Reports have been circulating that the U.S. is starting to settle Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq in places close to the Chinese border, in Turkestan's east regions. Meanwhile, China is building a military base in Tajikistan territory. We are hearing the footsteps of a showdown between the U.S. and China that will impact East Turkestan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan - and in the general sense, the east of Turkestan.
This might be an ordinary report. It might be news that concern only those who are interested in security-based topics. It might be U.S. propaganda. It might be Chinese propaganda. It might be plans to cause tension in the region through Daesh. It could be a number of things. But this news is definitely not just this. We should open our mind and eyes and already now be able to foresee where such developments that seem minor may lead to.
The ‘Third Great Game’ starts between US-China in Turkestan
Following the first competition between Russia and the U.K. through Afghanistan, and known in history as the "Great Game," there was another great showdown between the U.S. and Russia (Soviet Union) - also through Afghanistan. The invasion of Afghanistan that started in 1979 and the resistance that followed, the showdown through a Muslim country resulted in the collapse of the Soviets. This was the "Second Great Game."
Now, a "Third Great Game" era is starting between the U.S. and China. And this showdown will be through Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and East Turkestan. More precisely, the east of Turkestan is going to be the stage of the hegemony war of two global powers like the U.S. and China.
Where will we stand? How will we produce a discourse, a power?
I will not get into the details of the rivalry between the U.S. and China. This is the topic of another article or articles. I am concerned with what is happening in the east of Turkestan. How are we going to view these developments as the people of the region, as the Muslim world, as the Turkish world?
How will we react? Are we going to align with the U.S.? Are we going to take position based on China's priorities? Or are we going to build our own stance, view, priorities and act accordingly? These are the topics that concern me.
None of those our wars were ours. They used our weaknesses
None of the crises from the depths of Africa to every inch of the Middle East, from the invasion of Afghanistan to Libya, from the internal conflicts in the Arab world to sectarian crises, from the coup and multinational attack attempts aimed at Turkey to the terror corridor in northern Syria, from the Arab-Persian fight to the recent attempts to provoke the Arab world against Turkey, were our crises. Yes, we had our weaknesses, mistakes, grievances, and a great deal of problems.
But these conflicts, invasions, terror operations, massacres, humiliation, the pillaging and destruction of the region, were not our fights. The parties of the global power struggle determined invasions, and security strategies through our weaknesses, and sold all their wars to our weaknesses.
Look at the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the Syrian war, the Yemen war, the invasion of Libya, every crisis that you can remember in the last three decades. None was our battle. They were wars carried out on our lands only, with our blood only, and using us like bullets.
How will we escape being the East or West's weapon?
The Muslim world must be rescued from being the East and West's soldiers and bullets. This is our greatest issue. The Muslim world must be saved from thinking that the wars of others are its own. The Muslim world must be saved from those promoting these wars from within.
The West and the Atlantic axis used Muslims in all its wars aimed at the Muslim world. It attacked Islam itself, and also made it clash internally. The West managed to use Muslims as a weapon even when in a showdown with other enemies. This is the most critical situation aimed at the 21st century.
One that is unable produce a discourse will become party to this. It has been like this since the British mandate…
In addition to the U.S., U.K., France or Western countries, now China is also following the same path. It too is using its anger against Muslims, and trying to position Muslim countries with which it has close relations, against the West.
What will we produce as the "Third Great Game" is being set up, and largely in the Turkestan region? What kind of a stance will we determine? Are we going to be able to come up with a discourse other than helping the U.S. or China gain legitimacy? The course of recent discussions on East Turkestan is an indication that we are stuck between China's oppression and the U.S. using this oppression.
It is easy to take a side. Because it is easy to produce a legitimate justification for every partiality. We have been finding it difficult to go beyond partiality since the discussions of the U.K.-Germany mandate. We are unable to make the tough choice and enlighten the future.
They're telling us, 'Go under the protection of the East or the West.' We will not give in to this!
Let me tell you what will happen in the "Third Big Game": In the clash of both sides, Muslims are going to take position in the front lines. They are going to die for the U.S. and China. They are going to think they are fighting for their own cause on their own lands. We are going to see once more how the West, which is in a war against Islam, uses Muslims as troops. We are going to see how China carries out its imperial showdown with the U.S. through Muslim lands and blood.
Why are we unable to produce a regional mentality? They are telling us to "Go under the protection of the East or the West." Everybody is taking shelter under the shade of the country they think is right; some of us in the West, some of us in the East. They do not suggest anything but a mandate to us.
They forbade us from producing a future perspective for our region, and for those living in this region. And, we always bow down and choose one. Then, we strive to produce legitimacy for this illegitimate ground we are on.
Turkey is the only one doing this, and it is attacked from all corners
Turkey is striving to challenge certain things, to determine a history stance, to form a regional understanding, and to build a freedom discourse. Hence, it faces attacks from all corners. We are not ashamed to use even these attacks as an internal political justification.
In my previous article, I opened up a discussion saying, "They are trying to get Islam, Muslims to clash with all civilizations. They are trying to make it the common problem of the world, of all civilizations. They are also trying to include the Buddhist and Hindu civilizations in the war against Islam. They are sieging Islam from the East." I realized that nobody sees the world in this way.
If we do not produce our own discourse, if we do not build a force based on this, all corners of our region will be plundered throughout the 21st century. I say, let us look at the east of Turkestan through this lens a bit.