As Turkey slides closer and closer to the economic precipice, it is worth remembering Erdogan’s promises of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire as the ultimate goal of his rule. By 2023, the hundredth year anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey, Erdogan claimed, would have recaptured the economic power and world-wide reach of the Ottoman Empire in its glory days. Needless to say, this has never been anything but a baseless phantasy, but half of the Turks and many other Muslims believed it to the extent of following Erdogan blindly. It is worth, therefore, revisiting the history of the empire to find out that for most of its existence the Ottoman Empire was a historical anachronism with such glaring systemic weaknesses that it only
‘Fort Trump’ said the Polish president Andrzej Duda, during a White House press conference last week, would be an appropriate name to call the first American military base in Poland. Whether this Polish dream comes to pass or not is yet to be seen, but the strategic rationale behind it is anything but the joke US pundits took it to be. It is, in fact, an incapsulation of the dilemma facing Eastern Europe and with it, NATO and the United States. For barely concealed behind it is a multitude of challenges that must be addressed without delay if a serious crisis in Europe and the alliance is to be avoided. At the bottom of it is the seemingly unavoidable conflict over Muslim immigration. Virtually all of Eastern Europe
The fate of two key elements of Russia’s energy ‘streams’ strategy – the Nord and Turkish streams – will be decided this fall. The Damocles sword is hovering above both, and at any moment the U.S. government could impose sanctions that would immediately terminate both projects. Although such a scenario is probable, it is by no means certain. President Trump remained deliberately vague on the imminence of the sanctions during his recent press conference at the White House with Polish President Duda. US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry recently visited Moscow and, among various topics, discussed the sanctions options with his Russian counterpart as part of a broader, more positive package. Both Nord and Turkish Stream have reached a decisive stage, where action is desperately needed.
Bad news about pedophilia in the Catholic Church knows no end of late. Barely has the furor about documented abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses died down and new indisputable allegations, this time from Germany, hit the news. In the former case, a 900 page grand jury report identifies 1000 children “and thousands more likely” in six of the eight state dioceses to have suffered sexual abuse from some 300 priests over many years. In many cases, these perverts were protected and covered up for by church superiors. In the German case, a new study by the church itself reveals that 3677 people, half of them under 13 years of age, have been sexually abused according to church records. As in the case of Pennsylvania in many of these cases the
“We now need to start the construction of this pipeline in the Black Sea, but we cannot do that until we have Bulgaria’s permission”, said Vladimir Putin on December 1, 2014. “I think it’s clear to everyone that it would be ridiculous to start the construction in the sea, reach the Bulgarian shore and stop. So we are forced to reconsider our participation in this project”, continued president of Russia. It is worth noting that uncertainty about the point of entry has not stopped Mr. Putin from launching the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline. “There are still several questions we need to coordinate: the entry point, the route on Turkish territory and environmental security”, he said to president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone from
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/14/2018. And so by mid-2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved virtually everything he sat out to achieve when he first came to power in 2003. Turkey is now in everything but the name an Islamist dictatorship with Erdogan as the unchallenged leader. Yet, instead of feeling supremely confident, Erdogan and his clique are beset by ineluctable problems and foreboding of disaster down the road. In many ways, this was inevitable and stems from the very nature of the radical transformation of an imperfect democracy into an oppressive tyranny. Disaster for Turkey may not be around the bend, it was thought, but it was inevitable sooner rather than later. The collapse of the Turkish lira last Friday may have signaled that ‘sooner’ is now. To