The Friendship Between Russia and Turkey Must Not Be Frittered Away

3 12 2015

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by Harun Yahya

Turkey and Russia are friends rather than mere neighbors, that have managed to get along ever since the leadership of Ataturk and the era of the Soviet Union. The downing by Turkey of a Russian plane on November 24 therefore profoundly shocked the peoples of both countries.

Analysts attributed the incident to several factors. Was this really imperative, or was it a mistake?

The aforementioned analysts claimed that the incident was retaliation for Russia’s attacks on Turkmen in Syria. Turkey had previously issued several warnings to Russia concerning attacks on areas inhabited by Turkmen, it was argued, and declared publicly that some of the areas bombed harbored no radical elements. Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and told that the bombing of Turkmen villages could have serious consequences; Russia was asked to put an immediate end to the operation. The Russian bombing of Turkmen areas had therefore been a sensitive issue for Turkey for some time.

However, if the aim behind the downing of the Russian jet was really to issue a warning to Russia on this matter, then Turkey should have seen benefit from it. Russia should have realized its error and pulled out of Turkmen areas. However, in the immediate aftermath of the crisis Russia continued its bombing of Turkmen areas and even restricted the airspace around them by moving in advanced air defense systems, thus limiting Turkey’s ability to act in the region. That Russia would do this was not difficult to foresee. It is obvious that the downing of a Russian plane could do Turkey no good in that sense, and it is therefore unrealistic to regard it as some kind of retaliation for attacks on the Turkmen.

Indeed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assurance that they wouldn’t have downed it had they known it was a Russian plane also confirms the fact that it couldn’t have been an act of retaliation.

The second allegation of some analysts commenting on the incident was that Russia and Turkey support different sides in the Syrian civil war and will – sooner or later – come into direct conflict. First, if this is the case it is illogical for the two sides to have waited five years. Moreover, a diplomatic initiative has been taken aimed at a solution in Syria. Although these diplomatic steps haven’t been put into practice on a large scale, the Vienna talks were perhaps of most concern to Turkey. The questions of the Turkmen of Georgia, Crimea and Syria, also of close concern to Turkey, had previously been resolved by diplomacy and negotiation between the two countries. Although there are certainly differences of opinion on numerous issues between the two, they have managed to get along and it is unrealistic to expect their disagreements over Syria to suddenly transform into an all-out shooting war.

Looking at the subject once again in the light of all this, it appears that the action was aimed not against Russia, but for the defense of national borders. The border violation consists of a number of details:

Following the downing of an unarmed Turkish jet with its identification system turned on by the Syrian regime on June 22, 2012, Turkey changed its rules of engagement. Accordingly, any military element approaching the Turkish border from Syrian territory would be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target. This decision, which is in line with the international law, had been shared with all relevant countries.

Some analysts point to our Aegean border with Greece as a similar instance. Border violations between Greece and Turkey happen on a frequent basis, and jets routinely warn and chase one another off. However, it is inaccurate to compare the disagreement in the Aegean to the present matter, because the rules of engagement that were changed in 2012 refer only to the Syrian border. Indeed, a Syrian Air Force Mig-23 fighter and a MI-17 helicopter were brought down within the scope of the new rules, and drones were also responded to on two separate occasions.

Let us remember that Turkey cannot afford to not protect its border with Syria as Turkey and NATO have many militarily and financially significant bases in the region. In addition, many of our people in Turkish border villages have lost their lives due to border violations. Therefore it is impossible for Turkey to ignore any violation of its border with Syria. Russia is the country most responsible for such violations. Russia commenced its aerial campaign in Syria on September 30, and committed 13 violations in the space of just seven days. The violations continued, and on October 3-4 Ambassador Karlov was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and reminded again of the rules of engagement. On October 16, a Russian drone was shot down by Turkish jets.

These violations increased when Russia started its attacks on Turkmen areas but were not directly made public. However, they were put to delegations at high-level meetings with Russian military officials. When the number of violations increased, Turkey sought US assistance, and F-15 fighters capable of fighting Russian Su-34s were sent to Turkey’s Incirlik air base. Although such violations were frequent, Turkey and Russia, two good allies, always managed to solve these problems amicably.

