The ‘neo-Ottoman’ invader

Three weeks ago, a ship loaded with weapons was seized at the Libyan port of Khoms. It was coming from Istanbul. The story became evidence of the malicious Turkish role in this devastated country, in connection with Libyan terrorists and their presence in the entire Maghreb.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu tried to cover up the incident, but Turkey has been caught red-handed in this crime.

The preliminary results of a probe into what happened revealed that the huge arms and ammunition shipment seized at Khoms was imported by private companies that specialized in “importing food.” The Libyan Customs Service announced that the officer investigating the Turkish weapons shipment, had survived an assassination attempt.

Brigadier General Ahmad al-Mismari, the spokesman of the Libyan Armed Forces, accused agents of Turkey inside Libya, of executing the assassination. 

Turkish audacity, Western silence 

A strange Turkish audacity and even stranger Western silence followed, which made Brigadier General al-Mismari demand that the UN Security Council should promptly investigate the matter.

We are facing a blatant financing and arming of terrorist militias that kill and slaughter hundreds, or even thousands of people, not just one person, who Erdogan gave us unconvincing humane lectures about.

During a press conference with the Moroccan foreign minister, his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry clearly said that Turkey, along with Qatar, is contributing to creating a Libyan civil war and reinforcing terrorists there, meaning through money, weapons and the media.

Does Erdogan’s Turkey, which is on the cusp of an economic slump, has internal security issues and faces strategic challenges in Syria, really have the luxury to dream of a huge, new Ottoman-style state?

Mashari Althaydi



This reckless Turkish behavior can be understood through looking at the illusion that inhabits the minds of New Turkey’s leaders; who are brandishing a form of “neo-Ottomanism.” There are dangerous indicators that point to the existence of this illusion.

Among them is the major Turkish desire to return Ottomanism to the Balkans once again, as proposed by The Guardian, in a report on Turkish attempts to court Kosovo with investments and advocacy – building an Ottoman-style mosque in the capital of Pristina.

While it had been six years without construction work beginning on Pristina’s central mosque, Turkey’s new “assertive foreign policy” aims to now build the mosque “that will closely resemble the hundreds built across the Balkans under Turkish rule – only much larger,” according to the newspaper. Of course, this has struck a sour note with many Muslims in Kosovo who were against Turkish invasion in the Ottoman era.

A widely-known Turkish political trend seeks to revive the Ottoman State in a new version, as former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu predicted would be achieved by 2023.

Also resonating is a sentence said by Erdogan when he visited Kosovo in 2013: “Turkey is Kosovo, and Kosovo is Turkey.”

Does Erdogan’s Turkey, which is on the cusp of an economic slump, has internal security issues and faces strategic challenges in Syria, really have the luxury to dream of a huge, new Ottoman-style state?

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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