Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

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Surya
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Surya » 12 Feb 2010 19:13

Manny

come on


I have Turkish, Armenian and Greek frioends and we get into rollicking arguments

The Turks have no cumpulsion in admitting to massacres - except they claim it was due to Armenian chicanery (some of it true) and the usual ravages of war in those times. (yeah just like invaders massacred folks in Northern Indian)

Lets not blame it on Armenian neglect.

I have also visited Armenians in Jerusalem and have seen family albums with whole groups of people lost to that debacle.

What happened was still nasty and Turkey without admitting to genocide eventually will have to admit to some level of brutal behavior

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Surya » 12 Feb 2010 19:15

Aha JEM

You are not getting away so easily

Need you to participate in the Travelogue thread

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby abhischekcc » 12 Feb 2010 21:35

somnath,

BDs, like most South Asians, have multiple identities. The Bengali/Bangladeshi in them makes them resistant to pakistan in face value. But they have deeper empathies with them because of Islamist identity.

Also, do not forget the well funded effort of Arab countries to destroy Bengali culture in BD and replace it with Arabic value.

They are more Islamic than Bengali.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 12 Feb 2010 22:05

Chiron wrote:Turkish people (from whatever I understood from their friendship and a weekend in Istanbul) are one of the most unimaginative people I have encountered with. Those students who actually study for post graduation, are mostly devout kemalists. In fact, I was listening to a group of Turkish students with one of them using the phrase "Insha Allah" too frequently. As his emphasis on words increased, I could sense a clear discomfort on the faces of other Turks, although I did not understand a word of their conversation.

Turks somehow try too hard to detach themselves from their biraders in pious lands and try to hard to show their association with Europe, perhaps the subconscious effects of keeping them from formally entering EU. They are sensitive to talk about Kurds, but talk very warmly about Greeks.

Very true. My Turkish friend considered himself Eastern European and used to make it a point to eat pork at every public gathering, and when he made presentations on oil firms he used to constantly rail against "those middle eastern people". That was quite something.




Chiron wrote:I guess, the problem is more with Muslims from subcontinent. I have known many Muslims from Mumbai who start mingling with Pakis after few days, and stop mingling with rest of us. Their group therapy sessions begin with prayers on every friday, which most of the times go on increasing in frequency. Of course, there are many notable exceptions to this, but so far I have not encountered these exceptions personally.


Part of this is that the Turksih Muslims abroad are from the "elite" while many of these Indian Muslims are just not that religious to begin with, and once they start hanging with the Pakis, they're taught their ways and become one of them. They only associate with one another, they pray together, eat together, sports together, and travel together.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Klaus » 12 Feb 2010 23:18

Is the project to ship natural gas from Turkmenistan to India via the Turkish port of Ceyhan (and Israel) still alive and kicking? The relevant post is in the West Asia thread and is about 2 yrs old:

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5366

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JB27Df03.html

Btw, JE Menon sir, is Istanbul similar to Singapore with regard to its cosmopolitan nature? Because if it is, then a lot of Indians would like to go and experience the place for its culture, edn and work etc. We know Singapore in quite some detail and so similarities and/or differences will be welcome in your next post. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby brihaspati » 13 Feb 2010 08:34

Suppiah wrote:Guys, I do understand Turkey's track record wrt India-Pak issues has not been perfect. But we cannot treat them all as the same. Turkey is NOT a typical ME country


This is interesting. I thought we can always find characteristics that make each country unique. What exactly Turkey has that distinguishes it from all other "typical" ME country? Or for that matter what defines a "typical ME country"?

As to Armenia and so on..let us not waste time, every country has ghosts of the past they try to bury under carpet. It should not concern us except in moralistic/academic discussions.

Ghosts, by definition, can never really be buried - they are supposed to be body-less. Actually, if this is applied for other countries - what Pakistan did to its own people in the "east" in 1971 should not have been of concern and confined to moralistic/academic discussions only. Same should have been done for what happend among SL Tamils. Same for Tibet. The reason such ghosts are important, are two-fold. First, history shows, that such ghosts sometimes become an essential part of national historical reconstructions - where instead of shame they become matter of pride. Second, by remembering those ghosts we gain an insight into possible mindsets that may culturally guide the same polity in the future. No memory of genocide perpetrated on others is ever a matter of complete an d consistent shame for many countries. They are held on deep inside as symbols of past prowess and revived for mobilization when convenient.

We can classify the entire area west of us right upto Europe into two or three categories - one category is where countries may sometimes be against us, but have a good chance of being with us 90% of the time, and can be our voice in forums like OIC. I think Turkey, Iran, future Afghan (if not under TSP rule), Iraq (under secular rule like in Saddam days), Egypt, Jordan (again under relatively westernised king rule), Oman etc., fall in this category. You cannot expect them to be 100% pro-Indian given their Islamic knee-jerk instinct, but we can make the best out of the situation. Turning them 90% hostile instead of 20% hostile as it is now, makes absolutely no sense.


The question, is what do you have to concede and pay for as price to buy that "favourable voice"? Actually, which of the countries mentioned above have said anything in favour of India in OIC forums, where Indian interests are really concerned? Pakistan and "Kashmir" would be two obvious issues! So, what exactly are the Indian interests that are acceptable to them as worth including in that 20% and what does India have to pay in return? How do we expect someone with a 'knee-jerk" "Islamic reaction" to be a consistent and reliable ally? What exactly can trigger such knee-jerk reactions? So any such country can hold India to ransom by dangling the possibility of a "knee jerk"!

Then there are the ones we can never hope to be friends with and have to treat with utmost caution and when we are powerful and dont need them, contempt and disdain - Saudi and a few other states are in that category. TSP is obviously one. Even here keeping them barking and not biting is the goal of our diplomacy or should be.


What makes them permanently hostile to India?

Then there is a category which should be our strategic friends, with whom we have 0% hostility and 100% friendship. Israel is in this category. Turkey is a candidate, so is non-talib Afghanistan and with reduced % of possibility Iran ones they get rid of mullacracy.

But Turkey and even non-Talib AFG will still share that "knee-jerk" feature, which should disqualify them as candidates. As for Iran, removal of Mullahcracy can actually lead to increased and overt ultra-nationalism with excessive show of piousness. This can show more Islamist zeal.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 13 Feb 2010 08:57

brihaspati wrote:What exactly Turkey has that distinguishes it from all other "typical" ME country? Or for that matter what defines a "typical ME country"?


A whole actually..To start with, religiosity of the overt nature is positively frowned upon at an official level (even by the AKP islamist crowd) and socially is an anathema for the Istanbul elite..Second, they are free from the "curse of oil", which means that economically Turkey is a "normal economy" to deal with for any interlocutor..third, and I repeat this, they are the only country that has meaningful leverage with both the Muslim (at least the ME Muslim) world and the Westerm bloc, including Israel..That brings it in the company of only one other nation, the US - to me thats really the "tilt factor"..So there is a great deal of difference between Turkey and the Arab (and Persian) sgtreet..

Actually, if this is applied for other countries - what Pakistan did to its own people in the "east" in 1971 should not have been of concern and confined to moralistic/academic discussions only. Same should have been done for what happend among SL Tamils. Same for Tibet. The reason such ghosts are important, are two-fold. First, history shows, that such ghosts sometimes become an essential part of national historical reconstructions - where instead of shame they become matter of pride. Second, by remembering those ghosts we gain an insight into possible mindsets that may culturally guide the same polity in the future. No memory of genocide perpetrated on others is ever a matter of complete an d consistent shame for many countries. They are held on deep inside as symbols of past prowess and revived for mobilization when convenient.


Red herrings all the way..That way, someon can start with Ashoka's campaigns and the massacres that followed in their wake..Or maybe Aryan invasion? This line of reasoning also justifies the loony fringe opinion in India today about the real and imagined excesses of "muslim" (whatever that means) rule and the retroactive responsibilities of Indian muslims for that..Statecraft is not predicated on pseudo historical philosophising, it is based on hard national interests...We are today collaborating in many ways with the Sudanese leaders, guys whose hands have (arguably) as much blood as Idi Amin - "memories" etc do not play a decisive role in 21st century policy making..


Actually, which of the countries mentioned above have said anything in favour of India in OIC forums, where Indian interests are really concerned?


To consider OIC as anything "meaningful" is giving it a status far in excess of what even most member countries accord it..OIC is a talkshop of lesser significance than even SAARC or NAM..Member countries make "Islamic solidarity" noises and then go and do what is in their national interest..So Turkey would in the same vein denounce Israeli polcieis against Syria, Lebanon,, Palestine, Iran et al in the OIC and then go back to doing lucrative business with the Israelis..