Repeatedly violating a country’s borders – despite all previous warnings – puts the leader of that country in a difficult position. But should the response be shooting down a plane? Of course not.

Although escalating the rules of engagement to war conditions is permissible under international law, shooting a plane down endangers the lives of the pilots and people on the ground. We cannot therefore possibly approve of such a course. The important point here is to emphasize that there was no irregularity under international law and that we have no hostility toward Russia. Indeed NATO, and countries such as the US, France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Holland have declared that there was no breach of the law in the application of the rules of engagement.

We are in a very sensitive time. It is essential for leaders to avoid harsh words and an angry tone that they will later regret. People know that I have long bravely opposed the policy of isolating Russia in my writings and other statements. Harsh words may strengthen that isolation worldwide and that is not what we desire. Commentators on both sides must act with reason, use a language of peace and love and avoid language of anger and hatred. Angry words may come to one’s tongue very easily for a moment, but they are exceedingly hard to retract. It must not be forgotten that such intemperate language can push ignorant, loveless and vengeful types totally out of control, and that this would seriously damage both communities. Those who strive for peace must now become engaged.

The Turkish and Russian peoples do not desire any falling out. That is one of the main reasons for the approval our peace messages in Russian newspapers have received. Turkey is an important doorway through which Russia and the Islamic world can come together and interact more strongly. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rational policies have strengthened that solidarity. This valuable friendship we enjoy with Russia must not be frittered away through harsh rhetoric that cannot be retracted.

 

1. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/20/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey-russia-idUSKCN0T91MO20151120#BD3b3xCOL0ybS2i4.97
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian%E2%80%93Turkish_border_clashes_
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegean_dispute
4. http://kokpit.aero/su24-krizi-sorular-cevaplar-analiz
5. http://www.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr/rus-ucaklarinin-ihlal-ler-inden-sonra-36391yy.htm
6. http://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/uluslararasi-toplumdan-turkiyeye-destek/481809
7. http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/26-11-2015/132707-turkey_russia-0/

 

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com


A Sensitive Time Both for Turkey and Russia to Act with Reason

27 11 2015

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by Harun Yahya

Turkey has been living among the ring of fire for a long time given its geographic position. No doubt, the on-going conflict in Syria has been escalating at a great pace as new players have entered the stage. Even though she did not want to get involved in the clashes in Syria, she has been compelled to be part of it as she considered a way to protect civilians. Turkey is showing her intention in helping the civilians by hosting 2.5 million people fleeing from the war zones and continuing to receive newcomers with patience and enthusiasm.

Yesterday on November 24th marked a very unexpected incident, which rose tensions in the area and especially between Turkey and our long-lasting friend, neighbor and strategic partner since the declaration of the Republic of Turkey: Russia.

It should be noted that Turkey is against all kinds of tension and conflict within the region. Yet, it has faced very severe terrorist acts recently in advance of the June and November elections. The latter one was witnessed at the center of our capital Ankara, which has been labeled as the deadliest terror act seen in Turkey’s history.  With its new cabinet announced yesterday, Turkey will to resolve the situation both within the country and in the region where it acts as one of the key players.

We wish from the very bottom of our heart that no conflicts take place, no combat aircraft hover around our skies, no more killings of innocent people and peace to prevail. Despite everything, this situation can be solved by mutual talks and understanding and no sane person wants conflict, the world has already innumerable wars throughout history.

The unwanted incident between Turkey and Russia was not something any of us would be in favor of. Yet, Turkish President Erdogan showed his discontent in a reconciliatory statement: “We regret having witnessed this, but sad to say we are experiencing the pain of it having happened.” The Prime Minister Davutoglu made similar statements indicating that Turkey does not have any intention of escalating tensions between her neighbor Russia and has also emphasized during the AK Party Group Meeting that Russia has been one of the states Turkey has been sensitive about sustaining the relations for the last 13 years. No doubt, the declarations of both leaders are very sensitive and mild to make sure that our friendship is not harmed.  Evidently, Turkey would not do anything intentional that would jeopardize our centuries old friendship with Russia.

