jeudi 30 décembre 2010

Un document exceptionnel : "Les Turcs à la recherche d'une âme nationale"

Sur le site Gallica, j'ai pu retrouver un vieil article d'une grande importance : "Les Turcs à la recherche d'une âme nationale", paru dans le Mercure de France, le 16 août 1912. Il est signé P. Risal, pseudonyme de Moiz Kohen (né à Serez en Roumélie), plus connu sous les noms de Tekin Alp/Munis Tekinalp, penseur et acteur des révolutions jeune-turque et kémaliste. Dans ce texte fébrile et fort émouvant, P. Risal s'applique à décrire au public français l'émergence et la montée d'un sentiment national turc dans un Empire ottoman déliquescent, semi-colonisé et confronté aux nationalismes des non-Turcs (musulmans albanais et arabes compris).

A lire ici :

http://www.mediafire.com/?l1vecuvwn7iz317

lundi 27 décembre 2010

Frontière turco-iranienne : 20 pauvres villageois turcs abattus par l'armée iranienne en 1 an

One Turkish villager killed on Iranian border
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Sunday, December 12, 2010
VAN - DOĞAN news agency

One villager was killed, another injured and a third is missing along the Turkish-Iranian border after Iranian soldiers allegedly opened fire on Sunday.

Three villagers from the eastern province of Van’s Esenyamaç village, on the Iranian border, crossed the border to fetch their animals which reportedly had crossed to the Iranian side. Mehmet Keskin, 19, died at the scene, while 18-year-old Zakir Turgut was injured. Akif Yıldız, 24, went missing after the incident. Turgut was brought to the city of Van by other villagers and hospitalized.

“Three citizens searched for their sheep when the animals did not come back. Iranian soldiers opened fire. This year approximately 20 citizens have died [in a similar manner]. No one has asked why those people are dying,” said Namer Parlak, the district head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP.

“How can those citizens live here? Each time they come towards border, will they be killed? If that is the case we [should] evacuate the village. The person who died was a young man newly married.”
Source : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=one-villager-killed-in-iranian-border-2010-12-12

mercredi 15 décembre 2010

Wikileaks : la Turquie était prête à intervenir militairement pour défendre le territoire géorgien en cas d'invasion russe de l'Adjarie

WikiLeaks: Turkey was ready to launch military operations against Russia in August 2008
By
admin
– December 9, 2010Posted in: Politics

According to the infamous WikiLeaks, during Russia and Georgia’s 2008 war, Turkey was ready to deploy its troops under the status of NATO into Georgia’s territory in case of Russia’s invasion of Adjara.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and members of the Turkish parliament visited Moscow and met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a document dated August 14 2008 stated.
According to the document, the Turkish delegation told Medvedev that if Russia conducted military operations near the 100-kilometer zone surrounding the Turkish border, the Turkish side, as a NATO member, would have the right and even be obligated to place their units into military operations and protect the territory of neighboring member states of the alliance.
The document specifies that Turkey would have deployed its troops to Georgia in case of military actions in Adjara and it would have launched targeted air strikes.
Source : http://www.allhotnewz.info/2010/12/09/wikileaks-turkey-was-ready-to-launch-military-operations-against-russia-in-august-2008/

lundi 13 décembre 2010

L'influence turco-ottomane en Europe

Nicoară Beldiceanu, "L'organisation de l'Empire ottoman (XIVe-XVe siècles)", in Robert Mantran (dir.), Histoire de l'Empire ottoman, Paris, Fayard, 1989 :

"On rencontre dans les Balkans un autre aspect de la domination ottomane. Il est vrai qu'à la suite des échanges de populations ou de l'émigration, le nombre des Turcs a diminué au XXe siècle dans de grandes proportions. Malgré la disparition de la domination ottomane, les peuples du Sud-Est européen conservent encore une forte empreinte turque ; les villes perdent lentement leur aspect ottoman, mais les coutumes et un certain vocabulaire ottoman continuent de se perpétuer dans les langues des peuples qui vécurent sous l'autorité des sultans. Un simple coup d'œil jeté sur le vocabulaire hérité par les Albanais, les Bulgares, les Grecs, les Macédoniens, les Bosniaques, les Serbes et les Roumains montre combien la civilisation ottomane a su s'imposer et modeler certains aspects de la vie dans les Balkans. Près de deux cents mots concernant les divers éléments qui entrent dans l'agencement d'une maison, l'habillement, le mobilier, l'alimentation ou l'environnement urbain sont d'origine ottomane.

