By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The decision of the Turkish regime to make Hagia Sophia, one of the most important monuments of Christendom, a mosque can only be considered as an unacceptable attack on culture and civilisation. Of course, no one can deny to modern Turkey, if its people want it, (something that is not at all certain), the right to become as “Islamist” as it wishes, abandoning the tradition of its founder Kemal Ataturk. But it can do so by building and honouring its own monuments and places of worship, not by using monuments and places of worship built by others. One also wonders why the Turkish elite seems to believe that it helps the prestige of their country to recall every now and then, in the year 2020, the conquest of the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Anyway, if there is one thing that humanity needs more than anything today, in so difficult a situation, it is the tolerance and respect of one nation for another, of the followers and representatives of each religion for the others. This is a one of the main criteria for the civilisation of every human being and of every people.
For whatever reason Mr. Erdogan made such a decision, it certainly reflects the ideology and perceptions of the pan-Islamist and neo-Ottoman tendencies in his environment, such as those expressed by the SADAT organization, which competes with the neo-Kemalists and Eurasianists in influencing Turkish politics. These tendencies consider extremist Islamism to be the solution, imply that Erdogan is the new Prophet (“Mahdi”), and aim, whether they really believe it or say it just for propaganda, to create a great Sunni “confederacy”, behind which one can easily distinguish a variant of a new “Ottoman Empire”.
These plans are completely outrageous, lack seriousness and are impossible to implement. Any attempt to implement them will inevitably provoke the mobilisation against Turkey of the Arabs, the Greeks, the Iranians, the Russians and the Shiites. But, as long as they inspire the ideologies and policies of the Turkish state, these grandiose plans, while impossible, produce significant international political results:
“War of Civilisations”
First, they reinforce the “war of civilisations” policy pursued by the most dangerous and revisionist forces in the world, that is, those responsible for the chain of unending wars in the Middle East, the forces revolving around Huntington’s ideas and expressed by politicians such as Pompeo, Bannon, Netanyahu, etc. They want to push the Islamic world into an aggressive and backward Islamist policy, in order to unite the western nations around their war plans. This, after all, has been a basic policy of Western colonialism in the Arab-Muslim world for at least a century, from the time the British forbade Egyptian girls to go to school and starred in the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, up to Afghanistan and ISIS. By the way it would be useful for Ankara and everybody else to think on the motivations behind the approval by Jonshon’s Britain of the decision concerning Hagia Sophia. It was Britain which participated enthusiastically in the Iraqi invasion and all the other western interventions in the Middle East.
The irony of the story is that these forces, the Neoconservatives, the “War of Civilizations” party, were directly responsible and behind the failed coup against Erdogan himself!