It wouldn’t be reasonable to raise tensions due to the unwelcome incident between Turkey and Russia yesterday, but should be evaluated with moderation and tranquility. To better comprehend the development of this undesirable act, we need to go back to June 22, 2012 when an F4 jet from the Malatya air base was shot down by Syria without warning that resulted with the death of two Turkish pilots. Consequently, Turkish Armed Forces changed the rules of engagement with regards Syria that any military vehicle approaching the Turkish border from Syria would be treated as a military target. Thus, the undesired incident at issue was a consequence of the rules of engagement.

Nevertheless, it is by no means possible for us to consent to a procedure like engagement that is very likely to result in death and that jeopardizes the pilots and the people on the ground, as well. We should always be mindful of diplomatic means to solve issues vis a vis border security as it is certainly important for the protection of the citizens.  According to international law, this regrettable incident is considered to be between NATO and Russia. In this present case, NATO has called all parties to be cautious and contribute to reducing tensions as Stoltenberg stated the importance of the situation but also hoped for renewed contacts between Turkey and Russia. Furthermore, President Erdogan reiterated this morning in the meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) “We have no intention to escalate this incident… Turkey is not on the side of tension, crisis and animosity.”

We have always stated the importance of Russian collaboration with Turkey in terms of peace and security in the Middle East via our articles that appeared in international media and via live television appearances. During the crisis that Russia has been involved, including the recent Ukraine conflict, we have repeatedly stated that Russia should not be isolated by the world. It is of grave importance to give thought of what was stated in one of my previous articles: “If there is one lesson be learned from the sufferings from the 19th century to the present, it is that you cannot build happiness on the unhappiness of other societies. The region cannot be happy if Russia is unhappy. We cannot feel secure if Russia is insecure. The days of saying, “It does not matter what happens to others as long as we are strong’ are over. Now is the time to advocate the principle of, ‘Let us all be happy and safe and at ease,’ without excluding anyone…”

Turkish people have never been an aggressive society and never have acted as an aggressor. On the contrary, they cherish the love and bonds they have with their friends. Tensions, unwanted incidents might occur from time to time, but they are temporary, whereas love of two friends is permanent. Turkish people made this clear yesterday on Twitter, when we started two hashtag campaigns to counter the negative propaganda trying to be imposed on both people. As soon as the hashtags were published, Turks immediately picked them up and made them the top trending topics. These were: ‘TürkiyeRusya Kardeştir,’ ‘TurkeyRussia Brothers’,  “Турция Россия Братья” in Turkish, English and Russian respectively.

We would deeply appreciate the support of President Putin and other top Russian officials that will assist us to pass this sensitive process with kind and reconciliatory comments. It must be remembered that Turkish people have always loved, and embraced Russian people and considered this friendship as a valuable gift and Russians have always returned this love with equal fervor. To ensure that this friendship stays strong, the parties, especially the leaders of both countries, should continue this loving spirit of their people, shut down the provocative rhetoric and embrace a calm approach to peacefully close this subject. This is especially important when the ties between these two old friends are at stake. To turn the world into a place where people want to live in peace, we need such initiatives, and these days are great opportunities for self-sacrifice.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com

 


Flawed Plan for Syria

22 11 2015

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by Harun Yahya

A decision regarding the Syrian problem passed with little notice due to the busy world agenda last week. There was talk of a six-month transitional period in Syria, followed by elections.

Nobody considered the question as to how can a state be built in a country without a nation? Nobody asked, “What is the plan for the broad stretches under the control of Daesh and other radical groups?” As a matter of fact, the Syrian people should have taken such decisions but it is Russia and US that are calling the shots. And the regions discussed under the plan consisted only of Southwest Syria under regime’s control and the north, Rojaya, under the control of the YPG.

Observers may recall that Turkey had expressed its various concerns to the US. It said that any military aid for the PYD in Syria would be regarded as a hostile act against Turkey. The US, which explicitly referred to its military aid to the PYD during these announcements and stated that it supported autonomy under PYD leadership in the region, suddenly changed its tone on Nov. 4, saying that it would not even accept a semi-autonomous system in the region and that no military aid was being given to the PYD, but rather to Arab groups in the area.