Faut-il donner quelques exemples ? On habite une oda (chambre), on couche dans un yatak (lit), on regarde à travers une fenêtre pourvue d'un djam (vitre), et, bien entendu, d'un tchertcheve (cadre). La chambre a un döcheme (plancher) et un tavan (plafond). Les affaires sont rangées dans un dolab (armoire) et l'on prend ses repas dans la sofragerie, où se trouve un sofra (table à manger). Sur la table il y a des farfurii (assiettes) dont l'étymon ottoman, faghfur, n'est plus en usage. On pourrait continuer en précisant que le lit est pourvu de tcharchaf (draps) et les fenêtres de perde (rideau). Le consommateur de l'Europe du Sud-Est fait ses achats chez le bakkal (épicier) et chez le marchand de légumes (zerzavattchi). Le touriste qui consulte le menu d'un restaurant y relèvera un certain nombre de plats et de gâteaux portant des noms turcs.

Cet aspect de l'empreinte laissée sur les peuples de l'Europe orientale montre bien le rôle qu'ont joué les Turcs et que ce sont eux qui ont posé les premières bases d'une nouvelle civilisation urbaine. On peut affirmer que la Porte a joué dans la structuration de la civilisation urbaine balkanique le rôle des Allemands dans l'Europe slave et hongroise." (p. 136-137)

Georges Castellan, Histoire des Balkans, XIVe-XXe siècle, Paris, Fayard, 1991 :

"Ces cultures, l'islamique comme la chrétienne cléricale, cohabitaient dans les villes et conféraient à celles-ci ce caractère « oriental » cher aux voyageurs occidentaux. Plus profondément, elles engendraient une culture populaire balkanique qui, dans la communication orale, mêlait les traditions et habitudes de l'une et de l'autre, du moins dans la mesure où la foi religieuse n'était pas concernée : ainsi, jusqu'au XIXe siècle, les femmes serbes de Belgrade sortaient voilées, tandis que leurs maris portaient le turban et fumaient le narguilé. Si bien qu'en 1829 encore, Vuk Karadžić pouvait écrire : « Les Serbes ne sont que paysans. Les quelques Serbes qui vivent dans les villes sont appelés varosani [les citadins], ils portent des vêtements turcs et vivent suivant les coutumes turques. » " (p. 146-147)

Jean-Paul Roux, Un choc de religions : la longue guerre de l'islam et de la chrétienté, 622-2007, Paris, Fayard, 2007 :

"Pour une raison ou pour une autre, pour beaucoup de raisons, l'œuvre d'islamisation et d'assimilation réalisée par les Ottomans est restée très en deçà de celle effectuée par les Arabes. La différence des résultats ne s'explique nullement par la moindre longévité des premiers que des seconds puisque les Arabes accomplirent cette œuvre en un demi-millénaire, durée approximative de l'empire d'Osman. L'un islamisa et arabisa la majorité des pays conquis (Egypte presque entièrement, Soudan, Maghreb, où il demeura pourtant des berbérophones, Espagne, qui redeviendra chrétienne et de langue castillane, Syrie et Iraq malgré la présence de forts noyaux chrétiens), et n'échoua qu'en Iran qui, après une période d'arabisation, retrouva sa langue maternelle. L'autre, hormis quelques conversions à l'islam en Albanie et en Bosnie, laissa partout survivre les religions et les idiomes nationaux (y compris en Anatolie jusqu'au début du XXe siècle avec les Arméniens et Grecs). Après cinq cents ans d'occupation, la Grèce libérée parle le grec et est orthodoxe ; Serbie, Bulgarie, Roumanie, Arménie gardent leur foi, leurs coutumes, leurs langues.

On en conclut souvent que l'influence turque fut nulle en Europe orientale, et plus encore en Europe occidentale. C'est parce qu'on ne l'a pas cherchée. Certes, il n'y a pas d'Averroès turc qui entre dans les universités, d'une part parce que les Turcs n'ont pas d'aussi grands penseurs, d'autre part parce que la chrétienté est devenue trop bien armée intellectuellement. Mais, sans même relever ces mille petites choses qui appartiennent à notre vie quotidienne, comme les brochettes (chiche kebab) et le yoghourt, il convient de regarder plus attentivement les apports qui se révélèrent bien essentiels. D'où vient la réputation des bains de Budapest, sinon des hammams ? Croyez-vous que Racine aurait écrit son Bajazet et Molière son Bourgeois gentilhomme (qui dénote une certaine connaissance de la langue et des coutumes turques), que les Turcs auraient été si souvent introduits dans les ballets, s'il n'y avait pas eu dans le public un intérêt pour le monde ottoman. Croyez-vous que La Fontaine, racontant la réception du rat des champs chez le rat des villes, aurait écrit : « Sur un tapis de Turquie le couvert se trouva mis », si le tapis d'Anatolie n'était pas devenu au XVIIe siècle une pièce essentielle de notre mobilier ? Il l'était depuis si longtemps qu'aux XVe et XVIe siècles Bellini, Lotto, Holbein représentaient couramment dans leurs œuvres tel ou tel type d'entre eux et que les noms de ces artistes servent encore à les définir dans le jargon des spécialistes. La Marche turque de Mozart (sonate pour piano en la majeur), composée en un temps (seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle) où les Autrichiens étaient en rapports étroits avec le monde ottoman, est non seulement un écho de ses parades militaires, mais nous rappelle, comme L'Enlèvement au sérail, que les instruments à percussion, déjà découverts par les Latins au temps des croisades, puis abandonnés, envahissent alors nos orchestres." (p. 221-222)

