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Adjara may become part of the Ottoman Empire?2013-04-10 14:11
Will Turkey take away Ajarian autonomy from Georgia? Why does the Turkish Foreign Minister during his visit to Cyprus mention the Ottoman Empire and the city of Batumi, which was part of the Empire? What did Ahmet Davutoglu mean, and what is the link between his surprise statement and the relations between Ankara and Brussels?
While Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili is resting in the Turkish resort of Antalya and even "allows" himself to break the shoulder riding a bike, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu makes statements relating specifically to Georgia and other states in the region. While on a visit to Cyprus, of course, to its Turkish part, the Turkish Foreign Minister recalls the mighty Ottoman Empire and tells about the need to restore the "new relations", while noting that Turkey is not going to fight with anyone.
"The last century is the page that we have turned over. Now we intend to establish new relations between Sarajevo and Damascus, between Benghazi and Batumi," said Davutoglu. "We will do it peacefully. Without fighting, but respecting boundaries. Now our country is different, not like 110 years ago, Yemen and Skopje, Batumi and Benghazi were part of a single country - the Ottoman Empire. Speaking of that we raise a wave of accusations of neo-Ottomanism, but why then those who have united the whole of Europe are not called neo-Romans?", said the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkish Foreign Minister listed almost all the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, stretching from Georgia to Libya. But what is the purpose of such "hints"? Georgian experts are considering two main versions.
The first version concerns the relationship of Turkey and the EU. Although Ankara is an official candidate for membership since 1998, it has failed to become the EU member. It is possible that the Turkish Foreign Minister tried to tell Brussels: if we do not become the EU member, we can create our own European Union or, more precisely, such a union in which Turkey will dominate, unlike the EU where there is no leading country. Such an organization can include the Black Sea countries, as well as the Mediterranean countries. As for Georgia, it is also a tasty morsel.
The second version is more dangerous. This is the idea of Pan-Turkism: the national-chauvinist ideology, according to which all the peoples speaking Turkic languages, particularly the Turkic Muslims, are supposedly one nation and must unite under the leadership of Turkey. This movement arose among the Turks of Crimea and Volga, initially seeking to unite with Ottoman Turks against the Russian and the growing Russian domination and tsarism.
In this case, Turkey has two major opponents - the EU, which stubbornly does not want to admit it due to the fear of the idea of Pan-Turkism; and Russia, which is willing to create a new trans-national structure - the Eurasian Union. Turkey, with its 80 million population may well compete with the 150 millionth Russia and 300 million European Union.
"The EU is afraid of Turkey, and not just because of the statements of the Foreign Ministry, but also due to many other things. The thing that Davutoglu has said was known before, but now he has voiced it, and this is the idea of Pan-Turkism," political expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze told GeorgiaTimes.