Turkey as inheritor of Ottoman legacy

Published 29.04.2016 23:39

A book by the famous philosopher Sezai Karakoç is titled "The Call of Our Fate." The book's subject is not directly related with the topic of this article, but Karakoç makes a remarkable statement in the introduction to the book: "The people of Anatolia liked the Ottoman sultans and their governance, and they identified with their sultans. Whatever is necessary for people to love their governors was available in the Ottoman regime, such as Ottoman justice, the defense of Islam and the fate of Muslims, and the struggle against the disbelievers.

"This is why the people of Anatolia devoted themselves to every leader who emerged after the foundation of the republic, but were disappointed each time. They understood that these are not their real leaders, but resemble the western leaders against whom they had struggled for centuries."

Karakoç goes on to describe the ideal leader that the people of Anatolia were expecting. I think of Karakoç's "call" during the days when the concept of a "New Turkey" is being raised.

We Turks, whether we admit it or not, are the remnants of the Ottomans or, as Süleyman Nazif said, "All of us are orphans of this Islamic nation." We will live out this fate in the future, just as our ancestors did in the past. The idea that "we are a very small nation, we must keep our heads under the blanket and ignore what is going on in the world" was not able to survive for more than a couple of decades.Just as Ibn Khaldun said, "Water resembles water, and the future of nations resembles their past," the fate of Turkey calls to her. The mission of the Republic of Turkey is revealed when we observe the cultural hinterlands of the Ottoman world. When I visited Sarajevo and Cairo 10 years ago, I wrote the following: "Any person who will serve in the Turkish state should get on a train and travel throughout the cultural basin of the Ottomans before starting his duty, so that he comprehends what kind of state he is a member."

After the Ottoman state faded from the world stage, Western imperialists took over. Some of the countries that are today independent then rebelled against the Ottomans and cooperated with the British. Other nations and countries cooperated with the Ottomans against Western imperialism, but their fate was to become colonies. Both groups were so misused by Western imperialists that the justice of the Ottomans remains an aspiration and utopia in these lands.

The economic stabilization and growth of Turkey over the last 10 years has made it a successful role model for the Balkans, North Africa, Caucasus and the Middle East. An often-expressed opinion by important political scientists and academics regarding the Arab Spring is as follows: "The Arabs formed their desire for a better future and efforts for living in democracy, taking into consideration the model of Turkey.

Turkey is a country with a great mission. Turkey is the inheritor of the Ottoman's mighty legacy, be it voluntarily or involuntarily. The expectations for Turkey are very high. Turkey is the hope of all those Muslims moaning under cultural enslavement from the West and Russia. Sometimes the fate of a nation is identified with the fate of a leader who contributes to the growth of that nation. The following words of a lady who is a member of an important Greek family in Istanbul regarding Turkey explain recent times: "The Republic of Turkey lives out its fate. Some people think that it is not fate, but Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

All the countries in the Ottoman hinterlands have economic, social and political expectations of Turkey. Turkey's cultural embassies, including the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the Presidency for Turks and Related Communities (YTB) and Yunus Emre Cultural Centers, meet some of these expectations. But where the revival of Turkey is concerned, the efforts of a few people and a handful of organizations are not enough. All of the employees of the state, managers, politicians and non-governmental organizations should adopt the mission of New Turkey with high awareness. Otherwise, we will be smashed under the expectations of African, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Caucasian nations, who we orphaned after World War I. In their eyes, Turkey is great and has a mission. Each of us should have that consciousness.

We should purify ourselves of small interests and adopt the mission of New Turkey, since our fate calls us.

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