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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘turks’

Erdogan Utilizing Turks’ Ingrained Conspiracy Theory Culture to Purge Foes, Real and Imagined

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Devin Devlet (lit. giant state, col. deep state) is a Turkish word referring to the notion of there being a permanent government, existing through a shadowy network of civil servants, military officials and academics, who are the real decision makers. Every country on earth sports its own crowd of conspiracy theorists, who seem to proliferate following national disasters. But according to a growing number of respected voices in the media, Turkey, with its unique political history, may be the only democracy whose leader is the biggest believer in those conspiracy theories, which actually serve as the foundation of his policy and may have fashioned the ultimate conspiracy — a fake coups d’état.

Imagine that every conspiracy theory you’ve heard, from the Communists taking over America, to Obama conspiring with the deans of Al Azhar University to bring Islam to the US, to the CIA blowing up the World Trade Center, “was, if not true, at least plausible, and you have some idea of what the deep background of Turkish politics looks like,” James Palmer wrote this week in Vox. Palmer described the twentieth century in Turkey as a violent streaks of democratic government interlaced with military coups, resulting in an inevitable sense that someone in there is the puppeteer of this show, pulling the strings to fit his needs.

The Devin Devlet notion provided a reasonable explanation of their reality to generations of Turks living through perpetual instability: “To Islamists, its fundamental purpose is to crush religion; for liberals, it’s anti-democratic; for Kurds, it’s fanatically nationalist and anti-Kurdish; for nationalists, it’s secretly in league with the US; for anti-Semites, it’s an Israeli-backed scheme,” Palmer pointed out.

Roger Cohen, writing for the NY Times (Turkey’s Coup That Wasn’t) joined the growing voices suspicious of the Erdogan version of reality. “As coups go, the Turkish effort was a study in ineptitude: no serious attempt to capture or muzzle the political leadership, no leader ready to step in, no communication strategy (or even awareness of social media), no ability to mobilize a critical mass within either the armed forces or society. In their place a platoon of hapless soldiers on a bridge in Istanbul and the apparently uncoordinated targeting of a few government buildings in Ankara.”

Cohen is convinced that not only was the coup produced by the Erdogan regime, but that it was done with the tacit approval of the Obama Administration. He quoted a former special assistant to Obama on the Middle East, Philip Gordon, who said: “Rather than use this as an opportunity to heal divisions, Erdogan may well do the opposite: go after adversaries, limit press and other freedoms further, and accumulate even more power.”

Indeed, in a few hours more than 2,800 military personnel were detained and 2,745 judges were removed from duty, Cohen noted, adding that what’s coming next is “a prolonged crackdown on so-called ‘Gulenists,’ whoever Erdogan deems them to be, and the … ‘deep state.’ . . . An already divided society will grow more fissured. Secular Turkey will not quickly forget the cries of ‘Allahu akbar’ echoing from some mosques and from crowds in the streets.”

The speed with which the coup rose and crumbled continues to intrigue the western media. Mehul Srivastava and Laura Pitel, reporting from Turkey for the Financial Times, have suggested that “among the mysteries yet to be unraveled from the failed Turkish coup was this: the attack on Saturday morning by helicopter-borne commandos against a resort hotel in Marmaris. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was meant to be staying there. But the attack took place nearly an hour after every news channel in Turkey beamed images of Mr Erdogan addressing the nation from the airport in Istanbul, some 750 km away.”

“That episode is one of many inconsistencies and strange occurrences in a coup whose amateurish — almost kamikaze — nature preordained its failure and is now providing rich fodder for conspiracy theories,” Srivastava and Pitel wrote.

Kristin Fabbe and Kimberly Guiler, writing for the Washington Post, noted that the war of words in Turkey is being waged by two armies of conspiracy theorists. “On one side, government detractors are speculating that the attempted coup was a masterful, state-managed scheme to consolidate Erdogan’s power. On the other side, the AKP government is placing the blame for the coup attempt on perpetrators — real and imagined. The government’s list of villains ranges from bitter Erdogan rival Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who now lives in the United States, and other shadowy foreign ‘invaders’ to supporters of Turkey’s Ataturkist secular establishment and even the U.S. government. The skeptics are painting Erdogan as a megalomaniac tyrant bent on elected dictatorship; the believers are portraying him as a savior and victim.”

It is highly doubtful that the coup was initiated by Gulen, not because such action is necessarily beneath him, but because at the time Gulen immigrated to the US, his followers were estimated to number between 5 and 9 million, and had he launched the coup, it would not have collapsed overnight.

