Turkey’s Erdogan in the Shadows of the Ottoman Empire

Through his efforts to implement a police state and restore the Ottoman Empire, President Erdogan of Turkey has squandered his once-strong position as a regional leader, argues Alon Ben-Meir.

By Alon Ben-Meir

It is difficult to fathom why Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who embarked on the most impressive social, political, and economic reforms during his first ten years in office – turned around and systematically destroyed all that he had achieved. In doing so, he transformed the country into a police state where Islamic nationalism reigns supreme.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 20, 2016. declares a state of emergency for three months with the goal of eliminating his internal enemies. (Turkish government photo)

It is no secret that Erdogan is an ambitious man who aspires to become the leader of the Sunni Muslim world and dreams of restoring the “glory” of the Ottoman Empire. He is sparing no efforts to extend Turkey’s wings over countries that he can manipulate and exploit in the Middle East and the Caucasus. Even a cursory review of his actions at home and abroad unmistakably shows that there is a pattern to his madness to resurrect not only images but the influence of the vanished Ottoman Empire that died disgracefully in the wake of World War I.

The Ottoman Empire will always be remembered by its last infamous chapter—the genocide of the Armenian people. Thus, when Erdogan recounts the presumed splendor of the Ottoman era, it should have a chilling effect on any country with which Erdogan seeks active bilateral relations, because there are always sinister intentions behind his overtures.

To expand his regional influence, Erdogan has followed the footprint of the Ottomans by first taking extraordinary coercive measures to consolidate his absolute powers at home. Following the July 2016 failed military coup, he ruthlessly cracked down on his real and perceived political adversaries, including anyone suspected of having an affiliation with his arch enemy Fethullah Gülen, whom he accused of being behind the coup.

Erdogan took control over the civilian and government institutions by repeatedly extending the state emergency laws. Instead of continuing to promote freedoms and human rights to encourage creativity and competitiveness, he is choking the Turkish people’s natural resourcefulness and ability to excel.

With little or no opposition at home, Erdogan moved to promote his Ottoman penchant to establish military bases in Qatar and Somalia, and military ties with Tunisia. Now he is scheming to build another military installation on the strategically located Sudanese Island of Suakin. Erdogan intends to utilize the island as a military outpost, as it had been during the Ottoman era.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia believe that Erdogan’s military adventure will upset the regional balance of power, which is the recipe for instability and incessant violence. Thus, instead of alleviating the plight of the nearly 20 million Turks under the poverty line, Erdogan is spending billions on his foreign exploits. To seize on the chaotic conditions in Syria, Erdogan decided to undertake a military offensive to crush the Syrian Democratic Force (YPG), which he accuses of being supportive of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), against whom he has been fighting a war of insurgency for 34 years.

Although he asserts that his purpose is the elimination of all terrorist elements to protect his people, his real objective is to establish a permanent foot-hold in Syria, which was ruled by the Ottomans.  He also aims to maintain the support of his nationalistic constituency, demonstrate that he is independent and free to use his military as he sees fit, and most importantly, to prevent the Syrian Kurds from cementing their autonomous rule.

Hence, instead of solving the conflict with his own Kurdish community, which merely seeks to preserve their culture, he invades Syria under false pretenses to secure his other objectives which are consistent with his Ottoman vision.

In the Balkans, Turkey is systematically entrenching itself by increasing its commercial and cultural presence which is evocative of Ottoman rule. In Albania, Turkey is building the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline through the country to supply gas to Europe, and a Turkish consortium is looking to build the nation’s second airport.

He is also investing in Kosovo’s infrastructure, building its only international airport, and managing the country’s energy. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is assisting the Balkan and Caucasian countries in the fields of industry, agriculture, infrastructure, finance, healthcare, and education.

In addition, Erdogan is blatantly interfering in other neighboring countries – including Afghanistan, Albania, Georgia, and Kosovo – and exerting inordinate pressure on their governments to close all schools affiliated with the Gülen movement. To do this, he is threatening to use his economic and political levers against these countries unless they fire and replace the teachers with others who subscribe to his religious Islamist orientation.

Rather than investing in infrastructure, housing, education, and healthcare in the Southeast (Turkey’s poorest region), he is financing foreign projects aimed at influencing and preserving cultural heritage dating back to the Ottoman Empire, further solidifying Turkey’s regional outreach.

Although theoretically Turkey still seeks membership in the EU, the accession process is basically frozen, and Erdogan certainly prefers to leave it that way because he is not willing to reverse course and reinstate freedom of the press and human rights, conditions on which the EU insists before discussing accession in earnest.