"Le yoghourt, qui tient aujourd'hui une telle place dans l'alimentation en Europe, n'y est arrivé que tard, en grande partie par les émigrés du Caucase lors de la révolution soviétique. La forme yaourt, longtemps employée, vient du grec. Le mot turc est formé sur le verbe yoghurtmak, « épaissir ». Ce breuvage n'est pas le seul emprunt que nous avons fait aux Turcs : nous leur devons le kiosque à musique ou à journaux (turc köchk), la tulipe (turc tülbend), le gilet (turc yelek), etc." (p. 387, note 3 du chapitre XI)

jeudi 9 décembre 2010

Le mythe absurde de l'intolérance ottomane

Bernard Lewis, Comment l'Islam a découvert l'Europe, Paris, La Découverte, 1984, p. 120 :

"Le mouvement des réfugiés illustre bien les situations respectives des deux mondes [chrétien et musulman]. Alors qu'un grand nombre de juifs et de chrétiens dissidents fuyaient la chrétienté pour se réfugier dans les pays de l'Islam, rares étaient en revanche les personnes qui faisaient le chemin inverse. Un petit groupe de chrétiens grecs émigra de Grèce vers l'Italie au moment du déclin et de la chute de l'Empire byzantin ; plus tard, des maronites du Liban et quelques Arméniens et Grecs, pour la plupart uniates, s'établirent à Rome, Venise et dans d'autres villes européennes. En général, les chrétiens orientaux trouvaient la situation d'infidèle en Turquie musulmane plus confortable que celle de schismatique en Europe chrétienne."

dimanche 5 décembre 2010

Wikileaks : la Turquie est le "meilleur" voisin de l'Irak du point de vue américain

TURKEY: BETTER THAN THE REST

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10. (C) Relations with Turkey are relatively positive. Turkey intervened diplomatically to attempt to mediate the post-August 19 crisis with the Syrians, and unlike the Iranian effort, seems to have gotten some traction with the parties. The effort has been well-received here, even if concrete progress has been limited. The Iraqis and Turks have established a Strategic Commission that meets periodically at the ministerial level, paving the way for head of state visits marking significant economic cooperation. PM Erdogan is expected in Baghdad in October, following up on the ministerial in mid-September in Ankara. Bilateral trade is currently at $7 billion annually, and the two countries hope it will expand significantly in the coming decade. Moreover, Turkey has worked to improve its relations with the KRG, and they have significantly increased their diplomatic and commercial presence in the Kurdish areas. However, the Turks also have been active on the Iraqi political front, funding groups like the Mosul-based Sunni Al-Hudba movement, in an effort to offset Kurd influence in areas outside Kurdistan.

11. (C) It is the water issue that threatens to complicate an improving Iraq-Turkey relationship. According to DFM Labid Abbawi, Iraq needs a flow of 700 cubic meters of water for its needs but could get back with a minimum of 500. However, Turkey was only allowing a flow of about 230 cubic meters (with an uptick in August and September beyond that level). A recent visit to Turkey by the Iraqi Minister of Water was not very productive, he noted.
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/226620

vendredi 3 décembre 2010

Wikileaks : analyse américaine tempérée de la politique étrangère de l'AKP

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 ANKARA 000087
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2020
TAGS: PREL TU
SUBJECT: WHAT LIES BENEATH ANKARA'S NEW FOREIGN POLICY
REF:
A. 09 ANKARA 1717
B. 09 ISTANBUL 466
C. 09 ANKARA 1561 (EXDIS)
Classified By: Ambassador James Jeffrey for reasons 1.4 (b,d)
INTRODUCTION/COMMENT

--------------------

1. (C) There is much talk in chanceries and in the international media these days about Turkey's new, highly activist foreign policy, which unquestionably represents a transition not only from prior governments, but also from the AKP regime before the Gaza/Davos events, and before the ascent of Ahmet Davutoglu as Foreign Minister in April. Some commentaries are upbeat, but others, including many experts and editorial writers in the US, have expressed concern. The ruling AKP foreign policy is driven by both a desire to be more independently activist, and by a more Islamic orientation. Frankly, rational national interest, particularly trade opportunities and stability considerations, also drives Turkey's new slant. Major challenges with us in the coming months include the direction of Turkish-Israeli relations, the fate of the Protocols with Armenia, and the Turkish posture vis--vis Iran.

