrust for its own ethnic
minorities and allies, and risk avoidance. Such culture is the result of a series historical events that
molded the population of the republic.
Two periods in the history of the Turkish nation are considered the reasons for Turkeys’
a. The history of the Great Ottoman State in its zenith (1453 – 1566) diametrically
contrasting its decline from 1828 to 1908 as the result of interference in the internal
affairs of the Empire by foreign powers, and
b. The causes of Turkey’s defeat in WW I and its subsequent fragmentation until the
victory of Kemal Ataturk’s troops in the Battle of Dumlupınar on August 30, 1922,
have immensely contributed to the psychological makeup of the modern Turkish state. Honor,
glory and power are three beliefs imbedded in each Turk through controlled education as the father
of Modern Turkish Nationalism Ziya Gokalp molded and as Kemal Ataturk modified it. No doubt,
Ziya Gökalp was the ideologist of present day nationalism.
The Turkish Republic from its inception enjoyed the deliriousness of a sweetness of an
ethnic melting pot that boils down inherited from the Ottoman Empire, and being in a
pathogenic dizziness not for one moment thought that something could change. Free
movement of people and the information age brought the sweetness to an end and now
Turkey started tasting the bitterness of its own pekmez. In my opinion, Turkey is trying
very hard to treat the symptom while doing nothing to cure the disease.142
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https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/truman-doctrine, accessed April 22, 2015.
3 Truman Doctrine, President Harry S. Truman’s Address before a Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947. URL:
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/trudoc.asp, accessed April 22, 2015.
4 Valerio De Divitiis, “Considerations over Factors Empowering Radicalization in the European Union” in
Perspectives on Immigration and Terrorism , by Giovanni Maria Ruggiero, Sandra Sassaroli, et.al, Eds. 160.
(Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2011), 58.
5 Strategic culture refers to widely shared normative beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences as they pertain to a
country’s foreign relations. It is the psychological personality of a country.
6 Robert Atkinson, “Toward a Consciousness of Oneness”, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Issue Nine, April 2011,
https://www.noetic.org/noetic/issue-nine-april/toward-oneness/, March 25, 2015.
7 Jane Onyanga – Omara, “Turkey angry at pope after ‘genocide’ remarks”, USA TODA Y, April 12, 2015.
8 Treaty Collection, UN, Chapter XXIII Signatory States.
ang=en accessed April 14, 2015.
9 Violation of Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949, articles 13, 14.
10 Violation of Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949,
articles 34 and Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces
in the Field, 12 August 1949. Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949 and
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 12
August 1949, article 3.
11 Violation of Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949,
12William Hung, “The Transmission of the Book Known as the Secret History of the Mongols,” Harvard Journal of
Asiatic Studies , Vol. 14, No. 3/4 (December 1951), 433-492.
13 Gök or Kök.
14 Kultegin Memorial Complex, Türik Bitig https://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=15&m=1.
15 Denis Sinor, Inner Asia: history-civilization-languages : a syllabus , Routledge, 1997, 26. Contacts had already
begun in 545 A.D. between the so-called “blacksmith-slave” Türk and certain of the small petty kingdom of north
16 馬長壽 , 突厥人和突厥汗國 , 上海人民出版社 , 1957, (Ma Changshou, Turks and Turkic Khanate , Shanghai
People’s Publishing House), 10-11. 陳豐祥 , 余英時 , 《中國通史》 , 五南圖書出版股份有限公司 , 2002 (Chen
Fengxiang, Yu Ying-shih, Chinese history , Southern Book Publishing Co # five., Ltd. Chen Fengxiang, Yu Yingshi,
General history of China ), 155. Gao Yang, The Origin of the Turks and the Turkish Khanate , X. Türk Tarih Kongresi:
Ankara 22 – 26 Eylül 1986, Kongreye Sunulan Bildiriler , V. Cilt, Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1991, 731.