Thus, instead of making Turkey a model of Islamic democracy that meets the principal requirements of the EU, he transformed Turkey into an authoritarian Islamic state that resembles the Ottoman governing style. Turkey’s role in NATO appears to be increasingly waning as Erdogan continues to gravitate toward Russia, which is considered the West’s staunchest adversary. Recently, he reached an agreement with Moscow to buy the S-400 Air Defense System, and to cooperate in building three nuclear plants – though for civilian purposes they could easily be converted to nuclear weapons production.

This development severely erodes Turkey’s reliability as a NATO member and as a Western ally, which renders inexplicable the West’s willingness to tolerate Erdogan’s growing adventurism and autocracy by pointing to Turkey’s geostrategic importance. Instead, punitive action should be considered to stop him from further destabilizing the region because of his ill-fated aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire and satisfy his lust for ever more power.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. His website is www.alonben-meir.com.

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60 comments for “Turkey’s Erdogan in the Shadows of the Ottoman Empire

  1. Deniz
    February 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Perhaps you missed this news story, there was a coup attempt on Erdogan’s and his family’s life in July of 2016; Wikipedia is your friend.

    • An observer
      February 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      The author actually mentioned the 2016 coup in passing, but otherwise many of the arguments in the article could be said about the US (or other countries with adventurous foreign policies):
      “XXX is blatantly interfering in other neighboring countries… exerting inordinate pressure on their governments to [subscribe to his position]. To do this, he is threatening to use his economic and political levers against these countries”
      “Rather than investing in infrastructure, housing, education, and healthcare in [poor regions], he is financing foreign projects aimed at influencing and preserving cultural heritage dating back to [an imagined glorious past]”
      “[other countries] believe that XXX’s military adventure will upset the regional balance of power, which is the recipe for instability and incessant violence. Thus, instead of alleviating the plight of the nearly 20 million [citizens] under the poverty line, XXX is spending billions on his foreign exploits.”

      • Jefferson
        February 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        the only difference is that XXXXX is NOT an islamo-fascist seeking to impose a cult on the rest of the world

        • Sangeetaa
          February 2, 2018 at 4:34 am

          Right – it’s an old fashioned Christo-fascist empire seeking to impose a weird twisted form of so-called democracy that keeps leaving the demos itself increasingly bewildered and bereft of self determination. Let’s not go down the road of balancing one genocidal empire against another and pretend this somehow answers the pressing concerns of humanity writ large. Also recommend not trying to count crimes or body counts of said crimes. You never know the Islamo-fascists might come out (much to their chagrin) as the less effective mass murderers.

        • February 2, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          Ah, there’s the real story. Erdogan, alias ‘the 21st century Hitler’ is an Islamofascist who plots to ‘impose’ his ‘cult’ on ‘the rest of the world.’ excellent hot button words if one is a propagandist. The fact that Turkey, which has no interest in the absurd notion of recreating the medieval Ottoman Empire, lives in a very dangerous neighborhood, and is currently pushing back hard against the real adventurist power, the USA, which is trying to establish a mortal threat on Erdogan’s southern flank.

          • February 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

            Exactly.
            This guy should be writing for Zionism Today, not Consortium.
            He’s an obvious hack, pushing agendas in a way that is transparent to one reading with open eyes.

    • Jefferson
      February 1, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Have you ever thought that your proud leader and Sultan may have organized the coup? Also, the neo-ottoman strategy started well before the coup, how do you explain that?

      • Deniz
        February 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm

        Most of the Turkish people believe that it was sponsored abroad. I realize that it is difficult to fathom that the Turks know more about their own country than Americans, who seem to have difficulty finding it on a map.

        I also appreciate that it is about all about the bad Islamo – fascist cult, vs the good Judaeo Christian fascist cult.

        • Jim
          February 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          “Most of the Turkish people believe that it was sponsored abroad”
          Well it’s because the turkish people are under the effect of their governement propaganda,
          which let’s admit it, did a good job to brainwash its audience. And the others turks,
          who did not agree with their sultan propaganda, are labelled as terrorists, and end up jailed.
          In my case, and like Jefferson I think the coup was done by Erdogan and its AKP in order to get rid of his enemies.
          Look who is beneficing the most from that coup, and it’s Erdogan.

          • Deniz
            February 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

            Other than slurring the intelligence of Turkish people, what evidence do you have to support your position?

