SHAFAQNA – Regardless of what anyone may think of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s governing style, or his very Ottomanesque ambitions, it has become evident the head of state sits a pragmatic politician in the face of moving dynamics.
Sitting atop very powerful geopolitical lay lines Turkey has long towered an important pawn in the greater Eurasian-Middle Eastern block – a critical key to the unlocking or exacerbating of conflicting hegemonic ambitions. Today Turkey is defiantly looking East, no longer slave to the attraction western capitals may have once held over a tentatively occidental Turkish nation-state. Mind you, Ankara had to be wrestled into accepting that its future rest not in the hands of its western patrons but in that of the rising axis of resistance, headed by both Russia and Iran.
As Syria continues to regain control over its territories, flushing Wahhabi-inspired militants further out, Turkey had to operate a dramatic political shift, or risk losing its head. The dirty little geopolitical secret nobody wants to speak of for fear to expose western capitals’ alliance to Terror in the name of empire-building and balkanisation, Turkey is nevertheless the “one that got away” and quite literally unravelled America’s war dynamic in the Levant.
One must here pay tribute to the foresight and sheer political wisdom both Russia and Iran demonstrated in forging an alliance that would not only reaffirmed nations’ sovereign territorial rights but anchor people’s intrinsic right to resist tyranny whichever form it may take. A lot can be said of those who chose to stand when standing was in fact most difficult.
Turkey as it were, learnt – if anything else, that for all its imperfections and assumed weaknesses, the Levant had yet to abandon its right to live free under its skies. That, we may do well to remember is the very dynamic that only broke the military impetus of America’s empire, but forced others to rethink their positions within the region.
Without the shot of a firearm, without even any grand military stand-off against its regional rivals, Turkey opened its doors and allow for change to manifest in favour of peace and against Terror.
For the first time since 2011, peace in the Middle East no longer sits a mirage in the distance, it is being conceptualised by a new breed of politicians, under the premise of collaboration as opposed to military diktat.
And though many still view such a change in paradigm as tentatively fragile, one must understand that those very dynamics which allowed for Syria and Iraq to withstand Terror’s assault, as unleashed and architected by the western elite, are anchored in a political system that gravitates around such principles as liberation, sovereign empowerment, justice and pluralism.
Here, one must look beyond western-taught political bias and realise that this pull towards the East is in fact a direct result of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. It was then that a nation sat itself outside the globalist agenda to reclaim its heritage and guidance. Failing to appreciate the role played by Wilayat al-Faqih (the Governance of the Jurist) – as put forward by late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini will only blind analysts to those realities on the ground that will shape the region’s future.
This is not to say that all nations in the Greater Middle East will adopt Iran’s own brand of governance, only that Iran created a space for nation-states to define their political future away from imperialism and globalism.
But back to Turkey!
Turkey here really serves as a cautionary tale against western diktat. If not for President Erdogan’s insistence to serve his “western masters” Turkey would not have seen its borders breached by hordes of ferocious Wahhabi-inspired radicals.
In truth, one could argue that Mr Erdogan bought the mess he finds himself in: playing Terror as an asymmetrical weapon of war against Syria in the name of territorial ambitions and profits ultimately allowed for radicals to infiltrate and corrupt Turkey’s socio-political fabric, thus weakening its seat of government.
There Erdogan was hijacked by his greed.
But reason and cold pragmatism have a way of waking up even the most stubborn of politicians. Mr Erdogan is most definitely awake.
In an interview with Press TV in January 21st, 2017 Gordon Duff, a senior editor at the Veterans Today from Ohio, noted that Turkey is facing several internal and external risks, which have prompted Ankara to change its policies toward the conflict in Syria and other regional issues.
“Turkey is a prone target for external intervention” and it is “vulnerable to colour revolution,” he told Press TV’s Top 5 on Friday night.
That realisation prompted Turkey to change not just its position but its political tone altogether.
Turkey has now acknowledged it can no longer insist that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power as a precondition for peace talks. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said in comments to the press in January that settlement without President Assad is not realistic.
If not out of convictions, Turkey is nevertheless coming to terms with the new reality the Axis of Resistance manifested on the ground in its opposition of Western-sponsored terrorism.
“A failed military coup to overthrow the Turkish government on July 15, 2016 its aftermath as well as recent wave of terrorism taking place in the country have been effective in changing minds of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet towards regional issues including the conflict in Syria,” said Duff.
With Turkey acutely aware that its national interests lie with Russia, Iran and beyond China, the Middle East looks very different indeed than a few months ago.
By Catherine Shakdam, Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies
This article appeared first in the Crescent International