Burhan Oğuz, Türkiye halkının kültür k.kenleri: Giriş, beslenme teknikleri, İstanbul Matbaası, 1976, 147. «Demirci
köle» olmaktan kurtulup reisleri Bumin’e.
17 “Tumen” is used for expressing 10,000 and “Bum” is used for expressing 100,000 in Secret History of the Mongols ,
per Larry Moses, “Legend by the numbers: The Symbolism of Numbers in the ‘Secret History of the Mongols'”, Asian
folklore studies , Vol. 55-56, Nanzan University Institute of Anthropology, 1996, 95.
18 Georg Hüsing, Völkerschichten in Iran , Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 46 (1916), 199.
19 The toponym Turan appears three times in chapter two, once in chapter four, six times in chapter five, three times in
chapter seven, 15 times in chapter eight, 16 times in chapter nine, 11 times in chapter ten, 15 times in chapter 11, eight
times in chapter 12, 11 times in chapter 13, five times in chapter 14, seven times in chapter 15, five times 16, and once
in chapter 17.
20 Clifford Edmund Bosworth, “Barbarian Incursions: The Coming of the Turks into the Islamic World .” In Islamic
Civilization , Edited by D. S. Richards, (Oxford, 1973), 2; Tadeusz Kowalski, Vladimir Minorsky, Turan.
21 Clifford Edmund Bosworth, “Barbarian Incursions: The Coming of the Turks into the Islamic World .” In Islamic
Civilization , Edited by D. S. Richards, (Oxford, 1973), 2; Tadeusz Kowalski, Vladimir Minorsky, Turan.
22 Niyazi Berkes, “Ziya Gökalp: His Contribution to Turkish Nationalism” Middle East Journal, 8, 4 (Autumn, 1954),
375-390, VI, 390. Middle East Institute: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4322635 (accessed: March 14, 2012).
23 Miroslava Darnadyová, “Comparison of the Use of Mythology in the Works of Ziya Gökalp and Mehmet Emin
Yurdakul, Considering Their Contribution to National Identity Building”, Institute of Oriental Studies , Slovak
Academy of Sciences, ASIAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES, 75, 2006, 2, 167 -184.
24 Ziya Gökalp, The Principles of Turkism , Ankara, 1920, trans. Robert Devereux, Leiden, 1968, 12.
25 Ziya Gökalp, The Principles of Turkism , Ankara, 1920, trans. Robert Devereux, Leiden, 1968, 13.
26 Ziya Gökalp, The Principles of Turkism , Ankara, 1920, trans. Robert Devereux, Leiden, 1968, 15.
27 Quoted in Jacob M. Landau, Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation (Indiana University Press; 2nd
Revised, Updated edition (November 22, 1995), 38.
28 ‘Historical materialism and sociological idealism’, Ankara, 8 March 1923, quoted in Berkes, Turkish Nationalism
and Western Civilisation, p. 65.
29 Ziya Gökalp, “My Nationality,” Kü.ük Mecnua No 28, Diyarbakir, 1923, quoted in Berkes, Turkish Nationalism
and Western Civilization, p. 44.
30 Ziya Gokalp, The Principles of Turkism , Translation by Robert Devereux, (Netherlands: E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1968),
31 Ziya in Arabic means light. Originally, Ziya used the name Gökalp as his pen name, which comprises of two words:
gök meaning sky, blue and the old Turkish word alp for brave, hero.
32 Ziya Gokalp, The Principles of Turkism , Trans by Robert Devereux, (Netherlands: E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1968), 49.
33 Ziya Gökalp, “The Principles of Turkism,” Ankara, 1920, trans. Robert Devereux, Leiden, 1968, 11-15.
34 Kemal Ataturk, Speech in the National Assembly, quoted in “Ataturk ve Kürt Sorunu” (Ataturk and the Kurdish
Question), Saçak No 39, April 1987. – Translation is mine.
