Turkey's foreign policy in the Balkans promotes a neo-Ottoman agenda, aimed at expanding its influence in former territories of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey exports Islamism under the guise of cultural cooperation. It also seeks economic advantage, using business as leverage to consolidate its national interests.
The roots of Sunni Islam's ailments it must be noted are not entirely to do with religion, as most journalists, politicians and "experts" in Europe and across the Atlantic never tire of repeating. Rather than scripture and theology, it is in politics and economics, in power balances, foreign interventions and the scramble for influence and resources that the causes of its ills reside.
Qassem Soleimani, Iranian military leader, ideologue, and commander in chief of the Quds force- a branch of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps that conducts extraterritorial military and clandestine operations- has been coming out of his shell and becoming more vocal in stating his opinions.
Turkey's journey of democratization toward EU membership stalled and made a U-turn during the third term of its ruling party AKP. Turkey's democratizing reforms have been both a state policy and a popular path throughout 90s and were accelerated under then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2003.
In the face of the fragility of life and mighty forces of hatred and fear, many will lapse into denial or despair, making decisions from a place of spiritual defeat. This is not what our tradition asks of us. We are called to fully acknowledge the reality of evil, and lovingly perpetuate life in spite of it.