The donkey rider vs. The dragon
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu lives the difficult life of fiction heroes. The tiny Turkish superman is fighting evil in every corner of a world populated by an increasing number of evil men. But the hero will never grow tired of fighting.
After having liberated Jerusalem, Damascus and Cairo, removed a brutal naval embargo on Gaza and united all Muslim populations of the former Ottoman lands – all in a span of five years – Mr. Davutoğlu, in his new adventure, faces an unlikely but equally evil enemy in faraway lands. In the new episode of “The Adventures of the Man Who Would Change the World,” the willing savior of the world’s oppressed Muslims will fight and kill a merciless dragon. The new unfortunate enemy is China, or, in the words of one of the many Turkish Pravdas, “Israel’s twin, China.”
A “Free East Turkestan” signature campaign claims that the number of ethnic Uighurs killed by the Chinese security forces is more than the death toll in Palestine, Iraq and Syria combined. Surprisingly, in the face of such a Muslim death toll (millions, according to the East Turkestan campaigners), the Turkish Foreign Ministry shyly said it was merely “saddened” by reports that Uighur Muslims had been banned from worshiping and fasting during Ramadan.
Such is the setup for Mr. Davutoğlu’s dangerous “Mission Dragon.” But even before the hero devised his own plans to teach China a lesson, possibly like he did to Syria, Israel and Egypt, a group of impatient Turks took their own initiatives. In one incident, angry Turks showed China Turkey’s hard power: They destroyed a Chinese restaurant in Istanbul’s Tophane district. Cihan Yavuz, the owner of [the no longer] “Happy China” restaurant, almost in tears, told reporters: “We are Turkish. Our cook is an Uighur Turk … We do not even sell alcohol here … It seems I will close down the restaurant and leave.” That was the opening of Turkey’s famous wrath on any county that might dare to intimidate Muslims.
The next punishing Turkish hit on China could be the shooting of the film “Valley of the Wolves: China.” Like in the previous episode, featuring Palestine, the super Turkish hero Polat Alemdar, upon landing at Beijing Capital International Airport, will be seen to be questioned by a Chinese immigration officer: “Why did you come to China?” He will heroically answer: “I did not come to China. I came to East Turkestan.” In the final scene, Alemdar will hoist the Uighur and Turkish flags on the Great Wall and at Tiananmen Square. Cue thunderous applause at Turkish cinemas and nice box office business.
Or, like in other national protest campaigns, Turks can always boycott Chinese products, both on individual and corporate levels, although past practices show that these kinds of punishment have invariably boosted Turkey’s imports from the target country. And of course, the Turkish government should ban all Chinese companies from Turkish public biddings. That way Turkey can fundamentally damage the Chinese economy.
Sending the mighty Turkish navy into the South China Sea for precision strikes may be too premature and unnecessary at this stage. Instead, Turkey can always put together and send a freedom flotilla, this time not a boat – since the target terrain is landlocked – but a convoy of road vehicles into Urumqi.
Meanwhile, this columnist will patiently wait to hear hot public speeches and uproar from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telling the Turks how mighty Turkey will bring the oppressive, terrorist state China to its knees for persecuting our “Turkic, Muslim brothers.” His silence so far and the Foreign Ministry’s too shy and reluctant “but we are saddened” reproach looks too weak a neo-Ottoman response to the killings of “more people than were killed in Palestine, Iraq and Syria combined.”
By the way, when will the Turkish ambassador to China be recalled?