35 Uriel Heyd’s Foundations of Turkish Nationalism, The Life and Teachings of Ziya Gökalp , (London: Luzac &
Company Ltd and the Harvill Press Ltd, 1950).
36 Ziya Gökalp, The Principles of Turkism , Ankara, 1920, trans. Robert Devereux, Leiden, 1968, Preface XI.
37 Türküm, doğruyum, .alışkanım. İlkem, kü.üklerimi korumak, büyüklerimi saymak, yurdumu, milletimi, .zümden .ok
sevmektir. .lküm, yükselmek, ileri gitmektir. Ey büyük Ataturk! A.tığın yolda, g.sterdiğin hedefe durmadan
yürüyeceğime ant i.erim. Varlığım Türk varlığına armağan olsun. Ne mutlu Türküm diyene!
38 Official Gasette: https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2013/10/20131008-12.htm, accessed August 8, 2014.
39 Elif Shafak.
40 During the 1897 war with Greece, the poet Mehmet Emin Yurdakul (1869–1944) published his Turkçe Siirleri. What
is interesting about this poem not as an Ottoman, but as a Turk. The title of the poem was “Anadoludan bir ses yahut
Cenge giderken” (‘A Voice from Anatolia, or Going to War‘). Published in Geoffrey Lewis, The Turkish Language
Reform: A catastrophic success (Oxford, 1999), 18.
41 İlköğretim sosyal bilgiler 5, 12.
42 İlköğretim sosyal bilgiler 5, 21
43 Mehmet Ö zel, 2000’li yıllara girerken Türk ordusu (Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı, 1999).
44 Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, Millî Savunma Bakanlığı , https://www.msb.gov.tr/anasayfa/phpscr/anasayfa.html. Accessed
September 12, 2014.
45 Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, Millî Savunma Bakanlığı , https://www.msb.gov.tr/anasayfa/phpscr/anasayfa.html. Accessed
September 12, 2014.
46 Global Security https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/tu-tsk.htm accessed September 12, 2014.
47 Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı, Genelkurmay Başkanları ( Turkish Armed Forces General Staff,
Chiefs of Staff).
48 BBC News, April 28, 2007. BBC News , https://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/6602775.stm, accessed on
September 15, 2014.
49 Excerpts of Turkish army statement published by BBC News on April 28, 2007. BBC News ,
https://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/6602775.stm, accessed on September 15, 2014.
50 The signatories are Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions Beyond The Seas, India,
Greece, Japan, Romania, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Yugoslavia. Considering that UK’s dominion
countries along with the heirs of the USSR and Yugoslavia we are talking about 20-25 countries in all.
51 LORAN C, Mediterranean Sea; Aegean Sea and the Sea of Crete, 54151, Mercator Projection Scale 1:1,000,000, at
Latitude 36o 15’, prepared by the British admiralty. National Geospatial -Intelligence Agency (NGA) – Defense
Mapping Agency, 1988.
52 Türkiye Seyir Hidrografi ve Oşinografi Dairesi Başkanlığı (Turkish Department of Navigation, Hydrography and
Oceanography), Mercator projection, scale 1:1,200,000 at latitude 42o 30’, 55001, 1982.
53 “Under keel clearance” (UKC) means the minimum clearance available between the deepest point on the ves sel and
the bottom in still water. However, Dynamic Under Keel Clearance (DUKC) integrates real time measurement of
tides and waves with modeled vessel motions to maximize port efficiency and safety. Such measurements include
predicted tide height, channel depth which includes static draft in sea water, gross under keel clearance (i.e. allowance
for tide level variations, squat allowance, heel allowance, static draft allowance and change in density, survey and
siltation allowance, and maneuverability margin [i.e. wave response allowance, bottom clearance]).
54 Turkish Straits Vessel Traffic Service Centers (VTSC) regulation for navigation through Turkish Straits
(Dardanelles Strait – Marmara Sea – Bosphorus Strait). https://issshipping.
accessed September 23, 2014.
