By: Eng. Hussein Adan Igeh
Somalilandsun – Turkey is one of the most influential Muslim countries in the world. Turkey’s reputation at the moment is huge. For more than 600 years, the Ottoman Empire ruled much of Asia, parts of Europe, North Africa and parts of the Horn of Africa (the current Republic of Somaliland included).
Inspired by these historical facts, it is entirely conceivable that the rulers of the modern Turkey, President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (charismatic, populist and global statesmen) may cherish similar grand ambitions. Emulating the examples set by their ancestors; they have every reason to attach importance to these ideals, because they represent a nation that has earned its place as a global player. At the moment Turkish Republic is an emerging key player in World Geo-political affairs.
In the past, Turkey’s foreign policy was based on the concept of being friends with everyone and enemies with no one. It seems now that Turkey is shifting this outdated foreign policy stance, particularly since “The Arab Uprising”, by fostering a new approach of powerful diplomacy and closer ties with the Arab world and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Combined with offers of economic, technical and humanitarian assistances to those Muslim populations in need (e.g. Somalia, Somaliland, Syria, Libya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, etc.), but also more interestingly assuming an unmistakable anti-Israel stance make Turkey an emerging key player in world geo-politics issues that has to be taken seriously.
Too big, too powerful, too Muslim to qualify as a full-fledged EU member
The Turkish leaders are firmly convinced that the recent turmoil in their own country is not something that just started from inside. It is a thorough foreign project that is directed and financed by evil forces from outside; solemnly aimed to create and fuel political and social unrest in this country. According to the Turkish leaders, the recent unrest and civil disobedience in Turkey should be regarded as a Western conspiracy plot to undermine the ever growing Turkish influence and contribution to the economic and political affairs in the Muslim world as well as its emerging market expansion. To qualify as a full-fledged member of the European Union was a highly coveted political milestone of Turkey. Until quite recently, Turkey cherished real hopes of being allowed to start a negotiation process that would have paved the way joining the European Union. However, due to a fierce opposition by some heavyweights EU countries, the Turkish wishful thinking now seems illusory and unattainable. A deep-rooted hostility in France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere seems to have put an end to those hopes, at least for the foreseeable future. In many western European eyes, there are major objections to Turkey joining the euro-club: it’s too big, it’s too powerful – and it’s too Muslim.
The Turkish Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) visited to Somalia’s wrecked capital (Mogadishu) on August 19th 2011 during the holy month of Ramadan. It was a spiritual message: Muslims caring for fellow believers during the holy month of Ramadan. It was also a statement of common humanity and shared future. It was the message so many Somalis have longed to hear, but which have often sounded strangled from Western countries. In bringing his family to Mogadishu, Mr Erdogan wanted to disproof the perception that it was impossible to travel to the most dangerous city in the world (Mogadishu).
Since 2002, Turkey has been ruled by the Justice and Development Party, known as the AKP. Its roots, and those of its leaders, are in the tradition of political Islam. Over the past 7 years Turkey has been vastly improving its regional reputation; Turkey is rapidly emerging as a very significant key player in the region, and the Turkish government led by Mr Erdogan is highly determined to step up his country’s influence wherever he can.
Their irrefutable product which they are selling to the outside world (to the Muslim world among others) is a simple and an attractive one to Arabs and particularly to the rest of Muslim nations. The modern Turkey says: look at us! We are Muslim nation; we are also a democratic and prosperous country! Follow our viable model. Do as we did and you can have and achieve all this too!!
Somaliland meets to the Turkey’s wish list
For quite some time, Somaliland laid on the Turkish geopolitical glimpse. The Republic of Somaliland meets all the ideal component of a Muslim country where the current Turkish government is looking for: Somaliland is a Muslim country, Democratic and has incredible Natural Resources. So the Republic of Somaliland fits perfectly in with the Turkey’s wish list regarding to the geo-political and economical sphere of influence that they are now looking for. Certainly, this is the point at which all the political, economic and strategic interests of Turkish government are converging. The geo- economic-political significance of the Republic of Somaliland (thanks to its geographical location, maritime infrastructure, long coastline and deep sea ports), positions Somaliland to be as one of East Africa’s major energy supply bases and could play a key role in the regions energy future.
The brilliant performance of President Ahmed Silaanyo’s government and the way in which they have presented and put forward the Somaliland’s case on international stage, in both style and substance, are extremely interesting. This government is on the right track to contribute to the Somaliland’s long overdue plea for recognition. The government of Somaliland has been able to convince the Turkish Government to act as mediator between Somaliland and the Federal Somali government. Somaliland has also persuaded Turkey to see the importance role that the Turkish government could play. Somaliland has explicitly hinted how Turkey can increase their political weight at global level by remaining actively involved on the African and Muslim world affairs. Somaliland is fully convinced that Turkey should follow the example set by a very tiny country like Qatar that plays a leading role concerning mediation of international conflicts.
Eng. Hussein Adan Igeh (Hussein Deyr)(UK)
God Bless the Republic of Somaliland and Its Noble People
Recent article by the same author
Somaliland: President Ahmed Silaanyo Deserves Praise not Poison (Part II)