            To put it in perspective, Cheney, another extremely Machevillian politician, benefited enormously from 9/11. Is that conclusive evidence that he orchestrated 9/11? There are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of Cheney, but Cheney, taking advantage of a political crisis is really not enough to condemn him.

            Finally, you seem to know a thing or two about Turkey, use your imagination, are there any other global players who would benefit greatly from getting rid of Erdogan? Why are you so certain in the elimination of all other possibilities? I am not sure it is only the Turks who suffer from brainwashing.

          • February 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm

            i very much agree…erdogan accomplished the destruction of his political and military enemies in 3 months, with the “coup attempt”…that otherwise may have taken him decades,,,if at all…to accomplish

          • February 1, 2018 at 10:27 pm

            i also believe this “coup attempt” runs deeper than erdogan himself…i believe he agreed to its arrangement,,,

            who else would benefit from Erdogan helping to destabilize Syria ,in particular, as well as destabilizing the entire region, in general?

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            February 2, 2018 at 7:48 am

            How the coup attempt came about and what is happening in Turkey is of course important. A balanced account based on facts would be most welcome. This propaganda article is substandard and stated beliefs are of little value, unless substantiated.
            The coup attempt on July 15, 2016, got a strange coverage in media. EU officials reported in the morning that the coup had apparently succeeded. Very little in the way of condemnation of the attempt in Swedish media and I expect in the EU as a whole. I think it was in Russian media that it was hinted that Russian security services warned Erdogan that an assassination group was headed to where he was staying, so he managed to get away. True or not, does anyone know? It seems logical and reasonable to purge the military after such a coup attempt. Especially for a Machiavellian character.

          • February 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

            Ah, Americans are told the truth and the Turks are lied to by their government! Of all the comments, this is the best. And don’t forget Iran is a mortal threat to the US and the Middle East, as per the US/Israel/Saudi truth tellers. I’m still searching the internet for that list of thousands of Americans being killed annually by the pernicious Shias, but congratulations on being chosen poster boy for Drone mentality!

          • February 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

            Senior U.S analyst Jim there with some hard hitting facts he ascertained through in-depth research of his facebook feed. Reporting from the front line, in his parents basement.

        • February 1, 2018 at 9:28 pm

          Or a capitalist cult.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      February 1, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Yes, indeed!
      This article is nothing but propaganda, all pointing in one direction, totally lacking in substantiating references and void of any problematisation.
      I fail to see that it has any value, and say that even given my relative ignorance about Turkey.
      For instance,
      – many countries buy nuclear reactors; is there any reason to believe that Russian reactors or sellers are less reliable than others in terms of the authors fear that they may be used to develop nuclear weapons, or that Turkey is about to do that? Finland is also a country with Russian reactors, btw.
      – Is it likely as stated that the Turkish intention with its war in northern Syria is to reestablish the Ottoman Empire. Really!

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        February 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

        The article is really like any MSM article about Russia from the last few years, only replace Turkey for Russia.

      • Jim
        February 1, 2018 at 7:49 pm

        “and say that even given my relative ignorance about Turkey”
        “Is it likely as stated that the Turkish intention with its war in northern Syria is to reestablish the Ottoman Empire.”
        You are right, you are completely ignorant about Turkey.
        Turkey is currentlt trying to re-etablish the Ottoman Empire, that is a fact.
        The article above, clearly mention the points to look at, if you are still unconvinced, do us a favor
        and do extra researchs about Turkey.

      • Loup-Bouc
        February 2, 2018 at 12:14 am

        Yes. Propaganda. Propaganda of that Zionist government of that illegal, war-criminal, terrorist, Zionist “state.”

        I am amazed by Consortiumnews’s publishing it. Would Robert Parry have countenanced its publication?

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          February 2, 2018 at 2:25 am

          My concern as well

        • February 3, 2018 at 9:51 am

          In a word, no.

  2. Zachary Smith
    February 1, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    In this propaganda piece Dr. Alon Ben-Meir demonstrates some admirable propaganda skills. It’s as if he is leading a tour group through a darkened museum, and as the “guide” is the only person holding a light. A spotlight, in fact, for though most if not all of what he writes is technically true, he points that spotlight at only the features he wants the reader to think about.

    In the first place, why would he be hyperventilating about Erdogan at all? I’d wager it’s because the love affair between Holy Israel and Turkey has fallen apart.

