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Now the Turks have become bad? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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My God what a turnaround, for now the Turks are being viewed as bad in the eyes of the followers of the Syrian regime in Lebanon, particularly the media affiliated to [Lebanese parliamentary Speaker] Nabih Berri and Hezbollah, merely because the Turks announced their rejection of the methods of suppression being used against the Syrian citizens, and called on the Syrian regime to implement reform.

Following this, talk emerged in Lebanon about the “evil” history of the Ottoman Empire, simply because Ankara began to take a stand rejecting the suppression of Syrian citizens. Although this was not a stance that was visible on the ground, it represented a strong political censure of the Syrian regime. However now Hezbollah and Nabih Berri are saying that there is no excuse for Ankara’s actions towards Lebanon over the past years, and an organized campaign against Turkey has begun in Lebanon today.

Didn’t Hassan Nasrallah previously praise Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and allow Hezbollah followers to raise his image, and Turkish flags, last year following the Freedom Flotilla incident? Wasn’t it Nasrallah who said: “Today, the AKP [Justice and Development party] and the Turkish people have restored Turkey to the [Muslim] Umma?” How is it that Turkey is now suddenly “bad”? Perhaps such behavior is not unexpected from Nasrallah, but what about the leader of the Amal Movement, Nabih Berri? Didn’t he once welcome Erdgoan’s visit to Lebanon by saying that he is an “important guest for all of Lebanon, and his Islamic and nationalist, or let us say Arab, [political] orientations, means that he is like a brother [to the Arabs]. He is one of the most important symbols of Turkish history following World War I, and if some are reminded, no doubt, of Ataturk, then modern history attests that Prime Minister Erdogan has restored communication between this region and treasured history”. So after all of this, how can Turkey be viewed by them as an enemy today?

Instead of attacking the Turks today, we must ask an important question, which is: Is it not shameful that the colonizers have returned to save the Arab citizens from some of their own governments which celebrate their independence [from these same colonizers] every year? Now we are seeing the descendents of the Ottomans return to save those who wrote books criticizing the Ottomans themselves! We are also seeing the Italians intervening to rescue the Libyans from Gaddafi, who never hesitated to eulogize on the issue of the expulsion of the colonial Italian force from Libya! We are also seeing the French coming to rescue the people of Syria from their own regime, even though the Syrians celebrate the anniversary of their independence from France each year. It was [also] Paris who helped bring Syria out of its international isolation following the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005. Now we are seeing the Ottoman descendants returning to save the Syrian citizens, whilst previously they also served as a lifeline to the [Syrian] regime during the years of international isolation, as did the French. They [the Turks] were welcomed in Lebanon yesterday, when they were rushing to defend Hezbollah and others, whilst now they are being rejected, and so now it would be better to ask another question rather than attacking the Turks, namely: what has caused all the colonialists to return to our homelands?

It would be better if we asked such questions, but how can we ask serious questions such as this when we are faced with the media outlets that belongs to Syria and Iran, and which are supervised by Nasrallah and Berri in Lebanon? In the words of the late [Egyptian poet] Hafez Ibrahim:

Newspapers have a duty,

Not to differentiate or mislead,

Yet they are filled with their master’s lies,

As if it were April Fool’s day.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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