In the International arena Turkey is tangled in the following, this is by no means an exhaustive list
- At least paying lip service against the implications of Trumps deal of the century – i.e saying Jerusalem is a red line for us .
- Supporting the United Nations backed govt in Libya against General Khalifah Haftar and the players backing him
- Committing Turkey to fight the Syrian regime if they try to take Idlib so he can avert a flood of refugees coming to the Turkish border and to look strong after the death of Turkish Soldiers
- Challenging the US , on various fronts like S400 deal and the Kurds in Northern Syria and generally being awkward in playing ball with them
- Warning the Greeks against making any move against the Imia Islets
- Putting his foot down by asserting Turkeys right to drill for gas around Cyprus
- Snubbing the Russians by signing military technology deals and a pledge to the tune of $200 million to the Ukrainian army
- Trying to expand Turkish influence into Tunisia, Algeria Sudan and working with may countries deeper in Africa
- Opposing the East Med gas pipeline that is planned from Israel, Cyprus, Greece to supply Europe
- France has sent 2 warships to to support Greece and is irked by Turkey approaches to gain influence in North and other parts of Africa
To engage in such entanglements effectively a state needs to have the following
- A stable basis on the domestic front , whilst Erdogan may have purged the institutions of opponents – true strength does not lie is having loyalty based on personality – rather it is loyalty to the mission which is based on ideological principles. What is the mission that Erdogan is embarked upon , is it to build a Turkish empire with objective to enrich the Turkish economy? Or is it built on sentimentality of being an empire in the past only this time secular not Islamic ?
- Domestically Turkish society is divided between secularists, nationalists and the traditionally Islamicaly oriented. To have a strong base to conduct foreign policy initiatives, the society needs to be ideological, with Turkey being composed largely of Muslims this ideology needs to be Islam. Yet we see no sign of that expressing it self openly or government policies. We see watery efforts like increasing Imam Khatip schools, tweaks to the curriculum, or increasing the price of alcohol without banning it. There is nothing that signals that society has taken onboard Islam as the basis of all it’s affairs, domestically and internationally.
- Whilst its encouraging to see that a country in the Muslim world is attempting engage in the International arena on its own terms. This looks to be a false dawn for Muslims. True revival occurs only when the society itself embraces an ideology , bases its viewpoint towards its interests not just on economics but the vision set by Muhammad (saw) to spread Islam to the World.
- To be a truly strong player on the international arena, depends not only on your military and industries but upon your ideology. There is no stronger ideology than Islam and if Erdogan and the people of Turkey want to take the lead amongst the Muslim ummah they have to embrace this fact in order to be truly revived and restore dignity to the Ummah.