    Israel and Turkey: End of an Alliance
    Jun 5, 2010 by Sandy Tolan
    .
    .
    .
    The Turkish military is a prime client of Israeli technology and hardware. Israel’s defence industry has upgraded Turkish planes and tanks, sold missiles and communications technology. Israel had plans to provide the Turkish military with satellite access and air defence systems. Israel, in other words, has been key to Turkey’s defence modernisation. In return, Israel received space where its air force, navy and army could train, and a relationship with Nato’s second largest military. Defence co-operation extended to training and joint exercises between Israel and Turkey, many of which were held secretly.

    Now that relationship appears all but shattered, owing directly to Israel’s military and diplomatic blunders, and the plummeting opinion of the Jewish state, and the Turkish-Israeli alliance, among Turks of all stripes.

    h**ps://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/blog/israel-and-turkey-end-alliance

    From the essay above:

    The Ottoman Empire will always be remembered by its last infamous chapter—the genocide of the Armenian people.

    This is entirely correct, and will continue to be highlighted/spotlighted by propagandists so long is it is in Israel’s interests to dump on Turkey. There have been a great many other genocides. The one Belgium did in the Congo isn’t of a speck of interest to Israel, of course.

    …it was conservatively estimated that over 10 million Congolese had died. That would be around 50 percent of the Congo’s population, an undoubtedly astounding amount. It is often contested that these estimates are grossly inaccurate and in reality a figure significantly higher than 10 million would be more fitting to account for these gross tragedies.

    The Great Leap Forward deaths in China don’t help with Israel’s propaganda, and I don’t expect to see any discussion of them, either. Heck, back when Iran was a great buddy of Israel, there weren’t any demands that the US smash Iran for the Holy Outhouse nation.

    Spotlight!

    Thus, instead of alleviating the plight of the nearly 20 million Turks under the poverty line, Erdogan is spending billions on his foreign exploits.

    Just like the evil Assad, Erdogan neglects his own people! Out of the spotlight other things are happening, of course.

    Israel Has Highest Poverty Rate in West

    Most poor Israelis are neither Arab nor ultra-Orthodox, shows new report that found poverty in Israel increased last year. Lior Dattel Dec 09, 2015

    The level of poverty in Israel remained the highest in the West last year, with about one in three children living in poverty, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Insurance Institute.

    That’s all you can see on account of the paywall. And it’s not just the Israeli kids.

    50,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel living in poverty, report finds

    1 out of every 5 survivors was forced to choose between food and medication during the past two years, survey finds.

    h**p://www.jpost.com/National-News/50000-Holocaust-survivors-in-Israel-living-in-poverty-report-finds-350178

    The little cesspool milks the hell out of the Holocaust, but doesn’t give a hoot about the actual survivors.

    In addition, Erdogan is blatantly interfering in other neighboring countries – including Afghanistan, Albania, Georgia, and Kosovo – and exerting inordinate pressure on their governments to close all schools affiliated with the Gülen movement. To do this, he is threatening to use his economic and political levers against these countries unless they fire and replace the teachers with others who subscribe to his religious Islamist orientation.

    I’ll say this for Mr. Alon Ben-Meir, he has an awful lot of gall to say this about Turkey when he is “advocating” for the most meddlesome nation in the world. Ditto for this next:

    Thus, instead of making Turkey a model of Islamic democracy that meets the principal requirements of the EU, he transformed Turkey into an authoritarian Islamic state that resembles the Ottoman governing style.

    Spotlight again – Israel is doing the exact same thing – but with a “Jewish” democracy which excludes everybody else.

    Focused Limelight, overflowing chutzpah, and nicely done, too.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Great posting Zachary, and I will add to how I was never a fan of Erdogan even back when he was our ally. What I find a bit suspicious is why all of a sudden are we demonizing this aggressive Turkish leader? Well, would it have anything to do with Erdogan’s bucking the Israeli/Saudi/U.S. coalition? Maybe, ya think? Joe

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      The only place the word “Israel” appears on this entire webpage is in your comments. No “advocacy” of Israel by the author at all.

      I suggest you stop straining at gnats.

      • Zachary Smith
        February 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm

        In turn, I suggest that you dig out the author’s old posts and examine them.

        Writing about an issue intertwined with the crappy little nation without mentioning it isn’t something only Alon Ben-Meir does – it’s actually a rather common technique. Diverting attention by throwing sacks of **** at the fan is usually the goal of essays like this one.

        IMO there is a rather large group of Zionists like Alon Ben-Meir who “elevate” the dingleberry nation by simply confusing/distracting their readers.

