The price of freedom

Published 19.07.2019 20:38
Updated 21.07.2019 00:28

Since the beginning of human history, the question of freedom has always been one of the most formidable pursuits of mankind. While complete freedom is obviously impossible and a reasonable limitation of freedom is itself a healthy measure for the individual enjoyment of freedom in society, the perpetual struggle against slavery and subjection constitutes the main theme in the question of freedom.

In old manuscripts of Islamic philosophy, numerous philosophers and thinkers, such as Ibn Arabi and Al-Farabi, took their inspiration from the human body while they attempted to understand and explain the state. They associated the brain with the center of the state, the limbs with its auxiliary organs and the heart as its sovereign.

It is ironic that present-day discourse on freedom has frequently been abused by colonial powers. While exploiting the rich resources of the African continent, the Western colonial states claimed that they were bringing civilization and freedom to "barbaric" African people.

Apart from colonialism, modern human beings are creatures subjugated by numerous invisible chains. Urban life brings about sophisticated bureaucratic and financial systems that fetter the modern individual. Today, people have truly become contractual slaves.

Following the footsteps of Islamic philosophers and comparing the state to the human body, the concept of freedom on the individual level refers to the concept of independence at the state level.

From the dawn of colonization to the end of World War I, there had been no independent states in the world except the Western states. Beginning with the Spanish and the British empires, the Western colonial states subjugated almost the whole world.

China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Egypt, considered today to be the greatest states of the world in terms of population, were occupied by Western states that shared among themselves the African and the half of the Asian continents. Almost all the Islamic lands were under the yoke of Western colonialism.

Defined by Samuel Huntington as the "Western civil wars," World War II, which was concluded with the deaths of some 85 million, was the direct outcome of World War I. Protesting the unjust sharing of the world among colonial Western states, Nazi Germany and fascist Italy waged war against the winners of the colonial competition.

After the end of World War II, innumerable countries declared their independence thanks to the weakening of Western colonial states. Throughout the 1950s, new independent states entered the world stage.

Yet, this period constituted a transitory phase from an effective to a controlled colonization. Indeed, Western powers continued to rule over these newly independent states implicitly through Western-oriented dictatorships. While a new world order was being established, Western powers introduced a number of monopolies worldwide in the fields of technology, finance, raw materials, media and the military.

Turkey waged its war of independence immediately after the end of World War I. As was repeatedly expressed in the founding texts of the state, the Republic of Turkey was established on the principle of full independence.

In pursuit of economic growth and political democracy, Turkey aligned itself with the Western bloc during the Cold War by becoming a politically strategic and significant member of NATO. When the Cold War ended, however, the international system turned upside down. As old alliances shattered, newly founded alliances continued to change seemingly on a daily basis.

In the context of the Syrian civil war, Turkey witnessed firsthand this dramatic change in international relations. Following deep disappointment, Turkey understood during the Syrian crisis how traditional alliances stood on rotten foundations.

Instead of acting as an ally, Turkey acted as a regional power by deciding not to rely only on one side of the international balance. Turkey sought to improve balanced relations not only with the U.S., but also with Russia, China and Latin American countries. With the S-400 deal, Turkey actively declared the beginning of its multidimensional and multilateral foreign policy.

Ruling the world for 300 years, Western states seem to be disappointed by Turkey's recent move. It is true that freedom has a price. Yet, Turkey shall strive to pull through the ongoing process with as little cost as possible.

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