Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s grand design to recreate the Ottoman caliphate with the help of the Sunni jihadist army ISIS could be derailed if he can’t get parliament to transfer to him the powers he had when he was prime minister, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Elected president last August, Erdogan has been in the spotlight as Turkey has refused to join the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition of Arab and European countries. He also has denied the U.S. the use of a base to launch attacks on the jihadist group.
In addition, Erdogan has been at odds with the Obama administration over U.S. policy toward Syria. Erdogan wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ousted. The Turkish president also has a long simmering fight with the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS, and regards ISIS as less of a threat to Turkey than the Kurds and Assad.
As prime minister, Erdogan has been in the forefront of keeping Turkey in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and seeking membership – so far unsuccessfully – in the European Union.
He was successful, however, in kneecapping the all-powerful General Staff that has been the secular voice in Turkey, orienting the government toward a more Islamic slant.
He has virtually broken diplomatic relations with Israel, backing the Sunni Palestinian group Hamas in the recent war. He also has pressed for a “zero problem” foreign policy that has been a cover for reasserting Turkish influence from the Middle East to Central Asia, the areas that once encompassed the Ottoman Empire.
Doubt about Turkish commitment
Michael Rubin of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute suggests there is “doubt” about Turkish commitment under Erdogan to counter ISIS.
He said there is evidence of a relationship between ISIS and Erdogan’s Justice and Development political party.
“There is a Turkish website called ‘Takva Haber’ which Turks say serves as the mouthpiece for ISIS,” Rubin said. “It has been crucial in pushing out ISIS propaganda, and it has also helped ISIS recruit Turks to the degree that Turkey will be facing blowback from the radicals it has spawned, long after Erdogan is dead or in prison.”