      • nazeem
        February 2, 2018 at 11:20 pm

        Ok. But you cant hide the fact that the author is a jew. A jew that hates erdogan clearly serves the interest of israel. Israel is losing business and ally in erdogan. Lol

    • Dave P.
      February 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Joe and Zachary –

      First there was the article on CN last week by Alon Bein-Meir “The Dangerous Erosion of U.S. Leadership”; it was difficult to swallow given the record since the end of Second World War ending with complete annihilation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Since the end of cold war in 1991, you have Yugoslavia, Somalia, Coup in Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen. And Alon Bein-Meir was lamenting about the erosion of this Moral Leadership in his article, and he is teaching at NYU.
      And now this article about Turkey. At least Erodogan has not destroyed the entire societies outside his own Country as we have done. Why does not Professor Alon Bein-Meir talk about Israel, Saudi Arabia, and all those Gulf Monarchies who are oppressing the Shia majorities in their countries.

      Of all the recent U.S. presidents since World War II, only Kennedy and Carter had some feelings to bring about some kind of peaceful coexistence with other countries with different political, social, and economic systems. They had some feelings for the humanity on this Earth. President Carter has been brave to call Israel an Apartheid State. And recently he called U.S. a plutocracy.

      My wife – a Hillary devotee – watches PBS News, CNN, and MSNBC. It is very surreal to watch what has been going on TV for the last week or so about this document Dems are fighting to block its release. I wonder sometimes how this utter intellectual poverty and complete moral corruption of all the institutions of the Nation came about so fast.

      We may not really believe in it, under such conditions destruction of entire humanity may not be far off.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 1, 2018 at 11:01 pm

        I never bought into the idea that all the contributing authors who at times frequent this site had to be on the same page as Robert Parry, but I always relied on Robert Parry to be the truth teller, that he was. So, at this moment in the my participation of consortiumnews I’m playing it by hear, before judging these authors to tightly. Only Dave you making a valid point about Alon Ben-Meir with this article, and his last, as Ben-Meir is missing the focus a bit.

        Dave you speak to how your wife is succumbed by the news and is impressed with Hillary, well the Mainstream of thought is hard to resist, if you are not plugged into an alternative news site, as it is any wonder to where your opinion will end up. Our major news papers, and all of the major cable tv networks, are owned by the huge corporate octopus which has it’s massive tentacles wrapped around every viable news outlet it can grasp to within it’s narrow confines of propaganda distribution. Thank goodness for the TV Land channel, and Game Shows.

        At this moment watching the theater play out with the release of ‘the Memo’ only makes me wonder to what is coming next. I will be surprised if retribution is served, nor will anyone of a high rank go on to suffer any harsh, or even slight consequences for their criminal behavior.

        Always good Dave. Joe

    • Theo
      February 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Yes Zachary I too found this essay a little”strange”. But I want to add a comment about the poor holocaust survivors in Israel. Some time ago I think it was in the nineties,big German corporate companies who used Jews and other prisoners of concentration camps as slaves in their production sites grudgingly created a fund explicitly meant for those holocaust survivors. A few years later a German tv team traveled to Israel to investigate what happened with the money of this fund.They interviewed a few of these survivors who were definitely entitled to benefits from this fund.They were sick and lived in deplorable conditions.They bitterly complained.Most of them got nothing at all from this fund.It turned out that the fund was managed by a posh Jewish law firm in New York who had never been elected as managers.They gave the money to the holocaust museum in Israel to universities in Israel et al.And of course took their share as well.When the holocaust survivors applied for benefits they pestered with absurd demands for documents.They tried to stall them.The interviewees all said they would have preferred that the fund were managed by the German government.

  3. ,
    February 1, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    It’s good to hear comments criticizing this obvious propaganda piece. Just because a piece appears here on CN, doesn’t mean it is above reproach.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      February 1, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      It is chilling that it appears

  4. Annie
    February 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Well, since everyone in the ME is doing it, including the US, why not Erdogan? I think conflating his expansion of power in the ME to creating another Ottoman Empire is being overly dramatic.

    “Although theoretically Turkey still seeks membership in the EU, the accession process is basically frozen, and Erdogan certainly prefers to leave it that way because he is not willing to reverse course and reinstate freedom of the press and human rights, conditions on which the EU insists before discussing accession in earnest.”
    One would think Europe was a model as to how to behave in the world, which seems rather absurd, since they were complicit in our barbaric wars in the ME which gave rise to a lot of the power grabs going on now.

  5. February 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Silk Road made the Ottoman Empire. Oceanic trade ended it. Silk Road is coming back.

    • Sangy
      February 2, 2018 at 4:46 am

      The Great Game is afoot – -again — as it always has been. There is no break in the thread between colonization, the Cold War and the age of American Empire. It’s not that history repeats itself, rather that it’s one long broken record.

