Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Theocratic Ambitions: What Implications for Cyprus

Revolution of the Mind Series

There is a nasty thorn growing inside the perfumed garden of Europe and releasing its poisonous spores across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it his mission to establish a new Islamic state and do away with secularism.

After the questionable referendum result on April 16, Turkey is about to be transformed forever. Erdogan cannot wait to change the Constitution and name himself as the all-powerful Grand Sultan of Turkey. In opposition to his obsession a massive 50% of the Turkish citizens resist his theocratic ambitions and another attempt to topple him cannot be discounted.

Last year’s failed coup sparked a hidden trait of his to flare up; a trait not seen before! He was so horrified of nearly losing power he behaved like a child terrified someone was about to steal his candy. Now, the world has become his “enemy” and he lashes out at anyone who disagrees with him.

Badly shaken by the experience, he launched a campaign of brutality imprisoning over 170,000 innocent men, women and young people. Undeterred by international condemnation he continues to imprison people and there is no end to it. Paranoid about his illusionary enemies, he has recently fired 13.000 civil servants, police and army officers and academics. With the help of a network of snoopers across the land his paranoia has reached new levels. Meanwhile he cracks down on mass media, free expression, the Internet, Wikipedia and all means of rapid communication but also against those that spread “moral deterioration”.

Notwithstanding, he produced a list of hundreds of Turks living in 40 countries demanding that those “traitors” be arrested and extradited back to motherland and face Turkish justice. His request outraged governments learning that this man was actually using Turkish Embassies in their countries as a network of spying centers against their citizens.

But his paranoia has now gone one step beyond. He plans to bring back the death penalty to legitimize the execution of phantom enemies or anyone who poses a threat to his rule. Listening to him speak in rallies one immediately recognizes that Hitler used similar tactics during his notorious rousing hate speeches.

He branded EU governments as Nazis for not allowing his political campaigns there and in retaliation he imposed sanctions against “Muslim enemies”. Red with fury, he threatened that from now on:

“no European citizen in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets”, and decreed that:“all Muslim families living in Europe to have a minimum of five children per family” and to cause an ethnic flooding of Muslims in Europe.

What kind of mentality is that coming from a world leader of 80 million people that resorts to such dastardly blackmailing tactics? He seems prepared to use all available means at his disposal including the use of Islamic State to establish his Neo-Ottoman empire. Despite Ankara’s objections, Turkey has been accused of harboring IS activities in banking, recruiting of IS fighters, arms procurement, human smuggling and selling pilfered oil by IS and Turkish agents on the black market. If these tyrannical activities persist, chaos will rise out of the ashes of despair and destabilize Turkey and the region for years to come.

One country that’s exposed to Erdogan’s Islamization ambitions is the small island of Cyprus. Strategically located, the Republic of Cyprus with a population of less that 750.000 Greeks and 250,000 mixed ethnic minorities is gravely vulnerable to Erdogan’s whim. He is very unpredictable and he can mobilize his 40.000 occupying Turkish troops stationed on the island at the snap of his fingers. To provoke even further one of his ministers has lately announced that,

“they captured Cyprus shedding blood and they are prepared to give more blood to keep it”.

Erdogan is so unpredictable, that no sooner had the resumption of the Bi-communal talks started but the very next day Ankara sent its seismic vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa to survey for gas in the Exclusive Sea Protection Zone of the Republic of Cyprus. Sea and Air military provocations were also conducted simultaneously using live ammunition as if to say – I am the boss here and you cannot stop me! 

That’s what the Republic is faced with: Turkey’s constant military provocations, and Cyprus is obliged to negotiate under the threat of a gun. Yet, the Cyprus Government refuses to understand that Ankara will not abandon its military trophy. It insists on negotiating with Ankara’s lame puppet Mr. Akinci for a mythical solution knowing very well that Ankara decides and not this man. After so many years of failed talks, the charade continues to no end. It’s as if the Government is incapable or afraid to forge a new defence policy to protect the island from Erdogan’s threats and Islamization plans.

President Trump and world leaders have condemned N. Korea’s missile provocations and showed their readiness to retaliate against this brutal dictator. Yet, when it comes to another dictator and a Menace of the Med  – Sultan Erdogan of Turkey – the best they can do is tolerate his military aggression.

The present “good boy” attitude has to change. If not, there are much darker clouds on the way. Adopting a defiant new foreign policy by terminating the pseudo-negotiations until a better climate develops may be a good place to start. Shutting the crossings would also send a signal to Ankara and to the Turkish Cypriot leadership that the Republic of Cyprus can no longer tolerate the current farce.To ostracize and pressure Turkey politically and economically through the EU would certainly help produce results – 80% of Turkeys exports go to EU markets!

EU-Cyprus can make it very difficult for Turkey economically and politically if it chooses to do so. It has the ability and the means to use its EU membership to its advantage but it demands a strong decisive leadership that Cyprus so far has been short of.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot side continues to play dubious games. It pretends to negotiate for a solution on the basis of a BBF and yet, it makes it abundantly clear that TCs wish fora self-governing separate state under Turkey’s protectorate. They also insist on the right to a veto on all national decision-making processes and further demand that all Turkish illegal settlers be given EU visas as a fast track entry to EU from the back door -typical Ottoman games!

Those demands are not co-incidental but well orchestrated and aim to serve Turkey’s objectives in the Eastern Mediterranean. A separate TC state would provide the legal platform for Ankara to establish a defence dyke for its underbelly. If successful, Ankara would then gain control of the entire region but also assert its influence over the entire island and control its massive gas reserves! It has already claimed that Plot Six located south of the island “belongs to Turkey” and she will defend it militarily at the threat of starting a war against any attempts to drill for gas.

Can the Cyprus government stop Turkey’s bullying tactics, provocations and traps? Under the present policy the answer is – No! That is why Cyprus desperately needs a strong leadership and strong allies. Turkey is not about to give up so easily and there are much greater dangers lurking in the future!

Weather Cyprus likes it or not, it was reported that Turkey aims to flood the island with over one million Muslim settlers in the occupied area. Under EU directives the Republic would be powerless to alter the fate of the island. Erdogan’s objective is to change the demographic character of Cyprus and he is doing it systematically. There are over 400.000 illegal settlers living in the occupied area and its no wonder a string of Mosques are sprouting everywhere including the largest Islamic School there.

At this rate, the fast growing Islamization process will certainly bring about the end of Cyprus as a Hellenic nation. A new EU-Cyprus will be established but certainly not a Hellenic. Cyprus will be transformed forever. What will happen next it’s anyone’s guess!

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Articles by: Andreas C Chrysafis

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