We are going to return to what is local, genuine and what belongs to us. We are going to return to our political gene, our regional perception, and our historical wealth. We are going to utilize all past experiences and achievements stemming from our struggles in this region, and from this we are going to begin a new existence, revival and rise once again.
We are going to return to the great Seljuks, the Anatolian Seljuk state, to the Ottoman Empire. We will know that the Republic of Turkey is the continuation of these chain of states, that it is the next step after the Ottomans, that after a century history has taken a new turn, that this turn has opened new fields for us, that it gave us the opportunity to use that political gene on the field, that it has opened a brand new gate like the gate that was opened in Malazgirt, also known as Manzikert.
We start at the same point, 947 years later
We will know that doors opened to us through the 1071 Manzikert victory, 947 years ago, are similarly in question again today, that a similar turn is taking place in world history, that an amazing power switch is in question and that we are witnessing a milestone in history.
We will know that thinking small, making small plans, comforting oneself with small expectations is to lose in this great standoff, that it is a trap set against us, a plan that will further downsize us, and that this can be clearly seen by the countries around us.
We will know that multinational alliances, axes, the West’s protection, the political road maps formed by seeking refuge in the West, their strategic value definitions, their political and economic projects will not benefit us, that the time has come to be rid of these, that the current global conjuncture has created an extraordinary area of maneuver for Turkey, and that with very clever steps, this void will allow a leap and a great buildup of strength.
It’s our fate to face the greatest of enemies, the bloodiest of invasions
Now, we will know that we have to escape the influence of tutelage administrations, their rights and wrongs, commissioned leaders and political cadres, intellectuals and circles that are foreign to this country, security cadres that are enemies to their country and nation, religious organizations or similar structures that have been bred for decades to interfere in the country; we will know that we have to eliminate the organizations that have become tools of intervention for the West during the last two centuries, and that tradition.
Instead, we will know that we have to form a national, local mind, stance, resistance line, a justice discourse, and a political language.
As the inheritors of a political tradition that has, throughout history, struggled against the greatest of enemies, the strongest of crises and the gravest of betrayals, resisted the bloodiest of invasions, that has managed to overcome every invasion and then launched major rising periods after them; the fact that we are once more settling scores with the greatest of enemies, the power centers of the earth, with them coming against us one after the other, attempting to pressure us with the aim to weaken Turkey is a fate.
We defeated the world’s central power in Manzikert
We, who have experienced three major shocks in the millennial Anatolian history, who witnessed the Crusader invasion, the Mongolian invasion, the invasion of World War I; we, who overcame the first two invasions and managed to build a bright future, are still facing the impacts of the third shock. We will overcome this too and close that 20th century ourselves.
There was a mindset and enthusiasm in Manzikert that brought the Byzantines to its knees, a strength and leadership that crushed Rome. That very Manzikert altered the geography, it altered the global power map of the time, and it altered the Islamic atlas. That march continued for centuries, all the way to the center of Europe, to its very heart and tried to reach the shores of the Atlantic.
They are coming to avenge Manzikert and the Byzantines
The door that opened in Manzikert could only be closed in Vienna, and with the counterattack of the entire world and all the world powers of the time we retreated all the way to Anatolia. Both our march to the West and our withdrawal to the East lasted for centuries. And we, all the people in our region, sought refuge in Anatolia.
But they wanted to remove us from Anatolia. They wanted to avenge the Byzantines. They wanted to avenge Manzikert. They wanted to exile us beyond the Caucasus, to wipe out a thousand-year-old history from memories. They pillaged almost the entire Islamic territory. When the central political authority collapsed and the region was left with no head, they established garrison statelets everywhere.
The last fort, the last homeland: So, what does Manzikert tell us today?
We resisted and saved Anatolia. We rebuilt it as our homeland and re-determined it as the center. We declared it as the last fortress of resistance for all of humanity. We tried to guard it throughout the 20th century. And that we did. They could not exile us beyond Manzikert. They could not close that gate in Manzikert even after 800 years.
This resistance, declaring Anatolia as the last fort is what formed the basis of today’s rising history. History has reversed, the winds have reversed, and we are have returned to history. This is why Manzikert is significant today. We are aware that a new gate has been opened for this, that we have made a new start.
We defeated the Byzantines there, the greatest power of the time; that’s why it is of significance. It is significant because today, we face the same situation, the same power picture, because it tells us something for today, because we are at a similar turning point, and because the decisions we make will lead to similar results.
Our tradition of challenging the greatest powers of the time
Challenging the greatest powers of the time is a political gene. It is the history-making characteristic of this nation, its leadership, and its spirit to fight. Attempting that great fight, shoulder-to-shoulder with people of every religious background, every nation, in justice and compassion, to march with them, is an honorable way to fight. It is a line we have continued since Manzikert. Today we are repositioning ourselves on that line, and mobilizing for a great journey once again.
Today is the duration in which everything is being reshaped, not only for Turkey but for the entire region, the entire world. Whoever takes any kind of step during this duration, should know that these steps will shape the course of centuries to come.
Turkey should succeed and will succeed in going a step beyond the resistance of the will that made Anatolia the last fort after World War I. This is the journey we have embarked upon.
We must correctly comprehend the wave of attacks coming at us!
This is the reason for the wave of attacks against our country, the efforts to isolate us in the region. This is the reason behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, terrorism, the plans to invade from northern Syria, to secretly strike from within NATO; this is why the U.S. is partnering with terrorist organizations to break Turkey, and this is the reason behind Europe’s total enmity toward Turkey.
To the extent that we perceive this truth we will succeed in building a future. This is how we will reach that rising period. They still strike us, trying to exile us to the east of Manzikert, to close that gate forever, to avenge Vienna. They are trying to settle the score of a thousand-year-old history. Yet, they are unable to see our calculations, objectives, future plans, and the extent of that historical turning point, and they won’t be able to see; they won’t be able to comprehend this great rise but will fight and reckon among themselves.
We again have Rome, the Byzantines against us today
Do not forget, the Byzantines were in Manzikert. Today, once again, we have the Byzantines, the Roman Empire against us. But this land is filled with Alparslans. For centuries, they have not been able to grasp this. They still progress with the same blindness. Even if the world’s strongest armies come, even if the greatest invasion expeditions are initiated, those gates will never close.
And they will learn this once more in the 21st century.
NOTE: Please forgive me for sharing the same article I wrote on the anniversary of Manzikert last year.