The party goes on!
One may or may not like Turkey’s rulers, but you must be fair and admit that they are often fun – unless they do serious things and cause harm. They live in a world of wonders which, for us outsiders, is truly amusing to observe.
A couple of months ago, we learned with quite some pleasure that doctoral candidate Ahmet Davutoğlu had the habit of having long discussions, in his dreams, with Muhammad al-Ghazali, a medieval Muslim theologian, philosopher, jurist and mystic of Persian descent, as well as with Friedrich Hegel, a 19th-century German philosopher whose German Idealism is considered to be a precursor to Marxism.
Mr. Davutoğlu has not yet revealed the contents of his discussions with the philosophers, but if he did, they could have made an interesting, best-selling book in Turkey and abroad. My suggested title would be: “How I Lured Hegel into Pan-Islamist Idealism: The Future Turkish Empire.”
More recently, we learned that Prime Minister Davutoğlu had been a prime minister in his earlier life. According to his own narrative, the elementary school pupil Davutoğlu was chosen by his teacher for the role of the prime minister in a school play. Sadly, we do not know much about the script and whether at the age of 10 he had set out to accomplish the ambitious task of “correcting the incorrect flow of history.”
In other words, Hegel and al-Ghazali were in fact meeting for discussions with a former Turkish prime minister.
During his current second term as prime minister, Mr. Davutoğlu recently recalled that he had made a prime minister’s speech at school after walking a long distance in his boots on a muddy road. The little prime minister’s muddy boots had earned him the nickname “the muddy prime minister.” That must have been a simple twist of fate signaling the lands he as the adult prime minister would put his boots on: The Middle East.
Most recently, we learned that Turkey’s national security has been entrusted to Prime Minister Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's personal physical gifts as athletes (in addition, of course, to the Turkish Armed Forces). This we learned from EU Minister Volkan Bozkır, a former ambassador. Mr. Bozkır politely but powerfully reminded everyone that Turkey’s foreign enemies should be so scared of its powers – a real heavyweight’s powers - that if Turkey struck with its might, the victim would open his eyes in a hospital’s emergency ward. But what makes Turkey a real heavyweight, literally and/or metaphorically? Minister Bozkır has an explanation: “The president is a very good trainer. And the prime minister is a good athlete. He is very good at judo and karate.”
But why did Mr. Bozkır not reveal all this before? If the fact that Mr. Davutoğlu is very good at judo and karate is known by Turkey’s enemies, it could be a game-changer in the Middle East.
For instance, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, upon hearing the frightening news, may decide to surrender power to a coalition of milder-to-wilder Sunni Islamists and run away to Moscow where another good athlete, Vladimir Putin, could perhaps protect him from Mr. Davutoğlu’s punishing blows.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi should also find a similar refuge to avoid a good Turkish beating.