2. (C) Does all this mean that the country is becoming more focused on the Islamist world and its Muslim tradition in its foreign policy? Absolutely. Does it mean that it is "abandoning" or wants to abandon its traditional Western orientation and willingness to cooperate with us? Absolutely not. At the end of the day we will have to live with a Turkey whose population is propelling much of what we see. This calls for a more issue-by-issue approach, and recognition that Turkey will often go its own way. In any case, sooner or later we will no longer have to deal with the current cast of political leaders, with their special yen for destructive drama and - rhetoric. But we see no one better on the horizon, and Turkey will remain a complicated blend of world class "Western" institutions, competencies, and orientation, and Middle Eastern culture and religion.

END INTRODUCTION.
COMPONENTS OF POLICY

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"The Traditional Western"

3. (C) Turkish policy today is a mix of "traditional Western" orientation, attitudes and interests, and two new elements, linked with new operational philosophies: "zero conflicts" and "neo-Ottomanism." The traditional still represents the core of Turkish foreign policy, and is centered on cooperation and integration with the West. Its core is NATO, the customs union with the EU, and most significantly, the EU accession effort. This all began with the Ottoman effort to emulate the European great powers, and was propelled powerfully forward by Ataturk. Nevertheless the country was on the sidelines in World War II. It was only the threat of the USSR, and the dominance (and outstretched hand) of the US, that led to the "Turkey we know": tough combat partner in Korea, major NATO ally, US anchor in the Middle East. Much of this continues.

4. (C) Europe is by far Turkey's most important economic partner in terms of investment and trade. The EU accounts for 42 percent of Turkey,s total trade, while the US accounts for a bit less than 5 percent. While the US is much less important in terms of trade statistics, it remains important in various sectors (e.g.energy, aviation, military), and in various ways. NATO is essential to and much respected by
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Turkey. (Note: The fact that "only" about one-third of the Turkish population in one poll see NATO as important to Turkey's security is actually a plus; on any poll Turks usually are overwhelmingly negative about any foreign engagement or relationship. But we should not be too sanguine here since support for NATO has been halved over the past decade. End Note) The military is armed by the US, and Turkey recognizes that many fires in its back yard -- from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan -- can only be solved by close cooperation with and acceptance of US and NATO leadership. Finally, even AKP leaders know that much of their allure or "wasta" in the Middle East and elsewhere stems from their privileged position in key Western clubs. This traditional orientation may be shaken, or reduced, but as it has both significant buy-in by elites of all philosophies, and many concrete advantages, Turkey will not abandon it.
 "Zero Problems with Turkey's Neighbors"

5. (C) But this Turkey is trying to "post-modernize" itself. One major area of AKP effort has been to resolve problems with Turkey's immediate "near abroad." This effort stands in contrast with the "traditional" Turkish policy of letting these frozen conflicts fester, and is much more compatible with US and European interests. The list of Turkish initiatives under the AKP is impressive: accepting the Annan Plan in 2004 to resolve Cyprus, continuing the 1999 rapprochement with Greece, the opening to Armenia culminating in the signing of recognition protocols, warming and productive relations with both Baghdad and Erbil (the latter complemented by significant reforms in Turkey's relations with its own Kurdish population). The signature accomplishment of this policy is the wooing of Syria. While this road to Damascus in fact was paved by Syria's accommodation of prior Turkish governments' demands (relinquishing claims on Turkey's Hatay province, expelling Ocalan), it is touted by the Turks as a game-changer. As noted below, they have leveraged it to tackle a number of regional problems, from Lebanon to Iran.

6. (C) While this new approach is to be applauded, there is a fly in its ointment. Little of true practical and final accomplishment has been achieved. Cyprus is still split (albeit the fault, at least in terms of the Annan plan, lies more with the Greek Cypriots and the EU); tensions with Greece in the Aegean continue; the Protocols with Armenia have not been ratified due to Turkish concerns about Nagorno-Karabakh; Iraq's instability and the KRG's unwillingness to do more against the PKK raise questions about the sustainability of Turkey's constructive Iraq policy; the rapprochement with Syria has not really produced any Syrian "flip" away from Iran. Granted, Turkey is dealing with some of the world's most difficult actors, and facing stiff opposition at home to making more concessions, but the proof of this pudding is yet to be seen.

