Erdoğan and the Long Shadow of Lepanto

Sign of the times: on September 27, according to the McClatchey newspapers, Turkey took delivery of a spanking new warship, the TCG Heybeliada.  The 300-foot corvette is the first in modern times built in Turkey's own shipyards.  A sister ship is reportedly undergoing sea trials. In an unusual move, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan attended the ceremony and delivered the principal address.  Even more unusual (although, unfortunately, it's becoming typical of the direction of Turkish foreign policy in the Age of Obama) was what the newly reelected PM said. Erdoğan began by pointing out that the ceremony was taking place on the 473rd anniversary of the Battle of Preveza in northwestern Greece.  There, in 1538, an Ottoman naval fleet defeated a Christian alliance put together by Pope Paul III.  After routing the Holy League, the Turkish admiral, the fabulous Hayreddin Barbarossa ("Redbeard") went on to besiege the Venetian stronghold of Corfu and to...(Read Full Article)