In June 1999, after Gulen had left Turkey, Turkish TV ran a video in which he said, “The existing system is still in power. Our friends who have positions in legislative and administrative bodies should learn its details and be vigilant all the time so that they can transform it and be more fruitful on behalf of Islam in order to carry out a nationwide restoration. However, they should wait until the conditions become more favorable. In other words, they should not come out too early.”

Gulen later complained that his words were taken out of context, and his supporters said the tape had been “manipulated.” Gulen was subsequently tried in absentia, and acquitted in 2008 under the new Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But the ideas Gulen, or his manipulated recording, espoused, were just the kind of nourishment the Turkish conspiracy theorists everywhere needed to confirm their worst fears or highest aspirations, take your pick.

At the moment, President Erdogan is riding high on his conspiracy accusations: he has just suspended democracy in Turkey for three months (he could go three more, according to Turkish emergency laws), and his henchmen are busy weeding out pockets of resistance across Turkish society, regardless of their connection to the coup or obvious lack thereof. Many thousands of people have been sacked or arrested following the failed coup. According to a BBC report, Thousands of soldiers, including high-ranking generals, have been arrested, along with members of the judiciary. More than 50,000 state employees have also been rounded up, sacked or suspended and 600 schools closed. Academics have been banned from foreign travel and university heads have been forced to resign. The government has revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Thursday urged Turkey to respect the rule of law, rights and freedoms. The EU is “concerned” about developments after Turkey imposed its emergency rule, and about the measures taken so far in the fields of education, judiciary and media, which are “unacceptable,” Mogherini and Hahn said in a statement.

But it is doubtful Erdogan is going to interrupt his sacred mission of ridding Turkey of its clandestine Devin Devlet, real or imagined. And what if anything of the secular Turkish state will remain standing come September 2016, by the end of Erdogan’s own coup against his country’s democratic institutions, is anyone’s guess.

JNi.Media

MK Zoabi: Reparations to Turks an Israeli Admission of Murder

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Anti-Zionist Arabs are not happy with the pending new Israeli-Turkish rapprochement — there goes yet another regional power whose support for Arab terrorism against Israel has cooled down. The two loudest Israeli-Arab voices to spin Netanyahu’s diplomatic success into a failure are MKs Haniz Zoabi and Ahmad Tibbi. Both are arguing that the fact that Israel is paying Turkey reparations over the 2010 Mavi Marmara fiasco constitutes admission of guilt and therefore does not end the Israeli public relations headache, it only makes it bigger.

But everyone else in the region, most notably the Turks and the Israelis, appear delighted to put behind them that nasty episode and the bad six years that followed.

After the final disagreements have been smoothed over Sunday, on Monday afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to announce a reconciliation agreement between their two countries in concurrent press conferences. Netanyahu’s cabinet would then be required to approve the deal, and said cabinet includes Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, a staunch enemy of appeasing Turkey, but that’ll come later.

Turkish-Israeli relations hit a wall back in 2010 after the IDF special forces who were attempting to take over the Mavi Marmara, part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” were met with overwhelming violence from the Arab and Turkish crew, and were forced to kill Turkish citizens onboard. On Sunday, after six years of open hostility between the two countries, which have historically depended on each other economically, high level Israeli and Turkish delegations met in Rome and hammered out the final reconciliation deal.

The political components of the agreement are:

1. Israel will pay Turkey some $20 million, presumably going to the families of the dead crew members.

2. Turkey will not launch lawsuits against the IDF officers and soldiers who took part in the operation.

3. Israel will ease some of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

4. Turkey will limit Hamas activities inside its borders. Turkey will not permit Hamas to conduct, plan or direct any military activity against Israel while in Turkish territory. However, the Hamas offices will stay open and can continue to operate as diplomatic agencies.

The economic aspects of the deal have mainly to do with Turkey, which is now dependent on its hostile Russian neighbor for its supply of natural gas, looking to replace it with Israeli gas. However, for the time being, the Israeli gas is still tied up in the Knesset as well as in the Supreme court, so that’s not happening yet.

MK Zoabi, for whom this is her last term in the Knesset, having been kicked off her realistic spot on her Balad party’s list by party primary voters, insists that this is not the time to celebrate the diplomatic achievement of the Netanyahu government, instead, she says, the deal constitutes an Israeli admission of “committing nine murders, injuring dozens, kidnapping and piracy in international waters.”

