The ambassador’s mediation hoverchair
Just a few Turks knew that they had an ambassador in Chad until recently. More Turks must now know there is a Turkish ambassador in Chad thanks to the ambassador’s colorful Twitter account.
In his Jan. 25 tweets, Ambassador Ahmet Kavas argued that: 1) The word terrorism is a French invention; 2) It cannot be the work of Muslims; and 3) Al-Qaeda is different from terrorism.
I was totally surprised by colleagues who were shocked by the fact that a Turkish ambassador had publicly declared that al-Qaeda was not a terrorism organization. Give it another decade and we shall have ambassadors who will advocate that the Turkish military should conduct joint exercises with al-Qaeda forces.
A former academic, Ambassador Kavas is a graduate of an imam school and holds a degree in theology – a perfect background for the 21st century Turkish diplomat. In one of his speeches, he argued that the Turkish imam schools could be the best recipe if Africa wants to overcome its poverty and other maladies. I would bet Mr. Kavas also firmly believes that a nationwide network of imam schools could finish off AIDS in South Africa.
In another remark, the ambassador said that: “Today there are 194 independent countries in the world. And of those, unfortunately, only 50 are Muslim-majority countries.” Why “unfortunately?” I shall tell you why: Mr. Kavas’s ideal world would consist of 190 plus independent Muslim-majority countries out of a total of 194.
You might think the total African population is 1 billion. You are wrong. So are individual country censuses, the United Nations and other sources. Ambassador Kavas says his (academic) studies found out that Africa’s total population “could be 1.5 billion, or even 2 billion.” We are lucky. We have an ambassador who, in his spare time, counts the population of the entire continent in which he resides. Perhaps the Foreign Ministry should task another ambassador with the same job: Why not ask the Turkish ambassador in Brussels to count the real population of Europe, and the ambassador in Washington to count that of Americas?
In other public remarks, Ambassador Kavas accused France of having committed genocide (possibly against Algerians) and complained that missionaries in Africa were “Christianizing” the Muslim population. In a better world, of course, it should have been the other way around.
But my favorite from the ambassador is his theory that the Ottomans protected Africa from colonialism for 400 years (by colonizing Africa themselves). How did the protection work? The ambassador proudly remarked that the Ottoman Empire once reigned in a 10 million-square-kilometer part of the African continent, whose total size is 30 million square kilometers.
So, the Ottomans were philanthropic and generous enough to colonize one-third of Africa only to protect the continent from Christian colonialism. Nice. But America was not lucky enough. Let’s read Ambassador Kavas:
“The North African coastline was annexed to Ottoman lands. Thanks to that, the African continent, which was going to be entirely colonized at the beginning of the 16th century, was saved from European invasion for a long time. There was no such force [like the Ottomans] to save [the continent of] America.”
Now I understand the root cause of endless fortunes in Africa and misfortunes in continental America. If the mighty Ottoman navy had colonized America, the New Continent would have been saved from the colonization of the Spanish, Portuguese and English.
That’s too bad. But it’s never too late. Even if the Ottomans failed, the neo-Ottomans can always make it up to the Americans.