The Ottoman Empire is Rising Once Again Under the Regime of Turkey’s Erdogan



By Sigrid Weidenweber

Most of us do not know the full history of the Ottoman empire. Yet it behooves us to take, at least, a cursory look at what it represented. This empire, it should have been called the Osmanic empire, after its tribal founder Osman, encompassed the vast historical gulf between the 14th and 20th century. Most of this time much of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa was controlled by this powerful empire. The Ottomans were ruthless in the acquisition of these lands and much blood flowed until, finally, bureaucratic agencies administered Ottoman rules. Yet even then, the conquered people were often killed for running afoul of their ruler’s measures.

Founded in Anatolia by a Turkic tribe, the Ottomans became, from the onset, a horrific thorn in the side of the Russian empire. The Turkic hordes, much like the Mongols and Tartars raped, pillaged and plundered, burned cities, destroyed villages and crops and enslaved whole population, selling them in the markets of Arabia and Africa. Mehmet, the Conqueror, vanquished the Byzantine empire, and Constantinople became his capital. The Ottoman bashi-bazooks, brutally suppressed a Bulgarian uprising. Bulgaria being one of their conquered lands, saw in the years from 1876 to 1880 100,000 of their people killed in a bloody massacre.

Also under control of the Ottomans, 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians were killed between 1894-1896 in the Hamidian massacres.In 1915 the Ottoman government began the elimination of its Armenian population in a genocide that caused the lives about 1.5 million Armenians.To this day, no one in all the Turkish governments following the Ottoman empire has acknowledged this horrific massacre. Every nation faced with a violent, criminal past has admitted, more or less repented and made amends to the victims. Yet, Turkey will not own up to the slaughter of the Armenians.

The Turks were not only brutal in the administration of their conquered lands but they treated their own people only slightly better. After WWII the Ottomans were finally defeated. That event led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in Anatolia and was the end of the Ottoman empire.


In modern times, a young Turkic officer, Mustafa Kamal Atatürk, an intelligent man of great discernment, intuited that Turkey would never be great again as a second-rate Asiatic-Islamic country. He ascertained that the weaponry of the West would always be superior. He was aware that only a secular country could survive in the modern world. Therefore, he became the great reformer after usurping power over the army.

After secularizing the government, he westernized Turkey according to European law. He modernized the language and the dress code, no more Burkas and head shawls. However, as much as he drove the country toward its European neighbors, old religious and cultural prejudices were encoded even in him. He allowed the forced emigration Armenians and prevented the Kurds from achieving autonomy.

In the following years Turkey prospered and was even perceived as a democratic entity. There was talk of inclusion in the European Union. That was, however, until the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to the presidency. At first, all of Europe wanted to se the first Islamic “democrat” to succeed. The people of Turkey, however, knew better, especially the entrepreneurs and business people together with the army. Secularism was soon driven out of governmental institutions. The army, guardian of secularism for almost eighty years was curtailed, eroded by attrition and incarceration, Islamic law crept into all institutions. Women were paid to wear the head scarfs and the burka again. And the Anatolian Turks were brought to the forefront again and encouraged to emigrate to Germany and other European countries.

I knew the earliest Turkish emigrants in Berlin. They were wonderful human beings. They worked in construction, they had small businesses that they tended with love, their customers were faithful. In the apartment house were my parents lived, a Turkic Falafel business rented the shop abutting the street.

Before travelling to Turkey we conversed with the owners about sights to see, things to do and, of course, where to eat and which specialties to order. The men told us already then, when Erdogan was only the mayor of Istanbul, that they were afraid of the Islamic change. “He is sending all of Anatolia to Berlin. They are the most uneducated, tribal Turks you will ever meet. Berlin should look closer at the people they invite into their country.”

They were right, of course. They felt the change, and their relatives sent messages about the changes affected by Erdogan in the city of Istanbul. In a recent report by Bernard-Henry Levy in the Wall Street Journal, he speaks of the Faustian bargain the West has made with Erdogan. He speaks of the blindness of Western diplomats toward the martyrdom of the Kurdish fighters, our allies. I quote, “They cover their ears so as not to hear the artillery of the new sultan, who has stretched sarcasm, insolence, and his middle finger so far as to style his ethnic cleansing ‘Operation Olive Branch’. Turkey has cozied up to the Atlantic alliance while brazenly liquidating NATO’s best allies in the fight against ISIS.”

Levy expands on Turkey’s heinous duplicity by declaring that Erdogan has kept the most vicious jihadists on stipend in Ankara, sending them back at will to combat the hapless Kurds in their own homes.

Levy concludes that Erdogan leaves the West no choice. The West must confront him with all means, for “if we fail to muster this basic degree of resolve, then the horror of the massacre of the Kurds will be added to the shame of watching their killer gloating atop the ruins of our Honor.”

Sigrid Weidenweber

Sigrid Weidenweber

Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weindenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weindenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer.

You can find her books on

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