Thre is a big opportunity in the business of doing business with Turkey....It should be an integral part of our "Look West" policy..

For all the reasons stated above, India can do business at a level where Indian businessmen are familiar, confortable, is not shackled by "carrots and sticks" of oil, and the dealigns even at a political level are with a disparate multi-faceted polity (like India's) rather than monolithic monarchies or theocracies..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby brihaspati » 13 Feb 2010 09:32

What makes Turkey important to India? I was searching for reasons here on the thread. What I came up with as being suggested seems to be mainly of the following types:

(a) Turkey can be our "voice/channel" to project Indian interests into the OIC
(b) Turkey' geo-strategic position is important for India (the Russian+CAR factor)
(c) Backing up or strengthening "secualr" Turkish voice can help in strengthening "moderate Islam" and weaken "Jihadist Islam".
(d) Some potential benefits in military and MIC cooperation

In satisfying these objectives, India should
(1) forget about genocidic or atrocity "ghosts" of the Turks
(2) accept the increasing popular clamour for more "Islamism" in Turkey as a reflection of "democracy"
(3) keep in mind the possibility of "Islamic" knee-jerk reactions in Turkey
(4) interpret consistent Turkish support for TSP as a fault of India's "neglect" of Turkey.
(5) all Indo-Turkish relations should only be based on solid economic reasons

The main economic exchange route between India and the West bypasses Turkey. In that sense, Egypt and Israel are infinitely more important because of the Suez. To reach Russia in terms of trade, Iran becomes much more important, and if future cards played right - AFG and CAR.

Turkey loses within the OIC, if it supports India. So it will never do so. We have to remember, that within OIC, Turkey is partly a loner and suspect. Its "secular" military's dominance over government makes Mullahs uniformly unhappy. Within OIC, it is locked in a five way struggle for dominance. Here the contenders are KSA, Iran, TSP, and Malaysia. With the exception of Turkey - all the others have a firm theocracy in dominance. Whoever shows weakness as far as "Islamist" objectives are concrned is going to lose leadership of the Ummah.

Turkey's geostrategic position is important only if there is a war in the Eastern Meditarranean, or the Balkans or Kurdistan. Does India get involved here.

As for Turkey's meaningful leverage within the Islamic countries, what has been its conscious impact on the various conflicts and transitions that have goine on within ME Islamist countries? Let us start with the coming to power of the Baathists in Iraq, the deposition of the Shah in Iran and rise of Mullahcracy there, any role or intervention in Palestine.

And finally the most important statement seen on this thread :

Somnath wrote
That way, someon can start with Ashoka's campaigns and the massacres that followed in their wake..Or maybe Aryan invasion?
I am really flabbergasted at such a massive sweep of tactical brilliance that compares well-recorded and well documented 20th century genocidal campaigns with supposed massacres of a king called Asoka, dated variously between circa 300 BCE to approx 1000 BCE by some. I am also dumbstruck at the same tactical brilliance that somehow misses out on simiilar ancient historical claims of genocide as recorded by Islamist authors for India much "closer" to the 20th century.
This line of reasoning also justifies the loony fringe opinion in India today about the real and imagined excesses of "muslim" (whatever that means) rule and the retroactive responsibilities of Indian muslims for that
..So talking about 20th century genocides in the neighbourhood of India belongs to "loony fringe opinion" in India? I can understand that "imagined excess" (probably appears so to an opposite extreme of "loony fringe" that is in a permanent denial mode about any atrocity ever attributed to "Islmaists"!) qualifies to be called "loony fringe" - but same goes for those who talk about "real" ones too? If retroactive responsibility is such a loony thing - why the demand for accepting such retroactive repsonsibility on the "forward castes" for their "real or imagined excesses" in periods of history we do not even have surviving contemporary records for!

Statecraft is not predicated on pseudo historical philosophising, it is based on hard national interests...We are today collaborating in many ways with the Sudanese leaders, guys whose hands have (arguably) as much blood as Idi Amin - "memories" etc do not play a decisive role in 21st century policy making..
who decides what is "pseudo"? And what is "hard national interests"? To prove this in the case of Turkey, we need "hard data" - which has been unavailable so far on this thread. Let us see "hard data" on economic front , on the miliitary front, and on strategic scenarios. Solid reasons as to why collaboration with Turkey on the military front is not potentailly a security risk for India in the future as and when Islamism gains asendancy in Turkey. The Turkish military will have to recruit from the society and cannot clone their Europeanized top brass to populate the brigades.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 13 Feb 2010 10:03

Why would "ghosts" of the Armenian genocide cause any problems of relations with Turkey?

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 13 Feb 2010 10:38

brihaspathi, So what's your suggestion? Just ignore Turkey and let things be as they are, or become hostile to them?

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 13 Feb 2010 11:16

brihaspati wrote:I am really flabbergasted at such a massive sweep of tactical brilliance that compares well-recorded and well documented 20th century genocidal campaigns with supposed massacres of a king called Asoka, dated variously between circa 300 BCE to approx 1000 BCE by some. I am also dumbstruck at the same tactical brilliance that somehow misses out on simiilar ancient historical claims of genocide as recorded by Islamist authors for India much "closer" to the 20th century.

..So talking about 20th century genocides in the neighbourhood of India belongs to "loony fringe opinion" in India? I can understand that "imagined excess" (probably appears so to an opposite extreme of "loony fringe" that is in a permanent denial mode about any atrocity ever attributed to "Islmaists"!) qualifies to be called "loony fringe" - but same goes for those who talk about "real" ones too? If retroactive responsibility is such a loony thing - why the demand for accepting such retroactive repsonsibility on the "forward castes" for their "real or imagined excesses" in periods of history we do not even have surviving contemporary records for!


Stretching your point, the French should be perpetually in questioning mode of German "atrocities" (twice in the 20th century), the Americans should colour their interactions with Mexicans with cries of "remember the Alamo" and so on..Yes, it is only in the loony fringe that one finds responsibility being sought to be affixed on muslims for acts of (real and imagined) commission of muslim rulers - mainstream India has moved far ahead of that - they have deccided what is "pseudo" if you care to look....But a discussion on that will derail this thread..

The important thing (the only one from your post IMO) is this:

we need "hard data" - which has been unavailable so far on this thread. Let us see "hard data" on economic front , on the miliitary front, and on strategic scenarios.


Well there has been a lot of it in the thread, you perhaps have not been reading them..Re-encapsulating:

1. Turkey is a USD 794 billion economy, its per capital income therefore will be close to OECD standards..That by itself is reason enough for any mercantile initiative to start..

2. It is the only "normal" country in the Middle East barring perhaps Israel - with a vibrant civil society, a diversified economy, a developed MIC and above all "no oil curse"..It makes engagement with Turkey and Turkish people/institutions a far greater "par for the course" exercise for anybody, including Indians than with any other country in the ME..

3. It is the only country barring the US to have leverage both in the Arab/Muslim street and the West - any "look West" policy initiative therefore would naturally have turkey as a key interlocutor..

4. the Turkish MIC is a reaosnably robust one, and they have a long experience in operating western equipment..They have a lot of engagement with Israel too on the military sphere..As we induct more western equipment into our arsenal, the Turkish experience will be worth studying...While I dont know enough yet about specific platforms etc, there could be possibilities of cooperation as well in terms of R&D, joint exercises, production etc..

But really, the first one is the key one as far as India is concerned..A large economy integrating in various ways with EU (even withouit that membership) offers immense possibilities for an increasingly globalising economy like ours..Blue sky gazing, I can see possibilities of Indian software companies setting up centres in Turkey to service European clients from closer home - turkey has a similar setup of higher education with reaosnably good quality unis churning out grads who are younger and less expensive than the Eurpoean workforce..

So there is a lot to talk about with Turkey..I dont undertsand the repeated reference to OIC - that is not a strategic focus area at all - not for us, not for Turkey, and not for about 99% of OIC's members!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 13 Feb 2010 13:48

1. Turkey is a USD 794 billion economy, its per capital income therefore will be close to OECD standards..That by itself is reason enough for any mercantile initiative to start.


There are lots of countries with bigger economic size and per capita income in the world which are much better aligned strategically and geographically. What exactly Turkey brings to the table in complementary economic/political benefits is not clear at all.

2. It is the only "normal" country in the Middle East barring perhaps Israel - with a vibrant civil society, a diversified economy, a developed MIC and above all "no oil curse"..It makes engagement with Turkey and Turkish people/institutions a far greater "par for the course" exercise for anybody, including Indians than with any other country in the ME..