"Neo Ottomanism"

7. (C) The idea of Turkey using its cultural and religious links to the Middle East to the advantage of both Turkish interests and regional stability is not new with the AKP, but has been given much more priority by it, in part because of the Islamic orientation of much of the party, including leaders Erdogan, Gul, and Davutoglu. Moreover, the AKP's constant harping on its unique understanding of the region, and outreach to populations over the heads of conservative, pro-US governments, have led to accusations of "neo-Ottomanism." Rather than deny, Davutoglu has embraced this accusation. Himself the grandson of an Ottoman soldier

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who fought in Gaza, Davutoglu summed up the Davutoglu/AKP philosophy in an extraordinary speech in Sarajevo in late 2009 (REF A). His thesis: the Balkans, Caucasus, and Middle East were all better off when under Ottoman control or influence; peace and progress prevailed. Alas the region has been ravaged by division and war ever since. (He was too clever to explicitly blame all that on the imperialist western powers, but came close). However, now Turkey is back, ready to lead -- or even unite. (Davutoglu: "We will re-establish this (Ottoman) Balkan").

8. (C) While this speech was given in the Balkans, most of its impact is in the Middle East. Davutoglu's theory is that most of the regimes there are both undemocratic and illegitimate. Turkey, building on the alleged admiration among Middle Eastern populations for its economic success and power, and willing to stand up for the interests of the people, reaches over the regimes to the "Arab street." Turkey's excoriating the Israelis over Gaza, culminating in the insulting treatment of President Peres by Erdogan at Davos in 2009, illustrates this trend. To capitalize on its rapport with the people, and supposed diplomatic expertise and Ottoman experience, Turkey has thrown itself into a half-dozen conflicts as a mediator. This has worked well, as noted above, with Iraq, and was quite successful in the Syrian-Israeli talks before Gaza. Turkey has also achieved some limited success on Lebanon and in bringing Saudi Arabia and Syria together. As noted below, however, this policy brings with it great frictions, not just with us and the Europeans but with many supposed beneficiaries of a return to Ottoman suzerainty. Furthermore, it has not achieved any single success of note.

WHY THE CHANGE?

---------------

9. (C) Various factors explain the shifts we see in Turkish foreign policy beyond the personal views of the AKP leadership: -- Islamization: As reported REF B, religiosity has been increasing in Turkey in past years, just as has been seen in many other Muslim societies. The AKP is both a beneficiary of, and a stimulus for, this phenomenon. However, bitter opposition within Turkey against domestic "pro-Islamic" reforms (e.g., head scarves) has frustrated the AKP, and a more "Islamic" or "Middle Eastern" foreign policy offers an alternative sop for the AKP's devout base. -- Success: Despite its problems, Turkey over the past 50 years has been a success story, rising to the 16th largest economy and membership in the G-20. This, along with its extraordinary security situation compared to all other regional states, and democratic system, encourage a more active -- and more independent -- leadership role in regional and even global affairs. -- Economics: one secret of Turkish success has been its trade and technology-led economic growth. This growth is in good part thanks to its customs union with the EU, by far its biggest export market, and resulting investment from the EU, as well as decades of technology transfer and educational assistance from the U.S. Nevertheless, with exports to the EU down due to the 2008-2009 crisis, Turkey is looking for new markets, particularly in the hydrocarbon rich Arab world, Iran, Russia, and Caucasus/Central Asia. They have money, and strong import demand, and Turkey is dependent on them for its oil and gas. These countries, however, (along with China-another Turkish export target) tend much more than the EU and North America to mix politics and trade. To some

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degree the West thus is taken for granted and economic priority is directed towards relations with the Middle East and "Eurasia." -- Civilians ascendant: Erdogan's political success - together with a number of messy scandals resulting in public investigation - has meant that the Turkish General Staff now plays a much smaller role in defining Turkey's foreign policy. Turkey's support to NATO is still strong, but it now lacks the suspicion of Russia which the cold-war instinct of General Staff brought to the mix. -- EU disillusionment: Both popular and elite Turkish opinion has recently grown much more pessimistic about eventual EU membership -- or even its value. The reasons for this are complex, but include the shifting mood in Europe towards Islam, the replacement of "pro-Turkey" leaders in France and Germany by Sarkozy and Merkel, both decidedly cool towards Turkey's EU membership, and a sense in Turkey of distance from and lack of sympathy for Europe. -- Relativization of the Western anchor. An op-ed in the Financial Times by Gideon Rechman on January 4 noted correctly the tendency of the "young giants" -- South Africa, Brazil, India, and Turkey -- to pursue Third Worldish policies and rhetoric even while benefitting enormously from the globalized trade and international security created and maintained by the "West." That certainly characterizes Turkey. With the end of the cold war, relative success in the struggle with the PKK, and the "taming" of Syria, Iraq, and (at least from Turkey's point of view) Iran, Turkey's need for NATO and U.S. security is reduced. Its dependence on Western trade, investment, technology transfer and educational exchange remains critical, but is regarded as a "free good" that Turkey deserves and does not have to expend effort for. Relations with its various new friends in the North-East-South or on the other hand require effort which is facilitated by some downplaying of Turkey's Western anchor.

