Bedroom coach Erdoğan

Bedroom coach Erdoğan

What would Worshipful Master Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey say if he were to visit China? Would he then realize the world’s population problem and advise the Chinese to have fewer babies? Or would he continue on with the logic he displayed in Kazakhstan this week and tell the Chinese that three or five kids per family would not be sufficient for their great country, spanning such a vast geography?

The Islamist political beliefs of the worshipful master are at not peace with the notion of conservation or the use of contraceptives. Anti-conservative political Islamists and sheer radicals have been against the use of contraceptives and all sorts of birth control because, particularly in rural Turkey, it has been thought by sheikhs or religious leaders that condoms, IUDs, diaphragms or such things were all state “eavesdropping devices.” Well, in this country, which has become an empire of fear, the state has all sorts of eavesdropping capabilities (look at the state’s Ergenekon indictment-confession), but in rural Turkey such fears still persist.

Furthermore, in an industrial, post-industrial, or information and technology-based society, the agrarian concept of strength, which the worshipful master and his political clan apparently subscribe to, is no longer relevant. In a post-agrarian society – which Turkey has been trying to establish since 1980 by integrating its economy with global markets – more than simply what is produced on the land, rather it is the industrial and intellectual added value a country generates that is more important. Feeding the second-largest military in NATO, for example, was a thing Turks were very proud of in the pre-1980 Turkey. In contemporary Turkey, such an army is a burden, and Turkey’s goal is to no longer have such a huge army composed of mostly under-armed conscripts, but a far smaller army with increased mobility and greater striking power.

Thus, if a smaller number of “slaves” are needed in the fields due to the shrinking role of agriculture in the economy and advances in technology, if a lesser number of conscripts are needed for an army which does not need so many men under arms, but instead relies on high-tech fighting systems, then what purpose might a higher population other than the sheer size of the nation, a primitive obsession? The size of a population of course does matter as one piece of data describing the greatness of a nation. But, far more important than that, unfortunately, is what the nation produces: the added value, and the export capability of a country. Despite all the criticisms leveled at the current political Islamist government in Turkey, isn’t it a fact that they consolidated their governance of the country thanks to their successes in the field of economics and their continued success in maintaining Turkey’s high level of credibility, even as the country’s external debts reached unprecedented heights? And, surprisingly, most of this economic success is not due to increased production, but only to re-exports.

But Turkey’s worshipful master is more an imam than a statesman. He has been busy coaching Turks, Turkish Cypriots, Kazakhs and othe nations on their bedroom performance. Once upon a time a Turkish political leader might have dreamed that the population of Turkey could exceed 65 or 70 million, and then the country would become a great power of Europe. Turkey’s population is now over 73 million, and soon the number this country will have to feed will exceed 75 million. That is a challenge, not a size to be proud of.

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