The only reason ME is important is because of oil. Before the discovery of oil it captured nobody's attention and once people figure a way out of using fossil fuel it will cease to do so. The world deals or cares about that region because it wants to ensure reliable energy supply. Lack of oil asset is a negative point, unless there are other non-strategic reasons which one wants to be basis of this relationship.

3. It is the only country barring the US to have leverage both in the Arab/Muslim street and the West - any "look West" policy initiative therefore would naturally have turkey as a key interlocutor..


Where does India fit in this grand dialogue which is mostly articulated from a western pov. Whether or not Turkey can act as a bridge between Europe/US and the ME, is irrelevant from the Indian perspective. AFAIK India shares excellent relationship with the west, has workable relationship with those countries in ME which are the key energy suppliers and has no need to care about the 'opinion of the arab street'. If better relationship is desired these nations can be directly engaged, why does one have to use Turkey as an intermediary in talks with either US/ME? This notwithstanding the fact that Turks themselves have neither suggested nor have shown any prowess as an intermediary in resolving the conflicts with their own neighbors.

4. the Turkish MIC is a reaosnably robust one, and they have a long experience in operating western equipment..They have a lot of engagement with Israel too on the military sphere..As we induct more western equipment into our arsenal, the Turkish experience will be worth studying...While I dont know enough yet about specific platforms etc, there could be possibilities of cooperation as well in terms of R&D, joint exercises, production etc..


What world beating product or technology that Turkish MIC has produced that India covets? They operate US products, and produce licensed copies as part of the NATO deal and purchase the rest from Israel/ South Korea. Do they have copyright to transfer these techs without approval? IF these products are indeed necessary why can't they be sourced from the original vendors as is being done now or even better produced locally by developing the local MIC?

But really, the first one is the key one as far as India is concerned..A large economy integrating in various ways with EU (even withouit that membership) offers immense possibilities for an increasingly globalising economy like ours..Blue sky gazing, I can see possibilities of Indian software companies setting up centres in Turkey to service European clients from closer home - turkey has a similar setup of higher education with reaosnably good quality unis churning out grads who are younger and less expensive than the Eurpoean workforce..


Economic collaboration is possible if there is any complementarity in the key industries. Turkey is a cheap supplier of labor to EU which is more expensive than Indian labor. If Indian IT co.s want to enter EU market they are better off servicing them from offshore and having a skeletal base in the countries they are serving. Basing out of Turkey and hiring Turkish graduates (who are expensive than the Indian ones, and need to be trained to deal with Indian bosses and European clients) is a neither here nor there strategy. It brings neither cost competitiveness , language/cultural familiarity nor any regulatory benefit to the table. India - EU direct trade relationship is strong and booming, it doesn't need a Turkish conduit to flourish. The effort to develop this non existing relationship may be better directed to strengthen the existing relationship with EU powers which also comes without any baggage related to TSP sensibilities.

As 2 middle sized mid-income countries India, Turkey may have a normal trading relationship like the ones India has with Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil etc. etc. as much as the natural complementarity in the respective economies allow trade to grow. There is simply no need for any special treatment/concessions just because Turkey is situated in ME or is secular or may act as a bridge to ME or for that matter may have felt 'neglected' in the past hence causing to align with TSP.
Last edited by Masaru on 13 Feb 2010 14:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby JE Menon » 13 Feb 2010 13:55

Surya,

OK boss... Will do when I can. I have enjoyed your travelogues immensely I must say.

Klaus,

I am in no position to compare Turkey/Singapore because east of India, I've been only to Thailand.

Nevertheless, i'll take a shot at your question. The answer, so far as I can tell, is that no Turkey is not as cosmopolitan as Singapore. Remember Singapore is a "cosmopolitan" city inherently. There are no ethnic Singaporeans as such. In Turkey, the cosmopolitan environment is limited to the main cities in the following order, I would say - Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir - and to the coastal tourist spots. The interiors are pretty conservative and traditional. Think of a "semi-skimmed" version of the Indian urban-rural divide, if you catch my drift. Singapore, as far as I know, has no rural to speak of.

This does not mean, on the other hand, that the Islamists are about to take over the rural areas. Although their influence is said to be steadily but slowly expanding, the room for manoeuvre is limited. Friday prayers at mosques, for instance, are government issued :) and military vetted. Madrassas are under so much oversight, I suspect the vast majority only see the disdainful profile of Mustafa Kemal looking down on them with mildly concealed contempt, most of the time. Ataturk is all over Turkey. And the red flag with the crescent moon flies literally every where... It is wonderful, taking a circumnavigation of the Bosphorus, to see massive red national flags fluttering on tops of the surrounding verdant hills, right alongside massive ELINT & Comm installations :D

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 13 Feb 2010 14:14

Masaru wrote:There are lots of countries with bigger economic size and per capita income in the world which are much better aligned strategically and geographically. What exactly Turkey brings to the table in complementary economic/political benefits is not clear at all.


Well Turkey is the 17th largest economy in nominal dollar terms, and an OECD country as well..There arent "lots of countries with bigger economic size", and yes, we should be engaging intensively with each of the top 20-25 economies...

AFAIK India shares excellent relationship with the west, has workable relationship with those countries in ME which are the key energy suppliers and has no need to care about the 'opinion of the arab street'. If better relationship is desired these nations can be directly engaged, why does one have to use Turkey as an intermediary in talks with either US/ME? This notwithstanding the fact that Turks themselves have neither suggested nor have shown any prowess as an intermediary in resolving the conflicts with their own neighbors.


The question is not on our participation in the dialogue between the "east and the west"..It is about cultivating allies in key regions of the world, and you will agree that ME is very very important, oil or otherwise..Look at the recent conference on Afghanistan convened by Turkey - we were not invited..Was it a result of our not-so-great engagement with them? Maybe, at least it is a possibility, given that news reports later (I posted one before) suggest that Turkey apologied for this during Abdullah Gul's visit to India...Turkey is one country that have similar societal structures (economy, government etc ) to India's - makes it someone who can see our point of view on many things? There are tons of such equations where Turkey would be a key player and therefore a valuable ally to have..

Similar point on the question of economic linkages...Taking the software example, Indian companies are setting up shops in China to service Japanese/Korean clients, in Australia to service Australian clients...The offshore global delivery model has to be constantly refined as new business requirements come about..Turkey is closer to Europe in terms of both distance and timezones, and Turkish companies already have deep linkages with EU..

As 2 middle sized mid-income countries India, Turkey may have a normal trading relationship like the ones India has with Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, Indonesia, Brazil etc. etc. as much as the natural complementarity in the respective economies allow trade to grow.


TO start with, Indian is hardly middle income - our per capita income is 1000 dollars, Turkey's is >10k...Second, surprise, surprise - we are trying to develop very very "special" relationships with half the countries you mentioned - Nigeria as a part of our "Africa initiative", Indonesia (an FTA/CECA is being negotiated right now) and Brazil (the IBSA initiative, an FTA proposed by President Lula)..There is similar effrorts required for Turkey...

Turkey has not endeavoured to play a regional interlocutory role in the ME in the past..But that is changing now, and it seriously wants to flaunt a regional muscle...At the very least, from a strategic perspective there is no merit in leaving a strategic power to have a monopoly relationship with Pakistan, because we are too caught up in historical philosophising about the past!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 13 Feb 2010 15:17

somnath wrote:Turkey is one country that have similar societal structures (economy, government etc ) to India's - makes it someone who can see our point of view on many things? There are tons of such equations where Turkey would be a key player and therefore a valuable ally to have..

There are lots of assumptions about imagined and assumed similarities that are repeatedly mentioned. At least from a very macro perspective Turks historically were an imperial power and colonizers, reformed later by the diktat of an army strongman and currently have a highly homogeneous society which is backstopped from descent into religious chaos prevalent in the region by the strong arm interference of the army. I am afraid I don't see any similarities and how these imagined similarities will lead them to 'understand' India's point of view?
Taking the software example, Indian companies are setting up shops in China to service Japanese/Korean clients

OT, if at all it exists then it would be to exploit the relative abundance of Chinese with Japanese skills which is rare among Indian workers, not any geographic or cost benefits.
you will agree that ME is very very important, oil or otherwise..Look at the recent conference on Afghanistan convened by Turkey - we were not invited..

I don't see why exactly ME is important if oil is taken out of the equation. Since when A'stan is part of ME and what exactly is the interest of Turkey vis a vis A'stan? This non-invitation in deference to TSP's wish is Turkey's blunder hence the apologies; doesn't call for any course correction from India.
Second, surprise, surprise - we are trying to develop very very "special" relationships with half the countries

Nigeria, Brazil, and Indonesia are rich in natural resources which India needs to grow. There are no such benefits w.r.t Mexico/Argentina and hence no push for trade agreements with them. Turkey IMHO falls in the second category.
At the very least, from a strategic perspective there is no merit in leaving a strategic power to have a monopoly relationship with Pakistan, because we are too caught up in historical philosophising about the past!