DAVUTOGLU DISCONTENTS

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10. (C) The AKP's new approach to international affairs receives mixed reviews inside and outside Turkey. It is not a major factor in the AKP's relative popularity, but several elements of it (unfortunately, those we are least happy with) do appeal to voters. Criticism of Israel post-Gaza is overwhelmingly popular, and the relatively soft Turkish position on Iran -- a country about which many Turks are skeptical -- is presumably helpful with a narrow, but for Erdogan's electoral fate important, group of Islamic voters associated with former PM Erbakan.

11. (C) Nevertheless, many in Turkey's large westernized elite see the Islamic Outreach as a complement to the alleged AKP plan to Islamize Turkish society, and complain bitterly about their country's losing its western moorings. The Nationalist segment in Turkey, mobilized most by the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), sees the AKP's compromises on Armenia, the KRG in northern Iraq, Cyprus, etc, as a betrayal of diaspora "Turks" (the Iraqi Turkomen, Azeris, Turkish Cypriots, etc) and charges that the AKP is trying to replace the Republic's organizing principle of "Turkism" with the broader Islamic "Umma." The Republican People's Party (CHP), the lead opposition party, attacks AKP foreign policy relatively ineffectively with a mix of MHP-like nationalist rhetoric and "abandoning the west" criticism.

12. (C) But it is in the EU that the Erdogan foreign policy of late has run into the heaviest of sailing. To some degree

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European angst at Turkey's "new direction" is viewed as an excuse to pummel Turkey to score domestic points among anti-foreigner elements. But there is real concern in Europe, made manifest by the Rasmussen NATO SecGen issue last April. Europeans were furious with Turkey's presentng itself as the "Islamic" voice or conscience in NATO, having consulted with Middle Eastern States before talking to its NATO allies. Extrapolating that behavior into the even more diversity-intolerant EU is a nightmare. Erdogan's foreign (and domestic) policy orientation conjures up not just a clash of Christianity and Islam, but the spectre of a "meld" of Europe and the Middle East, and of Europe's secularlism with oriental religiosity. Davutoglu and others argue that Turkey's "success" as a coming Middle East power makes it more attractive to the EU -- giving Europe a new foreign policy "market" through Turkey. While some in Europe appear interested in this idea, ironically including Turkey EU membership skeptic France, this does not seem to carry much weight in most European capitals, let alone populations.

13. (C) Finally, not all of the ex-Ottomans look with fondness on their past under the Pashas, or yearn for Turkey's return. Reaction among many in the Balkans to Davutoglu's Sarejevo speech (REF A) was quite strong. In the Middle East itself, the Arab street might applaud Turkey's populistic and essentially cost-free support for more radical elements, but it's not particularly appreciated by rulers (although Turkey seems to have made some progress with Syria, brokered a rapprochement between President Bashir and Saudi King Abdullah, and has had some role in resolving the Lebanon cabinet stalemate). Sooner or later, though, Turkey will have to produce results, take risks, commit real resources, and take hard decisions to augment a policy now consisting mainly of popular slogans, ceaseless trips, and innumerable signatures on MOUs of little importance. The experience with Iran, which despite significant Turkish verbal support and wooing, appears uninterested in granting Turkey any concessions, or agreeing to a Turkish lead in mediation efforts, is telling.

THE PROBLEM FOR THE US

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14. (C) Turkey's new foreign policy is a mixed bag for us. Having regional heavyweights take on burdens, thereby relieving us, has long been a desired goal of US policy, but it comes with a certain loss of control. Nevertheless, on a whole host of key issues of supreme importance to us -- Afghanistan and Pakistan, cooperation in and on Iraq, NATO efforts (although a leading Turkish role in Missile Defense will not be easy) -- Turkey is a crucial ally, and our use of Incirlik, Habur gate, and Turkish airspace for our Iraq and Afghanistan operations is indispensible. Its "zero conflicts" initiatives, which have moved Turkey forward on more of the key bilateral spats -- Cyprus, Greece, Kurds, Northern Iraq, Armenia -- than we have seen with any other Turkish government, also support U.S. interests.
15. (C) Nevertheless, these latter issues illustrate two problems. At least in Turkish eyes, on this complex of issues the US , especially the media, interest groups, and Congress, default to a "blame Turkey" posture regardless of whatever it does. Second, Turkey has repeatedly run into trouble actually consummating these various openings -- the Armenian protocols being the best example, but continued overflights of Greek islands and domestic opposition to the Kurdish opening are also relevant. What we fear is that this inability to bring to conclusion foreign policy initiatives will affect not just the above, but most Turkish policy, given the over-extension of Davutoglu and his team, and a
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tendency to substitute rhetoric for long term investment of diplomatic, military, and assistance capital. (Fortunately, Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iraq are the two major exceptions to this tendency.)
16. (C) The greatest potential strategic problem for the US, however, and the one that has some of the commentators howling, is the Turks neo-Ottoman posturing around the Middle East and Balkans. This "back to the past" attitude so clear in Davutoglu's Sarajevo speech, combined with the Turks' tendency to execute it through alliances with more Islamic or more worrisome local actors, constantly creates new problems. Part of this is structural. Despite their success and relative power, the Turks really can't compete on equal terms with either the US or regional "leaders" (EU in the Balkans, Russia in the Caucasus/Black Sea, Saudis, Egyptians and even Iranians in the ME). With Rolls Royce ambitions but Rover resources, to cut themselves in on the action the Turks have to "cheat" by finding an underdog (this also plays to Erdogan's own worldview), a Siladjcic, Mish'al, or Ahmadinejad, who will be happy to have the Turks take up his cause. The Turks then attempt to ram through revisions to at least the reigning "Western" position to the favor of their guy. Given, again, the questioning of Western policy and motives by much of the Turkish public and the AKP, such an approach provides a relatively low cost and popular tool to demonstrate influence, power, and the "we're back" slogan.

