Eastern Mediterranean, Revisionism and Neo-Ottomanism

Eastern Mediterranean, Revisionism and Neo-Ottomanism

Cem Gurdeniz

Aydinlik Newspaper, 12.1.2020

With the geopolitical competition in the Eastern Mediterranean, the concepts constantly emphasized by Turkey's opponents, especially the Greek media and the exiled FETO media, are revisionism (transforming back the current conditions into previous geopolitical conditions) and Neo-Ottomanism. The Blue Homeland, which is my brainchild, is also included in this category, especially after the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) of maritime delimitation and military cooperation & security with Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). Let me tell you the end of the article from the beginning. The Blue Homeland is not even remotely related to Revisionism and Neo-Ottomanism. Although, this statement should not be considered as rejecting our own history or our own past. I am proud of our past; from the tradition of empire-building and I am a person who feels the honor of belonging to a nation with a 5000-year old history and feels the honor of being born a Turk every time, I breathe. And in this context, I am a staunch follower and defender of the immortal leader Mustafa Kemal and Kemalism, who had carried out a great war of independence and 15 years of Turkish Renaissance which took place on the wreckage of a collapsed and destroyed empire.




The Republic, which is approaching its 100th  anniversary of foundation, cannot and should not deal with Ottomanism dreams. Although some politicians in the parties that came to power in the post-Cold War era sometimes had dreams of new Ottomanism, the situation that this dream could reach in the end, remains only on a cultural level. We have a common heritage based on religion and traditions between many of the Balkan, North Africa, and Middle Eastern countries that had broken away from the Ottoman Empire, but , it is almost impossible to establish a political structure similar to an Ottoman Commonwealth, based on religion in the 21st  century. On the other hand, to establish a functional cooperation structure with our kinsfolk in the Balkans and Asia under the umbrella of the Turkish World, is a geopolitical reality that should be considered.


The Republic, is a secular nation-state founded on the ruins of Ottomans, on the demographic structure that remains within the borders of Misak-i Milli (National Oath), with the thesis "The people who founded the Republic of Turkey, are called Turks". On the other hand, security and foreign policies carried out with the philosophy of Peace at Home, Peace in the World, has never made Turkey a revisionist. Mustafa Kemal's decision to gain full sovereignty over the Turksih Straits with the Montreux Convention after the liberation, and then to incorporating Hatay  within national borders, were the essential and inevitable consequences of then geopolitics. If he had lived long enough, we could say that he would have accomplished the questions of Mosul and Kirkuk. Afterwards, the Republic, let alone being a revisionist, had even stayed away from Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean until the Bloody Christmas of 1963, as a part of being a loyal member of NATO. If there had never been a Bloody Christmas, it would have been too late for the Navy to deploy even in Mersin, in the Mediterranean coast. In 1950, while the Greeks held a plebiscite for Enosis and declaring to the world that 96 percent of the island's population wanted Enosis, Turkish Cypriots and Turkey demanded minority rights. Even a Turkish Minority Association was established in Cyprus for this purpose. When in 1951, Ankara could say, "Turkey does not have a Cyprus problem"; in 1964, Turkey expanded its territorial waters in the Aegean from 3 miles to 6 miles, following the Bloody Christmas and strained Turkish-Greek relations. They did not even think that, shrinking the high seas area (from 79% to 49%) would weaken our cards in the future, in partitioning of the continental shelf. Later on, a righteous awakening began, and the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation was carried out in full accordance with the international law, in order to prevent a major genocide. If Turkey were a revisionist, it would have occupied the entire island and completed the integration with the Turkish Cypriots during the time that has passed up to this date. Integration aside, a segregation from Cyprus was achieved under the solution process, despite the proclamation of  Turkish Republic of Northeren Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. The imperialist bloc in front of us, could not even stand to this. They attacked harder. We did not even object to the one-sided accession of The Greek Cypriots to the EU in 2004, which is completely contrary to the foundation agreements. This was actually another form of Enosis. Even that day, Turkey was settled with only condemning this action. Later on, their tyranny grew unimaginably. In the spring of 2004, proclamation of the EEZ and in the winter of 2007, let alone the TRNC maritime zone, even the areas that are accepted as Turkish continental shelf, was opened to hydrocarbon drilling of the international companies by Greek Cypriots.



