Journey’s End

At last, the trip is coming to an end.

What a magnificent country this is.

There is a different feeling the moment you step into Turkey. The uniqueness of a quasi-European, quasi-Muslim country creates a truly special blend of geographical flavors.

You can taste the difference in feeling in some coffee shops and food places where the blending of geographical flavors is more than cultural. Having spent some time here, I am afraid for Turkey’s future. The openness that characterized the country’s for a few years has brought great, positive cultural change to the country. Turkey looks spectacular from every angle, at every sunshine, in every photo. But the winds of change have blown in the direction of the old city and change is imminent. Turkey is becoming and transit station for quite a lot of terror and anti-terror efforts, and the reassuring Turkish warmth might soon give way to a restlessness that sure isn’t good for anyone.

The latest round of instability points to a growing trend Europe. As Paris’s attacks and Belgium’s raids have confirmed, terrorism is on the rise and the world will have to take a different approach to combating this alarming trend. However, if Turks need to find a man to negotiate this delicate time, they need to look no further than Erdogan. He has proven a shrewd politician of the best quality. He has navigated political turmoil at home and abroad effectively for the better part of a decade. A casual observer of Turkey’s politics will remember Erdogan’s political struggle with his military leaders that escalated so much that he ended up (rightly) jailing most of them on (quite true) corruption charges. So Erdogan has asserted that he is no pushover or political puppet, but an adept and competent political leader who inspires many within his own party and many outside it as well.

The balance in Europe right now is quite delicate. The EU itself is coming under a lot of pressure with the uncertainty of the Greek exit looming over its future. Both rising Islamophobia and threat from extreme Islamists foreshadow a conflict of the ends of the spectrum that could turn unpleasant. But what could politicians exactly do? I am no political expert so I will stay away from political advice. I delved into analysis and that is far beyond my expertise. Delving into political recommendations and guidance would be preposterous.

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