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dimanche, 20 décembre 2015

The Aegean Sea and Turkey's Maritime Strategy


The Aegean Sea and Turkey's Maritime Strategy

Ex: http://www.katehon.com

On December 13th, another incident added fuel to the fire of the already damaged Russian-Turkish relations.

A Turkish fishing vessel, not responding to radio and visual signals, began to approach the Russian patrol ship, Smetlivy, which was anchored at the time of the incident.

To avoid a collision, the crew fired several warning shots at the Turkish vessel, after which it immediately changed directions.

The Russian Defense Ministry explained that two scenarios were possible: it was either a deliberate provocation, or simple sloppiness. The Turkish side said that Russia's reaction was excessive, even though Moscow had previously made an official warning that it would destroy all targets that it saw as a threat.

Indeed, the Turkish vessel's maneuvers could reasonably have been construed as threatening. If, for example it had indeed collided with the Russian patrol ship, and broke a Russian ship board, it would have placed an important naval unit temporarily out of commission, among other possible consequences.

Greek press has uniquely regarded the incident as a deliberate provocation on the part of Turkey. Taking into account that it happened in the daytime and in good visibility, this version of events is most likely. Why is Turkey trying to escalate the conflict further, this time at sea?

What interests does Ankara have in the Mediterranean? Are many islands in the region a potential hotspot in a potential conflict, as are the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea?

The political geography of the region is characterized by islands in the eastern part: Chios, Iraklides, Rhodes, Samos, Kos and many others, which are very close to the Turkish coast, but in fact are Greek territory. The boundaries were established in accordance with the Treaty of Lausanne, which recognized the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and established Turkey's current borders. At this time, it lost not only the Aegean Sea islands, but also control over Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Transjordan, Lebanon and Syria, with new states being created these regions.

However, modern Turkey's strategic doctrine is oriented towards returning the lost territories or at least a degree of control over them. This neo-Ottomanist doctrine, explained in Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s work entitled Strategic Depth, insists on Turkey's leading role in the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East and the southern Balkans. There is a parallel Pan-Turkist project for Central Asia which Turkey is also pushing for.

Regarding Ankara's interests in the Mediterranean, attempts to restore its sea power also has historical sources in the Ottoman Empire's golden age.

The Algerian pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, who proclaimed himself as a Sultan and recognized the Ottoman Empire's supreme power in the early 16th century, successfully fought against Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. The Ottoman ruler, Suleiman I, appointed Barbarossa to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Navy and gave him the title "Emir of Emirs", and he was feared by all of the Mediterranean fleets of European monarchies. For many years even after his death, every Turkish ship leaving the Golden Horn Bay would fire a volley in honor of the Turkish captain, pirate, and sailor.

Hayreddin Barbarossa once said: "Who rules the seas, rules the world." One of the founders of Anglo-Saxon geopolitics, Halford Mackinder, interpreted the phrase differently in terms of Russia and Eurasia. In keeping with the characteristic style of British kleptocratic politics (both in resources and ideas), the English crown, after the success of Barbarossa, began to encourage the practice of piracy and the plundering of the ships of London's rivals.

When understood in this context, Turkey's regional policy will become clearer. Adding to it the mercantile interests of close-in coastal islands with natural resources, mineral reserves, as well as areas rich in oil and gas.

Turkey and Greece have already had disagreements on gas production.

In 2009, Greek Energean Oil & Gas discovered oil reserves of 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea. Intensified drilling in offshore waters then started, as well as research on the prospects for oil and gas production. Greece did not make an exclusive claim to rights over this economic zone so as to avoid delays and disputes, and start production near their islands. However, in 2011 Turkey declared that it would consider this as purely military aggression. The diplomatic friction was worsened by repeated violations of Greek airspace by Turkish military jets.

Since Greek Cyprus signed an agreement with Israel on the joint development of fields, it gave Turkey concerns about new possible allies for Greece in the production and transportation of energy resources.

Obviously, Ankara regarded Russia as such a potential ally.

After the sanctions adaptation against Turkey, it became clear that it would also act on behalf of the West and Ukraine's side, trying to hinder Russia in Crimean efforts. However, a possible Russian-Greek alliance (cooperation in different directions) can frustrate some of the Turkish aggression against Greece, as well as against Russia.

samedi, 25 avril 2015

Will Greece Join the Eurasian Union?


F. William Engdahl

Ex: http://journal-neo.org

Will Greece Join the Eurasian Union?

At the very least the new Greek government realizes it must play in a deadly power game over the future of the nation in an asymmetrical manner. The so-called Troika—EU Commission, European Central Bank and IMF—is demanding blood from a turnip when it comes to Greece. So after hitting a granite wall in appealing for easing of the austerity to permit Greek economic growth to begin climbing back to solvency, the government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is looking at every option. The latest move is their looking east to Moscow and then Beijing. The Greek crisis, which began in October 2009 is at a critical crossroads.

In 2007-2008 as the US-centered sub-prime real estate debt crisis first erupted, Greek state debt was around 100% of GDP, higher than EU average but not unprecedented and manageable. By 2014 the debt had soared to 175% of GDP, higher than even Italy. The country had to take €240 billion from the Troika to avoid debt default, a step that would have brought German and French banks holding Greek bonds to likely default. At the start of the Greek crisis Greek bonds were held by mainly EU banks who found the higher interest rates attractive. When a bank crisis in Germany and France threatened as a Greek default threatened, the EU governments, the IMF and the European Central Bank took over 80% of Greek sovereign debt, letting the private banks once more off the hook at the expense of Greek and European taxpayers.

Either the Euro or Dollar goes

Greece was literally the Achilles Heel of the Euro and Washington and Wall Street hit it with a savagery not seen since they ran the Asia Crisis and Russian sovereign default crises in 1997-1998. When Greece imploded in late 2009 the dollar was the main currency under threat of abandonment. The Chinese were openly rebuking the US Government for letting its own deficits and debt explode at a rate well over $1 trillion a year. The response of the US Treasury Financial Warfare Division, the Federal Reserve and of Wall Street and the rating agencies was to launch a counter attack on the euro to “save” the dollar. It worked and few of the naïve Berlin politicians, certainly not Schäuble, nor Merkel, had a clue how sophisticated the Washington currency war machinery had become. They began to find out.

The USA credit rating agencies, led by Standard & Poors and Moody’s, took the unprecedented step of downgrading Greek government debt three notches in one day in April 2010 just as EU Governments had agreed a Greek rescue plan. That downgrade to so-called junk status meant that pension funds and insurance companies around the world were immediately forced to dump their Greek bonds by law, forcing interest rates Greece must pay to borrow, were it even able, to unpayable levels. A cabal of New York hedge fund managers led by George Soros met to coordinate Geek speculative attacks, worsening the crisis and the costs to Greek taxpayers.

What did Greece get for that new debt? A bloody austerity dictate from the EU, led by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble whose austerity demands made Heinrich Brüning in 1931 look like an angel of mercy. Unemployment soared to depression levels of 27% for the general population, falling to 25.7% in January 2015—hailed by Brussels and Berlin as a “sign” their austerity is working!—youth unemployment reaching well over 60%. The IMF as always, dictated massive cuts in public employees and health and education services to “save” money, only making tax revenues decline more. It all demonstrated what Germans knew painfully well from the 1930’s, namely that austerity never solves a debt crisis, only real economic growth.

The left party of Tsipras, Syriza, which evolved out of the Greek Communist Party after the collapse of the Soviet Union was elected in January by a desperate electorate fed up with depression and Weimar-style austerity without end. Tsipras’ mandate is to get a better economic future for Greeks. His only option at this point is to opt out of the Euro and perhaps also out of the EU and NATO.

The British Telegraph reported on April 2, a week before likely IMF loan payment default by Greece that Greece was drawing up drastic plans to nationalize the country’s banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands. Sources close to the ruling Syriza party said the government is determined to keep public services running and pay pensions as funds run critically low. The Telegraph cites a senior Greek official: “We are a Left-wing government. If we have to choose between a default to the IMF or a default to our own people, it is a no-brainer. We may have to go into a silent arrears process with the IMF. This will cause a furore in the markets and means that the clock will start to tick much faster,” the source told The Telegraph.

Failing to get one Euro of genuine relief from Schäuble or the EU, and with the prospect of default on a €458 million repayment to the IMF or default on state pensions, Tsipras flew to Moscow to meet with Putin. Despite that Greece paid the €458 million to the International Monetary Fund on April 9, the real question is the next payments Greece must make every week in April and a further $7.75 billion it will have to pay in May and June, while struggling to pay its own government staff and state pensions.

Greece as Russian Energy Hub?

The Putin Tsipras meeting prepared for possible future steps that could alter the future of not only Greece but of the entire EU. President Putin announced after his talks with Tsipras on April 8 that Tsipras did not ask Russia for financial aid.

What they did discuss was potentially far more significant for Greece. They talked about energy projects including Putin’s proposed Turkish Stream to deliver Russian gas to Turkey instead of directly to the EU after Brussels, pushed by Washington, sabotaged the Russian South Stream gas project.

Turkish Stream proposes to deliver gas to the Greek border adjacent to Turkey. Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said that Athens supports Russia’s planned Turkish Stream pipeline project, as well as extending the gas route to Greece. Russia and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of the gas pipeline between the two countries under the Black Sea in December 2014. Greece would then become a distribution hub to further passage of gas to consumers in southern Europe including Italy, an alternative to the defunct South Stream.

Putin remarked after his talks with Tsipras at their joint press conference in Moscow on 8 April, “Of course, we have discussed the prospects of realization of the large infrastructure project which we call Turkish Stream — a key project for transporting Russian gas to the Balkans, maybe to Italy, the countries of Central Europe. The new route will provide for the Europeans’ needs in fuel, and would allow Greece to become one of the main power distribution centers on the continent, could help attract significant investments into the Greek economy.” Greece would also earn gas transit fees of hundreds of millions of euros annually if it joins the Turkish stream pipeline project.

In turn, Tsipras said that Athens is interested in attracting investment in construction of the pipeline on its territory to handle gas coming through the Turkish Stream.

According to media reports, Putin and Tsipras will also focus on possible discounts on Russian natural gas for Greece. In addition Russia discussed investing in joint venture companies with the Greek government. Initial projects to be explored include a public Greek-Russian company and Russian investment in the harbor at Thessaloniki that the IMF demands be privatized as well as railway participation. Following last week’s talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Russian energy company Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, Lafazanis said that Athens had asked for a cut in its price for Russian natural gas.

Russia and Eurasia?

Putin called for trade relations to be restored between Russia and the EU, including Greece. He said the two had discussed “various ways of co-operating, including major projects in energy. Under these plans, we could provide loans for certain projects,” Putin said, adding that it was not a question of aid. One of those plans is for the pipeline called “Turkish Stream”, to channel natural gas from the Turkish-Greek border into Greece.

For his side Tsipras made clear his government opposed any new sanctions on Russia, something that Washington was not at all pleased about, with US media editorials attacking Greece for being the mythical Trojan Horse for Russia to get back into the EU orbit. Responding in his typically droll humor, the Russian president told BBC, “About mythology and Trojan horses and so forth: the question would be valid if I was the one going to Athens,” he said. “We are not forcing anyone to do anything.”

Recent polls show that well over 63% of Greeks are warm to Russia as an ally, while only 23% feel warm towards the EU. The two countries, Russia and Greece, share a common Orthodox religion and historically were close. Costas Karamanlis, Greek conservative Prime Minister from 2004-09 pursued a “diplomacy of the pipelines,” where he saw Greece as a gateway for Russian oil and gas to Europe. Washington and Brussels were furious. Karamanlis was voted out in suspicious circumstances a year after signing a gas deal with President Putin, just before the revelation of the financial crisis. After he lost elections in 2009, it emerged that Russia’s FSB security agency had warned its Greek counterpart, EYP, of a 2008 plot to assassinate Karamanlis to halt his pro-Moscow energy alliance.

Trojan Horses, Achilles Heels and the rich heritage of Greek mythology do nothing to solve the crisis of Greece, which, in reality, is the general crisis of European civilization.

What no one in Berlin, Paris or Rome dare to address is the reality that the European Union countries are dying. Demographically, economically and morally they are in a death agony downward spiral. Either they make a definitive break with the bankrupt Washington and NATO Atlantic dollar world and throw their lot fully behind making the Eurasian Economic Union led by Russia into a viable new region of economic prosperity, along with China and the New Silk Road high-speed rail projects criss-crossing Eurasia, or in four or five years at best the EU will be choking in its own debt and economic depression as is Greece today.

The only other option open at this time, the option of the status quo financial powers that be, was tried in Nazi Germany, Vichy France and Mussolini Italy in the 1930’s. We don’t need to try that again.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/04/16/will-greece-join-the-eurasian-union/

vendredi, 27 mars 2015

Les Grecs de la Mer Noire


Erich Körner-Lakatos :

Les Grecs de la Mer Noire

Quand les Pontiki, les Grecs de la Mer Noire, rêvaient d’un Etat à eux

Vers les heures du midi, le 29 mai 1453 la Rome orientale, soit l’Empire byzantin, bascule définitivement dans le passé. La nuit précédente, l’Empereur Constantin XI Paléologue et ses sujets, Grecs et Latins réunis, avaient prié en commun dans Sainte-Sophie. Ensuite, chacun s’en est allé à son poste. Juste avant les premières lueurs de l’aube, les Turcs lancèrent leur attaque contre Constantinople, dernier bastion de l’ancien Empire byzantin. Cette « Polis », jadis très étendue, a été réduite à une population de 36.000 habitants. Pendant quelques petites heures, les défenseurs soutiennent l’assaut des janissaires puis, par une poterne de la muraille, ceux-ci parviennent à s’engouffrer dans la ville et à atteindre son centre. Les chrétiens succombent à la puissance musulmane. Les Ottomans sont sous le commandement de Mehmet II, qui vient de prendre le titre de « Mehmet le Grand », parce qu’il s’est rendu maître de la capitale byzantine.

La métropole est tombée mais quelques restes épars de l’ancien Empire byzantin continuent à se défendre bec et ongles contre les fidèles de Mohammed. D’une part nous avons la Morée byzantine dans le Péloponnèse qui résistera pendant six ans sous le commandement de Demetrios, un frère du dernier empereur. D’autre part, deux Etats du Pont Euxin (la Mer Noire), peuplé de Grecs dits « pontiques » (Pontiki), résistent aussi : Trébizonde et Theodoros.  A l’est du littoral méridional de la Mer Noire se trouve l’Empire de Trébizonde, qui existe depuis 1204, l’année où les chevaliers catholiques de la Quatrième Croisade ont pris Constantinople et l’ont pillée. L’Empire grec-byzantin survit alors en exil à Nicée et autour de cette vieille Cité grecque d’Asie Mineure. L’Empire de Trébizonde, lui, va tenir jusqu’en 1461. Le dernier empereur de Trébizonde, David Comnène (Komnenos) sera exécuté le 1 novembre 1463.


La principauté de Theodoros se trouvait en Crimée, dans l’arrière-pays d’un littoral alors dominé par les Génois qui tenaient le port de Caffa (Theodosia pour les Grecs, Feodossia pour les Russes aujourd’hui). Cette principauté s’était constituée au 13ème siècle comme partie de la région byzantine de Cherson en Crimée, qui ne sera jamais une colonie génoise. Elle fut toujours étroitement liée à l’Empire de Trébizonde. Les habitants de Theodoros étaient un mélange de Grecs, de Goths de Crimée (qui parlaient toujours leur langue germanique), d’Alains et de Karaïmes (variante très particulière du judaïsme). Tous cependant se servaient du grec comme langue véhiculaire et avaient adopté la religion grecque-orthodoxe.

En mai 1475, les Ottomans prennent la ville de Caffa et chassent définitivement les Génois de la Crimée. Le tour de la principauté de Theodoros est venu : le Grand Vizir ottoman, commandant de l’armée, Ahmed Pacha, entame le siège de la capitale Mangup qui durera six mois. Les défenseurs ne capitulent qu’en décembre 1475. Ce morceau byzantin de la Crimée sera le dernier territoire indépendant qui relevait de l’Empire. Alexandre, le dernier Prince de Theodoros, appartenait à la dynastie grecque-arménienne des Gabras. Son sort sera pitoyable : il sera réduit en esclavage et mourra prisonnier à Constantinople.


Revenons au 20ème siècle. Pendant la première guerre mondiale, les Français font distribuer en secret dans toute l’Anatolie des cartes d’une future République Pontique ou République du Pont. Les Grecs pontiques, habitants du littoral méridional de la Mer Noire se soulèvent en mai 1919. Au même moment, les puissances de l’Entente donnent le feu vert au premier ministre grec Eleftherios Venizelos pour qu’il envahisse l’Anatolie : il ne se passe pas un mois pour que les troupes grecques débarquent à Smyrne. D’autres puissances européennes débarquent également des troupes en Asie Mineure : les Italiens à Adalia (aujourd’hui Antalya) et les Français plus à l’est, en Cilicie. Tous veulent un morceau aussi gros que possible du gâteau anatolien.

Les Grecs pontiques descendent de la population de l’Empire de Trébizonde. Les insurgés de mai 1919 réclament la création d’un Etat grec pontique. Leur métropole, la ville portuaire de Trébizonde n’est pourtant pas habitée que par des Grecs pontiques ; il y a aussi des Arméniens et ceux-ci réclament la ville pour que la future Grande Arménie, dont ils rêvent, puisse disposer d’une fenêtre sur la Mer Noire. Venizelos déclare devant le Parlement d’Athènes qu’il ne voit aucun inconvénient à ce que la future Arménie prenne Trébizonde. Ilkomonos, Président de la Ligue nationale du Pont, déçu, critiquera sévèrement la Grèce pour cet abandon. L’Etat des Grecs du Pont ne sera qu’un rêve et une ébauche : il n’existera jamais, d’abord parce que Trébizonde et toute la région du Pont ont été attribués à la République d’Arménie lors du Traité de Sèvres en 1920. Ce sera un autre plan non réalisé : à la fin de l’année 1920, les troupes nationalistes turques battent et repoussent les Arméniens. Le rêve des Grecs du littoral méridional de la Mer Noire s’évanouit définitivement. Pire : le Traité de Lausanne de 1923, dont les clauses sont plus favorables aux Turcs que celles du Traité de Sèvres, prévoit un échange de population entre la Grèce et la Turquie. Après avoir vécu pendant plus de 3000 ans dans la région, les Grecs orthodoxes du Pont sont contraints de quitter leur pays. 300.000 d’entre eux sont évacués de force vers la Grèce, où la population autochtone ne les accueille pas de manière amicale parce qu’ils parlent un dialecte jugé bizarre et qu’on les prend pour des « demi-Turcs ».

Aujourd’hui encore, existent de par le monde des associations de Grecs pontiques qui se donnent pour but de cultiver leur héritage culturel.

Erich Körner-Lakatos.

(article paru dans « zur Zeit », Vienne, n°10/2015, http://www.zurzeit.at ).


La « Megali Idea »

« Megali idea », la « Grande Idée », pour les Grecs, est l’union de toutes les régions peuplées de Grecs ethniques, la création d’une très grande Grèce. Cette idée s’est développée à la fin du 19ème siècle et au début du 20ème : à cette époque, le Royaume de Grèce, qui, au départ, en 1832, ne comprenait qu’une infime partie des terres habitées par des Hellènes, s’était agrandi. En 1864, les Iles ioniennes autour de Corfou se joignent au royaume. En 1881, c’est au tour de la Thessalie. En 1913, les Grecs héritent de la Crète et de la Macédoine. Lors des traités de la région parisienne de 1919, le premier ministre grec Venizelos réclame l’annexion de toute la Thrace, y compris Constantinople, qui ne serait plus la capitale ottomane d’Istanbul. Constantinople serait reconquise, rêve de tous les patriotes grecs. Venizelos demande aussi le retour à la mère –patrie de toutes les îles de l’Egée, la région de Smyrne sur la côte occidentale de l’Anatolie jusqu’à l’actuelle Antalya, une bande territoriale de 400 km de long et de 50 km de profondeur sur la côte méridionale de la Mer Noire (le territoire peuplé de Grecs pontiques) et, enfin, Chypre.

Le Traité de Sèvres ne satisfait pas les Grecs. Ils reçoivent certes toute la Thrace, sauf Istanbul. Egalement les îles de l’Egée, à l’exception de l’archipel du Dodécanèse, autour de Rhodes, donné à l’Italie, et la région de Smyrne. Le littoral méridional de la Mer Noire reste turc. Les Anglais ne cèdent évidemment pas Chypre, car l’île est un élément stratégiquement trop important sur la route des Indes. Après l’échec de leur campagne d’Anatolie et le Traité de Paix de Lausanne, les Grecs perdent la Thrace orientale et la région de Smyrne. La « Megali idea » appartenait au passé.


samedi, 24 septembre 2011

The Coming of the Greeks: Indo-European Conquests in the Aegean and the Near East

Robert Drews - The Coming of the Greeks: Indo-European Conquests in the Aegean and the Near East


When did the Indo-Europeans enter the lands that they occupied during historical times? And, more specifically, when did the Greeks come to Greece? Robert Drews brings together the evidence--historical, linguistic, and archaeological--to tackle these important questions.

"Into the ever-tangled and speculative debate on Indo-European origins comes this excellent book: lucid, critical, and refreshingly sober."--D. F. Easton, The Classical Review
"The fact that [a] pattern of localized Near Eastern takeovers coincides with the inception of chariot warfare, coupled with his carefully documented hypothesis that Proto-Indo-European-speaking (PIE) peoples in Armenia were responsible for the development and spread of chariot warfare, serves as the backdrop to Drews's innovative scenario for the arrival of the Greeks.... Such complete Near Eastern analogies involving archaeology, mythology, and linguistics, for example, have been rarely applied to support theories of PIE dispersal.... His research serves the critical function of provoking new views of a long-standing problem."--Susan N. Skomal, American Journal of Archaeology

"An archaeological and linguistic whodunnit of the most fascinating sort, courageously tackling a much-argued problem from several disciplines at once.... No one dealing with the dispersal of the Indo-Europeans can ignore this book."--Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Occidental College

Afbeelding en tekst: Princeton University Press.

lundi, 01 juin 2009

La diplomatie turque instrumentalise un Islam de faux semblants

La diplomatie turque instrumentalise un islam de faux semblants

090526Une inquiétude circule en ce moment sur la toile, à propos de l'ouverture d'un bureau de propagande islamique, pardon : d'information, à Bruxelles, par le gouvernement d'Ankara. Et, certes, on peut s'inquiéter des contrevérités que déversera cette structure en direction des gogos européens, sur la prétendue tolérance coranique et autres mythes.

Mais je crois nécessaire aussi d'attirer l'attention sur un autre aspect du marché de dupes que la diplomatie de ce pays entretient en instrumentalisant, à son profit, et toujours à sens unique, le fait religieux.

Ainsi, le chef de l'État turc M. Abdullah Gül s'est rendu en Syrie, du 15 au 17 mai en visite officielle. Sur l'étonnante photo du dîner protocolaire à Damas, on peut voir MM. Assad et Gül aux côtés de leurs deux épouses. Et bien évidemment celle qui arbore son foulard traditionnel islamique vient d'Ankara.

Ce signe, devenu totalement banal n'intéresse pas les médiats, sauf pour les plus radicaux, peut-être les moins aveuglés, à y voir une preuve supplémentaire des distances, que prend, avec la laïcité constitutionnelle de la république, le gouvernement de l'AKP.

Ce commentaire vient immédiatement à l'esprit. Il peut cependant contenir une illusion, et par conséquent un danger. De tout temps la puissance ottomane a su se servir de la religion mahométane : elle n'a jamais sacrifié à celle-ci le moindre de ses intérêts.

Et cela continua même sous un Mustapha Kemal. Si dégagé de l'influence des sultans, si méprisant de la religion ancestrale, il aurait proclamé un jour : "cette théologie putride rêvée par un Bédouin immoral est un cadavre qui empoisonne nos vies". (1) Mais il n'a pas répugné à confier à une administration, le soin d'organiser des prêches du vendredi dans toutes les mosquées, de tous les villages du pays, dans la langue de l'État, et non plus du Prophète, et en conformité avec les directives du gouvernement.

Aujourd'hui l'objectif du gouvernement de l'AKP, théorisé par l'expert Davutoglu dont on vient de faire un ministre, consiste à remettre en selle l'influence de la Turquie dans un proche orient arabe incapable de se structurer par lui-même ni de se fixer des objectifs réalistes dans son contentieux avec Israël.

En cela le passage de Abdullah Gül à la Banque islamique de développement en Arabie saoudite, de 1983 à 1991, va évidemment au-delà du symbole. Ses biographes insistent sur la rupture qui l'aurait séparé du chef historique de l'islamo-nationalisme turc, M. Necmettin Erbakan. Or celui-ci avait été évincé par l'armée en 1997 alors qu'il présidait un gouvernement de coalition. On n'a jamais trop explicité ce qui le rendait infréquentable et ce qui, à l'inverse, permet aux deux compères Gül et Erdogan, ses disciples d'alors, de passer, aujourd'hui, pour acceptables.

L'explication la plus probable me semble tenir au système d'alliance qu'impliquerait aux yeux des musulmans turcs leur appartenance solidaire à la communauté islamique.

Pour Erbakan, l'expression de celle-ci eût conduit à la rupture de l'alliance militaire avec Israël. Cela, l'État-major et le Conseil de sécurité nationale d'Ankara (MGK) ne pouvaient l'admettre.

Pour Gül et Erdogan, plus subtils, il s'agit de se présenter désormais comme les porte-parole naturels et traditionnels des peuples musulmans : les déclarations du Premier ministre en janvier à Davos puis en avril celles du chef de la diplomatie (2) allaient explicitement dans ce sens et le voyage de Damas le confirme. Et, au nom de leurs frères, les compères demanderont à l'État hébreu de faire un certain nombre de concessions, bref de se montrer plus "raisonnable" que pendant les 8 années de la présidence de GW Bush. Cette habile attitude va par ailleurs dans le sens des préoccupations actuelles du département d'État à Washington.

Je n'en retire pas cependant, bien au contraire, la conviction que, par cette démarche, la Turquie prouve son appartenance à la famille des nations européennes. Pour cette raison et pour plusieurs autres je ne crois pas sérieux de vouloir l'imposer au sein de l'Union européenne.



  1. J'avoue apprécier, de cette affirmation, la radicalité existentielle. Souvent citée, cependant, je ne lui ai jamais trouvé d'autres sources que la biographie de Kemal par Benoist-Méchin
  2. M. Ali Babakan, après un forcing qui indisposa les Européens, fut remplacé par M. Ahmet Davutoglu.
JG Malliarakis