The notorious Osmanli horde is stirring once again.
With Prime Minister Erdogan’s Islamist AK party having seized its third landslide election victory in Turkey, many throughout the international community have been watching to see what will be next on the Turkish agenda.
Now there are strong indicators in the Turkish media that Turkey is planning on literally doubling the size of its army – this coming from the nation that already has the largest army in Middle East and the second-largest army in NATO, second only to the United States. Presently, Turkey’s army has over 500,000 troops. Its army is larger than France, Germany and England combined. And now Turkish media are reporting that they are planning on adding another 500,000 paid soldiers.
According to Egemen Bağış, a state minister and Turkey’s chief EU negotiator, the purpose of the army is to kill two birds with one stone, overcoming two of Turkey’s biggest challenges: terrorism and unemployment. This move would create half a million new jobs for Turkey while answering once and for all Turkey’s problem with Kurdish separatist terrorists in the southeast.
Bağış spoke to journalists at the Turkish ambassador’s office in Brussels. “The government is prepared to hire 500,000 people. … This structural change will also contribute to our struggle with unemployment,” he said.
Such an expansion would be particularly concerning in light of the Turkish government’s recent swing toward Islamist political alliances. They have worked to significantly reinforce strategic alliances with both Iran and Syria, two of the most well-established state sponsors of terrorism globally, while significantly cooling its relationship with Israel and the United States. Despite this, the Obama administration this past January, sold the Turkish Air Force 100 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. Turkey already manufactures it’s own F-16s.
It is also essential to once again remind ourselves of the recent accomplishments of the Islamist AK party under Prime Minister Erdogan’s leadership. In just the past several years, the AK party has edged ever closer to establishing a full-blown dictatorship, all in the name of democracy. Since 2002, they have managed to accomplish the following:
- occupy the presidency;
- occupy the seat of prime minister;
- gain a large majority of seats in the parliament;
- fill the judiciary with Islamist-leaning judges;
- behead the top echelons of the military;
- infiltrate the police force (over 70 percent of officers are members the Islamist Gulen movement);
- intimidate and imprison Turkish journalists (there are more Turkish journalists in prison than any other nation in the world – more than China or Iran).
The nation’s leadership is now working toward a bill authorizing them to rewrite the Turkish Constitution, giving them far more sweeping powers over the military and judiciary.