The Arab groups in the region refer to Sanadid, and to Suwal Al-Raqqa that broke away from the Free Syrian Army. These two groups are known for their Stalinist ideology and act together with the YPG. A fictitious name, the “Syrian Democratic Forces” said to be fighting Daesh in the region, has recently come to prominence. This in fact symbolizes a grouping including the above-mentioned Arab groups and the YPG (the armed wing of the PYD). In other words, US weapons are directly reaching the YPG, but under a different name. The US Deep State is therefore playing with words in an effort to win Turkey over and avoid probable international condemnation.

International condemnation is the reason for this change in the US tone. Recent reports by international groupings on YPG indicated the severity of the situation. Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report in June documenting YPG violations of human rights. In a second report, in July, it described the horror of the PYD’s use of child soldiers. In October, Amnesty International documented how the YPG had directed US bombers toward areas with civilian populations and added its policy of repression of the local Arab population to the report. Amnesty International stated that the YPG had committed war crimes in the region and violated international law. At the same time, the Kurdish people in the Kurdish area of Syria carried out violent protests. These protests were against the YPD/YPG and were an uprising by local people against the PYD because of its violation of international humanitarian law.

The US concern entered the equation here. Directly arming the Stalinist YPG, a documented international war criminal, was dragging the US into a situation that would be difficult explain. The international community may have believed this change of tone, but very few people in Turkey have. The US policy of trying to win over the Turkish administration and people, experts on the Stalinist and terrorist PKK and its treachery, is a mistaken one.

In the immediate wake of these developments the issue of Jarabulus, the only area on the south line of Turkey that the YPG has failed to take, was again raised by the US. Jarabulus has long been in Daesh’s hands. The US wants to expel Daesh from the region.

In all likelihood only Turkey in the region can see the terrible consequences of the steps taken by the US Deep State to remove Daesh from various parts of Syria. It is as if a Stalinist YPG line along our border has been dreamed up in order to separate us from Muslim lands and make it easier for the PKK to settle on Turkish territory. It is sad to see how our ally, the US, is serving this plan.

The strategy is a familiar one; US planes bomb targets based on coordinates given by the YPG, and YPG militants then move in. Let us remember Tal Abyad, from where the Turkmens and Arabs were expelled after the YPG took control. The US showed pictures of what was said to be the FSA flag flying in the region to prove that the PKK/YPG terror organization had not moved in. Yet that flag actually belonged to none other than Suawal Al-Raqqa, which had broken away from the FSA and acts with the YPG. In other words, a ruse was being worked out under the name of the “Democratic Syrian Forces,” a virtual entity entirely deriving from the mindset of the YPG. Now the US Deep State wants to use a similar means to remove Daesh from Jarabulus with Turkish help. Yet the Turkish administration is unable to obtain an answer to the question, “What will happen once Daesh departs?” Because the safe zone along the Mare line proposed by Turkey was again rejected by the US at the G-20 summit in Turkey this week. Only one option therefore remains to move the virtual entity known as the “Democratic Syrian Forces” into the region; in other words, to move the PKK in.

It is difficult for us to understand the idea of seeking military help from Turkey in order to settle the PKK, Turkey’s sole enemy, along the Turkish border. However, name changes, political maneuvers and a veiled political language make it all the easier to raise such proposals.

The determined US backing for the PYD is of concern to Russia. Russia’s longstanding aim is to strengthen Baath rule in Syria. The precondition for that is a Baathist mindset, not Assad. Since the PYD adheres to the similar ideology, it would seem to be the only component in Syria on which the US and Russia can agree. If Syria’s future is to be built on this Stalinist terrorist basis, then even worse scourges clearly lie in wait for the Middle East. We hope that rational US and Russian leaders can grasp this before it is too late.

