The diplomatic significance of President Erdo?an?s men in Christchurch

Turkish VP Fuat Oktay and FM Mevl?t ?avu?o?lu 

By deja vu

This article from the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies website is deeply troubling. Please read it all. While we’ve been distracted by the aftermath of this unprecedented attack and the outpouring of sympathy, we’ve been neglecting the diplomatic significance of it in the eyes of the Middle East. It’s high time those who purport to lead us woke up, rubbed the sleep out of their willfully blind eyes, and started leading. Unfortunately, I don’t see one informed leader among them. I assume Winston didn’t bother to find out what Erdogan is playing at behind the scenes? quote.

‘Turkey Plants its Flag in Christchurch

When, two days after the mass shooting in New Zealand, Turkish VP Fuat Oktay and FM Mevl?t ?avu?o?lu became the first high-level foreign government delegation to travel to Christchurch, they were doing more than expressing solidarity with New Zealand?s grieving Muslim community. They were planting Turkey?s flag as part of a global effort to expand support for President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an?s style of
religiously packaged authoritarian rule ? a marriage of Islam and Turkish nationalism ? beyond the Turkic and former Ottoman world.

While showing footage of the March 15 shooting rampage in Christchurch, New Zealand at a rally in advance of the March 31 local elections, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an declared, ?there is a benefit in watching this on the screen. Remnants of the Crusaders cannot prevent Turkey?s rise.?

Oktay?s and ?avu?o?lu?s visit is one more facet of a Turkish campaign that employs religious as well as traditional diplomatic tools. The campaign aims to establish Turkey as a leader of the Muslim world in competition with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and, to a lesser degree, Morocco. As part of the campaign, Turkey has positioned itself as a cheerleader for Muslim causes such as Jerusalem and the Rohingya at a moment when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Muslim nations are taking a step back.

It’s very concerning when ordinary citizens know far more about the situation than those supposedly in power. The government’s ineptitude is becoming all the more obvious in the light of recent events. We are badly served by them and we urgently need a change of leadership before we’ve sold our souls to the lowest bidder and are past the point of no return. Surely the sheer ignorance of world affairs is unprecedented in today’s New Zealand. We must learn to disregard the propaganda and fight back with facts. Forewarned is forearmed.