  6. February 1, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Although I believe Erdogan is a loose cannon and a scourge on the Turkish nation his most recent rapprochement with Russia should be viewed as a positive thing….but the deal for nuclear plants?!! Hasn’t he heard of wind and solar?

    • Zachary Smith
      February 1, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      …but the deal for nuclear plants?!! Hasn’t he heard of wind and solar?

      Good point. Concentrating on wind and solar means you’re looking for safe and inexpensive energy. Erdogan has dreams of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey has a very bad track record with Russia.

      Given that the Turks have fought and lost 17 wars against Russia since the 15th century….

      I can’t vouch for that number, but I know the losing streak is a long one. So Erdogan is taking a longer view. Kiss and make up with Russia for now. Buy Russian natural gas. Buy Russian S-400 missiles to protect itself from everybody except Russia. (you can bet those missiles won’t work against the Russian Air Force!) Buy Russian nuclear plants to start the process of becoming a nuclear power.

      When you’re after weapons the cost of the nuclear plants and their very high risks doesn’t matter all that much.

    • Dave P.
      February 2, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      BobH –

      Yes, Solar and Wind are the most clean energy sources. We have lot of it in U.S. – both of these. And Western Europe is blessed with lot of Wind Power and some solar too. Russia has lot of wind power. I hope that they will exploit it. But the burgeoning middle class in countries from Egypt, Pakistan, to India and Bangladesh demand A/C in summer when temperature is almost reaches 120 F and in winter when it dips to 35 F in Northern parts. In addition smoke stack industries have moved to those countries. Lot of power is needed to run them. There is simply not enough of these clean energy sources to tap into to meet all the needs. And these countries do not have enough dollars to buy all that gas and oil to run their plants and for home needs. Nuclear energy has to fill up the gap.

      Hydrogen is another clean energy source. Research has been going on for five decades now. Hopefully the scientists will find some solution in the next three or four decades.

      But to have a Green Earth, population control in those countries and strengthening of the U.N. institutions is needed to achieve it. A peaceful coexistence respecting the sovereignty of all countries is sorely needed to accomplish this. Also, the nature of the Capitalism has to be modified to realize Green Earth dreams, and populations educated in all of this.

      Unfortunately we have been going in the opposite direction for a long time now.

      • Zachary Smith
        February 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        And these countries do not have enough dollars to buy all that gas and oil to run their plants and for home needs. Nuclear energy has to fill up the gap.

        I’d estimate that a “poor” nation could purchase 3-5 times as much energy from solar and wind as it could from the same money spent on nuclear power plants. Lots safer, too.

        Some of the near-desert areas are going to become uninhabitable because of changes in the local climate. The population levels there will change all right – people will leave, or they’ll die.

      • February 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm

        Dave P,…I agree with Zachary. It is also my firm belief that there is no “peaceful nuclear”. You are probably aware of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal(1984) where hundreds died in a “chemical accident. The longterm effects of a nuclear accident can be much worse and despite government assurances the security at most nuclear sites is deplorable. Improvements in battery storage are rapidly making solar and wind reliable renewable alternatives(already in use in places like Hawaii). My opinion on nuclear hasn’t changed since i wrote this post last year.
        https://crivellistreetchronicle.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-shellenberger-shill.html

        • Dave P.
          February 3, 2018 at 8:30 pm

          Yes, I do agree with your assessment and of Zachary’s too. Nuclear Power is unsafe, and dangerous. Because of Himalayan mountains barrier, wind energy is simply not available in most parts of India and Pakistan, and In Bangladesh. Solar energy is there in summer, especially in desert ares, and there is a push to exploit it. I think African and ME countries can exploit abundant Solar energy. And South American Countries too.

  7. godenich
    February 2, 2018 at 4:35 am

    The Arabs[1-5], the Umayyad Dynasty[6-10], the Abbasid Dynasty[11-13], and the Ottomans[14-20] may be an interesting study. The dissolution of Yugoslavia destabilized the region to the west of Turkey and the Gulf,Iraq & Syria wars shook up things to the east. I have no idea what Erdogan wants to do (when he’s not allegedly herding refugees, blackmailing the EU, hosting training camps, trading oil and arms), but I bet the Turks just want things to settle down and get back to normal to prepare for possible EU ascension. I really don’t see what the problem is about foreign domestic investment in Kosovo. Trade is usually a good thing (minus contraband).

