Turkey in pursuit of stability, West opts for chaos

ISTANBUL
Published 07.11.2014 01:40

After the successive declarations of independence in the countries of the Middle East, whose borders were drawn according to the interests of the winners of World War I, the most profound upheaval experienced by the states of this region occurred during and after the second Gulf war. Instead of aiming at establishing a stable state structure, the governments that ruled Iraq after the first military invasion of the U.S. were occupied with destroying the already-disrupted demographic balance of Iraqi society. As the state structure was monopolized by Sunni groups during the rule of Saddam Hussein, hundreds of thousands of civil and military bureaucrats of Sunni origin were excluded from the new regime that emerged after the U.S. occupation. Indeed, while the right of Sunni democratic politics to live was denied, as was the case with Tariq al-Hashimi, the political stability of Iraq could not have been reconsolidated. The suicide attacks that have been organized either by al-Qaida or by a set of groups with suspicious allegiances have left Iraq open to sectarian strife. The chaos formed in the Sunni triangle that became the center of countrywide conflicts has now become the ground in which the current problems have fermented.

The Arab Spring was an abrupt process of political change that had been enforced by the masses in pursuit of the overthrowing of long-lived dictatorships and the realization of their right to a democratic and humane life. In this context, the established world system, which had long ruled over the region via the iron fists of dictators, was disrupted by the coming to power of elected representatives of the public in Tunisia and Egypt. Indeed, as the Arab Spring refers to the emergence of a strong popular demand for democracy in Muslim-majority countries, the pro-democratic conjecture concluded with the emergence of popular political powers representing the underrated interests of Muslim populations and threatening not only authoritarian regimes, but also the interests of the world system, along with its regional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. Notwithstanding, the Arab Spring could not have substantially shaken the political regime in Saudi Arabia, the main reaction of the Saudi state in the face of the Syrian civil war has been keeping the war within Syrian lands and thus preventing the spread of mayhem in the region. Yet, as Iran considers Syria the forefront of its national security, Syria has become the main region of competition and struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In the context of Syria, Turkey's unique position has been supporting the democratic demands of the Syrian people against the authoritarian regime of Bashar Assad.

During the Syrian civil war, Western powers – primarily the U.S. – have adopted a hesitant attitude. While they were seeking a resolution to the civil war according to the democratic demands of the Syrian people on one hand, they did their best to prolong the war at the same time. This double-crossing hiding behind hesitancy has no aim other than condemning the Muslim world to war, as was the case with the war between Iraq and Iran or the Tunisian civil war.

Turkey is a proclaimed ally of the U.S. and a member of NATO. Yet if recent political events are reconsidered, it would be safe to say that while Turkey assumes a position in favor of the stability of the whole region, the regional policies of Western powers and most primarily the U.S., the U.K. and Israel aim at perpetuating war in the region under the veil of ambiguous and hesitant discourses.

The issue of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has not wholly been clarified. Although the U.S. seems to be fighting ISIS, suspicious claims spread regarding the involvement of American and British hands in forming the core of the organization. Even if those claims turned out to be erroneous, the regional policies and discourses of Western powers lay bare the fact that while the West has been in pursuit of chaos in the region for its own interests, Turkey works for regional stability for its national security. It is, therefore, worthy of commendation that Turkey, through the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), has been abstaining from the war while continuing to play an active role in the Middle East still shaking from the Arab Spring.

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