55 Bosporus Strait News, https://www.bosphorusstrait.com/the-bosporus-strait/incidents/ accessed September 21, 2014.
56 This portion is excerpted from the research paper of This portion is excerpted from the research paper of Marcus A.
Templar, “Turkey: Causes of Instability: Tasting the Bitter Pekmez”, November 23, 2007.
57 Charles Warren Hostler “The Turks of Central Asia (Praeger; Rev Upd Su edition (1993 ), 14.
58 İlber Ortaylı, Osmanlı Barışı (Ottoman Peace) (İstanbul: Timaş Yayınları, 2007), 148.
59 Remark: Minorities with * such as Greeks (Christian), German, Uigur, and Jews live solely in towns. Source for
this information is: Author, Peter Andrews; Cartographer, Horst Pohlmann, “Tübingen Atlas of the Near East
(TAVO)” (A VIII 14 Republic of Turkey – Rural Ethnic Minorities (Eastern part), p. 82, 30081030607133; A VIII 14
Republic of Turkey – Rural Ethnic Minorities (Western part), p. 83, 30081030607158) (Tübingen: Published by the
Special Research Project 19, October 1987).
60 Although the actual dead were 46, those alive had their lives ruined by Bulgarian revolutionary socialists and the
Turkish Troops of Hilmi Pasha.
61 Nikola Kirov – Majski (Никола Киров –Майски), Крушово и Борбите му за Свобода (София : Стопанско
Развитие, 1935), 18.
62 George Horton, The Blight of Asia (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1926), 6-7. The population that Horton refers in
the massacre of Macedonia is “Macedonians”. However, Bulga rian and Greek sources of that period clearly state that
the victims were Greeks. Macedonians according to Missirkov were all inhabitants of the geographic area of
Macedonia regardless of ethnicity, faith or gender.
63 “Istanbul, The largest Kurdish city” TimeTurk, March 25, 2010.
https://www.timeturk.com/tr/2010/03/25/en-buyuk-kurt-sehri-istanbul.html#.VDNMY7l0zIU accessed October6, 2014.
64 Sandra Mackey “The reckoning: Iraq and the legacy of Saddam” (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2002),
65 This portion is excerpted from the research paper of Marcus A. Templar, “Turkey: Causes of Instability: Tasting the
Bitter Pekmez”, November 23, 2007.
66 This portion is excerpted from the research paper of This portion is excerpted from the research paper of Marcus A.
Templar, “Turkey: Causes of Instability: Tasting the Bitter Pekmez”, November 23, 2007.
67 Anna Andreou, ““Δεν υπάρχει Κουρδικό”, λέει ο Ταγίπ και βάζει φωτιές στην Τουρκία”, March 16, 2015,
https://mignatiou.com/2015/03/den-iparchi-kourdiko-lei-o-tagip-ke-vazi-foties-stin-tourkia/ accessed March 16, 2015.
68 “I am a perfect Alevi if Alevism means loving Caliph Ali, Erdoğan says”, Sunday’s Zaman, July 18, 2013.
321159.html (accessed November 23, 2014).
69 Tord Olsson, Elisabeth Özdalga, Catharina Raudvere, Alevi Identity : Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives,
Vol 8. (Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute, 1998), passim.
70 Interview with Hikmet Yıldırım in Tord Olsson, Elisabeth Özdalga, Catharina Raudvere, Alevi Identity: Cultural,
Religious and Social Perspectives, Vol 8. (Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute, 1998), 52.
71 “Kurdistan Alevi Union” in German journal, Züflika.r, No 9, November 1995, 21.
72 Ashura. It is three-day fast that take place on the 9th , 10th , 11th of the Muslim month of Muharram commemorating
the death of Ali’ six -month old grandson in the battle of Karbala (680 AD).