So once again TSP sets the agenda for India's foreign policy! Perhaps more relevant is what is the basis of this monopoly strategic relationship between Turks and TSP? Perhaps lots of 'historical philosophising' about imagined ancestry is what is driving the relationship.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 13 Feb 2010 18:32

^^^Masaru,

Statecraft does not work on the basis of personal prejudices..It is about the art of the possible..It doesnt matter if A'stan is not part of the ME. One of the most influential interlocutors there today is Saudi Arabia...It is therefore imperative for us to have reasonable relationship with them since we have our own stakes in A'stan..Ditto for Turkey - they are going to be an important stakeholder there, the recent conference was only a start...In case the Americans leave and the Karzai administration (or the moderate Taliban, whoever's in power) still want an international force, it will most probably be led by the Turkish - they are muslim, they have a modern Army, and none of the powerbrokers in A'stan have any axe to grind against them..

More than ever, economics drive politics - and we have the levers today to exploit..It would be foolish to not do that w.r.t one of the emerging powers of the world, regardless of our opinions on their ways...the fact that they are European (at least the elites), have modern institutions etc are only add-ons in terms of the ease of interaction...

Rest of it - software - you would do well to talk to any frontline sales/delivery model manager in a large Indian firm..It is today more than ever essential to maintain "close to client" delivery setups alongside the Bangalore centres...There are timezone issues, travel and a hundred other things that are mission critical..Thats why centres are being setup in Vietnam, Malaysia, Poland...

And oh yes, Indonesia has no major natural resources to export (its become an oil importer for the last 3-4 years), and India does not import too much natural resources from Brazil either - sheer size and potential of business drive our economic relationships there...It will be ditto for Turkey...

JMT..

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby brihaspati » 13 Feb 2010 20:11

Somnath wrote
Stretching your point, the French should be perpetually in questioning mode of German "atrocities" (twice in the 20th century), the Americans should colour their interactions with Mexicans with cries of "remember the Alamo" and so on..Yes, it is only in the loony fringe that one finds responsibility being sought to be affixed on muslims for acts of (real and imagined) commission of muslim rulers - mainstream India has moved far ahead of that - they have deccided what is "pseudo" if you care to look....But a discussion on that will derail this thread..


I am beginning to understand what makes you fly off at a tangent and only bring up selective historical refernces without really knowing much about those examples. Actually the French still do remember those examples, and just like the British, or the Dutch, or the Poles, or the Greeks, they keep the memory alive. Historical trauma is maintained to keep in mind the possibility of similar trauma again in the future from the same aggressive mindsets - as motives for aggressions remain fairly constant across historical times. Your tactical brilliance shows up once again in smoothly declaring that acts of "muslim rulers" were solo ventures - with their followers/army/nobles/as well as neo-converts and general Muslim society in India not participating or benefiting from those "ruler" actions. You may scrupulously avoid actual history, but reality is far different from what your are trying to domatically project.

What is mainstream India for you, and how is it proved that such a mainstream India has moved on? Because Congress was returned massively electorally? If the Congress is defeated electorally massively in the future, will it prove that the mainstream has moved "back"? Or is it the deafening cacophony of similar dogmatic abuse on the media that is the mainstream? Even the "professional historians" whose words appear uncannily in your lips - actually are at great pain to portray "atrocious behaviour" by Islamists in India - purely as actions of "Turks/Turushkas".

It is because opinions like your's project carefully selected representations or interpretations of history, that possible actual actions by countries or forces are never foreseen by modern Indian regimes. Just like you, people were blanketly abusing any contrary opinion that pointed out Islamist behaviour in the past in times of crisis, before the events leading up to the Partition. Such whitewashing is prolific in JLN type of propaganda. Wonder of wonders, those oh-so-peaceful/only-Islamic-ruler-personal-atrocity Islamic society within India did not prevent local Ghazwas and genocides whenever opportunities arose. Wonder of wonders, which Islamic ruler of India led the riots in 1947! Should I be not wondering whether, such whitewashing of opinions are conscious or subconscious attempts at lulling future resistance to Islamist violence - by reconstructing an image which hides the potential for violence guided and recommended by theology?

Why is it that you are not referring to the role of Turkish regimes consistently throughout latter Islamist history, the British colonial period, and post-Independence - as far as the Indian subcontinent is concerned? The Ottomans invested quite a lot in rallying and mobilizing Indian Muslim factions on the issue of the Khilafat. More importantly this had quite an impact in then Afghanistan and north-western frontierland of British India. I raised the question about Turkey's actual role and impact within the Islamist world - post 1947 - and where it would concern India. No posts have been forthcoming. The projected hope that Turkish influence can help India in ME has to be based on something tangible. It shoudl take into consideration, limitations imposed on Turkey by its own interests and relationships to the Islamic world.

This is where my first concern would lie. Turkey has the potential to become an alternative ideal replacing TSP for the IM. But in iconification, the military enforced secularism (not democracy maintained) is likely to be forgotten, whereas Turkey's apparent military prowess/success in resisting "west" will be highlighted. Turkey will then become an alternative symbol of "Islamic reconquista" where TSP is seen as a failed or at best stalled project. Not only what symbols actually do on ground is important, but what people want to see in such symbols and use such symbols as rallying point - is also important.

The important thing (the only one from your post IMO) is this:
Quote:
we need "hard data" - which has been unavailable so far on this thread. Let us see "hard data" on economic front , on the miliitary front, and on strategic scenarios.

Well there has been a lot of it in the thread, you perhaps have not been reading them..Re-encapsulating:


Not really. Those are fundamentally qualitative statements.
1. Turkey is a USD 794 billion economy, its per capital income therefore will be close to OECD standards..That by itself is reason enough for any mercantile initiative to start..

Per capita income is not enough to drive mercantile initiative. It depends on actual PPP and distribution of income. The rural economy of Turkey has worsened in recent years, and assumed to be partlly behind steady increase in support behind the Islamists. There is a tendency for outsiders to measure up Turkey from urban areas. There is a great deal of difference between rural and urban societies. In fact I have seen a steep gradient in Islamism when I stayed with rural folk.

2. It is the only "normal" country in the Middle East barring perhaps Israel - with a vibrant civil society, a diversified economy, a developed MIC and above all "no oil curse"..It makes engagement with Turkey and Turkish people/institutions a far greater "par for the course" exercise for anybody, including Indians than with any other country in the ME..


Once again a qualitative asessment about the society, based only on urban experience. From what I have seen, the future trend is going to be dominated by the countryside. Just as all those rosy assessemnts about Iran before the Islamist uprising, based on the tight control of the Army, and urban "liberalism" - led to patently false and fatal projections for the future of Iran. Military authoritarianism has a limited generational span. They are forced to recruit for the numbers, from general society. Over time, the military cannot remain ideologically strongly divergent from the real societal processes. Radical groups are on the rise within Turkey. We would not want businessmen like Hedley to come over and use entry into India for connecting up with Islamists here.

3. It is the only country barring the US to have leverage both in the Arab/Muslim street and the West - any "look West" policy initiative therefore would naturally have turkey as a key interlocutor..

Masaru has mentione dthis already - and I find it extremely illogical to claim using Turkish window to look into the West, when we have a far more direct route. Turkish influence on the EU is more as a nuisance value - that Turkey is an useful bastion against ME and Islamist incursion into Europe. The integration of the Turkish economy with that of EU is a distant dream as yet. The reistance to Turkish entry reveals how Turkish espousal of any Indian initiative is likely to be less favourably taken than if India moved alone with respect to EU. I am yet to see concrete and effective intervention by Turkey into Arab/Muslim street. Please do cite illustrative examples.

4. the Turkish MIC is a reaosnably robust one, and they have a long experience in operating western equipment..They have a lot of engagement with Israel too on the military sphere..As we induct more western equipment into our arsenal, the Turkish experience will be worth studying...While I dont know enough yet about specific platforms etc, there could be possibilities of cooperation as well in terms of R&D, joint exercises, production etc..


Military collaboration, and cooperation in R&D with respect to a country having a substantial Islamic population with steadily growing infuence of the rural clergy - is better avoided or kept superficial. Elements of surprise are crucial in giving military advantages - including tech. Unless India can ensure more info being abosrbed than given out - it becomes a risky project.

