Turkish PM Davutoglu and Nasereddin Hoja
Mission impossible; Removal of Assad & No-fly inside Syria from Iraq to Mediterranean
Recently promoted Turkish Prime Minister Dr Ahmet Davutoglu is a highly qualified academic, professor and diplomat from Konya .As foreign minister he had proclaimed Ankara's policy of zero friction with neighbors. But the reverse has become true .He had also claimed that a leaf could not move in the Middle East without Turkey's approval. But with violence boiling over in Greater Middle East because of policies followed by Ankara and its NATO allies and rich Sunni Gulf states and Jordan, have brought home the violence into Turkey's Kurds, not only in south-east Turkey, but in other major cities of the country and major cities in West Europe, where many millions of Turks, including about 25% Kurds live since many decades .
This is how Davutoglu has postulated Turkey's foreign policy options in Syria and in the region;
Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu has told Al-Jazeera Arabic that 'safe zones' against ISIL on Syria's border with Turkey should protect 'areas with populations over a certain density,' marking a large region from the Mediterranean to Iraq's border
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has clarified the locations of possible internationally sanctioned safe zones near Syria's border with Turkey, outlining a line stretching from the Mediterranean to Iraq.
"The buffer zone we mean here is not a military definition, but a humanitarian safe zone under military protection," Davutoğlu said in an interview with Al-Jazeera Arabic on Oct. 15.
After noting that safe zones should protect "areas with populations over a certain density," the Turkish PM mentioned the need to connect the Turkish border with northern Latakia, "certain areas in al-Hasakah," as well as Jarabulus, Ayn-al Arab (Kobane), Tel Abyad, Idlib and Afrin to protect Syria's Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens.
Davutoğlu stressed that the depth of the safe zone could change according to varying humanitarian situations in these areas, but he reiterated that Turkey would not take the risk of intervention alone.
"United Nations Security Council can't take any decisions due to certain vetoes. Then, the international coalition that was created for an intervention in Syria and the coalition of the willing can take certain decisions and provide air protection [for the safe zone]," he said, recalling the internationally sanctioned no-fly zone in Saddam Hussein-era Iraq.
About fighting the US allies and Turkish created Islamic State Jihadis , carrying out their barbaric policies of destruction and beheadings in Iraq and north east Syria who have recently besieged Kobane a few hundred feet south of Turkish border and torturing and killing its Syrian Kurds belonging to DYP (Party of Unity and Democracy) , an extension and allies of Turkey's Kurds led and still outlawed leftist , gender equal Marxist PKK , which have been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 for cultural , political and economic autonomy and with which president Recep Erdogan has since 2013 began a peace process to resolve this existential problem , the situation based on statements from Ankara ,Washington and elsewhere remains cloudy and confused .Recently , Erdogan stated that he prefers IS to DYP and PKK .He even bombed Kurdish region is south east Turkey ,thus breaking the cease fire .
As for saving Kobane, Erdogan repeated recently that Ankara would only get involved in Syria if the US-led coalition also targeted President Assad's regime, as well as IS. Also a no-fly zone had to be imposed to halt Syrian regime air strikes and help cope with the refugees. Instead, Washington reiterated that the coalition of the not so willing was focused for now on IS alone. Ankara turned against Assad early on in the war, betting he would fall quickly like Qaddafi.
So Ankara has been widely criticised for taking an "anyone but Assad" policy, backing armed groups which have become ever more extreme. Turkey has been uncomfortably close to other Sunni Islamist militants in Syria, helped them with weapons, fighters and resources crossing a once-porous border.
The Turkish government did appear, somewhat woken up to the threat posed by IS - mainly after IS kidnapped 46 Turkish Consulate citizens in Mosul in June, and released them after 100 days following some suspicious deals .Many believe that Ankara is still not serious about tackling IS.
"For us, the PKK and Isil are the same," said President Erdogan this week, using another term for Islamic State. "It is wrong to consider them as different from each other," he added.
Ankara fears helping the Kurdish DYP militia in Syria will only strengthen PKK, and extend the latter's powers base into north Syria, adjoining Turkey. Abdullah Ocalan, the iconic imprisoned leader of the PKK since 1999, stated that if Kobane falls to IS, it will spell the end of the peace process. So Turkey is at a critical juncture in its much-criticised Syria policy - failure to intervene in Kobane could feed spiralling protests, strain already tense relations with Washington and sound the death knell for long-lasting peace with the Kurds. Turkey is already embroiled in the chaos south of the border, 180,000 refugees have flooded in from Kobane. But the impact has spread fast and risks reigniting flames that Turkey will struggle to handle at home with even protests abroad which would intensify even more.
