So Erdoğan doesn’t only support Hamas – they actually belong to the same broader ideological space.
In Germany, Erdoğan’s visit on November 17th caused a kerfuffle.
It was remarkable to see the leaders of the three governing parties and Chancellor Scholz rolling out to welcome him, despite none of the three parties in the coalition actually wanting him to come.
Their argument against the visit: that Erdoğan was showboating as a supporter of Hamas and making provocative statements against Israel and the West.
A couple of points.
Firstly, Erdoğan is part of “political Islam”, a tradition created by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and introduced into Turkey by Necmettin Erbakan, who was Erdoğan’s political mentor.
So Erdoğan not only supports Hamas, he also belongs to the same broader ideological space.
Secondly, Erdoğan saw the Arab Spring of 2010 as an opportunity to position himself as the leader of the Islamic world and supported it as much as he could.
But both he and the Spring failed, leading to strained relations with Egypt, where he supported Morsi. I guess the bitter aftertaste lingered, though.
The conclusion is simple, and at some point, we must understand it. The Americans, the Germans and us.
Erdoğan has no connection with the West and Western civilization, and—entre nous—he has no interest in acquiring one. Politically, culturally and educationally, he belongs to a different world. Good for him, and good for us.
With that clear and out of the way, we are not about to declare war on him for that. If he wants to support Hamas or Islamic Jihad or Fenerbahçe, that’s his problem. What we want is to maintain the peace in our neighborhood.
And that’s the path we should navigate, with the balance dictated by geographic coexistence on one side of the scales and an ill-tempered and boorish neighbor on the other, with whom we are forced to coexist because it benefits us to do so.
The rest is so much nonsense for the armchair strategists in the corner cafes.
There is no ‘solution’ to the Greek-Turkish problem: Turkey has no European future, Europe doesn’t want its company, and no one is counting on Erdoğan to maintain stability in the region.
All we can do is put up with them, as long as they don’t cause us serious problems.
Moreover, the deeper Turkey gets involved with Hamas, jihadists and ayatollahs, the better.
Because it means they have chosen their camp all by themselves, without the need for us to interfere.