17. (C) This has been, so far, manageable, if at times high maintenance, in the Balkans and Mideast, although the damage to Israeli-Turkish relations remains serious. If the Turks are genuine in their desire to draw Syria away from Iran, and if they begin achieving real success rather than telephone books worth of questionable protocols, then that will be of benefit to us all. But with Iran itself it is a different story. REF C describes the background to the Turkish relationship with Iran, one more complicated than with their ex-Ottoman Arab and other subjects. Trade/hydrocarbon interests, Turkish aversion to sanctions stemming from the first Gulf War, Erdogan's vocal "third worldism" and certain domestic political considerations all push Turkey in the wrong direction. Unlike with many of the other issues, however, Turkey will have to stand and be counted on Iran, in the Security Council, with MD, and in implementation of UN or US sanctions. This will have a profound effect on relations second only to the fate of the Armenian protocols over the next year.

Jeffrey
Source : http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10ANKARA87.html

La diplomatie américaine semble donc bien reconnaître de multiples avantages pour les intérêts américains dans la politique de "zero problem" et le "néo-ottomanisme" de l'AKP : apaisement avec les Chypriotes grecs (membres de l'UE et soutenus par la Grèce membre de l'OTAN) et les Kurdes dans le nord de l'Irak, attraction de la Syrie (donc sortie possible de l'orbite iranienne), rôle de médiation dans le monde arabe, "protocoles" avec l'Arménie (qui pourraient permettre de dégager l'Arménie des influences russe et iranienne, sans doute). La rhétorique "tiers-mondiste" des dirigeants de l'AKP est comparée à celles employées par d'autres gouvernements de puissances émergentes "amies" (Brésil, Inde). L'AKP est probablement une "solution par défaut" pour les Américains, étant donné que le nationalisme intransigeant incarné par l'opposition CHP-MHP pourrait sérieusement mettre à mal leurs intérêts dans la région (notamment dans le nord de l'Irak), d'autant plus que ces partis ne partagent pas vraiment le libéralisme économique de l'AKP.

jeudi 2 décembre 2010

Quand le précurseur "néo-ottomaniste" de Davutoğlu était encensé par les néo-conservateurs américains

Paul Wolfowitz, discours au Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 13 mars 2002 :

"C’était un homme du peuple, qui a su montrer que le savoir-faire, le talent et la détermination peuvent mener à la réussite. C’est ainsi que nous définissions, aux Etats-Unis, un self-made man (...). [Turgut] Özal était un chef d’Etat sûr de lui, qui a su s’affirmer sur la scène internationale. Ami proche de Georges H. W. Bush (ou Numéro 41, comme nous aimions l’appeler), il avait saisi le rôle que la Turquie comme puissance régionale et le devoir qu’elle a de défendre, avec les autres nations, ce qui est juste. (...) On se souviendra sans doute de Turgut Özal avant tout parce qu’il a mis en oeuvre le projet d’une Turquie moderne et démocratique, ouverte aux opportunités et aux bénéfices offerts par l’économie de marché. Il ne fallait pas simplement avoir un projet, mais aussi du courage, pour mettre la Turquie sur une telle voie."

Richard Perle, interview au magazine Turkish Policy Quarterly, volume 4, n° 1, 2005 :

"(...) il n'y a que deux démocraties actuellement dans la région [le Moyen-Orient], la Turquie et Israël. Une troisième démocratie, nous l'espérons, est en route, à savoir l'Irak. Je crois que la Turquie et Israël ont d'importants intérêts communs. C'était certainement la vision du Président Özal (...)."

"Nous [les Américains] avons un intérêt évident dans la protection de l'intégrité des nouveaux Etats indépendants du Caucase. Personne ne veut voir une autre conduite impériale de la part du successeur de l'Union soviétique et ces Etats se sentent souvent très vulnérables. Comme le Président Özal l'avait compris, une relation étroite avec la Turquie serait très utile pour ces nations. Une telle relation ne doit pas être anti-russe, mais basée sur des valeurs positives et des intérêts mutuels."

Voir aussi : L'AKP et le "jeu" américain au Moyen-Orient

mercredi 1 décembre 2010

Wikileaks : le président azéri Aliev est inquiet des menaces iraniennes


WikiLeaks : les inquiétudes de l'Azerbaïdjan
LE MONDE pour Le Monde.fr | 29.11.10 | 18h50 • Mis à jour le 30.11.10 | 11h23
L'Azerbaidjan, République ex-soviétique frontalière de l'Iran, s'inquiète de toute déstabilisation régionale, dans le cadre de la crise autour du programme nucléaire iranien.
En juin 2009, indique un télégramme diplomatique américain, un conseiller pour les questions de défense du président azerbaïdjanais, Ilham Aliev, exprime des préoccupations. Il s'inquiète des "supposés efforts, soutenus de l'étranger, pour fomenter des troubles parmi les minorités ethniques en Iran, notamment parmi les Azéris (qui forment 30% de la population de l'Iran)". "Toutes les tentatives de soulèvement des Azéris d'Iran, au cours du siècle écoulé", observe ce conseiller, "ont été écrasées par l'Etat iranien".
L'Azerbaidjan est un important poste d'observation pour la diplomatie américaine, inquiète des visées du pouvoir iranien. Mais le dirigeant du pays, Ilham Aliev, veut éviter d'être entrainé dans la crise.
Dès 2006, selon un document américain rédigé de Bakou, le président azerbaidjanais exprime ses craintes de représailles iraniennes. "Aliev affirme que Ahmadinejad (le président iranien) l'a prévenu que l'Iran 'attaquerait là où il est attaqué'. Aliev pense qu'il est 'toujours possible que l'Iran entreprenne quelque chose contre nous, et que l'Azerbaidjan doit minimiser les risque potentiels'".
L'Azerbaidjan, écrit un diplomate américain dans une note obtenue par WikiLeaks et consultée par Le Monde, "croit que les divers scénarios que prépare l'Iran pour répondre à des tensions accrues ou une action militaire incluent une provocation contre les intérêts de l'Azerbaïdjan en mer Caspienne".
Source : http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2010/11/29/wikileaks-les-inquietudes-de-l-azerbaidjan_1446620_3210.html

Wikileaks : Feridun Sinirlioğlu apprécie Ehoud Barak et pense que la Turquie peut éloigner la Syrie de l'Iran

ISRAEL

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7. (C) Burns focused on Turkey's strained relationship with Israel. Sinirlioglu argued "the problem is not bilateral, but general." He attributed increasing regional country frustration with Israel to the stalled Peace Process, especially on the Palestinian track. He blamed the lack of progress on Israeli intransigence, which caused regional stake-holders to question Netanyahu's goals. He contended the "humanitarian situation in Gaza," which is not a punishment of Hamas, but of the Gazan people, fed Turkish popular anger against Israel. Even so, bilateral cooperation with Israel is continuing. Turkey is acquiring Israeli military equipment, notably Heron UAVs. Direct flights between the two countries are routine. Two-way trade is healthy, he said, tourism has dropped recently, but "will recover." Sinirlioglu described Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's mid-January visit as "very good." He noted the MFA is exploring the possibility of arranging a meeting between the two prime ministers on the margins of an international gathering. Returning to a GoT obsession, he recalled the Turkey-brokered Syria-Israel proximity talks, "which were shattered by Cast Lead," Israel's December 2008 military operation in Gaza. Burns noted Syria places high value on Turkey's role as a mediator and repeated Senator Mitchell's statement that Turkey-brokered proximity talks can make an important contribution to the Peace Process.

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SYRIA

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8. (C) Sinirlioglu contended Turkey's diplomatic efforts are beginning to pull Syria out of Iran's orbit. He said a shared hatred for Saddam had been the original impetus for their unlikely alliance. "Now, their interests are diverging." Once again pitching Israel-Syria proximity talks, Sinirlioglu contended Israel's acceptance of Turkey as a mediator could break Syria free of Tehran's influence and further isolate Iran.
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/250705

Wikileaks : les Américains préfèrent l'influence turque à la saoudienne au Pakistan

17. (C) Comment: This was the first meeting between the two embassies in this format, which parallels a similar dialogue we have with the U.K. High Commission. But with the Turks playing an increasingly high profile, constructive role in Pakistan, we will continue to develop our dialogue and find opportunities to work together in areas of mutual interest. As a moderate, progressive Muslim state featuring relatively stable, democratic governance, Turkey is well-positioned to be a much more positive role model for the Pakistanis and to neutralize somewhat the more negative influence on Pakistani politics and society exercised by Saudi Arabia. End comment.
PATTERSON
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/208470