Today, we started the third decade of the 21st  century. We are dealing with a whole new world conjuncture. After the 15 July 2016 coup attempt of FETO, Turkey is rapidly taking its place in the new world order. Turkey's approach towards Russia, China and Iran shapes the new world order through Syria, Northern Iraq and the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is experiencing a low-intensity proxy war-centered conflict process in regions which it borders, namely Northern Iraq and Syria. This process does not take place between the regular armies of the sovereign nation states, but proxies. On the other hand, the struggle to share the maritime jurisdictions over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, has turned into a maritime clash of geopolitical interests. Unlike the land, there are no proxy wars at sea. The fight is aimed at breaking Turkey off from its Blue Homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish nation, which succeeded in its liberation and foundation in a short period of time, with the drive to protect its homeland and tear the Treaty of Sevres apart, over the remnants of an empire that was defeated and invaded in the 1920s, this time in the 21st century, must and can repel the invasion attempt of the Blue Homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean. An area of roughly 462,000 square kilometers constituting our Maritime Authority areas, do not only offer us the potential for economic wealth, but also provides our state with space for a deep defense strategy and geopolitical maneuvering capability on our peninsula, where its defense begins at sea.




Defending the Blue Homeland for the future generations, is neither Revisionism nor Neo-Ottomanism. In short, the Blue Homeland is the National Oath of the seas. Today, which statesman or politician would allow 150,000 square kilometers of future generations’ maritime area in the Eastern Mediterranean to be stolen? However, a systematic attack is underway with the concepts of Revisionism and Neo-Ottomanism, against the concept of the Blue Homeland, which is found very disturbing by the Atlantic system and the Greek authorities. What is sad is that, just to pose an opposition, the existence of the people, that want to use organized attacks from the domestic crypto-FETO sources, and its uncovered foreign counterparts, via this structure’s media inside, as a tool for domestic politics.




The Blue Homeland, is the name of the process that strengthens Turkey's geopolitical control over the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, The Black Sea and the Straits, in today's irreversible global process, where the transition from the Atlantic era to the Asian era, and a transition from a unipolar world, to a multipolar world takes place. While this process defends our geopolitical integrity  in our maritime jurisdiction areas, it also opposes the attempts to undermine the Montreux Convention, like Canal Istanbul. On the other hand, Blue Homeland is the name for a gate, that opens to new opportunities and innovations, under the context of global, continental and regional relations that Turkey will develop over the axis of the Caspian Sea-Black Sea-Eastern Mediterranean Sea-Red Sea-Oman Sea. It is also a symbol of Turkey's maritimization process. In short, the Blue Homeland is the name of the 21st  century Geopolitics of Turkey. Neither the spirit of time, nor today's scorching geopolitical conditions, will allow the Blue Homeland to be ridiculed with Neo-Ottomanism and Revisionism.




It is unthinkable that already maritimizing  Turkey, would follow the steps of the Ottoman Empire that has collapsed because it never becaöe a maritime state. But Turkey can learn from its history. And those lessons have been learned. Navy of the Republic, which is constantly growing and coming up with modern armament, new strategies and doctrines after the Cold War, is ready for today's struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean. With the developments in our Defense Industry, the size of our population and our place in the G-20, has naturally exposed this process and ensured deterrence.




As Turkey breaks away from the Atlantic system and approaches towards the West Asia, it will continue to be blamed for Neo-Ottomanism or Revisionism. Because they still want to see the submissive, Rimland Country of the Atlantic alliance system. They want to turn the two states against each other and make them geopolitical rivals and strategic enemies by undermining the strategic cooperation between Turkey and Russia, which has given the greatest momentum to this process. So, let us remind once again to Greece and the domestic and foreign FETO media. Accusing Turkey of Neo-Ottomanism, Revisionism and Islamic imperialism could provoke the ignorant masses that are hostile towards Turkey. In the 21st century, our region and the world needs peace and stability. Bringing the climate of Crescent-Cross conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean does not benefit the humanity, in a conjuncture, of which Muslims kill other Muslims in the Islamic geography and of which Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia/UAE/Egypt and Israel are strategic allies. This drives the masses away from reason, virtue and wisdom. There has not been a single war in which fanaticism eventually wins. The secular, democratic Republic of Turkey which follows Mustafa Kemal's path and the Turkish-Russian partnership that will be strengthened in Libya and Syria, will be the greatest antidote to this fanaticism. In this process, the government, the opposition and all fellows should take the lessons that are necessary and row towards stability.