73 Hızır fast ıs a three -day fast that honors Khidr or al-Khidr who in the Quran is a mystical figure, a righteous servant
of God possessing great wisdom or mystic knowledge. He has been identified sometimes as Elijah, but also with St.
George. In the Balkans, the day of Khidr is celebrated annually on May 6, which according to old Calendar is the day
of St. George (April 23).
74 Kadı, (Arabic qāḍī) is an Islamic law – Sharia – judge.
75 Ali Haydar Cilasun, Alevilik bir sır değildir (Ceylan Ofset, 1995), 19.
76 Moojan Momen, An Introduction to Shi’i Islam . (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), 39, 183.
77 Raymond Ibrahim, “How Taqiyya Alters Islam’s Rules of War Defeating Jihadist Terrorism”, Middle East
Quarterly, Winter 2010, Volume 17: Number 1, 3-13.
78 The Qur’an refers as People of the Book or dhimmi (protected) to followers of monotheistic Abrahamic religions
that are older than Islam. This includes all Christians, all Children of Israel (including Jews, Karaites and Samaritans),
and Sabians. Zoroastrianism although eschatologically similar to Christianity and Islam and recognizes life after death
(Heaven, Hell), it is recognized as a protected religion only in Iran.
79 David Zeidan, “The Alevi of Anatolia”, Angelfire , December 1995.
https://www.angelfire.com/az/rescon/ALEVI.html (accessed November 23, 2014).
80 Soner Cagaptay, The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty-First Century’s First Muslim Power (Potomac Books, 2014), 90.
81 Ira Marvin Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge Univ Press, 1988), 308.
Tord Olsson, Elisabeth Ozdalga, Catharina Raudvere, Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives.
82 Turkey Alevi Kurd population, Wikipedia,
April 25, 2015.
83 Economist, November 2006.
84 Chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Özkök’s speech on Annual Assessment of Issues at the Headquarters of the
Military Academies Command (April 20, 2005).
85 According to the Turkish Constitution, which the military drafted after the coup of 1982.
86 Burak Pekindil, “Turkey: The ‘Great Muslim Democracy’”, Gatestone Institute, October 25, 2014
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4807/turkey-muslim-democracy, accessed March 13, 2015.
87 ISIL or ISIS (Da’ith in Arabic, are acronyms that derive from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The word
Levant translated from the Arabic word Sham denotes the geographical area, not the political, of Syria, Lebanon and
88 Mark E. Stout, Jesica M. Huckabey and others, eds. The Terrorist Perspectives Project. Strategic and operational
views of al-Qaida and Associated Movements (Annapolis: Naval Intitule Press, 2008), 11.
89 “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong
and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them
are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Surat ‘ li `Imrān (Family of Imran):110]. The Arabic
version is below with the words ummatin wahidat or one nation in red (stress is mine).
90 Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, 73 in Stephen J.
Flanagan and James A. Schear, Startegic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda (Washington, DC: INSS,
2008), 350 n8.
91 Ammar Yasir had practiced Taqqiyah, as did Muhammad bin Musalimah” Lughaat al-Hadeeth, Alphabet ‘Tay’
92 Reports, “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on CBS 60 Minutes”, American Orthodox Institute, December 21,
2009. https://www.aoiusa.org/blog/ecumenical-patriarch-bartholomew-on-cbs-60-minutes-text-and-video/ accessed
September 20, 2014.
93 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5eP2BDfL-s (accessed November 9, 2014).
94 “Syrian regime, ISIL secret partners”, Today’s Zaman, January 09, 2014.
https://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_syrian-regime-isil-secret-partners-says-turkish-fm-Davutoğlu _ 336175.html
(Accessed November 12, 2014).
95 The Channel Isles are close to 50 small isles some of the inhabited and some of them are uninhabited and rocky.
They are all off the Coast of France.
96 The Åland Islands or Ahvenanmaa are located off the coast of Sweden, they are inhabited by ethnic Swedish, but
they belong to Finland.
