Last week, in relation to spiralling the Turkish Lira, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared: “They may have their dollar, we have our God”.
Be it as it may, to understand what is happening in Turkey at present, one must understand who Mr Erdogan is: a 21st century Muhammed Mossadeq of Iran, or Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Both these men, in 1950s, tried to break the hegemony of America over the Middle East, by aligning their countries with (then) Soviet Russia, and both failed miserably.
Mr Erdogan too wanted to achieve the aforementioned goal, namely to end US hegemony in the Middle East, first by uniting all Moslems in the world, most likely under his leadership, (hence building a presidential palace five times bigger than the White House, to symbolise his power); then, go after the US Judea-Christian hegemony in the world.
In the beginning, as long as “hot money”, (cash injections from Qatar), kept flowing in, Mr Erdogan was sitting tight: The Turkish economy was booming, and Mr Erdogan appeared to have created nothing short of a miracle. So, it is against this backdrop, great actor that he is, Mr Erdogan kept playing the role of “Islamic Messiah”, a performance which he successfully sold to Americans as “soft Islam”.
However, soon he was to become too big for his boots. Therefore, like Red Riding Hood, he felt the time had finally come for him to shed his hood and reveal his true identity: the leader of all Moslems in the world and, indeed, of the new World Order – in which there was no seat reserved at the top table for USA. In fact, in Mr Erdogan’s “New World Order” the top table would be occupied only by Russia, China, Iran, India and Turkey.
However, it did not take the Americans long, to realise the “soft Islam” mantel was merely a disguise for Mr Erdogan in order to implement his aforementioned plan. Consequently, first, via Saudis, the Americans declared Qatar a rogue state, thus cutting off Mr Erdogan’s life line. That was followed by sanctions against Iran, thus crippling their economy.
While all this was going on, unable to read the writing in the wall, Mr Erdogan still made no attempt whatsoever to come back to the fold – as in rejoining the West, the road map drawn for Turkey by Kemal Ataturk. Instead, Mr Erdogan became more and more belligerent against the US, now obsessively demanding the extradition of the cleric Fethullah Gulen – a CIA backed “preacher” who, like an Islamic version of Billy Graham, had been programmed to promote “soft Islam”.
Worse still, Mr Erdogan now dreamt of a plot. Not unlike a 1950s spy-swap story, in order to force Washington to extradite Gulen, he jailed an American priest living in Turkey, accusing him to be a CIA agent – which he probably was. However, that hardly was the point. In reality, by jailing a US citizen, a man of the frock, worse still a possible CIA agent, Mr Erdogan was taking on the USA – the same error that Adolf Hitler committed in 1941, which cost him the war.
Not surprisingly, having provoked the American giant, Mr Erdogan immediately ran off to Vladimir Putin for cover, who was only too happy to greet him. So now the $64,000 question is, where do we go from here?
First scenario: Turkey leaves NATO and becomes a post-communist era vassal state to Russia. Then, in due course, Russians would either have him eliminated from the scene, or unceremoniously remove him from power, in order to replace him with their own man. Second scenario: to preempt such a turn of events, US might do exactly the same – somewhat get rid of Mr Erdogan, thus drawing a line under the “Islamic experience” in Turkey.
Time will tell.