Knock knock, it's Turkey

“Belligerents and Participants in World War One: The Ottoman Empire (Turkey)” available at

Geopolitics of the EU n.3

In recent years we have witnessed a renewed Turkish activism on the international arena. Its intervention in the Syrian and Libyan crises, the support given to Azerbaijan against Armenia and the drilling operations off the coasts of Greece and Cyprus have raised the fear in Europe that the long-time NATO ally may soon turn into an enemy. Many resort to the simplistic assumption that the head of the Turkish State, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the main cause both of the country’s interventionism as well as of its authoritarian nature, but this explanation overlooks the big picture, completely ignores Turkey’s history and ultimately fails to address the matter properly. In order to have a better understanding of the current situation let’s take a look at what are Turkey’s intentions, its motives and how Europeans have responded and should respond.

The Ottoman empire is not back, it never left

“The Turkish National Pact of 1920 was intended to give to the newly founded Republic of Turkey more land than what was ultimately agreed” credit to The European Post

Erdogan is an islamist conservative and as such, he has been committed to giving religion a stronger role in Turkish society, disrupting the Republic of Turkey’s historic secularism. This drew accusations from the president’s political opponents of wanting to destroy the legacy of the Republic’s founding father: Mustafa Kemal Pasha, commonly known as “Atatürk” (“Father of the Turks”), who led the nation in the war of independence and laid the foundations of a modern secular state. Notwithstanding the ideological differences, Atatürk and Erdogan as well as their Ottoman predecessors share the same geopolitical goals, as they all used to be in charge of the same geopolitical power. And so as the Sultans expanded the Empire’s territory pushing the borders further away from the Anatolian Peninsula, the very core of the