97 These countries are consist of either complex of islands or their territories extend to a number of islands (insular
shelf): Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Finland, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Madagascar,
Haiti, Jamaica, now Russia, the Solomon Islands, Aruba, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Fiji, the United Kingdom, the
United States, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, The Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, New Guinea- Papua, et.al.
98 Jenny Xie, “ Turkish President is Really Pleased With His New $350M House”, Curbed National, October 31, 2014,
https://curbed.com/archives/2014/10/31/turkey-new-presidential-palace-Erdoğan -photos.php (Accessed October 31,
99 Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers – (Oxford: Oxford University Press, July 29, 1993), 30.
100 The Qur’an alone calls for killing infidels or apostates 109 times; here are some of the chapters (surahs) and verses:
2:244, 2:216, 3:56, 3:151, 4:74, 4:76, 4:89, 4:95, 4:104, 5:33, 8:12, 8:15, 8:57, 8:67, 8:59-60, 8:65, 9:5,
9:14, 9:20, 9:29, 9:30, 9:38-39, 9:41, 9:42, 9:73, 9:88, 9:111, 9:123, 17:16, 18:65-81, 21:44, 25:52, 33:60-62,
3:167, 5:51-52, 47:3-4, 47:35, 48:17, 48:29, 61:4, 61:9, 61:10-12, 66:9. The Qur’an also calls for jihad 164 times: K
002:178-179, 190-191, 193-194, 216-218, 244; 003:121-126, 140-143, 146, 152-158, 165-167,169, 172-173, 195;
004:071-072, 074-077, 084, 089-091, 094-095,100-104; 005:033, 035, 082; 008:001, 005, 007, 009-010, 012, 015-
017, 039-048,057-060, 065-075; 009:005, 012-014, 016, 019-020, 024-026, 029,036, 038-039, 041, 044, 052, 073,
081, 083,086, 088, 092, 111, 120, 122-123; 016:110; 022:039, 058, 078; 024:053, 055; 025:052; 029:006, 069;
033:015, 018, 020, 023, 025-027, 050; 042:039; 047:004, 020, 035; 048:015-024; 049:015; 059:002, 005-008, 014;
060:009; 061:004, 011, 013; 063:004; 064:014; 066:009; 073:020; 076:008. The Hadith or Tradition calls for killing
infidels or apostates in Abu Dawud 14:2526, Abu Dawud 14:2527, Bukhari 52:177, Bukhari 52:256, Bukhari 52:65,
Bukhari 52:220, Bukhari 8:387, Bukhari 52:73, Bukhari 11:626, Bukhari 1:35, Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484, Ibn
Ishaq/Hisham 990, Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992, Muslim 1:33, Muslim 1:30, Muslim 1:149) Muslim 20:4645, Muslim
20:4696, Muslim 19:4321-4323, Muslim 19:4294, Saifur Rahman: The Sealed Nectar p. 227-228, Tabari 7:97, Tabari
9:69, Tabari 17:187.
101 Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers – (Oxford: Oxford University Press, July 29, 1993), 8.
102 John L. Donohue, John L. Esposito, eds, Islam in Transition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 79.
103 Sufism defined by scholars as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam; others contend that it is a perennial
philosophy of existence that pre-dates religion, the expression of which flowered within the Islamic religion. See
104 Ijtihad ( اجتھاد† = diligence). It is an Islamic legal term that means “independent reasoning” or “the utmost effort an
individual can put forth in an activity.”
105 Dai (Dayi) is one who invites people to attempts to convert people to Islam. The invitation or “call” to Islam is
known as dawah. In modern Islam, many Muslim groups around the world actively engage in dawah.
106 IkhwanWeb , “32,000 Muslim Brothers Detained Under Old Regime Emergency Law”, June 2,2012.
https://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=30044, March 19, 2015.
