Turkey faces new test: terror, geo-politics and Islamophobia

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Baku, 14 December 2016 –

Istanbul bleeds again as a fresh wave of terrorist attacks killed dozens of innocent people. The brotherly nation once again united against the evil of terrorism. The country`s leadership reaffirmed its commitment to the development line and readiness to put zeal in this mission. Letters of condolence were pouring in from friendly countries. The President of Azerbaijan also expressed his sympathy with the Turkish nation. Experts look at this incident in a geo-political context. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said certain forces carry out a dirty trick campaign against Turkey. The terrorist attacks are committed by their servants. Ankara is determined to get to the root of the problem, and no one can stop it. Experts are now trying to forecast possible geo-political repercussions of the latest terrorist attack.

Explosions: innocent people burn in the fire of dirty geo-political interests

Another bloody terrorist attack hit Turkey on December 10. A twin bomb attack occurred after a football match in Istanbul in the evening hours, killing 39 people, including 30 policemen, and injuring 155 others. The deadly incident provoked diverse international reaction. The UN Secretary General called the Istanbul blasts a terrorist attack and offered his sympathies to the people and government of Turkey. He expressed his confidence that those responsible will be brought to justice. NATO`s Secretary General also condemned what he described as "horrific acts of terror". Several European Union officials also sent messages of condolence, but did not call the bombings a terrorist attack. Washington described the incident as an act of terror and offered its condolences to Ankara. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also sent a letter of condolence to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ''We condemn this terror attack, and consider it important to carry out a joint and resolute struggle against all manifestations of terrorism,'' the Azerbaijani President said in his message.

In a written statement released immediately after the blasts, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "we will defeat terror, terror groups, terrorists and of course the forces behind them''. Ankara does not link the blasts to interests of terror groups only, and considers them as part of a wider geo-political struggle. And this is the most interesting point.

Turkey has been targeted by terrorist groups in the past two years, including PKK, ISIS, Al Qaida and FETO. Although Besiktas blasts targeted mainly police, several civilians were killed. The forces behind the attacks want to sow panic and fear in the Turkish society. This was clearly stated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, and Minister of Internal Affairs Suleyman Soylu.

In his statement, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "Whenever Turkey takes a positive step towards future, an answer to it is given at the hands of terrorist organizations in the form of blood, atrocity or chaos.'' (see: Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan: Maalesef şehitlerimiz ve yaralılarımız var / "Habertürk", 11 December, 2016). But what is that step that angered certain forces?

Experts point to Turkey`s resoluteness in fight against terrorism, Ankara`s activation in the Middle East and positive changes in Russia-China-Iran triangle. On several occasions, Western political circles have expressed their concern at Turkey-Russia rapprochement. And after every such statement Turkey has experienced a new tragedy. In this context, a recent incident in Kiev when radical groups attacked Turkish football fans seems to be no coincidence. Interestingly, this was followed by a deadly terrorist attack at a football match in Istanbul.

Turkey is seeking to conduct trade with some countries in national currencies, which is indicative of Ankara`s determination to pursue independent policy. President Erdogan announced that he has already agreed the issue with Russia, China and Iran. In addition, Central Banks of Turkey and China concluded their first Turkish lira-yuan swap deal. This can have a serious global impact. As Turkey`s economy is growing, its acting in concert with developing countries may cause geo-political and economic problems for the West. But Ankara is not to blame for this as the root cause lies in the West`s getting an Islamophobic disease.

Ever forward: Ankara dedicated to its line!

Many political leaders clearly confirm this. Developed countries are very jealous of any independent move or economic success of Muslim countries. They consider themselves super powers and think they can do whatever they want. Azerbaijan faces a similar attitude too. Whenever Azerbaijan makes a successful step, excellently hosts a high-profile international event, the West immediately launches a slander campaign. They use a variety of pretexts to cast a shadow on Azerbaijan`s success. The same is now happening with Turkey, but in a broader and more severe manner.

In this context, the growing number of terrorist attacks in Turkey may have been caused by Ankara`s moves with respect to Syria and Iraq. Turkey is strengthening its presence in these areas. In Syria, Turkish soldiers have already entered the city of al-Bab. Ankara ruined certain forces` plans to establish a separatist Kurdish area. Turkey also reached agreement with Russia on Aleppo. The two countries are making progress on the issue without any involvement of the US and the West.

It is of vital geo-political importance. For the first time in the last few centuries, two super powers – Turkey and Russia – are solving a big geo-political problem in the Middle East on their own. It is certainly clear who will get angered by this.

Turkey is also enhancing the scope of its influence. In a recent phone talk, the Turkish and Iraqi prime ministers agreed their further moves on almost all fronts, including joint fight against terrorism in Mosul, Kirkuk and Northern Iraq. The two also reaffirmed their determination to elevate their economic and trade relations to a qualitatively new level.

Finally, despite all warnings from the West, Turkey resolutely continues to combat terrorism within its territory. President Erdogan says he does not care who says what in the West. Ankara`s acting completely independently without bowing down to others, its dedication to national interests irritates certain circles. So-called democrats have never changed in 100 years, still unable to abandon their imperial ambitions.

What geo-political consequences can this have? There is an impression that Turkey is becoming a super power. Its leadership and influence already go beyond regional boundaries. The most important is that Turkey is not type of a leader that bows down to anyone. Ankara relies on its economic, technological and military accomplishments. Turkey can be threatened neither by arms nor financial nor economic sanctions. No doubts that however deadly, terrorism will not be able to stop the Turkish nation. So those forces are gradually realizing this.

Turkey will eventually pay back. Ankara`s relations with the West may deteriorate. In his statement, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "the name or the method of the terrorist organization which perpetrated the vile attack" did not matter. ''Nobody should doubt that we will defeat terror, terror groups, terrorists and of course the forces behind them, with God's help," he said. (see: previous source). Ankara threatens to punish not those who directly commit terror attacks, but their ideological leaders. This is a serious change that will obviously clarify the situation in the years ahead. Resolution of the problem will help ensure peace and stability in a broad geography. Turkey`s playing a critical role here is a source of pride for Azerbaijan, which always stand by it.

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