As a student of international Relations in the era of globalisation, I am astonished how the ‘global axis’ has shifted in such a fundamental way. Take Turkey, a country that has often been held as the beacon of tolerance and modernity in the Middle East is now seemingly on the road towards a dictatorship – albeit a benign one. With President Recep Erdogan winning a referendum giving him vast and sweeping new powers.
North Korea has gone even more ‘loco’ in recent weeks with a massive increase in nuclear weapons testing. This has even managed to alarm the isolationist regimes only allies china – who are threatening sanctions if further tests continue. Add to this fine melting pot of a trigger-happy president Trump, launching the mother of all bombs on Isis tunnels in Afghanistan and air strikes against Assad, really does add to a recipe of global instability on a level that hasn’t been seen for quite some time.
Messers Erdogan, Trump, Assad and Kim are really showing that with enough testosterone and macho fuelled bravado, there really is nothing that narcissistic men with god complexes cannot wreck.
I wonder how that old ducking under chairs procedure (which was so popular during the Cuban missile crisis) would fare against today’s more sophisticated nuclear deterrents. All I know is if I was living in Seoul I would be getting more than just a tad nervous. The thought that not only is there a nuclear-ready totalitarian dictatorship next door but that said totalitarian dictatorship was being goaded by the world’s first TV president, would be enough to send me going as far from there as possible.
Spare a thought for liberal minded Turkish people. I have visited Turkey on many occasions and they are a proud people with a distinct national identity. Turkey is Turkey the same way France is France or that Germany is Germany a Culturally, Turkey is so different from its Arabic neighbours, whose emphasis is far more Islamic than nationalist. To see Turkey go down this potential road of Islamisation, with Erdogan’s increased powers, is a real shame. I know from people who work in travel that their tourist industry has taken a real beating and the latest developments won’t help matters at all.
Syria …. well what more can be said from these column inches. It’s an appalling, stomach-turning situation with echo’s from the early 20th century – when families being torn by war and mass migration were commonplace. I do not pretend to fully know about the complexities of the country, no situation is black and white. But, it is so incredibly sad to see such graphic images of dead children that it is almost expected. Truly tragic for the people having to endure this nightmare on a daily basis.