Sunday, June 21, 2009

Neo-Ottomanism and Hellenism

Antipodes has written previously about Turkey's ascendant Neo-Ottoman policy and its acceptance amongst a small but growing number of Greeks in Greece and Cyprus. Ardin, a long-running Greek magazine and its sister newspaper publication, Rixi have written extensively on this subject matter in recent years.

Below is a translation of the editorial from the November-December 2008 edition of
Ardin which provides a brief overview of the concept of Neo-Ottomanism and its implementation across the region:
.............[Neo-Ottomanism] is the resurgence of invasive imperial policies from Turkey; and the formation, within the neighboring countries of Turkey, of social and political forces that are prepared to accept and to actively contribute to shaping the Neo-Ottoman framework.

Specifically, in Greece and Cyprus we have documented Neo-Ottomanism (or Phanariotism), in the form of acceptance and allegiance to Turkish expansionism, despite Turkey continuing to occupy northern Cyprus and threatening Greece in the Aegean and Thrace.

The Neo-Ottomanism has its starting point in the invasion of Cyprus in 1974, while it was greatly enhanced by the geopolitical changes in the wider region including: the collapse of the Soviet Union; the disintegration of the Balkans; and the deterioration of the Arab world. This opened a wide gap that facilitated greater Turkish geopolitical influence stretching from the Turkic republics of Central Asia to the Balkans and the Middle East.

The internal factors behind the the consolidation and growth of Neo-Ottomanism was rapid economic growth, inflow of foreign capital and the large population growth of Turkey, which providing a material basis for a Neo-Ottoman policy - together with the strengthening of the armed forces and war industry. In the ideological field, Islamism on an increasingly global scale, has provided the opportunity for Turkey to abandon secular Kemalism and create a new ideological synthesis classified as Islamo-Kemalism.

Thus, a Neo-Ottoman Turkey can use the Islamic dimension in its relations with Islam, the integration of the Kurds and the use of Muslim minorities in the Balkans; and its secular Kemalist dimension in its relations with the West and in joining the European Union.

Greece and Cyprus, and the Kurds in Turkey, are the two main obstacles to the complete implementation of Turkey's Neo-Ottoman strategy. Hence, the need for their subjugation and allegiance using a mixture of methods and tactics. Firstly, the use of violence or threat of violence in Cyprus, the Aegean, Thrace and Kurdistan. Secondly, and in parallel, the ideological integration and acceptance of Neo-Ottomanism amongst the Kurds through the creation of Islamism and Kurdish elites that identify with the Turkish state. And regarding the Greeks in Greece and Cyprus, the integration of an increasing number of economic and intellectual elites, in the Neo-Ottoman Balkan project and the parallel decline of internal Greek resistance.
Source: Ardin (Editorial), Antipodes

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