1- http://haber.star.com.tr/yazar/abd-pydye-silah-vermiyor-mu/haber-1067818
2- https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/06/19/under-kurdish-rule/abuses-pyd-run-enclaves-syria
3- https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/07/10/syria-kurdish-forces-violating-child-soldier-ban-0
4- https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2015/10/syria-us-allys-razing-of-villages-amounts-to-war-crimes/

 

 

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com


Israel: $50 Billion Fence Mending with the US

18 11 2015

Remember this Next November when you cast your vote.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.21.20 PMI am sure $50 billion destined to Israel as “fence mending” could do a great deal to mend fences with millions of Americans (exceeding the entire population of Israel) cheated out of their homes, cheated out of their pensions, cheated out of their jobs, cheated out of their dignity and self-respect by the White House and Congress that chose to mend fences with criminal Israel, but not with its own citizens.

I always have a hard time trying to understand this so called “special relationship” between Israel and the US. It is not strategic; it is not political; it’s not moral; at best it’s a special relationship between a whore and its pimp. The more the pimp beats the whore, the more money the whore gives to her pimp.

This week the White House hosted none other than Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, for what was termed as mending fences. It was a meeting between the pimp and its whore, the US.

Think about it. Bibi Netanyahu keep hitting and punching President Obama left and right and below the belt, and our President, the most powerful man in the world, kept taking it, adding insult to injury. Too bad Mr. Obama did not tell Bibi to go to Hell.

The last time Bibi was in the US, he was invited by Congress to deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress in an attempt to block the Iran nuclear deal. Very few members of Congress dared to skip out on the speech, and Bibi received numerous standing ovations.

Bibi came to speak to Congress to warn the US about the danger of a nuclear Iran when he, his intelligence services, and all of the intelligence services around the world knew that Iran did not have the bomb and didn’t seek the bomb. Bibi knew how to make stupid fools out of Congress, when his intention all along was not the Iranian bomb, but how to fleece and blackmail America out of more money.

This week, he got what he wanted: $50 billion, in what is referred to as “mending fences” between the US and Israel, and between Obama and Netanyahu. Bibi arrived at the White House shortly after being honored by the American Enterprise Institute, the “incubator” of America’s wars on behalf of Israel; wars where trillions of dollars were wasted, and where tens of thousands of our finest soldiers were injured or maimed for life or killed. Yes, Bibi deserves such an award because he is the pimp that America is afraid of.
Fence Building — This is the fence that Bibi built with American dollars

Fence Building — This is the fence that Bibi built with American dollars

Just imagine what $50 billion in “mending fences” can do for the people of West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Southern Ohio, Southwest Virginia, Appalachia.

Just imagine all the clean drinking water, the brand new sewage treatment plants, the medical and dental care, the technical schools and universities, the job retraining, the environmental cleanup and restoration, and decent and affordable housing. It would make that region come closer to what the people of Israel with our money enjoy.

No Sir, our Administration and Congress continue to give priority to Israel over American citizens. For the $10 million AIPAC and the American Jewish leadership contribute to political campaigns through PACs, Congress votes tens of billions of our tax dollars to Israel, without even a debate.

It makes no sense, and we need to throw out and vote out of Congress all those Israeli Firsters, who send our tax dollars to a criminal racist rogue nation like Israel.

As I look around, maybe there are a few things that bind us to Israel, such as our political bankruptcy, our illegal and criminal wars, our treatment of our own citizens of “color”; but there are other qualities that don’t bind us to Israel, such as our sense of morality, our sense of justice, fairness, humanity and charity, and looking after our neighbors.

National cultural values are the landmark of the American people. Israel shares none of these value systems with us.

The so-called Judeo-Christian values do not bind us with a Zionist state whose religion is Zionism, not Judaism.

Remember next November when you go to the voting booth. Remember all those members of Congress who voted $50 billion for Israel, but who did not vote the $50 billion for you and for your neighbors and friends, nor for our citizens in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Southern Ohio, Southwest Virginia. They deserve the money more than a nation whose GDP was $365 billion.