But really, the first one is the key one as far as India is concerned..A large economy integrating in various ways with EU (even withouit that membership) offers immense possibilities for an increasingly globalising economy like ours..Blue sky gazing, I can see possibilities of Indian software companies setting up centres in Turkey to service European clients from closer home - turkey has a similar setup of higher education with reaosnably good quality unis churning out grads who are younger and less expensive than the Eurpoean workforce..


This virtual integration needs some citation. Can you give comparative data? (not just absolute values but relative share in the EU transactions - should be available from the main EU data servers. Since the economic justifications are being quoted so strongly, I am sure you have already made some research on this.

So there is a lot to talk about with Turkey..I dont undertsand the repeated reference to OIC - that is not a strategic focus area at all - not for us, not for Turkey, and not for about 99% of OIC's members!


OIC is not important and important depending on the context. OIC is used to hide behind when individual Islamic nations do not want to appear as individually going against India - for example the consistent endoresement in the OIC of the TSP claims on "Kashmir". From Indian interests, we need to know whether ties with any Islamic country is going to help where it matters - neutralizing TSP, eliminating Jihad, stop cooperating and siding with PRC in its demands for territory from India - and so on. We dont want a situation where an Islamist dominated country takes advantage of trade/education/tech from India but hides behind OIC in going against Indian interests in the subcontinet.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Surya » 14 Feb 2010 00:29

Sigh here we go

both sides have to take extreme positions

The truth about Turkey is somewhere in between.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 14 Feb 2010 09:33

Brihaspati,

The discussion here was about Indo-Turkish relations and its relative importance. I find your constant allusions to (real, perceived and imaginary) Muslim atrocities in India not-just-a-trifling surprising in that context. As also your assertions of the primacy of “memories” in statecraft. Had the British, French, Poles, Germans et al really behaved as you claim they do, they wouldn’t be part of the same security architecture, or collaborating on their most cutting edge weapons systems, or heck, be part of a common economic union with a common currency!

Closer to the topic of the discussion, if memories and historical ideological perceptions defined statecraft, Turkey wont be a member of the (largely anglo saxon) NATO, and Israel wont be trading arms with Turkey!

Its no ones case that Turkey is a paragon of virtuous history and conduct. The point is whether it makes sense for India to have a deeper strategic engagement with them. We obviously don’t need any intermediary , Turkey included to engage with either EU or the Middle East. But having allies in key regions is but a sine qua non of wise policy-making. A’stan is a here-and-now situation. The next phase of the great game already has key regional players, Turkey included (and Iran and SA) involved in a big way. Building closer geo-econmic and strategic linkages would only help us have more of these powers on our side of the strategic divide than not. If we have a 20 billion dollar trade relationship with Turkey, they are less likely to be siding with Pakistan on the Afghan question.

Building enemies (or pseudo enemies) based on memories would find us pretty much without any ally among meaningful powers.

While the relevance of your historical perceptions might be open to the jury yet, your economic ones wouldn’t stand even Econ 101 scrutiny..

Per capita income is not enough to drive mercantile initiative. It depends on actual PPP and distribution of income.

Really? If you were a trader, would it matter to you that the coffee bought from your for 2 dollars is actually “worth” 8 dollars in the US if the buyer is an Indian? Trade takes place on nominal hard dollar terms, not PPP (in any case even on a PPP basis, Turkey will qualify as a high income country)..And distribution of income? US and China are the biggest mercantilist nations in volume – they have amongst the “worst” Gini coefficients..Our Gini too is worse than a number of states, including Pakistan, but last I checked we are not doing too badly either!

The rural economy of Turkey has worsened in recent years, and assumed to be partlly behind steady increase in support behind the Islamists


Well, the rise of the AKP has been hugely due to the rise of a new middle class in Anatolya. And the Islamist AKP has been especially great for the economy, especially the non-Istanbul sections. SO I don’t know where this conclusion comes from.`

Turkey’s economic integration with EU is already very deep. There is a customs union, and EU is the largest trading partner for Turkey, as well as the largest source of FDI.. And Turkey in turn is the 5th or 6th largest trading partner for EU...There are tons of JVs in Turkey from the largest manufacturing firms in the EU..There would be lots of merits of Turkey as a base for mercantile exchange with EU, especially as costs in Turkey are far less than costs in most EU countries..A bit

Is rising Islamism something that we should monitor? Of course. But does it confer a veto on our decision-making? Cetainly not..The rulers in Iran changed, but their common interest with us on the issue of A’stan didn’t. Solid interests, strategic and these days most importantly economic, trump everything else, including ideological fervour.

Turkey isn’t perfect, neither are we. But it is a wrthy (and at times indispensble) partner to have in economic and geopolitical terms....

Of course the real grotesque assertion from you was the most revealing:

Turkey has the potential to become an alternative ideal replacing TSP for the IM.


So Indian muslims today have Pak as their ideal? Which Indian muslim are we referring to? APJ Abdul Kalam? Or Sania Mirza? Or Zaheer Khan? Or maybe AR Rahman? Or Azim Premji? these are well known public figures...So what about my friend Sxxxx - ex fund manager, now a derivatives structurer in a large bank (surprise, surprise on Indian equities!!)..He finds Pak as the ideal? A couple of years back, MJ Akbar wrote very perceptibly - "every muslim in India must thank Allah every day for one benediction, that he was left in 1947 on this side of the border, not in Pakistan" - I am paraphrasing, but the gist is that - it was made in a lecture in Jamia Millia, and was greeted by spontaeneous applause..Most Indians feel simlarly, Muslims or non-muslims..We do not need to have any country to be an exemplar for muslims in India - not Pak, not turkey, they have enough role models internally..
Last edited by somnath on 14 Feb 2010 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Klaus » 14 Feb 2010 17:23

JE Menon saar, thanks for your reply, I wanted a comparision of Singapore and Istanbul/Ankara only, to me they appear cosmopolitan on the surface.

To all those people who think that Turkey will not be compelled to have Islamist tendencies, do read the following article on Dubai:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

Take note of the following para as well:

And then he smiles, coming up with what he sees as his killer argument. "When I see Western journalists criticise us – don't you realise you're shooting yourself in the foot? The Middle East will be far more dangerous if Dubai fails. Our export isn't oil, it's hope. Poor Egyptians or Libyans or Iranians grow up saying – I want to go to Dubai. We're very important to the region. We are showing how to be a modern Muslim country. We don't have any fundamentalists here. Europeans shouldn't gloat at our demise. You should be very worried.... Do you know what will happen if this model fails? Dubai will go down the Iranian path, the Islamist path."



AND

Everybody here waves Islamism as the threat somewhere over the horizon, sure to swell if their advice is not followed. Today, every imam is appointed by the government, and every sermon is tightly controlled to keep it moderate. But Mohammed says anxiously: "We don't have Islamism here now, but I think that if you control people and give them no way to express anger, it could rise. People who are told to shut up all the time can just explode."


If somebody here can prove that Turkey is largely immune or is any different, then we can go ahead and establish bilateral links with them, otherwise its just trilateral or multi-party dealings onlee.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby asprinzl » 14 Feb 2010 21:11

Turks from Turkey are pro-Turkey.

The city elites and their progeny think, act and live as "goras". They drink, the party, they fornicate outside marital bounds and they pray. This dichotomy they think not too much of it till the coming of the likes Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar) and Fetullah Gulen.
Harun Yahya surrounded himself with preety females handsome males in sophisticated western dress and wanted to make Islam fundamentalist and modern with built in nationalism. He built an empire on this concept by winning over forward looking Turks into his fold. Fetullah Gulen built an even bigger empire from his Pennsylvania estate where he escaped from Turkish law.

Ataturk may have introduced secularism into Turkey but that secularism left Turkey in a ideological and emotional limbo. Most of all just like the ideology of Pakistan, the secular Turkish nationalisn is laced with many lies and half truths. People know about it, aware of it but don't discuss it. It just leaves an empty void and in the long run it causes depression which can lead to frustration and aggression. See the traits in Pakis too. What does it mean to be a secular Turk? Turks have been swimming in this direction-less sea for almost 80 years. The city dwellers are white with all its shade of euro features. But they had a problem. They were not accepted as white europeans by the Europeans and they don't want to be anything else but white and European. So after many decades of floating in nowhere land they are slowly (very slowly) embracing the Gulenism and Yahyaism.

It has nothing to do with Islam but more to do with the dichotomy in Turkish identity and the fact that Turkey has a huge non-Turk population that is resistant against Turk-ization notably the Kurds. Turks cannot go back to being Asiatic-Mongols either because after centuries of cross breeding with whites (captives and slaves) and forced assimilation of Euros under Ottoman they do not look much like their Turkish brethrens in Central Asia anymore.

