Image courtesy of crescent international
To understand Turkey’s recent movements, one must understand the rough components crucial in the rise of KSA. It was the fall of the Ottomans that led to the rise of the Sauds ; a twisted humour conjoins these two – one can grow only when the other isn’t. These components would provide a sense to what all Turkey needs to fuel its Capliphatic ambition and how it thinks of proceeding about them.
REAL ESTATE. The Nejdi Sauds were promised and delivered the prime portion of Islamic world at the end of The Great War just as soon the Ottoman disintegration was achieved. Mecca and Medina under their thumb enabled a religious legitimization.
MONEY. Oil and petrodollar. I guess I don’t have to write anything about that. That scale of rich the world has seldom seen, and most of us know about that chapter. Even a sketchy idea of that kind of money and the working relation with the West is good enough to understand the recent events.
CLOUT. With money and powerful friends comes clout. The Sauds built on that. And kept building. The proliferation of Wahhabi ideology – from sprouting millions of madrassas around the world, radicalizing entire countries, rise of terrorism, liquid jihad, all that we witness along the lines of Arab Cultural Imperialism have two things in common: KSA, and its clout
FOLLOWERS. Religion, is a fact. And real estate has a role to play too. But you can’t disregard marketing. Consider this: Mecca has been there for quite some time now with proper guardianship, one that remained pretty much unchanged till 1925 – and from a time when travel restrictions were hardly there. And yet, this frenzy around the city is recent. After the al Saud clan took over. After oil. After petrodollars. After encouraging and often facilitating travel through indirect money.
Overtly religious, covertly religious, vaguely religious – every form and every variety are susceptible towards being influenced. One needs the legitimacy money and clout renders. With that kind of an influence KSA built an ecosystem that became self-preserving in its nature.
Sultan is trying to fill up the vacuum that he has created based on MBS’ assertions to go moderate. At its base Islam needs to expand; and that’s the only rule that matters for someone assuming a missionary leadership. MBS appears to be more interested in preparing his country for life after petrodollar, so, Sultan has jumped in time with an ambition to regain the lost glory of the Ottomans.
What does he need for that? The usual of course: real estate, money, clout, followers. But it is his procurement progression that’s interesting. My guess is, riding on the self-sustaining ecosystem built by the KSA, he would proceed in a reverse gear. That’s what I find intriguing.
Let’s see what I think is in his mind, and then we can punch a few holes in the theory.
His first in order would be the followers. There are more than a billion Muslims. But mostly KSA influenced. And, all born after the Ottomans disappeared. Hence there is an urgent need to rebuild the Ottoman identity. Hence Ertugul. Hence Hagia Sopiha. Hence Imran Khan’s utterances. And somewhere in a long line, hence Aamir Khan (there are other local influencers too, mostly recruited through NGOs). A pompous “I have arrived guys!” show. This is a plan that doesn’t need much money.
Done successfully, this would build his clout. Larger legitimacy is often derived from larger numbers. Considering Pakistanis have already begun seeing themselves as Turks, the propaganda looks promising. So, Sultan hopes these new converts will eventually influence their local geography rallying under the resurgent caliph.
He has two crucial influencers already: one, the immigrants that he pushes to Europe. That is changing the demographics of Europe at a supersonic rate, and that would Islamize Europe real soon. Two, ISIL. So you blow hot (ISIL) for the market that’s religious, and you blow cold (poor immigrants) for a market that’s atheist. He is building a third group of influencers through Imran and Aamir Khan. (A cool plan if you ask me, vis a vis our desi leaders that can’t plan beyond an election rally.)
Money. He is in some trouble here. That is the only reason why he has risked reversing this entire order. Turkey’s economy is not in a good shape. Sultan often blackmails EU for money; one measure to stay afloat. Germany is faithfully still Ottoman in its outlook, hence they oblige. Turkey’s future would look brilliant when the Islamization of Europe is complete – because that’s a big and a rich market. But that’d take a decade. Minimum.
So, he tried targeting Libyan oil. But got jacked. He is currently trying Greek territories. He’s getting jacked all the same. Blame it on his useless army – one that he culled after his coup – as a result they appear more incompetent than Mumbai Police.
Under these circumstances, I think that he could be looking at crowdfunding. Through NGO network, through guys like Soros and their links, from the wealthy Arabs, Emiratis, South Asians, or Africans who could be disheartened at MBS and the Saud clan, but… most interestingly, from the millions of madrassas around the world. There’s a fair chance that he’d stir the ummah sentiment for getting individuals to loosen their purse strings. And we know people always donate enough and more for their religious beliefs. This is one ready pool of a few billion guys that could help him get to his act real smooth.
Finally: real estate. If all of the above goes per schedule, then Europe isn’t going to be Arab, it is going to be Turk. Consider it as a writing on the wall. That would be Turkey’s prized catch. For the European Muslim that remains fairly influenced by European life Turkey as semi-European makes more sense than Saudi Arabia. As for the Middle East that is still very tribal and accustomed to the hierarchy of power, turning them physically won’t be as important as turning them psychologically; one that can be achieved through a series of ‘caliphate’ driven successes. And under that light, snatching this or that land from Syria or Jordan or the Kurds would proceed easily. Remember how people travel from Kerala to join ISIL for a ‘cause’? That cause would then be multiplied by 100. Around the world. With thousands more staying back in the Dar al Sulh running branch offices of the Turkish Caliphate. And Mecca too, can then be remote ruled like before WWI.
Two last things: One, an accelerator. If Biden wins, this plan is going to skyrocket in its speed. Especially the Europe part. Atheist white Europe is done and over now; the MI Complex needs the religious brown Europe to fight Russia. And two, a brake called Mohammed Bin Salman (who can now involve any number of states and characters – from Trump to Putin, from Israel to UAE – in any manner) and his actual plan.
And this is how I think Sultan plans to proceed.