The Euphrates Shield, the justice of Tigris - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

The Euphrates Shield, the justice of Tigris

You need two things to exit in the lands that are nurtured by two fruitful rivers: One is to be powerful. The other is to be just.

The “Euphrates Shield” represents power.

The Tigris River on the other hand, has represented justice since Caliph Umar.

We have returned to history's toughest lands.

He who dominates the two rivers dominates the world

Humanity's greatest accumulations have accrued in the lands between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. This land is called Mesopotamia. It has nearly a 6,000-year history.

Many of the civilizations, cultures and religions we have today were born in this region. It was once said that “Whoever owns these lands will dominate the world.”

Therefore, these lands have been home to history's greatest wars and stories. An exceptional area which holds suffering, chaos, happiness and struggles within.

The past wars that started in this area were based on water, fertile soils, trade routes and rich cities. Oil was added to this list 150 years ago. New wars took place, empires were overthrown and new countries were established. Tribes migrated, lands changed and the stories of this region never ended.

These lands are our destiny

We, the Muslim Turks, are the oldest owners of these lands. The millennium-old history has never been written without a mention of our name. We have been a nation that has always played the major role in the empires, states and civilizations that were founded in this region.

We have always played a major role as a nation in all phases of history, in the major turns of the eras and in the life-changing moments of humanity since the Manzikert Victory (1071), which we celebrate just about this time of the year.

This region is our destiny. As historiographer and historian Ibn Khaldun states: “Geography is man's destiny.” Therefore these lands have been our destiny for the past thousand years. Our sorrows and joys are here. We have nowhere else to go.

I believe the Turkish military entered Syrian territory for the first time after 100 years. Mesopotamia soils are used to our horses, our name and our flag. They have now been saying, “The Turks are once again on history's stage.” Some are happy and some are not.

No order possible in the region without Turkey

Tunisian wise man Rached Ghannouchi said, “Turkey, which serves democracy and sovereignty, deserves the leadership of the Muslim world and the region.”

Turkey has never been able to be kept out of this region and never will be. This reality should be accepted firstly by our people and then the Western countries. If a new layout is to be formed and a new world is to be founded in this region, then this nation, which has been in this region for a 1,000 years must to be included in the equation.

We need two things: Power and justice

We need two things in order to exist on these lands: A powerful state and a just administrative system. Operation “Euphrates Shield” is an answer given to dominant powers who thought that this region has no owner and thus have adopted irrational dreams regarding the region.

The whole world saw how balances and plans could change in a single day. Only a powerful country could be a shield to the people living in this region. This is the lesson we learned.

Besides being powerful you need to establish a just administrative system. As Mesopotamia is a heaven for tribes. Hundreds of different tribes, different languages, cultures and religions live in this geography. You need a just administrative system to keep them living in harmony.

Caliph Umar, one of the greatest architects and symbols of justice, is known to be the founding leader of the layout in this region. Our national poet, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, expresses this formula in the following lines:

“If a wolf takes a sheep near Tigris,
Divine justice will come and ask Umar about it”

If you establish a just, meticulous and sensitive system, you would then be able to catch the harmony Umar established and led for centuries. This is what we need, first, in our own country, and then in the region.

The Euphrates Shield, the justice of Tigris.


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