For decades to come there will be this conflicting force that would pull and push the Turks until they come to a balance. Till then, there will be periods when Islamism (whatever levels in extremism it may be) will be favored and there will be periods when the secularism will win the day. In meantime the minorities will feel the most pain.

In all these, we can notice the Mongol-Asiatic strain in Turkish habit either under the Ottoman or post Ottoman Turkey: the hard partying, the uncontrolled brutality and hard wenching despite religion. I once witnessed the aftermath of a Turkish military operation against a Kurdish settlement. All I can say is that once a Mongol...always a Mongol. Modern people don't cut up women and children into pieces of meat. And this is done not by the Ottoman Jannisari but by the secular, 20th century modern Nato army!!!! Even the mosque and iman was not spared. Ironically, these settlements were taken over by the Kurds after they metted out similar treatments to the Armenians who had lived there since classical era. We have to remember that Kurds formed a very able and willing vanguard in the Ottoman military.

Someone earlier mentioned that the present Turkish minister translated Tagore into Turkish. This is incorrect. Tagore, Ramayana, Bagawat Gita, Sangam, Mother India had all been translated into Turkish in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s etc especially in the former USSR for its Turkish populations and these were widely available in Turkey right around the same time.

I had an Azerbaijani girlfriend ( Azeris are Turks too) some years ago and she could quote Tagore like crazy. I almost married a green-eyed blonde Turkish female (whose dad used to be a politician in Tansu Ciller's government). She would pray once a day, drink everyday, smoked two packs a day with the occasional joint and stay out late every weekend. When we discussed children, she said she would remain Muslim, I can remain Jewish but the children can be whatever they want to be. Her family didn't care either. Neither were her brothers. Her sister was just like her in everyway. Basically the elites in the cities are Europeans in everyway. Posing for playboy magazine, bikinis on the beach, going topless where they can, strip-clubs, raunchy belly dancing etc....no big deal Islam or not.

Most of the honor killings in Turkey is among Kurds.

Economically, Turkey was a basket case and had been on American and European life support for a very long time. Their economy is now humming along due to the wide Euro market available to them via some kind of preferential treatment but the Turkish domesticat market itself is being threatened by Chinese import. Certain Turkish trade-craft had been anhillated totally by Chinese import. For a long time many industries in Turkey was under state control. I think even now the alcohol and tobacco manufacturing is state-controlled.

Turkey may aspire to be leader of the Turkic people the world over, especially in CAR but as for now the CAR leaders and Russia are not too keen on that. I have heard the Azerbaijani elites and among the ruling circles in Bokhara totally against Turkish aspiration. (Hint: Turkey is not India's ticket into CAR).

India-Turkish trade is a good thing to comtemplate as long as it benefits both ways. Thinking too much into Turkish-India relations is like building castles in the air. Turkey is no push over. They don't like someone ridding on their coat-tails. They have a long history which for them is a glorious past and they are very proud.

If anyone in India thought through Turkey they can make inroads into the CAR and Muslim world especially OIC.....this nonsense has to stop. India has to do all these on her own.

Just my fifteen cents after dealing with Turks and Turkey since my teenage years.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby asprinzl » 14 Feb 2010 21:20

I agree that future trend will be dominated by the rural dwellers. The city dwellers have less kids compared to rural folks and in a democratic millieu, the number of votes count. We saw this in India too. Despite the hoo-haah in this forum and India Shinning adds, the rural voters cared more about roti kapda our makan and they being more in numbers their voice prevailed.
Avram

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby biswas » 14 Feb 2010 21:21

asprinzl wrote:<snip>


Just wondering, if you are Israeli or not?

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 15 Feb 2010 01:45

asprinzl wrote:I once witnessed the aftermath of a Turkish military operation against a Kurdish settlement. All I can say is that once a Mongol...always a Mongol. Modern people don't cut up women and children into pieces of meat. And this is done not by the Ottoman Jannisari but by the secular, 20th century modern Nato army!!!! Even the mosque and iman was not spared.

I am curious, why does brutality of the Turkish military matter to Indo-Turkish relations?

asprinzl wrote:Turkey may aspire to be leader of the Turkic people the world over, especially in CAR but as for now the CAR leaders and Russia are not too keen on that.

I know the Russians are not keen on that, but why CAR leaders considering they are ethnically related? I am asking, I don't know.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby asprinzl » 15 Feb 2010 04:49

Carl,
The Turkish military brutality does not matter. I just noted it. Ethnic connection has no hold in politics. Otherwise, Tamil on Tamil political violence would not happen. Same with turkic folks. Russians, Eukranians and Poles are all Slavic people. See how unified and brotherly they all are in political matters. Same with Syrians and Jordanians.

Oh..to the other poster: I was born in Israel, hold Israeli pasport, I served in the army in various capacities, I have business there, I have many friends and family there, have a really cool apartment in Haifa with the sea view, another house in TA and I have money in banks there. Should be good enough to be Israeli no?

I travel a lot, in the last two decades have spent many days, weeks, months and years outside Israel, very friendly and make friends easily especially the female variety. Not because I am good looking like unshaved Brad Pitt but because I am out going. In this department being Israeli or not being Israeli is not an asset nor a liability. Its all people to people connection.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 23 Feb 2010 07:38

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... SecondNews

Watch out this could be coup material

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby somnath » 23 Feb 2010 08:15

Suppiah wrote:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703494404575081721745445404.html?mod=WSJ_World_LEFTSecondNews

Watch out this could be coup material


Sledgehammer is an old story now..The Economist had a good story a couple of weeks back..The arrests were widely expected..

Its a tricky situation..The Istanbul elite, with the Army as its vanguard, really dont want the EU membership attempt to be hit..But given the current mood in Europe, who knows? Maybe they think that the membership is a chimera, and they are better off protecting their turfs while they still can!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rony » 23 Feb 2010 08:39

Brihaspati and Asprinzl, Goood posts.

Most day present day turks are not really 'Turks'. They are as much as 'Turks' as the pakis are. Like the pakis, the Anatolians too are converted people.Most of the present day turks are actually converted greeks from anatolia.The Asiatic mongol turkish variety is almost negligible. Hence there is deep inferiority complex among turks about their identity.Like in pakistan, islam became answer for the turks. Mustafa kemal wanted to replace it with secularism, but he was succesful only with the urban elites .The rural folks still stuck to their islam.Like the TFTA paki elite, the turklish elite always ass lick the europeans but once the europeans kicked them in the ass and refused membership, the turkish elite started supporting islamism. India relations with turkey should be like India's relations with saudis- based on pragamitism and an attempt to wean them away from pakis.But one should not forget, the turks are not our allies nor friends.Once a turk barbarian, always a turk barbarian.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Philip » 23 Feb 2010 16:56

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 036825.ece

Turkish police arrest 50 in move against anti-Islamist coupSuna Erdem

Excerpi:
Balance of power: many soldiers were held yesterday over an alleged plot
Turkish police arrested the former heads of the Navy and Air Force along with several other senior military officers yesterday in a sweep against top brass linked to a coup plan against the Islamist-leaning Government.

The existence of Sledgehammer, a detailed plot hatched in 2002-03, came to light last month. The arrests could be a spectacular milestone in the democratic history of Turkey, where four previous governments have been ousted by the military but no one has come to trial

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 23 Feb 2010 20:17

Serves EU right...they bring it upon themselves. By pressing for more democracy in Turkey, they are simply letting the Islamists take over and pull Turkey backward by a century - or is it their Chanakyan game in the first place - after all the more Islamic it becomes the less they have to explain before they deny full EU membership!

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby brihaspati » 23 Feb 2010 22:47

somnath wrote
Of course the real grotesque assertion from you was the most revealing:

Quote:
Turkey has the potential to become an alternative ideal replacing TSP for the IM.


So Indian muslims today have Pak as their ideal? Which Indian muslim are we referring to? APJ Abdul Kalam? Or Sania Mirza? Or Zaheer Khan? Or maybe AR Rahman? Or Azim Premji? these are well known public figures...So what about my friend Sxxxx - ex fund manager, now a derivatives structurer in a large bank (surprise, surprise on Indian equities!!)..He finds Pak as the ideal? A couple of years back, MJ Akbar wrote very perceptibly - "every muslim in India must thank Allah every day for one benediction, that he was left in 1947 on this side of the border, not in Pakistan" - I am paraphrasing, but the gist is that - it was made in a lecture in Jamia Millia, and was greeted by spontaeneous applause..Most Indians feel simlarly, Muslims or non-muslims..We do not need to have any country to be an exemplar for muslims in India - not Pak, not turkey, they have enough role models internally..


