Mustafa Akyol: Arguments for a New Turkish Hegemony over the Near and Middle East

pfs-2011 Mustafa Akyol, Drawing Borders in the Middle East: Ottoman Provinces v Western State Creations from Sean Gabb on Vimeo.

9 responses to “Mustafa Akyol: Arguments for a New Turkish Hegemony over the Near and Middle East

  1. C H Ingoldby

    Not completely impressed.

    The Ottoman Empire was good, just a little backward and was destroyed by bad Westerners who created bad nationalisms which is the root of all evil in the Middle East.

    Nationalisms are bad, therefore everyone should give up their nation and submit again to a Neo-Ottoman Empire.

    Everything wrong with the Middle East is the fault of the West, all wars in the Middle East are because of how the West drew boundaries after the First World War.

    Clever, but the idea that everything wrong in the Middle East is the fault of the West is very tedious and pathetic and the idea that peoples are spontaneously going to put aside national and cultural rivalries and live happily together in a Turkish/Neo-Ottoman version of the European Union is just to ignore human reality.

  2. Yes, but the Turks this it a very fine idea – and they probably couldn’t be worse than the present order of things.

  3. C H Ingoldby

    At the very least, encouraging more and freer trade in the region can only be a good thing. But I’m not going to be holding my breath waiting for Armenians and Kurds and Allawites and Turks and all the rest to forget their differences and rivalries. The current situation in Syria and Lebanon certainly suggests that would be a suicidal move on the part of any people.

    The reference to a sort of ‘primitive’ European Union was a bit worrying, indicative of a top down approach in which it is decided that nationalisms are backward and harmful and so must be erased. I know a lot of Libertarians dislike the concept of nationalities and think they will whither away but the reality is that people do identify in terms of nationality and all attempts to erase these identities have failed. Think of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

    Better to recognise reality, people identify in terms of nationality. Better to accept and work with that. To find ways for nations to live together peacefully than to try to subsume nations into a these supra national organisations, be they European Unions or Ottoman Empires.

    Still, from a purely Turkish point of view it makes a lot of sense. Build a sphere of influence in one of the most critical and important parts of the world. Geopolitically a very good move.

  4. Oh, I’ve nothing against the principle of nationality

  5. C H Ingoldby

    Indeed, you’re perfectly sensible on the matter. However a large number of Libertarians have an almost Marxist disdain for the very idea of nationality. An ideologically fixed conception that national loyalties are somehow irrational and must be undermined and will with some sort of historical inevitability die away.

    I think that is a major weakness of Libertarian thought.

  6. Depends which libertarians you have in mind. Rothbard, Hoppe, and many others, are perfectly sound.

  7. C H Ingoldby

    When discussing Libertarian principles on various forums there is a very strong strain of thinking that national loyalties are somehow anti-libertartian. This is true particularly with Americans, such as the ‘LewRockwell’ crowd who equate all national identity with State repression and clamour for open borders but I have found that this type of thinking is also significant in British circles.

    I have found that Libertarians have a weakness for a form of the ‘historical inevitability’ idiocy that so misled the Leftists and that when the realities of human nature clash with theories, there is a great reluctance to accept the reality of human nature.

  8. ” . . It is Iran, not Turkey, that may plausibly be seen to be advancing both a coherent Islamist agenda and realistic, rational, long-term plan to establish itself as the region’s economic and diplomatic hegemon. It is Iran’s leadership, not Turkey’s, that in fact knows the region well.

    What the AKP seems to be missing is this: Iran’s emergence as a nuclear state will overturn the entire regional power equilibrium. . . ”

    Claire Berlinski:

  9. Middle Eastern politics may be more deceptive than westerners can realistically deal with.
    It is fairly clear, I think, that Turkey is heading towards totalitarianism. But perhaps that is just my cosy western view of the West, never mind the East.
    Barry Rubin sees a short term horizon that doesn’t look too good: