President R.T. Erdoğan: A portrait (III)
Turkey, under Mssrs Erdoğan and Davutoğlu, has always had to defend itself against Zionist aggression through peaceful, often pacifist, means. Erdoğan once politely ignored it when the then Israeli President Shimon Peres roared at him that: “Turks know best how to kill.”
Luckily, Israeli efforts to hinder the “rise and rise of Turkey” were successfully defeated by Turkey’s powerful security network. In two separate cases of serious espionage, for instance, a kestrel and a bee-eater, commissioned by Mossad, were caught red-handed on Turkish soil before they could perform spying activities. Turkey’s counter-intelligence officers are yet to solve the mystery about the kestrel: Why was the bird quite self-revealing as the metal ring on its leg carried the words “Tel Avivunia Israel?”
The evil forces were not only the Jews. In 2013, an Egyptian general, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, staged a coup against Erdoğan but luckily his government survived the putsch. And in 2014, Erdoğan’s ideological next of kin in Palestine, Hamas and Fatah, formed a government of unity without including Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the new Palestinian government, raising eyebrows in Ankara.
Davutoğlu’s most strategic foreign policy goal - to pray altogether at the al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian capital Jerusalem - drew worldwide support from the Islamists who recalled Gamal Abdel Nasser’s generals’ pledge to “have lunch in Tel Aviv tomorrow,” just one day before the Six Day War in 1967. Middle East analysts widely agree that the Egyptian lunch in Tel Aviv and Turkish prayers in Jerusalem could materialize any day now. Meanwhile, Davutoğlu’s ministry is quietly preparing for shy celebrations to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Davutoğlu’s remarks that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be deposed in a span of weeks.
In 2014, Erdoğan successfully stopped the Russian invasion of Ukraine. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Erdoğan decided to flex muscles and to militarily threaten Russia. Shortly after the annexation, with NATO helplessly watching the events, Erdogan took a bold move and ordered a Turkish naval fleet to tour around the African continent.
Today, it is widely believed that it was Erdoğan’s move that frightened Russian President Vladimir Putin and prevented the full invasion of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Ukrainian parliament decorated Erdogan with the Badge of the Order of Liberty. Defense analysts agree that, in addition to Turkey’s mighty naval force, Putin feared a confrontation with the Turkish army primarily because of the deterrence exhibited by the all-Turkish drone, the Anka, which features a foreign mission computer, foreign landing gear, foreign take-off and landing system and a foreign engine, in addition to its Persian name.
As part of his social reforms, Erdoğan declared in 2013 that Turkey’s national drink was “ayran,” a non-alcoholic yoghurt-based drink. He further asserted that Greece’s national drink was tap water; Russia’s, ice tea, and Scotland’s, frape. Erdogan faced some criticism from gastronomists when he declared that pizza was a Peruvian invention, bacon was Satanic, and that the Austrians learned about schnitzel from their Ottoman conquerors.
Erdoğan’s war on alcoholic beverages - because they are the mother of all evil - keeps scientists busy all around the world. As Erdogan claims his war on alcohol is merely because even a drop of the substance is bad for health and causes road accidents and homicide, scientists are still trying to understand why, with per capita alcohol consumption less than 1/7.5 of the European average, Turkey features 14 times more fatal accidents and 2-3 times more homicides; why the ratio of deaths by cancer – including liver cancer-- diabetes, endocrine disorders and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases is higher; why life expectancy is shorter and why there are 1.5 to 30 times more assaults than in “drunken” Europe.
At the end of 2013, Erdoğan once again exhibited his dedication to good governance when he launched a campaign for transparency in public administration. A flurry of audio tapes was offered to the public including Erdoğan’s – and his ministers’- financial policy-making, project management and even private family affairs.
In 2014, the transparency campaign reached its peak when the audio recordings of a top-secret Syria meeting at the Foreign Ministry were released. Political analysts agree that the move should set a precedent in the world’s most democratic regimes.