I thought I would ignore this comment. But then it was brought up again to notice because of a recent post.

So you found 5 named+1 unnamed+1 interesting persons only?

Here is an article you may just find interesting. http://www.ssig.kpkk.gov.my/ssig/kcent/material/Praveen%20Swami.pdf

I chose his article for a reason - most Islamiphiles or or psecs will find it dificult to dub him "hindutvawadi" or "in the loony fringe". Actually as he tries to show: it all started with Turkey!

As things turned out, the Khilafat movement collapsed, strengthening rather than dissolving communal boundaries through its use of pan-Islamic themes...In 1921, fired by the pan-Islamic rhetoric of the Khilafat movement and the communal zeal it unleashed, Muslim peasants in the Malabar attacked their British-backed landlords, in the main Hindus. Scores are believed to have died in the violence that followed. From here on, the progress of India’s independence movement would be scarred by communal warfare, culminating in the horrors of the Partition of India—and the murderous riots which have periodically erupted afterwards.

Of course, Khilafat was not the sole driving force behind the hardening of communal identities in south Asia. In Jammu and Kashmir, where both Islamist mobilisations and jihadi violence would acquire growing momentum after the first quarter of the last century, it had almost no impact at all. There, as Chitralekha Zutshi has argued, state policies were the principal factor contributing to the “articulation of antagonistic communitarian identities”."


Of course the author remains true to the tradition of always finding justifications for Islamist violence in "economic" factors and "legitimate counter violence from memories of Hindu inflicted trauma". So in Kashmir, a "Hindu repression" from state authorities has to be invented which should delight the coiner of the category of "loony fringe".

In the summer of 1985, inflamed by the wave of communal violence that had ripped apart the industrial town of Bhiwandi, activists of the neoconservative Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadis’ ultra-right Ghuraba faction gathered to discuss the need for Muslim reprisal. None the less, it remains a key moment, and the idea of the restoration of the caliphate a central concern for modern jihadi organisations. Yet, Khilafat is remains seminal historical moment because the three distinct elements involved in the making of India’s ghazi-jihadi tradition so visibly intersected here: the impact of global change, the changing concerns and character of Indian Muslims’ relationship with Islam and, finally, India’s domestic political struggles. All three are helping to shape the course of the jihad that is now underway.


SIMI was formed in April, 1977, as an effort to revitalise the SIO. Building on the SIO’s networks in Uttar Pradesh, SIMI reached out to Jamaat-linked Muslim students’ groups in Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar and Kerala. In post-Partition India, however, the Jamaat gradually transformed itself into a cultural organisation committed to propagating neoconservative Islam amongst Muslims. It set up networks of schools and study circles, devoted to combating growing post-independence influence of communism and socialism. A student wing, the Students Islamic Organisation, was set up in 1956, with its headquarters at Aligarh. As Muslims in north India were battered by communal violence the Jamaat slowly moved away from Maududi’s hostility to secularism. It began arguing that the secular state needed to be defended, as the sole alternative was a Hindu-communalist regime.


The bolded part could serve as an alternative possible explanation to the motivation behind that spech which was applauded to. The main task is to contain the "Hindu" and preserve the base of Islamism in India. Pakistan as a tool has failed - but the aims and ideals of Pakistan remain and alternative bases for expansion are valuable. Isn't it the same speaker who went on to promote the idea of "Harit Pradesh" to enhance and preserve "Muslim interest in India"?

From the outset, SIMI made clear its belief that the practice of Islam was essentially a political project. In the long term, SIMI sought to re-establish the caliphate, without which it felt the practice of Islam would remain incomplete. Muslims comfortable living in secular societies, its pamphlets warned, were headed to hell. Ideologies other than Islam were condemned as false and sinful.

Maududi’s [The key ideologue behind formation of Pakistan] writings played a considerable role in shaping SIMI’s notion of its historic, vanguard role.[...]Winds from the west gave this project an increasingly hard edge. SIMI’s leadership was drawn to Islamist regime of General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq’s in Pakistan, and threw its weight behind the United States-backed mujahideen fighting the Soviet Union and the socialist regime in Afghanistan. It also developed a broad common front with forces of Sunni reaction in west Asia.


Interestingly, the Jammu and Kashmir Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba—the student wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami—was undergoing a similar process of transformation. Formed in 1977, the IJT was to develop transnational linkages with neoconservative Islamist groups and, in much the same manner and much the same time SIMI. At the outset, the IJT reached out to Saudi Arabia—based neoconservative patronage networks for help. In 1979, the IJT was granted membership of the World Organisation of Muslim Youth, a controversial Saudi—funded body which funded many Islamist groups that later turned to terrorism. The next year, the IJT organised a conference in Srinagar, which was attended by dignitaries from across west Asia, including the Imam of the mosques of Mecca and Medina, Abdullah bin-Sabil. By the end of the decade, the IJT had formally committed itself an armed struggle against the Indian state. Its president, Sheikh Tajamul Husain—now a mid-ranking leader of the secessionist movement—told journalists in Srinagar that Kashmiris did not consider themselves Indian, and forces stationed there were an “army of occupation”.21

Jamaat leaders in India demonstrated more concerned than the state apparatus, and sought to distance themselves from SIMI. Much of the Jamaat rank-and-file, though, was incensed at what they saw as the organisation’s betrayal of Maududi’s authentic Islamism. In 1982, the Jamaat formally distanced itself from SIMI, but members of both organisations in practice retained a cordial relationship. Interestingly, while the SIO insists on peaceful means, its ideological agenda is not dissimilar to that of SIMI. One official publication, for example, points to SIO’s heritage of Salafi neo-conservatism, saying it represents “Ibn Abdul Wahab’s belief, Syed Qutb’s smile at the gallows, and Syed Maududi’s revolutionary call”. Husain also called for the establishment of an Islamic state, through the medium of a revolution. A year later, in 1981, Husain reiterated his call to followers to evict the Indian “occupation”.


Part of the reason for SIMI’s spectacular growth after 1982 lay in precisely this heritage and the support that its material manifestations—Islamists organisations the Kuwait-based World Association of Muslim Youth and the Saudi Arabia-funded International Islamic Federation of Student Organisation—were able to provide. Given that Qutb’s notion of revolution inspired the assassins of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat—and legions of Islamist terror cells after—the violence implicit in the ideology is evident. Generous funding from west Asia helped it establish a welter of magazines—Islamic Movement in Urdu, Hindi and English, Iqra in Gujarati, Rupantar in Bengali, Sedi Malar in Tamil and Vivekam in Malayalam—that propagated the idea of an Islamic revolution. SIMI also set up a special wing, the Tehreek Tulba e-Arabiya, to build networks among madrasa students, as well as the Shaheen Force, which targeted children .


As Irfan Habib, Iqtidar Alam Khan and KP Singh have observed in a seminal 1976 essay, the conditions of Muslims were not what Islamists “regarded as their principal grievances”.24 Indeed, Islamists wished for “preservation of Muslim separateness, not the end of Muslim backwardness, as their basic aim” Rather, their objective was to use discrimination as a tool with which to legitimise Islamism..



In a 1996 statement, SIMI declared that since democracy and secularism had failed to protect Muslims, the sole option was to struggle for the caliphate.31 Soon after, it put up posters calling on Muslims to follow the path of the eleventh-century conqueror Mahmood Ghaznavi, and appealed to god to send down a latter-day avatar to avenge the destruction of mosques in India.32
When 25,000 SIMI delegates met in Mumbai in 2001, at what was to be its last public convention, the organisation for the first time called on its supporters to turn to jihad. Soon after the convention, al-Qaeda carried out its bombings of New York and Washington, D.C. SIMI activists organised demonstrations in support of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin-Laden, hailing him as a “true mujahid,” and celebrating the demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. By the time of SIMI’s 1999 Aurangabad convention, many of the speeches delivered by delegates were frankly inflammatory. “Islam is our nation, not India,” thundered Mohammad Amir Shakeel Ahmad, one of over a dozen SIMI-linked Lashkar operatives arrested in 2005 for smuggling in military-grade explosives and assault rifles for a planned series of attacks in Gujarat. Among those listening to the speech was 1993 bomber Azam Ghauri who, by the accounts of some of those present, was offered the leadership of SIMI.


Look at the numbers quoted in the article - fourteen in one instance - double the number quoted in the post above.

