Ottomans Revived?

Ottoman Empire

Image by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL via Flickr

Every now and then I check in with Pravda. Pravda is Russia’s national newspaper and there is a link of Drudge to it.

I remember Pravda from back in the day of the Soviet Union when it was known as being THE state-run media that would never say anything critical of the regime. In that way old Pravda has something in common with our own mainstream media who are also slow to say anything critical about our current regime.

So back in the day Pravda had a credibility problem and from what I’ve seen on my occasional visits Pravda is still a cheerleader for the Russian State under Putin. Nevertheless, there is almost always something interesting to check out in Pravda.

This article in Pravda caught my eye: Turkey Wants to Revive Ottoman Empire

That this would appear in Pravda is no surprise to anyone with a sense of world history. The Ottoman Turks at one time had a rather large empire that extended into the Balkans and controlled most of the Arab countries. (See map above)

The Ottomans were Turks and Moslems. In 1453 the Ottomans destroyed the remnant of the Roman Empire (Byzantine) by taking Constantinople and renaming it Istanbul. By 1683 the Ottomans were at the gates of Vienna and were only turned back by an alliance between the Holy Roman Empire and Poland. The Ottomans were a Moslem super power to be reckoned with!

Ottoman Janissary_1800

By WW1 however the empire was in decline. Turkey sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary in The Great War and following the defeat of those powers the once mighty empire was broken up. Much of the tensions in the middle-east began with the empire’s demise since what we now know as Israel and Palestine were part of the Ottoman Empire.

But what about Russia? Why would Pravda run an article claiming that modern-day Turkey wants to revive the glory days of Ottoman dominance?

It is perhaps because Czarist Russia was a historic enemy of the Ottomans fighting many wars with the last one being in 1877-78.

Turkey is also a member of NATO and friendly to the US and oddly enough until fairly recently friendly to Israel. That all began to change in 2008 when Turkey came under the influence of some of the more militant strains of Islam. Prior to that change Turkey had been known as a moderate Moslem state that was fairly comfortable with a secular government. Militant Islam could change all that and thus far has with Turkey becoming more closely allied with Teheran and the Persian Islamists in power there.

Will Turkey revive the empire? I think it’s doubtful. What does seem clear however is that Turkey is emerging once again as a major player in Islamic politics. Islam as a whole could become a super power if differences between Shia and Sunni could be resolved and then it would be question of which Moslem state would lead the coalition. It could be Turkey, they did it once before.


2 comments on “Ottomans Revived?

  1. muhaha, yeah we revived. but the point is not this, if we revived and ready for aggresion in our region, what will west think about us?

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