An Ottoman Empire? – Part 2

TimeWatch Editorial
April 19, 2017

The Free Encyclopedia describes Press TV this way. “Press TV (stylized PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).  IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB's head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country's conservative political faction. Press TV is headquartered in Tehran , and has offices and bureaus around the world, including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip. It bills itself as a third alternative to what it considers to be biased Western media and to Sunni media attached to radical Islamic terror groups; critics consider it a shill for the Iranian regime.”

On Wednesday November 30, 2016 an article was published by the Press TV website entitled, “Turkish President after Reestablishing Ottoman Empire.” Here is how the article opens;

“Catherine Shakdam, director of the Shafaqna Institute for Middle East Studies, told Press TV’s Top 5 that President Erdogan is resorting to interventionist policies in neighboring states to pave the ground for reestablishing the Ottoman Empire. Shakdam said that the recent remarks by the Turkish president on his country’s military presence in Syria shed light on the fact that Erdogan is “an imperialistic president and wants to be an Ottoman ruler.”  “What Turkey seems to want is building an empire in the Middle East and it wants to colonize and annex Syria,” she noted, adding that Ankara “doesn’t care about the Syrian people and what the Syrian people want.” “Turkish President after Reestablishing Ottoman Empire,” Press TV website, November 30, 2016

Notice that the Iranian press is here making the point that the actions taken by President Erdogan indicate that he and his Turkish leadership desire to rebuild and restore the Ottoman Empire. If there is a nation that should be able to identify such a desire it would be the Iranians, after all, there is an article published on February 1, 2015, in the New York Post entitled “The Iranian Dream of a Reborn Persian Empire.” The author of the article was Ralph Peters.  Here is some of what he says:

“Iran is piling one brick on the other. As I’ve warned on Fox News and Charles Krauthammer described — eloquently — in The Washington Post, today’s Iranians, with their Persian heritage, are on the march as surely as were the armies of Xerxes 2,500 years ago. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons matters. It’s a potential strategic disruptor of the first magnitude. But it’s only one aspect of Tehran’s grand design. Iran has established hegemony over western Afghanistan. If the caliphate is rolled back, Iran will control the territory regained. And not just in Iraq. Syria long has been Iran’s client state. Now it’s become a vassal. If the Assad regime survives — which it probably will — Syria, too, will pay tribute to the reborn Persian Empire.” Ralph Peters, “The Iranian Dream of a Reborn Persian Empire,” the New York Post, February 1, 2015

So the Iranians recognize the longing of the Turks to establish a revived Ottoman Empire, while they, Iranians desire to revive the Persian Empire. This profoundly amazing fact is not lost on many today.  Behlul Ozkan, writing in the New York Times on December 7, 2016, says the following:

“Almost a century after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his supporters believe that they can restore the empire’s former glory. Stroll through the streets of any Turkish city and you will see car windows emblazoned with the imperial seals of Ottoman sultans, who are also commemorated in the names of new multibillion-dollar building projects. Mr. Erdogan, the country’s leader for 14 years, is the one chiefly responsible for putting the Ottoman Empire at the center of Turkey’s collective imagination. The Ottoman sultans doubled as the caliphs of the Muslim world, which is not lost on the supporters of Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P. The chairman of the A.K.P.’s youth wing recently declared Mr. Erdogan “president of all the world’s Muslims.” Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Qatar-based cleric associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, similarly regards Turkey’s president as “the hope of all Muslims and of Islam.” Behlul Ozkan, “The Failure of a Neo-Ottoman Foreign Policy,” the New York Times, December 7, 2016

Which is why, it was such a surprise to read in the Guardian Newspaper published on Tuesday 18 April 2017, in an article entitled “Trump congratulates Erdogan after Turkey vote grants sweeping powers” written by Lauren Gambino, the following:

“US president spoke with the Turkish leader Monday following a referendum that has escalated concern over Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian grip. The two leaders also discussed recent developments in Syria, according to the White House. Donald Trump called to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdogan hours after the Turkish president claimed a narrow victory in a contested referendum that will grant him sweeping new powers, according to the White House. International observers monitoring the Turkish referendum concluded in a preliminary report on Monday that the campaign and vote took place in a political environment where the “fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed.” Lauren Gambino, “Trump congratulates Erdogan after Turkey vote grants sweeping powers” the Guardian Newspaper, Tuesday 18 April 2017

Recently, our President’s apparent affinity for authoritarian world leaders has shown itself in his comments, regarding Putin of Russia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and now, Erdogan of Turkey. In contrast his cold interaction with our close Democratic allies like Theresa May of Britain and Angela Merkel of Germany certainly speaks volumes from the heart. As subtle as these changes appear to be, added to the authoritative attitudes already being demonstrated by our present administration, it is rather clear that we do indeed sit on the brink of the voice of the dragon as referred to in Revelation chapter 13 and verse 11.

Readiness must be our preferred condition. We must be focused, we must be diligent.

Cameron A. Bowen

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