Erdogan Agenda: Neo-Ottoman ambitions or Pan-Islamist zeal?

 Earlier this month, international news reports in June 2020 showed Turkey was in aggressive news in at least five countries. These accounts focus on the latest invasions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan infiltrating Israel, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Greece.    Meanwhile, for those of us who focus on international religious freedom, religious freedom is out of the question when it comes to Turkey. Permanent worship is not free of any faith until Turkey complies with Islamic practices.


Earlier this month, international news reports in June 2020 showed Turkey was in aggressive news in at least five countries. These accounts focus on the latest invasions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan infiltrating Israel, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Greece.


Meanwhile, for those of us who focus on international religious freedom, religious freedom is out of the question when it comes to Turkey. Permanent worship is not free of any faith until Turkey complies with Islamic practices.

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In Israel, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs released an article on June 15 stating that Turkey was acting as a nonstop to gain influence in the Temple Mount, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas of East Jerusalem.

Author Nadav Shragai explains, "In the second decade of the 21st century, Turkish non-profit organizations - and sometimes the government of Turkey through the government aid agency Tika [Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency] - have brought millions of dollars into various programs. This has increased the influence of Turkey ..."

Temple Mount is also on this list.

“These activities have taken place in Jerusalem many times in the past with the cooperation of ideologically connected activists with the Muslim Brotherhood movement,” Strategi said.
Observers already know what the Muslim Brotherhood and its colleagues think of Jews and Judaism - at Temple Mount and elsewhere.


In Libya, Seth Frantzman reported for the Jerusalem Post on June 20 that Egypt and Turkey could attack Turkey's aggression in the ongoing Libyan civil war. Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia, General Khalifa Haftar. Turkey and Qatar have returned to the GNA.

The National Accord (GNA) government in Tripoli is "a loose association of various groups, some of which are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish support," Frantzmann explained. The GNA is also rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

In Iraq, Turkey recently bombed the Sinjar Mountains, where countless Yazidi refugees have taken refuge. In the FRC's Washington Watch broadcast, Middle Eastern scholar and expert Michael Rubin points out that Erdogan's primary goal is the continued ethnic cleansing of Kurdish groups.

However, Rubin said many Yazidis have returned to live in the Sinjar Mountains, "... liberating refugees, women, and girls returning from Syria from ISIS." They are trying to put their lives together.
"And it is unclear why the Turks are bombing them. This really highlights the development and raises the question of whether Turkey opposes terrorism, and it is clear that they are a religious agenda - an intolerable religious agenda," Rubin said.

In Syria, the Washington Kurdish Institute reported, "In the first days of June 2020, about 20 different human rights organizations signed the Appeticiento, which raises awareness of the crimes committed by much Turkish-backed militias in Afrin, Syria, and is called international intervention."

Everyone knows that the Turks and their militia abused the religious minorities of Afrin.

"In areas under Turkish control," Mascara Watch reported, "after the deadly attack," civilians were subjected to horrific crimes by Turkish forces and Turkish-backed militia. Kurdish towns were bombed and destroyed. ... Hundreds of civilians kidnapped Kurdish and Yazidi women and subjected them to sexual slavery ... "


Thousands of Christians have fled Afrin's attack; There are a few left. Now minorities in northeastern Syria are once again fearful of Turkey's threats.

In Greece, Arabic News reported on June 14, "In the growing neurotic war between Athens and Ankara, bilateral relations have deteriorated. Greek Defense Minister Nikolos Paniagopotoulos recently highlighted 'the country's readiness for military conflict with Turkey'.

Greece opposes Turkish drilling at more than 20 sites in the Mediterranean Sea. More recently, there has been a confrontation between the Greek Navy and the Turkish military escort. Rumors about the impending Turkish invasion of Greece have also not been confirmed.

As in Greece, the historical perspective traces the widespread Turkish killings of Greek and Assyrian Christians in the early 20th century. Although the total number of deaths is unclear, some estimates are over 1 million people.

Even today, Greek Orthodox properties in Turkey are being confiscated and expelled. Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq - Syriac, Protestant, and Orthodox alike - who flee from ISIS to Turkey lose the ability to defend themselves and do not dare to practice their faith. There were kidnappings and murders.

In its most recent report, the US Commission recommended that the U.S. government include Turkey in the US State Department's Special Watchdog List to overturn or tolerate serious violations of religious freedom in accordance with international religious freedom law. 

"" Government officials and politicians continue to make speeches of anti-socialism and hate, and there is no progress in the year to repeal Turkey's blasphemy law. Suffered loss or destruction… ”
The reckless and brutal infiltration of the Erdo-country is thought by some to reflect his vision of a magnificent, neo-Ottoman Empire. Other scholars tend to see his motivation as religiously as seeking pan-Islamist success. Certainly, the two dreams are not mutually exclusive.

Meanwhile, the US government has endured Erdoగాan's widespread human rights violations and excesses. It is time for a reassessment and revision of American policy that is not compromised on behalf of Turkey. It needs to reflect indiscriminate justice and equality - including compromising religious liberty for all.

The author is an internationally recognized expert on religious violence, an award-winning author, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, and a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

She lived in Jerusalem for more than a decade, where she wrote The Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel Christian Sojourner. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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