Time­less il­lu­sions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY COSTAS IORDANIDIS

Dur­ing Ot­toman rule, the Kur­dish el­e­ment acted as a shield against Iran’s Shi­ites on the eastern bor­der. Kurds ral­lied around Mustafa Ke­mal Ataturk against Greek forces in Asia Mi­nor, though their “ser­vices” went un­rec­og­nized by the Ke­mal­ists once they had pre­vailed. Er­do­gan’s strat­egy against the Kurds has sub­stan­tially al­tered the in­ter­nal bal­ance of power and has proven suc­cess­ful to a great ex­tent, for the time be­ing at least. Keep­ing this por­tion of the coun­try – which is highly ex­pe­ri­enced in war­fare – in­ac­tive makes the han­dling of Ke­mal­ist pro­test­ers a com­pli­cated, but not im­pos­si­ble, process. The Turk­ish pre­mier is pit­ting the Ke­mal­ist elite against the hordes of his own sup­port­ers, who he is en­cour­ag­ing. His power lies in the sup­port of the Is­lamic masses and the dis­cred­it­ing of the old es­tab­lish­ment com­pris­ing the jus­tice sys­tem and the armed forces – some­thing which he sys­tem­at­i­cally planned over the last three years. What hap­pens within Turkey, how­ever, is not re­ally the point. The ques­tion is Greece’s on­go­ing help­less­ness against a mas­sive Turkey and the undis­cussed il­lu­sion of an im­mi­nent Turk­ish col­lapse, which seems to be tak­ing quite a while. The prob­lem is time­less. When Greeks threw their sup­port be­hind the Young Turks move­ment in 1908, their hopes were crushed. Fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the “Me­gali Idea” in Asia Mi­nor, the myth of a Greek-Turk­ish friend­ship be­tween Ataturk

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