By MEMRI –
It’s A Victory For The Ottoman Empire And For The Islamic Orientation, And A Defeat For Secularism, Supported By The U.S. And The West. Marvelously, Erdogan’s Victory Coincided With The Anniversary Of The Conquest Of Constantinople By The Ottoman Sultan.
The victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s presidential runoff was received with satisfaction in Qatar, which is an ally of Turkey. Upon the announcement of Erdogan’s win, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani hurried to congratulate him, tweeting: “My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulations on your victory, and I wish you success in your new term, and that you achieve in it what the brotherly Turkish people aspire to in terms of progress and prosperity, and for the strong relations of our two countries to further development and growth.” The next day Aal Thani congratulated the Turkish president again in a telephone conversation.
Already on May 14, following the first round of elections, which was inconclusive, towers in the Qatari city of Lusail were illuminated with the Turkish flag and a picture of Erdogan. On May 28, after his victory was announced, videos on social media showed members of the Turkish expat community in Qatar celebrating in the streets, and Qatari journalists and intellectuals posted tweets praising Erdogan and congratulating him.
Joy over Erdogan’s reelection was also expressed in articles and cartoons in the Qatari press. Editorials and columns celebrated it as “a guarantee of stability and of the continuation of Turkey’s [current] policy and positions on the regional and global [levels],” and stated that Erdogan has turned Turkey into a strong, independent and important country with deterring force.
Some articles presented Erdogan’s win as a victory of the Islamic camp over the secularist-Western camp supported by the U.S. They claimed that the U.S. and the West had waged an incitement campaign against him and had made efforts to topple him because he opposed their hegemony and dictates and because of his Islamic orientation. This, they added, is why nations all over the Arab and Muslim world are now celebrating his victory and Turkey’s commitment to its Islamic identity. One writer even called Erdogan’s reelection “a slap in the face” of the Western countries that had backed his opponent. Some articles claimed that Erdogan is reviving the Ottoman Empire and its Islamic vision, whereas his defeated opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, represents the secularist outlook of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and of the West. Erdogan’s reelection, they said, shows that the Turkish people supports the former vision.
The following are translated excerpts from some of these articles:
The U.S. And The West Acted To Topple Erdogan Because Of His Islamic, Anti-Western Orientation
Jaber Al-Harmi, editor of the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, wrote after the day of Erdogan’s win: “It wasn’t easy for Turkey to [remain] under Erdogan’s leadership, as it entered its second century as a republic, because [his winning] was a red line for Western and American elements. Arab elements also joined the Western efforts to topple Erdogan in the election, which was the most significant [election] in the modern history of Turkey. During the months before the first round on May 14, the media in the Western capitals kept repeating that Erdogan had to be toppled. It also presented the leader of the opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, as the one who would save Turkey from the regime of Erdogan, a tyrant and dictator with Islamist leanings who rejects the Western and American hegemony over Turkey’s policy and decision making and who firmly opposes external dictates.
“Despite all the variables and the political storms, Erdogan has transformed Turkey into a force that the world cannot do without today. Over close to 20 years he elevated Turkey to the level of the superpowers in terms of its economy, military industry and active presence on the global scene, [establishing it as] an important deterrent force. This model [of Turkey under the leadership of Erdogan] is not what the West wants to see in the Arab and Muslim world, because [it fears that] this ‘contagious disease’ will spread to other regions, expanding the scope of this awakening, development and new revival in the Islamic world. Therefore, [as far as the West is concerned,] there is no choice but to sabotage every successful attempt [such as that of Turkey], bury alive every dream of awakening in the Arab and Islamic world and remove every leader who is moving in that direction, in any [possible] way.
“In 2016 they tried to remove Erdogan from power in Turkey, bluntly and by force, with an attempted coup, but they failed. Even before this, and also after, they tried to eliminate and assassinate [Erdogan], but failed. They tried several times [to bring him down] in elections, but failed. This time they tried to do it through international incitement and by recruiting [support] within [Turkey] – but all these [efforts] came up against the strength and determination of the Turkish people, who, in spite of all the Western media campaigns, remained united [around Erdogan] and set an example [for the world] when over 90 percent of them thronged to vote…
“Millions of Arabs and Muslims also longed for [Erdogan’s] victory in the elections… For, if he lost, millions of oppressed and persecuted people, and the refugees living in Turkey, would pay a heavy price: many [of the refugees] would be subject to harassment, at the very least, if not expelled from Turkey within a few months.
“That is why we see many peoples across the Arab and Islamic world rejoicing that Erdogan has won and that Turkey remains committed to its Islamic [identity], not to the Western direction that opposition leader Kilicdaroglu [espoused] when he declared in public that he wanted to move Turkey from the Arab and Islamic world into the Western [camp]…”
Marvelously, Erdogan’s Victory Coincided With The Anniversary Of The Conquest Of Constantinople By The Ottoman Sultan
“Erdogan’s victory in these elections is tantamount to a ‘second Turkish war of independence’ and a decisive phase in the move into a new era, in which Turkey will be more independent and influential in various areas. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that this victory releases Turkey from the bottle in which the West tried to keep it in the past hundred years [and where it wanted Turkey to remain] for another hundred years. Therefore, this victory has [considerable] ramifications. It will change the balance of power, engender new alliances, and affect even the international arena…
“Erdogan has been accused of being an oppressive and tyrannical dictator, yet he organized one of the fairest, most transparent, and most reliable elections in the world, as the West has attested. Have you ever heard of a tyrant or dictator who allows other [candidates] to run against him? Moreover, he didn’t manage to beat [his opponent] in the first round, and so this ‘dictator’ and ‘tyrant’ had to hold a second round [of elections] and was liable to lose his position. Have you ever seen a ‘dictator’ like Erdogan?!
Image: Erdogan wins the election (cartoon by Al-Sharq, Qatar, May 29, 2023)