French President Emanuel Macron has been trying to bring back France's shiny past and become the dominant European power, bypassing Germany, the continent's main heavyweight. He is also claiming a central position in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as in Western Africa. However, he follows an unusual policy in order to achieve his objectives.
The current international system is in deep crisis because its main actors, including the U.S. and many other Western countries, do not respect its principles. Most Western countries nowadays have put aside the main principles of the international system, namely liberal democracy and the liberal economy.
The current European governments and politicians who face many political, social and economic problems try to use other states, peoples and civilizations as a tool for their own interests. They try to instrumentalize them for their own good, no matter how it might harm others.
In this piece, I will attempt to answer the question that I asked in last week’s column, in which I tried to assess the French approach toward Turkey. I will elaborate on the general view of the Western countries toward Turkey by answering the following questions: Why has the West been otherizing and alienating Turkey? What are the main sources of anti-Turkish sentiments in the West? Why is the West concerned about the democratic institutions in Muslim countries? Is the rise of Turkophobia related to the most recent wave of Islamophobia? Why is the West against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government? Are they worried about the rise of the Turkish state?
Turkey’s most recent steps in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean raised questions in foreign capitals about that country’s international standing. As Americans grappled with President Donald Trump’s call to delay the 2020 elections, the European media went berzerk over the Hagia Sophia’s reclassification as a mosque. On the one hand, they called on European leaders to respond to “Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom they charged with neo-Ottomanist expansionism. At the same time, European reporters appreciate that Erdoğan has been filling the power vacuum that the United States left behind, empowering his country in the process. They also understand that the Turkish president, as an experienced leader, does what his European counterparts fail to do and takes his country to a new level of agency.