Zoabi is also irate that the Turkish-Israeli deal does not deposit in Israel’s hands the responsibility for the woes of the Gaza Strip, which it abandoned ten years ago this summer. Zoabi wants the Israeli blockade to come down completely, but has nothing to say about the Hamas openly declared intentions of continuing their plans to attack Israeli civilians.

MK Tibi for his part suggested PA-based jurists should take note of the reparations index of the Turkish deal, for future discussions, when the new Palestinian state would be handing Israel the bill for all the Arabs that died over the years, presumably including those who were killed while trying to stuff their suicide belts with explosives.

Israeli politicians on both sides of the aisle were unhappy with the deal. Former minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) tweeted: “Israel will pay Turkey reparations for the Marmara? I hope the news is wrong. If it’s true — this is a national humiliation and an invitation for more flotillas and more libels from Israel haters.”

MK Arel Margalit (Zionist Camp) said that “Netanyahu once again capitulated with his tail between his legs before Hamas, hurt the IDF soldiers without blinking, and abandoned the families of the missing.”

Margalit was referring to Turkey’s failure to convince Hamas to sweeten its Israeli deal with Israel by handing over its biggest bargaining chip, the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Of course, the Turks promised to try, and they probably did, but anyone who expected Netanyahu to be able to come up with a win on that count is either terribly naïve or just hates Netanyahu.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) tweeted that “there better be a very good reason to justify the deal with Turkey, which on its face appears shameful.”

JNi.Media

Can NATO Member Turkey Ever Be Trusted Again?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Jewish Press has had the dubious honor of pointing the finger at Turkey’s chief intelligence officer Hakan Fidan and state flatly that his betrayal of 10 Mossad agents was the stuff that should get him something nice in his car in the morning. Yes, we don’t go for nice over here, but, as you’ll see, the rest of the world is coming around rather quickly to our position, and so, if I’m Hakan Fidan, I’d get me a bus pass.

An Eli Lake article in the Daily Beast has confirmations from U.S. officials of the David Ignatius initial Washington Post report. A CIA officer compared the loss to the betrayal of the Cambridge Five the network of Soviet moles (including the notorious Kim Philby), who provided invaluable intelligence to Moscow during the Cold War.

Danny Yatom, a former chief of Israel’s Mossad, told the Beast: “The fact those ten spies were burned by the Turks by purposely informing the Iranians is not only a despicable act, it is an act that brings the Turkish intelligence organization to a position where I assume no one will ever trust it again.”

Yatom said the Mossad has traditionally informed its Turkish counterparts about meetings with its spies on Turkish soil. He said if Turkey gave Iran any details about these meetings, it would compromise Israel’s intelligence operations against Iran.

Indeed, in April, 2012, the Tehran Times announced: “Iran has foiled Israeli terrorist plots.”

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday announcing that it recently foiled several Israeli terrorist plots.

The statement was issued to provide more details about recent operations by Iranian intelligence forces that led to the arrest of 15 Mossad-linked spies and terrorists.

On April 10 [2012], the Intelligence Ministry announced that key members of an Israeli terrorist network had been identified and arrested in Iran.

Presumably, the blood of those 15 agents is on Hakan Fidan’s hands.

Omri Ceren, of The Israel Project, wrote today: “Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that if the story is true, then Turkey’s intel chief Hakan Fidan was just ‘doing his job’ by ‘not letting other intelligence agencies operate in Turkey.’ That might be surprising to Turkey’s NATO allies, not to mention any country that does counterterror work with Ankara.”

And that is a problem well beyond the anger and betrayal anyone in the Mossad might be feeling today. Turkey has the largest army of all the European NATO members and it plays a central role in the alliance. Which means that if you’re a senior security official in any of NATO’s member countries, you’ll start reviewing your exchanges with the Turks. Remember, Turkey serves as a passageway not only for spies going into Iran, but also for terrorists coming out of Iran. If you can’t now trust the Turks to monitor that traffic reliably; if, in fact, you have to worry about them actually aiding and abetting those terrorists – what do you do?

This is far from being an Israel-only problem. I mentioned in an earlier article the similarity between Hakan Fidan’s despicable act and those Afghan soldiers who shoot their American fellows on patrol. If Turkey does not find a meaningful way of convincing its NATO allies that it is trustworthy—it could bring on a sea change in Turkey’s already eroding relationship with the West.

Is Erdoğan’s Turkey turning its back on its European aspirations, in search of a safe and familiar role as the Muslim world’s eternal second fiddle?

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/can-nato-member-turkey-ever-be-trusted-again/2013/10/21/

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