Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Turkey: Erdogan's New Ottoman Region

Map depicting the Ottoman Empire at its greate...Image via WikipediaSo much for all those who fought and died in WW1. For those who are not so sure what this is. It was this Empirre that created WW1 and the pain and suffering of millions of people. The Imam is the a religious ruler to Islam. Eventually, to become a coming Messiah in their eyes and according to the Koran. The exact opposite from what is in the Bible. Otherwise known to many Christians as the Antichrist.
Be sure to read the full article below.
http://www.hudson-ny.org/2259/turkey-erdogan-ottoman-region
Erdogan's recent electoral victory speech puts his true intentions regarding Turkey's foreign policy goals in perspective. He said that this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, under Ottoman times, an important Ottoman city; that his party's victory was as important in a large Turkish city, Izmir, on the Western Anatolian coast, as it is in Damascus, and as important in Istanbul as it is in Jerusalem.
What does all this mean? At the very least, this victory speech signals a wish for Ottoman cultural colonialism and imperialism. The places Erdogan names were all part of by the Ottoman Empire; the territory of the modern Turkish Republic is what remained after World War I and Turkey's War of Independence from the occupying Allied forces. Turkey forms only the central part, and relatively small fraction, of what had been the Ottoman Empire, which at its height extended deep into southern Europe, and included most of today's Arab world and even beyond.
In saying that this victory is as important in all of these former Ottoman cities, Erdogan apparently sees himself as trying to reclaim Turkey's full Ottoman past. In religious terms, the entire reason for being of the Ottoman Empire was to spread the Sunni form of Islam prevalent there. Sunnis, who make up about 85% of the Muslim world, believe that when Mohammed died, the leadership of Islam was passed down through what amounted to the Meccan artistocracy, and not through Mohammed's family -- which is what the Shi'ites believe. The cities Erdogan mentioned are almost all Sunni, with a few non-Sunni ones thrown in.
The Ottomans had two major rivals: the non-Muslim Europeans to the northwest, and the Shi'ite Persian Empire to the east. Although the Ottomans saw each enemy as presenting a different set of problems, they saw their own role in traditional Sunni Muslim terms: Continuing the Jihad, namely the conquest of the non-Muslim world. This requires expanding Sunni rule wherever possible; it also requires forcing non-Muslims to surrender to Sunni Islamic rule. In adopting this policy, the Ottomans were merely following the instructions of virtually every classical Muslim jurist: unending political and military conflict until the entire world submits to Islamic rule.
Shi'ites, as opposed to non-Muslims, have always been seen by Sunnis as an existential threat to Sunnism. Shi'ites, who make up about 12-15% of the Muslim world, believe that the only true rulers of Islam are Mohammed's direct descendants, not merely local "aristocracy," as the Sunnis believe; these rulers they call Imams. For Sunnis, "Imam" is often used just to mean "a preacher at a mosque."
Most Shiites believe that the definitive ruler of Islam was a direct descendant of Mohammed; is known as "The Twelfth Imam," or "The Mahdi" who disappeared in 873 A.D. -- a Messianic figure, whom they believe will return one day to rule the Muslims, just as many Christians believe in the Second Coming of Jesus.
When the Ayatollah Khomeini began ruling Iran in 1979, many Iranians began calling him "Imam' – denoting both "Ruler of the Muslims," and also that they thought he was possibly "The Twelfth Imam," re-emerged, for whom they had been waiting. Khomeini never really addressed this issue, seemingly purposefully leaving unclear his status as the reincarnation of theTwelfth Imam.
Shi'ites are engaged in an unending battle -- very often violent -- to convert others to the "true form of Islam" – theirs. The rulers of the Persian Empire in the 1500s consequently converted to Shi'ism, becoming the mortal Islamic enemy of the Sunni Ottomans; their basic reason for existing was to convert others to the "true form of Islam" – theirs.
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