Western media's claim that President Erdoğan has 'imperial dreams' is very strange, since the Turkish leader has personally been declaring that Turkey is fighting its second war of independence
During a visit to Paris, in a quick look at a bookstore, I was again surprised by the number of publications about Turkey on the shelves. But a monthly publication of Le Figaro on history reflected the main reason lying behind the anti-Turkish position of Western media. In its edition, "le reve imperial des Ottomans: de la prise de Constantinople au coup de force d'Erdogan" (Imperial dream of the Ottomans: From the conquest of Istanbul to the coup of Erdoğan), the monthly referred to the Ottoman Empire's conquest of Constantinople in 1453 as the beginning of Western "anger or frustration" against Turkey in a caricatured way. The dossier on the history of the Ottoman Empire claims, "A l'heure où la Turquie d'Erdogan semble à nouveau tentée par le rêve impérial" (At such a moment, Erdoğan's Turkey is also seen to have imperial dreams).
Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın recently said on a panel that the West has not forgiven Turks for the conquest of Istanbul in a summary that clearly defines the political coordinates of the ongoing animosity toward Turkey in Western media and Western political classes.
The problem with publications like the one above is the West's years-long prejudice against Turkish people. To make the West's opinion of Turkey clearer, I want to point out a funny question that Westerners continued to ask only until a few years ago: "Are Turks still mounting a camel in the country?"
What a question! Just to think that their knowledge of Turkey extends not even that far. Have you heard what orientalism is? Well, what the West has done is just a poor re-copy of orientalism, but nothing less or more. They reveal their ignorance step by step with publications on Turkey or make deliberate propaganda.
Meanwhile, Turks are well aware of the orientalism war, especially in the Justice and Development Party era (AK Party), but they already have a lot on their plate, like fighting regional terrorist groups like Daesh, the PKK or its Syrian wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) on the ground. What is the West doing by way of fighting the global threat of terrorism in the Middle East rather than condemning deadly attacks? I tell you what they do against terror: Supply weapons, send food aid and provide a political basement to legitimize themselves in the global arena for terrorist groups.
Simply put, in Western countries things do not go well, and the West is now the real sick man (as they called the Turks during the last years of the Ottoman Empire). They are aware that the artificial relations between Western countries are fading away and we clearly see the dominoes falling in the EU. No need to mention the increasing degeneration in their countries.
There is lots to say or analyze, but let us remember a famous quote by Albert Einstein and stop judging the West's Turkish dogma: "It is harder to crack prejudice than an atom."
How can President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — who has faced numerous assassination attempts because of his loyalty to his people and his values and has endured the most difficult time over the last decade compared to any other politician — be called a leader with imperial dreams?
And ironically, the Le Figaro Histoire article was published in a country that tries to confront its colonialist past in Algeria and many parts of the African continent.
All the political execution concepts, from dictator to autocrat to sultan, have been used to negatively label President Erdoğan to misguide international public opinion.
But the "imperial dreams" label is a new and very strange "invention" of the Western media, since Turkey's leader has declared many times that Turkey is currently carrying out its second war of liberation as the borders of the country remain subject of a multinational operation. It is no secret that many international actors daydream about the establishment of a Kurdish state along the borders of four neighboring countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The Turkish reflex to protect its unity and territorial integrity is so natural and legitimate that any attempt to define it as an imperial dream only contributes to the efforts of those who want a divided Turkey. The line is that clear and that dangerous.
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