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Archive for the tag “Ottoman Empire”

The Islamic World Doesn’t Need A Reformation

Various Western intellectuals, ranging from Thomas Friedman to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have argued over the past decades that Muslims need their own Martin Luther to save themselves from intolerance and dogmatism. The Protestant Reformation that Luther triggered exactly 500 years ago, these intellectuals suggest, can serve as a model for a potential Muslim Reformation. But is there such a connection between the Reformation in Christendom and the “reform” that is arguably needed in Islam?

Read Here – The Atlantic

The Ottoman Collapse And The Modern Middle East

It is the business of the counterfactual historian to yearn for the former Ottoman Empire when reflecting on the recent incessant regional instability. However, the fact that the empire was in free fall from 1798 onward makes a mockery of this view. Nevertheless, from Libya to Yemen, and Syria to Iraq, conflict typifies the ruptures that are still haemorrhaging from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East just under a century ago.

Read Here – Arab News

Why Does Suleyman Shah Matter?

Turkish troops swept into Syria this weekend to recover remains from the first Ottoman sultan’s ancestor, who can’t rest in peace 800 years after his death.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Redrawing A Map

A different map of the Middle East would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too, writes Robin Wright

Read Here – The New York Times

The Middle East

Why Erdogan Has Nothing to Fear

As the tear gas wafts over Taksim Square, there is no question that Erdogan still holds the reins of power. For one, it is hard to see how Turkey’s moribund opposition can capitalize on his missteps. Further, although AKP supporters are watching the protests with consternation, they are not ditching their membership cards.

It’s The Middle Class Again…This Time In Turkey

What started as a small sit-in over government plans to bulldoze a park in Taksim to build a shopping mall mushroomed into a countrywide expression of discontent with Erdogan’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP)—which may have only itself to blame for the protests.

Read Here – Businessweek

Dreaming The Turkish Dream

Turkish self-confidence is high these days – perhaps higher than ever in the history of the modern republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Ataturk envisioned a pro-western and strictly secular nation-state that would look towards “contemporary civilizations” –that is, Europe –and turn its back on 500 years of coexistence with Arabs.

Today’s Turkish leaders yearn to rebuild the Ottoman Empire –if not in borders, in terms of economic and political sphere of influence. The country’s most popular television drama is the Magnificent Century, depicting life and intrigue at the height of Ottoman power in the harem of Suleiman the Magnificent, and the show has roughly 150 million viewers in surrounding countries.

Read Here – Hoover Institution

The Coming War in the Middle East

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, British diplomats referred to the Arabic-speaking territories of the empire as “Turkish Arabia.” It was these Arabic-speaking lands that Britain and France, in the aftermath of the First World War, divided into the modern Arab states we know today: Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. Those arbitrary colonial boundaries have endured for the better part of a century, but the people within them have never fully acknowledged the legitimacy of the lines that British and French officials drew for them.

Read Here – Defining Ideas

In Turkey, Erdogan Disrespects Dissent

Instead of leading the post-Arab Spring Middle East, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is setting a sad new standard for gratuitous intolerance. Three weeks ago, Turkey’s dominant political figure took time out of his busy schedule to threaten the makers of Turkey’s most popular soap opera.

The program ‑ “Magnificent Century” ‑ is a titillating weekly series that exaggerates the romance, intrigue and sex life of Suleiman the Magnificent, a revered 16th century Ottoman leader. Hugely popular in Turkey and the Middle East, the show is broadcast in 43 countries and watched by 200 million people.


Read Here – Reuters


The Age of Islamic Dictators

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, when the Arab (and Persian) world was set to reach a new age of political modernity, discussions erupted mostly between the factions backing “Arabism” and “Islamism,” respectively. Sati al-Husri (1880-1967), the father of Arabist ideology, believed that Islamism was not able to guarantee national unity because of the strong cultural and linguistic differences throughout the Arab world. Arabism was conceived to guarantee a reliable mix of authoritative independence and political participation, which would be capable of delivering modernization.


Read Here – The European


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