I've mentioned in the past that comments by Turkey's current leaders show they have neo-Ottoman aspirations. The US ambassador to Turkey agrees.
A cable from the US embassy in Ankara, via Wikileaks (h/t JihadWatch):
AKP's lack of cohesion as a party and lack of openness as a government is reflected in the range of murky, muddled motives for wanting to join the EU we have encountered among those AKPers who say they favor pursuing membership...or at least the process. Some see the process as the way to marginalize the Turkish military and what remains of the arid "secularism" of Kemalism.For some reason, Spiegel felt the need to mention this was said "probably ironically".
We have also run into the rarely openly-spoken, but widespread belief among adherents of the Turk-Islam synthesis that Turkey's role is to spread Islam in Europe, "to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683" as one participant in a recent meeting at AKP's main think tank put it. This thinking parallels the logic behind the approach of FonMin Gul ally and chief foreign policy advisor in the Prime Ministry Ahmet Davutoglu, whose muddy opinion piece in the Dec. 13 International Herald Tribune is in essence a call for one-way multi-cultural tolerance, i.e., on the part of the EU."