107 Robert Satloff, “Egypt after the Revolt: Prospects for Post –Mubarak Egypt: An Early Assessment”, April 18th
2011, Washington Institute, The Cutting Edge,
https://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=51828&pageid=13&pagename=Analysis, accessed March 19,
108 Quoted in Manfred B. Halpern, The politics of Social change in the Middle East and North Africa , (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1963), 147.
109 Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library, The Avalon Project, “The Covenant of the Islamic Resis tance
Movement, 18 August 1988”. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp , accessed March 10, 2015.
110 Eman Nabih, “The link between Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL” https://www.emannabih.com/the -link-betweenmuslim-
brotherhood-and-ISIL/ accessed March 13, 2015.
111 Abd al-aziz Ibn Saraya Al-Hilli so-called “Safi al –Din” is one of the great Shiite poets in the AD 14th century
(seventh century AH). The meaning of the colors derive from a poem The black was the color of the banner of
Muhammad; white was used by the Umayyad Caliphate; green was used by the Fatimid Caliphate; and red was the
flag held by the Khawarij.
112 Michael Curtis, “ISIL, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and Western delusions”, The Commentator,
https://www.thecommentator.com/article/5182/ISIL_hamas_muslim_brotherhood_and_western_delusions, accessed on
March 14, 2015.
113 Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II before the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, 10 March 2015.
The roots of King Abdullah II Hashem according to the Royal website “re ach back to the Prophet Abraham and his
son, Ishmael. In the 5th century AD, an Arab leader named Qusai Bin Kilab, of the tribe of Quraysh, descendants of
Ishmael, assumed power in the city of Mecca. The Hashemites of Jordan are thus direct descendants of the Prophet
through his daughter, Fatima, and her husband, Ali”.
114 Fulya Atacan, “Explaining Religious Politics at the Crossroad: AKP-SP”, Turkish Studies, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2005,
115 Ali Çarkŏğlu, Barry Rubin, Religion and politics in Turkey (New York: Routledge, 2006) 63.
116 Ali Çarkŏğlu, Barry Rubin, Religion and politics in Turkey (New York: Routledge, 2006), 64.
117 Zachary Shore, “Where next?” New York Times , July 15, 2005.
https://www.nytimes.co5m/2005/07/14/opinion/14iht-edshore.html?_r=2& Accessed March 8, 2015.
118 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the 12th and current President of Turkey, in office since 2014.
119 Abdullah Gül served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003, and concurrently served as both Deputy
Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister between 2003 and 2007. Between 2007 and 2014, he served as the 11th
President of Turkey.
120 Bülent Arınç served as the 22nd Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey from 2002 to 2007. He is one of the State
Ministers of Turkey and Vice-Prime Minister.
121 Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmuş was born in Ünye (Greek Οἰνὀη) district of Ordu (Greek Κοτύορα) Province. His
grandfather was a major in the Turkish army who fought in the Turkish War of Independence.
122 Cemil Çiçek, current Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey since 4 July 2011. He served as the Deputy Prime
Minister of Turkey and Justice and Development Party Member of Parliament. He was formerly Minister of Justice
and government spokesman.
123 Zachary Shore, “Where next?” New York Times , July 15, 2005. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/14/opinion/14ihtedshore.
html?_r=2& Accessed March 8, 2015.
124 Mohamed Abdel Kader, “Turkey’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood”, Al-Arabiya Institute for Studies ,
October 29, 2013.
125 Jonathan Schanzer “ Turkey’s Secret Proxy War in Libya?”, March 17, 2015, The National Interest,
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/turkeys-secret-proxy-war-libya-12430 Accessed March 18, 2015.
126 Al-Monitor, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/fr/contents/articles/originals/2015/01/turkey-syria-intelligenceservice-
shipping-weapons.html# accessed March 18, 2015.
127 Michael Curtis, “ISIL, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and Western delusions”, The Commentator,
https://www.thecommentator.com/article/5182/ISIL_hamas_muslim_brotherhood_and_western_delusions, accessed on
March 14, 2015.
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