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Turkey's New Middle Eastern Approach
Turkey's New Middle Eastern Approach

Author(s): Sedat Laçiner
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: USAK (Uluslararası Stratejik Araştırmalar Kurumu)

Summary/Abstract: Ottomans governed the region for 400 years and before the Ottomans there were other Turkish origin groups, such as the Mamluk Dynasty, Aq (Ak) Qoyunlu, Qara (Kara) Qoyunlu Turcoman. Apart from them, many Turks occupied important positions in the Abbasid Dynasty's military and governed Iran, one of the most important countries in the Middle East, for hundreds of years. For example, the spoken language in the Shah Ismail's palace was Turkish, and many of the Iranian shahs were of Turkish origin. Although there were many ethnic groups in the region, Turks quickly gained a privileged status among them. Of course their ruling style and positive/negative aspects of their governance are debatable. But, when compared to French, British or American powers' rule in the 20th Century Middle East there is no doubt that the Turkish periods were more successful in providing security and stability in the region. Palestine, for instance, was one of the most significant symbols of coexistence during the Ottoman period in the region, and witnessed bloodshed after it broke off from the Ottoman State in 1917; dreadful conflicts have not stopped in the region since that time. Likewise, Lebanon was a place in which different ethnic and religious groups lived together for centuries but after the governing passed from the hands of Turks to the French, Lebanon became a symbol of conflict, ethnic-religious intolerance, and civil wars. French did not respect the Lebanon's multi-ethnic and multi-religious structure and made efforts to Christianize the country. They support some of the groups against other groups, they brought Christian Armenians and encouraged the internal intolerance among the groups for their narrow national interests.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 431-441
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English