Dec 162015
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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What Makes Recep Run? The Making of a Modern Pasha

Erdoğan began his ascent to power as a social reformer in opposition to the power elite; he was a rabble-rouser for popular Islam and social welfare. Once he takes political power he enriches his family and the business elite and purges adversaries and rivals.

With political power and economic connections, he amasses personal wealth through illicit business transactions.

With political power and personal wealth, he seeks prestige and status among the Western elites by serving imperial interests: He shoots down a Russian military jet over Syrian territory and thereby threatens hundreds of Turkish businesses and loses a major source of personal enrichment. When the Russians threaten to cut off energy exports to Turkey, Erdoğan’s opponents suggest he heat his own palace and villas with cow dung this winter.

The Two Faces of Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a long and ignoble history of betraying political associates, trading partners and military allies; of pledging friendship and then bombing his ‘friends’ and murdering citizens; of negotiating ‘in good faith’ and then killing rivals; of playing democrat then behaving like an ordinary demagogic dictator.

Erdoğan appeals to the plebeian and austere values of the Anatolian provincial petty bourgeoisie, while building the largest luxurious presidential palace in the world – fit for a 21st century Pasha. He repeatedly pronounces his fealty to the ‘Turkish Nation’, while he robs the Turkish treasury by repeatedly accepting bribes and pay-offs from building contractors who then double charge for publicly-funded projects.

More recently, Erdoğan claims to oppose terrorism and fight ISIS, while the major Turkish and regional newspapers, journalists and most domestic observers document the massive flow of illegal arms across the Turkish-Syrian border to ISIS terrorists.

Erdoğan’s ‘Carnal Relation’ with ISIS

Erdoğan supports ISIS by bombing the Syrian Kurdish fighters who resist the jihadi mercenaries; by shooting down a Russian military jet defending the Damascus government against the terrorists; by smuggling and selling oil which ISIS had stolen from Iraq and Syria; by providing medical assistance to wounded ISIS fighters; and by training and arming ISIS terrorists in Turkish bases.

There is a reciprocal relationship: Erdoğan uses ISIS operatives to terrorize his own domestic opposition, including terror bombing a gathering of Kurdish ‘socialist youth’ in the town of Suruç on July 20, 2015, which killed 33 and the massive bombing in Ankara on October 10 of a ‘peace and justice’ march, which killed over 100, targeting trade unionists, leaders of professional associations, community activists and members of a democratic Kurdish electoral party and wounded many hundreds.

During the legislative election of 2015 ISIS terrorists and thugs from Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) attacked the offices, meetings and candidates of the opposition parties, especially of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), to ensure that Erdoğan secured a super-majority.

In other words, Erdoğan has three uses for ISIS serving his external and internal interests:

(1)  To attack and destroy secular Kurdish forces resisting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, thus preventing the formation of an independent Kurdish state on the Turkish border.

(2)  To attack and destroy Syria’s independent Baathist government under Bashar  Al-Assad, dismantle the multicultural secular state apparatus and install a Sunni Islamist client in Damascus subordinate to Erdoğan’s AKP.

(3)  To attack and terrorize the Turkish domestic opposition, including the broad-based Kurdish HDP, and the leftist trade union confederation (DISK).

Erdoğan has a decade-long strategic alliance with the militant Wahhabi terrorists who now make up ISIS. He intends to ‘remake’ the map of the Middle East to serve his own expansionist ambitions. In part this explains why Erdoğan has provided large-scale arms and material to the terrorists, trained thousands of mercenaries and provided medical aid to wounded ISIS fighters. It also explains why Erdoğan took the unprecedented and extremely provocative step of shooting down a Russian military jet over Syrian territory, which had been bombing Erdoğan’s ISIS allies. Russian and Syrian Army successes against ISIS have threatened his ambitions.

Erdoğan’s transformation from ‘Muslim democrat’ to bloody authoritarian Islamist ruler with pretensions of becoming the dominant Middle Eastern Pasha has to be seen in light of his rise to power over the past 40 years.

What Makes Recep Run?

Erdoğan, early on, showed his affinity for extremist Islamist politics. In the 1970’s he was head of the youth branch of the Islamist Salvation Party (MSP), a virulent anti-communist, anti-secular party committed to converting Turkey, a huge multi-ethnic secular state, into a theocratic regime (along the lines of contemporary ISIS).

After the military coup of 1980 the MSP was dissolved and reappeared as the Welfare Party. Erdoğan became a leader of the new (re-named) Islamist party.

Erdoğan and the Welfare Party exploited Turkish mass discontent with the corrupt and authoritarian military. The Welfare Party embraced a populist social welfare program with Islamist religious undertones in order to build a formidable grassroots organization in the working class neighborhoods in Istanbul. Erdoğan was elected mayor of Turkey’s largest city in 1994.

As Mayor, Erdoğan over-reached his power by preaching militant Islamism and was convicted in 1998 of sedition against the secular state. He served 4 months of a 10-month sentence.

Henceforth he changed tactics: His Islamist fanaticism was disguised. He changed the party name from Welfare to the modern sounding Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdoğan then launched a series of political maneuvers, in which he cleverly manipulated adversaries to gain power and then … stabbed each of them in the back.

Erdoğan: Embrace and Back-Stab 

Despite his earlier conviction for sedition against the secular state, the ‘reformed’ Erdoğan allied with the Kemalist, secular Republican Peoples Party (CHP) to overturn the military’s ban on his participation in politics in 2002. He was elected Prime Minister in 2003. After the AKP won the general election it cut its ties with the CHP. Erdoğan was re-elected Prime Minister in 2007 and 2011.