And finally -
As I have noted, the jihad is drawing numbers of highly-educated, successful young Muslims—the class that ought to have abiding an abiding stake in a prosperous India and a globalising world. Shibli Peedical Abdul, a top SIMI leader arrested in March, 2008, was a computer engineer at a multinational firm in Bangalore, and often travelled abroad on business. So, too, was Yahya Khan, one of Abdul’s recruits who participated in a SIMI-linked cell planning to bomb foreign tourists in Goa. However, even-handed treatment of Muslim and Hindu chauvinism is at some distance from a meaningful campaign to combat communalism. Third, politicians—Hindu or Muslim, Left or Right—must begin to articulate a coherent ideological response to Islamism. Even as India’s political and clerical orders have been maintaining a discreet silence on this question, the reach and influence of Islamism is increasing.
... Many found in the Lashkar’s Hafiz Mohammad Saeed venomous agenda manifesto for praxis: “the Hindu is a mean enemy and the proper way to deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers, who crushed them by force. We need to do the same”.7


there are numerous references to the target of restablishment of the "Caliphate" in the article - coming from this author it could not be coming from the "loony fringe".

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 25 Feb 2010 11:37

X - Posting from TSP

D Roy wrote:And while some of us do get carried away about Weegurs and their rights , do we really want to see an "independent" Turkestan.

Especially one that is run by proto-Talibs and is under the financial control of the Goras and has long lost ethnic affinity to Turkey.

Its good that we have a turkey thread now, because that country has routinely being supplying weapons to the Pakis and some neo-ottoman wet dreams have surfaced as well. The new non-elected Foreign minister has some dangerous ideas and I suspect Gora collusion in it.

The great turkish surface fleet is still essentially capitalised by american hand outs ( Oliver perry class). In my opinion turkey resembles to a great extent our very own Pukistan with its ethnic divergences yet broad religious "similarities". and both after all see themselves as the "dethroned" children of the Ottoman and Mughal empires.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Suppiah » 25 Feb 2010 21:11

A laughably interesting episode that seems to show hatred for Islamists runs at various levels of Turkish Army, not just the top generals...a Sergeant in Navy arrested for setting up security passwords that 'insult' the Prime Minister Erdogan... :)

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php? ... 2010-02-25

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 25 Feb 2010 22:18

I think equating Turkey with Pakistan is a giant stretch. If anything, Turks are proud of their identity and are not obsessed with denying their own history the way Pakis are.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby D Roy » 25 Feb 2010 22:55

They are also richer. but at the end of the day they do elect parties like the AKP with revanchist ideals.

It will be wrong to assume that they will not go down the islamist toilet just because of their army's secular track record etc.

The world needs to watch that space. Presently their proximity to Europe and their NATO history makes them look very different . but actually they are not.

Remember we are not talking about an ex sultanate but actually the caliphate that one point of time presided over the two holy cities of mecca and medina.

Shift Pakistan a 1000 miles westward and throw in consistent western investment and bam you may start seeing some of the same things that make Turkey seem so very different. which it is not.

And that whole "pride" is certainly not shared by the 12 million Kurds ( 15-16 % of the population) who have been militarily put down all these years. Even As we speak just like the Pakjabis and Pathans there is a war going on in the eastern mountains of turkey with over 30,000 troops deployed to quell Kurd assertiveness. Iran is of course co-operating .

From a very young age Turks have been taught in school that they are surrounded by seas on three sides and enemies on four. they are pretty paranoid , another trait they share with pukes.

If the pukes had had the same level of investment that the Turks enjoyed they may not have turned out very differently.

Turkey was a *frontline* state for a much longer period than Pakistan ever has been in an age when Washington coulkd do marshall plans for Europe.

Funnily enough Stratfor continues to predict a glorious geopolitical future for turkey.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby D Roy » 25 Feb 2010 23:11

And like Pukistan , Turkey's birth also began with a bloody bout of ethnic cleansing. The impulses of both states are not as different as it seems.

I would say we better keep an eye on Turkey. especially on the arms transfer front.
Any country where a single religion accounts for 99 per cent of the populace can afford to be very secular indeed. And remember unlike other countries this country has never been subject to western propaganda to any great degree given its fantastic location and utility for NATO.

Its recent actions/elections show that it may support islamist parties and transfer arms to pakistan.

Not to mention screw up its ties with Israel that has given it so much help on the mil-tech front. its behaving strangely of late to say the least.

The more it becomes evident that they won't be let into europe the more the facade will slip away.

what I see is an enforced secularism re-inforced with the carrot of being a NATO frontline state and possible European integration.

Once these things start sliding away- enforcement goes because the army's role diminishes, America's capability to give handouts goes down and EU says no, we may start seeing the Puki in the Turki.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rony » 25 Feb 2010 23:32

Carl_T wrote:I think equating Turkey with Pakistan is a giant stretch. If anything, Turks are proud of their identity and are not obsessed with denying their own history the way Pakis are.


Actually, the turks like the pakis deny their history massively. Most of the present day turks are decendents of converted greek anatolians and very tiny minority of them are decended from turko-mongol invaders.But the "turks", all of them insist that they are direct decendents of seljuk turk invaders who occupied anatolia and subjugated the greeks.They like the pakis simply cannot tolerate the fact that majority of them are decendents of the very same people whom they hate today.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Carl_T » 26 Feb 2010 00:11

Rony wrote:Actually, the turks like the pakis deny their history massively. Most of the present day turks are decendents of converted greek anatolians and very tiny minority of them are decended from turko-mongol invaders.But the "turks", all of them insist that they are direct decendents of seljuk turk invaders who occupied anatolia and subjugated the greeks.They like the pakis simply cannot tolerate the fact that majority of them are decendents of the very same people whom they hate today.


Maybe, the Turks I know are of the elite, secular, liberal, westernized sort, who surely view things very differently from the aam junta, Islamists, or the hardcore nationalists.

I think Islamism is the right thing for Turkey. Islam is part of their identity and they should express it through democratic means and seek Islamic-inspired foreign policy instead of some imagined notions of secularism that involves licking the feet of westerners.

Erdogan to me seems like their equivalent of Vajpayee (who I'm familiar with) in many ways.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Masaru » 26 Feb 2010 01:25

Carl_T wrote:I think equating Turkey with Pakistan is a giant stretch. If anything, Turks are proud of their identity and are not obsessed with denying their own history the way Pakis are.


While no one can beat Pacquis in denial the Turks are no saint either. This issue has been already touched upon. Before the advent if so called secular rule 1n 1930s the Turks were pretty close to modern day Pacquis in their outlook, may be at a much grander scale. The Armenian issue has been clearly whitewashed to the extent that even Turks who hold contrarian views were subject to state persecution. Further back one can see multiple evidence of such denial as in converting the Hagia Sophia to a mosque etc. FYI just like the Pacquis, Turks are also extremely proud of their association with the 'great' Timur-lane and his exploits against the non believers.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby ramana » 26 Feb 2010 02:25

Carl_T wrote:I think equating Turkey with Pakistan is a giant stretch. If anything, Turks are proud of their identity and are not obsessed with denying their own history the way Pakis are.


Dont know were to start.

Well for starters, the Turks are carpet baggers/nomads who moved into this area by conquest. They are not native to the land called Turkey. They are from Central Asia. Its called Turkey now because they occupied it and converted the whole lot and devleoped the Turkish identity over centuries. The parts that didnt fit into the identity all broke off after WWI: Arabs, Armenia, Balkans etc. There is no need for them to deny their history.

Its not like Pakis who are have a small segment of invaders but want to indentify with those invaders and reject earlier narratives. If you have time read Naipaul's two books : "Among the Believers" and the "Beyond Belief"

Among Believers Wiki

Published in 1981, the book was based on a 7-month journey across the Asian continent. V.S. Naipaul explores the culture and the explosive situation in those countries where fundamentalism was growing August 79-February 81. Naipaul does not include Arab countries as he is interested in "converted peoples". His travels (and travails) start with Iran, on to Pakistan, Malaysia and end in Indonesia, with a short stop in Pakistan and Iran on the return to the UK. Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali is interviewed in the book.

Beyond Belief wiki

Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples is a non-fiction book by V. S. Naipaul published by Vintage Books in 1998. This was published as a sequel to Naipaul's earlier book Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1979).

Naipaul draws a distinction between Arab countries and the countries of "converted peoples" where the adoption of Islam involves to some extent the adoption of Arabic culture. The book describes his five-month journey in 1995 revisiting four Muslim countries: Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia.[1]




If you note the Turks (Seljuk, Ottomon etc) conquered the Arabs and even created their own Islamic mullahs the Naqshbandi sufis. Hence they do not have the converted people idenity crisis. In fact Wahabism is a reaction to the sufi control of Islam during the Ottomon phase.


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