ARZU KAYA – Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, a world leader

Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, a world leader Recep Tayyip ErdoIan claims to be a world leader However, apparently, he has become a leader of andldquoprecious loneliness.andrdquoActually, not just Turkey, but the whole world has watched the progress in Turkey, wondering if ErdoIan would be able to change Turkey into a unique Islamic liberal democracy that would reconcile the Muslim world with the West for years to come, and as a self-confident, proud, and even arrogant leader, ErdoIan became a charismatic figure for many.

He embodied hope for the pious people who felt they were not represented in politics and who had long struggled to achieve influence within Turkeyand#39s secular political orderNevertheless, ErdoIanand#39s success wasnand#39t just a continuation of his earlier Islamist commitments. Many in the West believed him because his early political reforms were essential and necessary democratic reforms to the abiding authoritarian characteristics of the Turkish state and were proffered as the means to satisfy EU requirements for membership.

ErdoIan was able to find a way to reconcile democracy with Islam in the modern world, including achieving economic progress. He earned great respect well beyond the world of Turkish politics.

US President Barack Obama declared that ErdoIan was one of the five world leaders with whom he had the closest relations. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deferred to ErdoIanand#39s leadership in the Middle East, stating in 2011, when the Syrian crisis started, that the US would follow Turkeyand#39s lead.

By 2012 ErdoIan had received much recognition in the international scene, such as being listed twice in Time magazineand#39s andquot100 most influential people in the world.andrdquo He was named European of the Year by the weekly European Voice.

He also got an Outstanding Service award from the Turkish humanitarian organization, Red Crescent. He was given a Crystal Hermes Award from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award in Pakistan, was bestowed on him For service to Islam, he received the King Faisal International Prize from the King Faisal Foundation of Saudi Arabia He received the World Family Award from the World Family Organization, which operates under the umbrella of the United Nations. He received a Leader of the Year award presented by the Union of Arab Banks in Lebanon.

He also received honorary doctorates from world famous universities, and more.However in the last two years, especially after the Gezi demonstrations and then the Dec.

17 and 25, 2013 corruption scandals, ErdoIan has started losing ground. ErdoIanand#39s failure to respond to domestic troubles has raised concerns about his democratic ways.

Since then, Turkey has gradually become isolated in the international arena Apparently, ErdoIanand#39s Islamization efforts and neo-Ottoman dreams donand#39t have any supporters on the international level and his andldquoTurkish Modelandrdquo now seems quixotic. Committing to a policy of andldquozero problems with neighborsandrdquo didnand#39t work.

He didnand#39t play a constructive role in guiding the Arab Spring using democratic values. Neither the EU nor the US sees ErdoIan as a mediator between Islamism and the West anymore.

Even his supporters cannot hide this fact, and his aisor Ibrahim Kalin once referred the isolation of Turkey as a andldquoprecious loneliness.andrdquoNow, ErdoIan complains that the whole world against him They donand#39t want Turkey to succeed.

Regardless, it is about time for President ErdoIan to face reality and see what has changed — how he has lost his own peopleand#39s and the entire worldand#39s trust. He should ask the question, andldquoWhat does it mean to be a citizen of the world?andrdquo If he insists on being a andldquoworld leaderandrdquo he has to honestly answer what he owes Turkeyand#39s people and the rest of the world by virtue of our shared humanity.

Truth ultimately prevails. In this globalized world it is no longer a challenge to learn what is going on anywhere.

The challenge of our time is to take minds and hearts formed of our values over a long time and equip them with ideas that will allow us to live together in the world as it is today. We have obligations to others.

We need to have universal concerns and respect for legitimate differences and ask how real our values are. These days, we are discussing a court order to arrest a 16-year-old student for andldquoinsultingandrdquo President ErdoIan, and we are told that everyone should respect the presidency.

ErdoIan should reconsider his proclamation of being a world leader if he needs a court order to gain respect in his own country.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman