The researcher in political sociology and Turkish and Kurdish affairs Dr. Hoda Rizk evaluated, in an interview with our agency, the Turkish intervention in the Arab region and the project Recep Tayyip Erdogan adopts to revive the glories of the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Rizk confirmed that Erdogan has intervened in Syria and supports the militants, most of them classified on the list of international terrorism currently and are present in Idlib, and said he was afraid of the Kurdish people to get "self-rule" in Syria and the reflection on the situation in Turkey.
* Ruling Arab region for 4 centuries? How did the Ottomans rule the region and what did they do to the Arabs?
On the political level, some countries and some historical political figures in the Arab world tried to gain independence during the Ottoman rule of the region, but they failed because the Ottoman Sultanate has imposed its authority on all administrative joints in the Arab countries, whether in Egypt or Lebanon or Syria or other Arab countries.
Doubtlessly, there are some movements in the Gulf States and other Arab countries against the Ottoman control but failed because the Ottoman Sultanate was militarily strong and had followers who control the region in their favor.
However, it can be said that the decline occurred when the Ottoman Empire began to suffer defeat in the period of technical, military and commercial decline in Western technological development with the industrial revolution. That is to say, the period of 1908 when the Committee of Union and Progress ruled the region, where the military took power and launched a large-scale Turkification campaign simultaneously with a campaign of executions against those who called for nationalism setting the gallows. Therefore, this period can be considered a period of darkness which is the period that harmed the Arab countries and their men.
*What similarities the Ottoman rule and Erdogan's current rule share?
Turkey is trying to intervene in Libya for reasons of interest, and also intervene in Africa to find a place in regional control of the Red Sea.
The loss of the Muslim Brotherhood project in Egypt is a major setback for the Turkish project. For Syria, the Syrian opposition supported by Turkey did not achieve any victory but Turkey was implicated in supporting it without discrimination and training it to overthrow the regime in Syria.
These armed Islamic forces and other factions Turkey supports have been included on the list of terrorism, but much of them are still fighting in Idlib.
* Turkey seeks to penetrate the Arab region, especially in Syria, Libya and Sudan. What are the objectives of the Turkish regime from this incursion?
In his quest for strategic depth, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu launched the idea that Turkey could aspire to a regional role by pursuing a foreign policy that favors regions that were part of the Ottoman Empire stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa and Mesopotamia by employing their social and economic dynamics and reconstructing existing relations were historical and declined during the twentieth century due to the Ataturk emphasis on internal secularization and focus on Turkish nationalism, so he stressed that there is no contradiction between the traditions of the Islamic religion on the one hand and the science of democratization and modernization on the one other hand.
Erdogan was convinced of this issue and he considered that with the uprising that took place in Tunisia and also in Egypt that he could nurture the Muslim Brotherhood in the two regions and that there is a need for change, this change will be an internal change, but sponsored by Turkey. Turkey can return to the region by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey also intervened in Syria and invested in the Arab Spring to strengthen its international relations and try to reaffirm the focus of the United States of America and the European Union through the re-employment role of the regional stability service.
It seems that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was convinced of this role and exercised this role until he hosted a conference in Istanbul for the Libyan opposition. This Libyan opposition was composed of the head of the Libyan movement. It also intervened in this region. At the beginning of the Libyan events, Erdogan denounced NATO intervention, who was in favor of an operation in Libya. Davutoglu then went to Libya and met with the opposition leadership in Benghazi. He considered that Muammar Gaddafi must be replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood. In Tunisia, and he said that he can control the region through the Muslim Brotherhood.
Erdogan is trying hard to invest in the Palestinian cause showing himself a protector of Arab, Islamic world despite dozens of agreements with Israel. How can he exploit the Palestinian cause, what will he gain? Is there real hostility between Turkey and Israel?
Doubtlessly, the Palestinian issue was a target for Turkish President Erdogan because it is one of the cornerstones of the region. He focused on his role and on the role in Palestine as a major Sunni umbrella for the Islamic forces. He said that he holds the banner of moderation and employed this shift in politics, knowing that he was in strategic friendship with Israel, He has been a prominent opponent of Israel's policy toward the Gaza Strip since late 2008 after he recognized Hamas and its right to govern and negotiate.
He also made some moves in which he wants to tell the Palestinian Arabs that he supports the Palestinian cause more than the Arab countries, and Turkey or the AKP envisages that he is the biggest supporter of the Palestinian cause and thus we know that supporting the Palestinian cause turns Recep Tayyip Erdogan into a rival leader of some Arab countries, We must not forget that there are some Arab countries that have given up this role, so Erdogan considers himself the Islamic alternative to the countries that demand the Palestinian right. Everyone knows that the Palestinian cause is central to the Arab world for that day when a Muslim leader stands up and calls for the Palestinian right. He thinks he can condemn countries that do not help the Palestinians or rather want to establish relations with Israel.
Turkey in the Arab Spring appeared to say that I should have a regional role. States must recognize my regional role because I am a strong country. Of course, when Erdogan went to the United Nations, he said that there must be more than five countries in the Security Council. He wanted to say that Turkey is a strong and regional country that can play a big role in the Arab region, especially since he believes that the Arab states are weak and their regimes are undemocratic. Therefore, they were involved in all the wars in the region, but this big project failed in Egypt, Syria and Libya, while in Sudan there is a military council and free forces in the sense that he wants to preserve himself a role in Sudan, but of course he cannot intervene openly because what is going on in Sudan is to come out, although there is an Arab-Arab conflict on the upper hand in the new order.
Recep Tayyip Ardugan is still struggling in these Arab regions and seized Afrin and Jarablus and some other Syrian areas, he is still repaving some roads and reconstructing buildings and spreading his influence in these areas where in the regions of Jarablus the Turkish history is taught, so it can be said that he has not lost hope in Syria yet , and still claims that he is fighting the People's Protection Units and is afraid that the Kurds will get self-rule and in the end believes that if the Kurds got autonomy, this will be reflected on Turkey. We know the incidents that took place in Turkey since 2015 between him and the Democratic Peoples' Party, of course, as well as those between him and the supporters of the PKK and accused them of seeking division, so today Turkey is in Syria and Erdogan is still supporting some armed movements in Idlib based on agreements with the Russians.
What should Arab people do to confront the new Ottoman threat of the AKP?
Turkey is still holding the Ottoman principle and I think that this project failed. This failure started with the defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and June revolution of 2013. Likewise, in Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood did not succeed. In Libya, it still supports the Muslim Brotherhood, but the conflict continues. And so failed Bashir through which Turkey tried to lay its hands on an island and build a military base there, and we do not know the shape of the current relationship with the military council and the Freedom and Change Movement, will Turkey continue the relationship as it was before with Bashir or not?
We can also say that the Turkish situation at home is no longer allowing Erdogan to do his adventures in the Arab countries, because he failed miserably in these countries after his policy towards the Arab world and the Middle East was a policy of zero problems carried by Ahmed Davutoğlu.
There are closed markets in Turkey today and there are countries that are closed and they cannot return as they were unless they left these projects and receded into the Turkish interior, so I say that the project of the new Ottomanization miserably failed and it can only be said that there was an attempt by Turkey to return to the region through the project of the Ottoman caliphate, which was a failure in the past not to mention that it is unreproducible at the different current stage and so differ the countries as well as this ideological project which will not have a place in the 21st century.