Erdoğan’s ‘Golden Apple’ expansion may strike at the heart of Europe - Cypriot MP

Turkey’s “Golden Apple” doctrine is a militaristic myth that symbolises Turkic peoples’ vision for a unified Turkic world and constitutes a vision of grandeur that could threaten Europe as far as Vienna and Rome, Cyprus’s Democratic Party lawmaker Christiana Erotokritou wrote for Belgian newspaper New Europe on Thursday.

The military doctrine, sometimes referred to as the “Red Apple”, “meant the inevitable capture of Constantinople, Vienna and Rome” for the Ottomans, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vision currently is to revive the empire, she said.

Central Europe would be at risk if Erdoğan was “left to control the eastern Mediterranean,” the Cypriot MP said. “Both Libya and parts of Syria are already flooded with jihadists that were either transported or recruited by Erdoğan’s troops.”

Human rights watchdogs have reported Turkey transporting thousands of Syrian militiamen to Libya to support its chosen ally in the post-Gadhafi conflict, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

“What’s even more worrying is that Erdoğan’s jihadist militias in Libya are now just a short hop away from the Italian coast,” Erotokritou said. The Cypriot deputy called for sanctions against Turkey, saying Erdoğan’s ambitions would lead to targeting “the heart of Europe” next if the European Union does not put forth a strong stance against the country.

Erdoğan’s increasingly militaristic myth-building has manifested most clearly in his speech at the Hagia Sophia, likening the reconversion of the monument to the conquest of Istanbul and the conquest itself to his time as mayor in Turkey’s megacity in the 1990s. Other instances were the head of Turkey’s state Religious Affairs Directorate holding a sword during the first Friday sermon therein and Erdoğan commemorating the anniversary of the 1071 Battle of Manzikert between Seljuk Turks and Byzantine Greeks in a traditional Turkic yurt with soldiers dressed as traditional warriors in historic armour.

Erdoğan aimed to start a war “that would lead to conquest and looting” in Cyprus – a reality that Cypriots have lived with for 46 years, since the 1974 invasion of the island by Turkey following a failed coup to reunite Cyprus with Greece, Erotokritou said.

“Many believed Ankara’s appetite for expansion and conquest would be satiated by “just” occupying a substantial part of the island nation,” she said. However, the assumption “that the Turks would be satisfied with carving off more than a third of (Cyprus’) territory for their neo-imperial ambitions has proven to be fatally incorrect” she said.

Turkey is engaged in conflicts within Syria, as well as Egypt and Libya while remaining supportive for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the Cypriot deputy said. “It is quite obvious that Turkey’s fantasies do not end with Cyprus.”

Europe must stand strong against Turkey to stop the imperial expanded lands “from Bukhara in Uzbekistan to Andalusia in southern Spain”, and the EU should not be “held hostage by a bully state like Turkey,” she said.