_________


Terrorism and Turkey

15 11 2015

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by Harun Yahya

Following June 7 elections in Turkey, HDP surpassed the threshold and AKP lost its parliamentary majority that it had held for the past 13 years. In other words, after 13 years of single-party rule, coalition efforts started which also ended in failure. A temporary government was set up to be in charge until the preliminary elections on November 1.

During this busy period of elections, polarization in Turkey intensified, terrorist attacks increased and various other factors that could affect the elections came into play.

However, among all these factors, rising terrorist attacks in Turkey need special consideration. Just like in many countries of the world, the purpose of terrorist groups in Turkey is not always demoralizing people or taking revenge, but is sometimes about conveying a political message. Because political outcomes of terrorist attacks are important in their quest to conquer from within.

PKK terror that has been scourging Turkey for the past 40 years has a similar nature. Having enjoyed strong support of certain deep groups throughout its history due to its communist background, PKK managed to stay alive in Turkey. Sometimes through terrorism, sometimes using cease-fires or negotiations as a pretense, PKK has done everything to stall the state in its pursuit of the goal of conquering from within. Regrettably, this tactic worked.

The bloodiest terrorist attack in Turkey’s history happened on October 10 in Ankara and had all the characteristics of such an agenda. A quick look at PKK’s history will reveal that it never refrained from killing its own supporters to secure Marxist support by playing the victim. This is actually not at all surprising for a terrorist organization that executed 17,000 of its own militants.

Indeed, the explosion that happened in Diyarbakir only two days before the general elections, the suicide bombing in Suruc that claimed the lives of 34 people in July and the Ankara attack have all similar characteristics. For instance, all of them happened during HPD rallies, which is the political party that PKK supports. The fact that no HDP member was present at those rallies is mysterious and merits serious consideration.

Furthermore, the targets of these bombs have always been groups known for their support of HDP.

For these reasons, it is safe to say that the attacks were tactical terrorist moves intended to turn PKK into victims, by targeting its supporters while making sure that PKK wasn’t harmed in the process.

The fact that these bloody attacks happened right before or after the elections also needs to be considered carefully. Let us add that after the Diyarbakir attack, in a span of a mere day, HDP managed to increase its votes by two percent.

There is one important fact that we need to keep in mind: HDP is an important political party with important values, such as democracy and women’s rights. However, the fact that it is kept under constant PKK threat makes it a risk for Turkey. Therefore the problem is not the values it defends, but the PKK support it enjoys.

As some factions known to be close to PKK in Turkey continue their policy of creating a diversion, it was revealed that the individuals who tweeted “about the explosion in Ankara” a day before it actually happened were PKK members. Similarly, PKK defector D.B. confessed that PKK planted the bombs at the HDP rally venue in Diyarbakir. Another recent development, regarding the Suruc explosion, came after a convicted PKK member named Gulistan D. admitted that Nazli D. organized the attack in Suruc to “provide leverage to PKK.”

But is it true that after these attacks, PKK has gotten what it wanted, namely more people blaming the government? Regrettably, the polarization in Turkey has now peaked. And clearly, the terrorist attacks have had untoward effects on the country’s stability. Yet the real impact is yet to be seen, when the elections are held two weeks later. Unless the government takes more effective measures to curb PKK’s terror, and adopt a uniting rhetoric instead of a polarizing one, there is no doubt that the terrorist organization will benefit from such an environment. In other words, as long as this rhetoric continues, the outcome of the November 1 elections will not be significantly different.

Even if the election results do not change significantly, the attitude after the elections should be different and decisively more positive than in June.

Most importantly, a coalition government should be formed urgently, without further ado, so that escalating terrorism can be effectively countered.

Parties should reach an agreement on the basis of their shared values and temporarily set aside their differences. The recently rising language of hatred and anger in politics should be replaced with a language of love that will have a positive impact on people.

It is important to understand the sheer scale of the problems Turkey is facing: Increased terror attacks, a raging war right on its borders and millions of refugees that it is accommodating. If in the face of these challenges people fail to cling to each other, lose their bonds of friendship and love and become divided, the ensuing troubles will be like nothing seen before. It should be kept in mind that the stability of countries depends on the happiness of their people. Turkey should adopt a strategy to rebuild its solidarity and union, despite all the negative outcomes of the challenges it is facing.

This is important because Turkey, as an Islamic country, has a great responsibility to be the bright, democratic, stable and free face of Europe and the Middle East.

 

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com


How Can Lebanon Break Its Downward Spiral?

8 11 2015

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by Harun Yahya

Lebanon has long been a very strategic country despite its small size. Its borders with Syria and Israel and its unique communal set-up made it a special but fragile country open to foreign intervention. The unrest between the Muslim and Christian communities led to a long and painful civil war that began in 1975 and lasted for 25 years, claiming the lives of 100,000. Once known as the Paris of the East, beautiful Beirut is today changed beyond recognition both due to the civil war and the foreign intervention.

However, the country, despite its struggling economy and post-war situation, admirably hosts a very large number of Syrian refugees in addition to Palestinian refugees that sought shelter there after the Arab-Israeli conflict started.

During the Arab Spring, Lebanon managed to maintain its stability and despite the fact that its politics is largely dominated by certain families, it escaped unscathed from the destructive winds that left a trail of destruction throughout the Middle East.

At the moment, things are relatively calm, but political turmoil continues, as the country hasn’t had a President since May 2014 due to political disputes.

Despite the election dilemma, the country held on to its stability for the most part, until recently, when a garbage landfill south of the capital was shut down. Since then the trash started piling up in the streets, causing the residents a good deal of distress and discomfort and very possibly, serious health concerns. Although the government has repeated on many occasions that they are working on a solution, the trash crisis led to a popular movement called ‘YouStink’, followed by a larger movement demanding accountability from the country’s political leaders, which are seen by most as thoroughly corrupt.

Although more freedoms and better management of the country and seeing to it that it is free from corruption are natural demands, it is of paramount importance that both the people of Lebanon and political leaders act with great caution for the best interests of their country. We all have seen the destructive consequences of the Arab Spring, which also started with promises of more freedom, democracy and better living standards.

Neither Lebanon nor the region can afford to slip into a dangerous situation one more time.  They need to carefully observe the situation and the consequences of similar movements in Syria, Libya, Egypt or Yemen. Furthermore, given its history of foreign intervention at its weakest, it would be incredibly risky to further weaken the country.

What the people of Lebanon should do is to embrace and spread a spirit of peace and solidarity from the bottom up. It is crucial that Muslims, especially the political parties abandon sectarian or ethnic divides and embrace each other on the basis of Muslim identity. They should see Christians and the Druze as people entrusted to them by God, and approach them with love and compassion. This beautiful spirit of love and common sense will give an important message to Lebanese politicians and encourage them to take more concrete steps in improving the country’s management.

Needless to say, the garbage issue and other problems the country faces needs to be resolved urgently. However, it is important that the beautiful people of Lebanon make their demands known with peaceful and democratic methods. Mass petitions, signature campaigns, rallies that are orderly, civilized and respectful to the authorities, appointments between the representatives of activist groups and relevant government agencies and TV interviews will help achieve quick and effective results. When people make their requests known through such peaceful, civilized and respectful methods, it is unlikely that any government would remain indifferent. It is crucial that the people of Lebanon do not resort to the aggression and rebellion, which can be considered a tradition in the Middle East now and continue to adhere by the principles of democracy.

In return, the government should take immediate action to solve the garbage problem urgently. After this step is taken, other reasonable requests of the people should be taken into account to create a more transparent, more efficient and more accountable system of governance that includes participation from all the groups in society. Following this, the political bottleneck regarding the presidential elections should be eliminated and a peaceful, all-embracing president who is respectful of freedoms and human rights must be elected to take the country off this dangerous journey down the path to self-destruction.

Both the good people of Lebanon and the suffering peoples of the Middle East need peace and stability. It would be a grave mistake for the people of Lebanon to embark on a risky adventure, especially given the recent examples around them.

We hope that this beautiful country, with its rich history and legacy, gets back on its feet very soon through peaceful and democratic means and that the good people of Lebanon can achieve the living standards they deserve.

 

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com

 


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