Of course Turkey and its allies have not taken into account the reaction from Assad' allies, Moscow, Iran, the Hezbollah and Shia controlled Baghdad. It should be remembered how faced with imminent threat of US bombing of Syria in September last year, Putin had out blinked Obama with the British poodles too subsiding .
How does Nasereddin Hoja come in!
Having spent many years in Turkey and with Azerbaijan as concurrent charge, lectures and travels to major cities of Uzbekistan and visits to Syria and Iran, Turkmenistan and Gulf states, I am reminded of a story about Nasereddin Hoja.
Once the Hoja was standing in the Aksehir (white town) lake with a big jar of yogurt, and slowly letting it drip into the lake water. When people enquired what he was doing, he said he is trying to turn the muddy milk like water of the lake into yoghurt. When people laughed and said it is impossible, he replied, what it did happen, ie the lake water turned into yoghurt!
Hoja is very well known wise men known for his great sense of rustic humour and witticisms.
Who is Nasreddin Hoja
Who is Nasreddin ! In (Turkish: Nasreddin Hoca, Ottoman Turkish: نصر الدين خواجه,Persian: خواجه نصرالدین, Pashto: ملا نصرالدین, Arabic: نصرالدین جحا / ALA-LC:Naṣraddīn Juḥā, Urdu: ملا نصر الدین / ALA-LC: Mullā Naṣru l-dīn, Uzbek:Xoʻja Nasriddin, Bosnian: Nasrudin Hodža, Albanian: Nastradin Hoxha, Nastradini, etc etc
Nasreddin Hoja was a Seljuq satirical Sufi, believed to have lived and died during the 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today's Turkey. He is considered a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his witty stories and anecdotes. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but often, too, a fool or the butt of a joke. A Nasreddin story usually has a subtle humour and a pedagogic nature. The International Nasreddin Hoja fest is celebrated between 5 and 10 July in his hometown every year.
Claims about his origin are made by many ethnic groups. Many sources give the birthplace of Nasreddin as Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province, present-day Turkey, in the 13th century, after which he settled in Akşehir,
The author visited Hortu village a few times and of course Aksehir city and the lake many times .Nearby are many places for weekends . It is not far away from Ankara
Later Nasereddin shifted to Konya then under the Seljuq rule, where he died in 1275/6 or 1285/6 CE. The alleged tomb of Nasreddin is in Akşehir and the "International Nasreddin Hodja Festival" is held annually in Akşehir between 5–10 July.
But according to Prof. Mikail Bayram who made an extensive research on Nasreddin Hoca, his full name is Nasir ud-din Mahmud al-Khoyi, his title Ahi Evran (as being the leader of the ahi organization). He was born in the city of Khoy in West Azerbaijan Province of Iran, had his education in Khorasan and became the pupil of famous Quran mufassir Fakhr al-Din al-Razi in Herat.
Nasreddin Hoca was sent to Anatolia by the Khalif in Baghdad to organize resistance and uprising against the Mongol invasion. He served as a kadı (an Islamic judge and ombudsman) in Kayseri. This explains why he is asked judicial problems in the jokes not only the religious ones. During the turmoil of the Mongol invasion he became a political opponent of Rumi, another great figure of the time who also lived in Konya. He was addressed in Masnavi by juha anecdotes for this reason. He became the vizier at the court of Kaykaus II in Konya. Having lived in numerous cities in vast area and being steadfastly against the Mongol invasion as well as having his witty character, he was embraced by various nations and cultures from Turkey to Arabia, and from Russia to China, most of which suffered from those invasions.
As generations have gone by, new stories have been added to the Nasreddin corpus, others have been modified, and he and his tales have spread to many regions. The themes in the tales have become part of the folklore of a number of nations and express the national imaginations of a variety of cultures. Although most of them depict Nasreddin in an early small-village setting, the tales deal with concepts that have a certain timelessness. They purvey a pithy folk wisdom that triumphs over all trials and tribulations. The oldest manuscript of Nasreddin dates to 1571.
Today, Nasreddin stories are told in a wide variety of regions, especially across the Muslim world and have been translated into many languages. Some regions independently developed a character similar to Nasreddin, and the stories have become part of a larger whole. In many regions, Nasreddin is a major part of the culture, and is quoted or alluded to frequently in daily life. Since there are thousands of different Nasreddin stories, one can be found to fit almost any occasion.
Nasreddin often appears as a whimsical character of a large Albanian, Arabic,Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Judeo-Spanish,Kurdish, Pashto, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu folk tradition of vignettes, not entirely different from zen koans.
Some people say that, whilst uttering what seemed madness, he was, in reality, divinely inspired, and that it was not madness but wisdom that he uttered.
In the Indian subcontinent, a character like Hoja is called Sheikh Chilli.