    Like with the Israelis and Palestinians, I don’t think the US would be an honest broker for the Turks and the Kurds, either. It might just make sense to go home and straighten out the $21 trillion discrepancy in the books while these parties sort things out for themselves. The petrodollar is waning and the need for oil will be diminishing as the West turns up production for new hydrogen markets. That revolution would be a big deal to miss out on. It seems to make no good business sense for taxpayers to throw good money after bad in long and costly overseas military adventures, especially when they’re potential consumer dollars that might otherwise be used in upcoming US domestic markets, e.g. lower taxes via a decentralized form of apt tax[22].

    [1] History of the Arab Peoples | Hourani
    [2] Islam vs Zoroastrianism | Youtube
    [3] The Untold History of Islam Series| Youtube
    [4] 10 Mohammedan Culture & Philosophy – Russell | Youtube
    [5] Islamic and Arabic Civilization – BBC | Youtube
    [6] Golden Age of Islam | Khan Academy
    [7] Succession to Muhammed | Madelung
    [8] The History of the Four Caliphs | Internet Archives
    [9] The Umayyad Route – Documentary film | Youtube
    [10] Why The Umayyads Matter – NYU | Youtube
    [11] Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258)
    [12] Destruction Of Abbasid Caliphate By Mongols | Youtube
    [13] History Of The Abbasid Caliphate | Youtube
    [14] Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923) | Youtube
    [15] Sultan of the Ottoman Empire | Youtube
    [16] The Ottomans – PBS documentary Youtube
    [17] The Caliph Al Jazeera Documentary | Youtube Playlist
    [18] The History of the Ottoman Empire | Youtube
    [19] History of the Ottoman Empire 1801-1913 – Miller | Internet Archives
    [20] History of the Ottoman Turks 1812-1878- Creasy | Internet Archives
    [21] World War I through Arab Eyes 1-3 | Youtube Playlist
    [22] Taxation for the 21ST Century: The Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax | SSRN

  8. February 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

    When I read the article, I had no idea who the author was and others have enlightened me. But before they did the sympathetic mention of the plight of the Kurds caught my attention. We, Israel and some have used the Kurds to weaken states in the region, pushing the Kurdish separatist movement. Because the movement has become increasingly aggressive, that has stiffened the resolve of countries in the region to push back, not to allow a separate autonomous Kurdish nation. It also most probably made Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey see the benefit of joining forces. It is fair to conclude that using ethnic or religious identity as the rationale or a state is a very bad idea for a number of reasons, and restoring the territorial integrity of the countries in the region a good one. I hope they succeed and can reach agreement on borders and relations between them.

  9. ,
    February 2, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Erdogan is simply laying the same ugly game all the world leaders are playing. It is futile to try and pick the worst among them, although the USA is a clear favorite for most evil among them by far.

  10. Blue
    February 2, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    The Armenian “Genocide”, WWI propaganda from the likes of Wellington House, Armenian Nationalists and Christian missionaries. A propaganda, misinformation war not any different from that waged by the West on Libya; Iraq, and Syria today. Its primary purpose was to justify the splitting of the Ottoman Empire in the same way the US and NATO are trying to remake the ME today. Demonize the enemy so imperialists can justify their pillaging of the other.

    It is swallowed whole by the Western World despite that lack of historical evidence. What passes for evidence is hearsay and outrigtht propagnada, exaggeration and misinformation.

    • Deniz
      February 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Well, yes, it is a very one-sided account of what happened, used to justify Western pillaging, completely ignores the mutual responsibility the political leaders of Armenia have for their own people’s destruction, ignores the Kurds role ,and pales in comparison to the successful US genocide on the American Indians, not to mention, the US ongoing genocide du jours in the middle east.

      But, why do you think that Envir Pasha is innocent and Armenians weren’t sent on a brutal death march?

      • Blue
        February 2, 2018 at 3:18 pm

        Where is the evidence? Why do you think he was? Who reports the evidence? And what makes it a “death march”? A propaganda term no different from “barrel bombs”, the Syrians using “Sarin gas” against civilians, Gaddafi “killing his own people”. Emotional language, pure propaganda

        • Deniz
          February 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          Well, I attended a lecture by Dr. Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville, at the Chicago Turkish American Association, who is cited in the gov.tur website highlighting him as an expert on the Turkish side and even he does not say there was no genocide, only that there were many mitigating circumstances, which I have highlighted above. So, if you have some sort of evidence of your position that is not hyperbole, perhaps you can illuminate all of us.

