A nation that doesn’t have its own defense industry cannot have a claim to independence.

Ahmet Davutoğlu,

(at the ceremony for the 100th anniversary of the Turk victory over the Allies in the Dardanelles)

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Erdogan’s new sérail

turkish_Palace   Scheduled to be inaugurated at the 91st anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish republic on the 29th October, the new turkish presidential Palace, fits perfectly the description of an ottoman serail. The 1.000 ultralux room, $350 million edifice, in a neo-seljoukide style extends on 200.000 square meters in the middle of a forest (a real nightmare for the environmentalists!) created by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk  in the outskirts of the turkish capital.  It’s 7 times larger than the white house, 6 times the Palais de l’Élysée, nearly the size of the Kremlin and half the size of the Vatican.

   The palace constitutes one more of Erdogan’s “contributions” to the turkish republic. The third airport of Constantinople  will be named after it’s name. An university and a football stadium bare the name of the president. He is already making provision for his burial, ordering the construction of a giant mosque in Constantinople which ambitions to be visible from all the corners of the city.

   Vanity? megalomania? projection of force? or merely strong political planning?

sources: Le figaro, CNN

Osman’s guns exports

  • turkish-mkek-rifleTurkey aims to reach $1,6 billion in arms exports in 2014, up 14,3%  from $1,4 billion in 2013.
  • It’s top export markets are the US, Gulf countries and Turkic republics in Central Asia but now targets South America and African Markets
  • African countries during the last decade doubled  their military expenditure (from $21 billions in 2003 to $44,9billions in 2013)
  • Two major Turkish defense companies Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan AS  have risen in the rank of the top 100 Defense Firms. TAI dropped for 85th to 80th while Aselsan from 74th to 60th. Aselsan works on the 65-ton Altay 3rd Generation MBT and TAI produces the T129 attack heli, the Anka MALE UAV and participates in the A400M consortium.

 

Will once again Haghia Sophia (Αγία Σοφία) become a mosque?

Haghia Sofia

the history:  Since the conquer of  Constantinople from Mehmed II in 29 Mai 1453 and until 1935 the Haghia Sofia basilica has been converted to a mosque. That year Atatuk, as part of his drive to secularise Turkey converted it to a Museum. Radical Islamists endeavor to reverse that using the rhetoric “The Hagia Sofia is seen as a symbol of conquest, of Islam’s superiority over Chistinity”. Two other Haghia Sofia churches have already been converted: one in Iznick in 2013 and the second in Trabzon in 2013. Take into consideration, that the Haghia Sofia was the personal property of Mehmet II (the tile deed survives) and in his will decreed that it should remain a mosque “util judgment Day”. Mr Erdogan advisers, so far, dismiss the story as “fantasy”.

the (my) comment: For the time being, at least until the August’s presidential election,  Mr Erdogan plays the card  of the mild approach. At a later time, a debate on the issue is everything but impossible to be launched .

source: The economist