          • Blue
            February 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            I have read some of McCarthy’s books, as well as Armenian “historians”, and none can provide evidence that anything more than the relocation of Armenians from War zones, particularly in the East where the Russians were invading Anatolia with Armenian nationalist support, to other parts of the Empire.

            Of course many died from disease and famine, as did the Muslims and the soldiers accompanying them. That the famine was the result of continuous war since 1912, and an Entente blockade in the Eastern Mediterranean certainly helped.

            The propagandists would have you believe at least 1.5 million Armenians were “massacred”. This number gained prominence in the 60s after the Cyprus conflict to assist in demonizing the Turk. Prior to that, with the exception of one Armenian nationalist in the 30s, the nice propaganda figure of 1 million was the most suggested.

            It is doubtful that the numbers even approached this, certainly most were not massacred. Heck, we do not even know how many Iraqis died in the noughts at the hands of the US and its aliies. Estimates have been from 100,000 to 2 million. Tell, me how these historians and demographers can be so certain of the 1.5 million Armenian dead figure. They can’t of course. Who counted the dead?

            Most Armenians ended up in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt thanks to the British takeover of these areas. Later, armenians left the Adana area with the occupying French as a result of the Turkish victory in their independence war. Many left the North East settling in Russian Armenia with the retreating Russians. All of these living Armenians seemed to have been counted dead because they ended up outside the truncated Ottoman empire at the end of the war.

            I have know doubt that many Armenians were massacred by Muslims, and that many Muslims were massacred by Christians. It was war afterall, and a brutal war waged by all sides. But, as is the case today, we get one side of the picture, that favored by those in power in our societies.

          • Deniz
            February 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm

            All very good points and I appreciate the thoroughness of your answer. However, according to, Dr. Taner Akcan has recently discovered a smoking gun in the form of a letter from a high-level Turkish official, Behaeddin Shakir, for details from the field about the deportations and killings of Armenians in the eastern Turkish region of Anatolia.

            My understanding that the term Genocide itself was specifically written into the UN to target the Turks on Armenian and exclude American killing of native Americans by attorneys representing the US. My perspective is that Western powers participate in genocides quite frequently, but they recuse themselves from any scrutiny and use the word selectively it as a bludgeon adversary.

            No country has the record of killing track record anywhere near the United States, the US just has better lawyers.

          • Zachary Smith
            February 2, 2018 at 11:24 pm

            Deniz, there are a lot of free books available for download at Google Books with contemporary reports of the Armenian Genocide as it was actually happening. The dreadful affair was quite well documented.

            In a past post that “Blue” fellow remarked that he lived in Turkey. This could mean anything. He might be a rightwingnut in the US Air Force. He might be a foreign worker brownnosing the local Turks. And he might be a well-educated Turk himself – and making the proper patriotic noises. For reasons unknown to us, he is definitely rejecting reality.

          • Deniz
            February 3, 2018 at 3:05 am

            If we are determining history by miles of ink spilled, then Putin gave Trump the US presidency.

            “For reasons unknown to us, he is definitely rejecting reality.” I would hardly call it reasons unknown, he is Turkish, just as anyone claiming that Hussein had WMDs is an American.

            .

  11. Zachary Smith
    February 2, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    On my “denier” list I have the “Blue” poster as a “racist troll”. I’m going to amend that to add “bold ignoramus”.

    • Blue
      February 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Perhaps Zachary, you are the racist. Have you ever considered that.

  12. February 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    “The Ottoman Empire will always be remembered by its last infamous chapter—the genocide of the Armenian people. Thus, when Erdogan recounts the presumed splendor of the Ottoman era, it should have a chilling effect on any country with which Erdogan seeks active bilateral relations, because there are always sinister intentions behind his overtures”.

    Please,….. the same could be said for the Bolshevik Jews and their Russian genocide. but no one dares.

  13. godenich
    February 2, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks to Blue, Deniz and Jose for raising and discussing the point on Armenians. I see the point also raised in one of the reviews of Rouhani’s book on Amazon. I found these 2 references that may or may not add more insight[1,2]. I’m adding them to my library for future reference.

    [1] Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story | Henry Morgenthau | 1918 | Librivox & Gutenberg
    [2] Martyred Armenia | Fa’iz Ghusayn| 1916 | Librivox & Gutenberg

    • godenich
      February 2, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      Please forgive me, I meant Hourani’s book.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      February 3, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      I second the thanks to Blue, Denis and José.
      Very interesting!

      Interesting also about the genocide of American Indians discussed in conjunction with the Armenians at the UN.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        February 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        Deniz

Comments are closed.