Erdoğan allied with the pro-US Islamist leader Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmetor Cemaat Movement, which was influential within the judicial system, police and army. Together they launched a purge against secular military and judicial officials, journalists and media critics.

The Erdoğan – Gülenist state apparatus arrested and jailed 300 secular military officers, judges and journalists and replaced them with Erdođan and Gülen loyalists – all Islamists.

Dubbed “Operation Sledgehammer” the entire purge was based on fabricated charges of treason and conspiracy. Yet it was described by the Western media in terms that flattered Erdoğan’s democratic credentials, calling it an ‘effort to consolidate democracy’ against the military.

It had nothing to do with democracy: The purge consolidated Erdoğan’s personal power and allowed him to pursue policies that were more overtly neoliberal and Islamist. The purge of the judiciary further allowed Erdoğan to enrich crony capitalists and family members.

Erdoğan: The Birth of a Neoliberal Pasha

Erdoğan then embraced an IMF-designed ‘stabilization and recovery’ program, which reduced wages, salaries and pensions while privatizing public sector enterprises and activities. This attracted a large inflow of capital as foreign investors and cronies snapped up the goodies at bargain prices. Most emblematic of this ‘free-for-all cronies’ approach to the economy was the Soma coal mine disaster in May 2014 when over 300 miners were killed in a previously state-owned mine, which had suffered a breakdown of worker safety conditions after it had been privatized to an Erdoğan-crony. Despite local and international outrage, Recep ignored the scandal and unleashed police on the demonstrating miners.

Erdoğan’s combination of Islam with brutal neoliberalism attracted support from Brussels, Wall Street and the City of London. Large inflows of speculative foreign capital temporarily inflated Turkey’s GNP and Erdoğan’s wealth and ego!

In the beginning of his rule Erdoğan’s concessions, tax incentives, government contracts to big capital were broadly distributed to most sectors, but especially to his crony capitalists within the construction and real estate sectors.

As the capitalist boom continued and his power increased, Erdoğan became more obsessed with his role as the savior of Turkey. By 2010, a serious difference developed between Erdoğan and his Gülenist partners over the division of power. Erdoğan moved rapidly and brutally. He launched another massive purge of suspected ‘Gülenist officials’. He arrested, fired, jailed and relocated Gülen sympathizers among judges, police and civil servants despite the fact that these were officials who had served him well during the earlier purge of the secular military.

Erdoğan is not willing to share power with any other party, movement or group. Pasha Recep wanted to monopolize power. He has attacked critical newspapers, businesses and conglomerates claiming these were ‘Gülen controlled’. Erdoğan ensured that only capitalists completely loyal to him would receive regime patronage. In other words, he strengthened the size, strength and importance of crony capitalists: especially in the real estate and construction sector.

Pasha Recep’s Assault on Civil Society

Turkey, under Erdoğan’s absolute power, has seen a geometric increase in corruption and mindless ‘development projects’, leading to the degradation and usurpation of public spaces. His arbitrary and destructive policies have provoked sustained civil society protests, especially in the center of Istanbul – during the Gezi Park demonstrations, which began in May 2013.

In response to civil society demonstrations, Erdoğan shed all pretensions, ripping off his ‘modern democratic’ mask and brutally repressing the peaceful protestors in the heart of Istanbul– resulting in 22 deaths, hundreds wounded and more arrested and sentenced to long jail term. Erdoğan subsequently targeted liberal critics and business leaders, who had criticized his brutal use of force.

2013, the year of the Gezi Park Movement, was a turning point – Erdoğan and family members were implicated in a $100 million-dollar corruption scandal while liberal critics of the regime were purged.

Facing opposition from sectors of the elite as well as popular classes, Erdoğan became more rabidly ‘Islamist’, chauvinistic and megalomaniacal – ‘Neo-Ottoman’.

In short order, he re-launched his attack on the Turkish Kurds and increased his support to the Islamist terrorists in Syria, including what would become ISIS. These policies were designed to complement his ongoing war against the secular Kurds in Iraq and Syria.

Erdoğan: Backstabbing Secular Syria and “Best Friend” Russia

From the beginning of his rule, Erdoğan cultivated the ‘best of relations’ with Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He signed dozens of trade agreements with Damascus and Moscow. Putin was welcomed to Ankara and Erdoğan to Moscow where they signed billion-dollar energy deals and mutual co-operative agreements.

Up to 3 million Russian tourists visited Turkish resorts each year, a bonanza for one of Turkey’s major industries.

Erdoğan’s regime was ebullient, effusive, embracing Moscow and Damascus while systematically preparing the ground for more backstabbing!

By 2011, Erdoğan had been deeply involved in preparing the ground for what would become the bloody Islamist uprising in Syria. Early on, hundreds of armed foreign Islamist terrorists crossed the Turkish border into Syria. Their presence overwhelmed local Syrian dissidents. Armed Islamists seized villages and towns brutally purging them of Christians, Kurds, Alewives and secular Syrians. They took over the oil fields. From one day to the next, Erdoğan was transformed from loving friend to deadly foe of neighboring Syria demanding ‘regime change’ through terrorist sectarian violence.

Erdoğan embraced the most extreme, sectarian Wahhabi Islamist groups because they were committed to undermining the nationalist aspirations of the Syrian Kurds as well as overthrowing the secular Al-Assad government. Erdoğan’s covert alliance with ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups was motivated by several strategic considerations, which are outlined below:

1)      The alliance serves to prevent the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish enclave on the Syrian-Turkish border in the event of a Damascus defeat, which Erdoğan fears would then link armed Syrian Kurds with the huge disaffected Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey and lead to the formation of an autonomous secular Kurdish state.

2)     Erdoğan’s alliance with jihadis in Syria has served Ankara’s ambition to impose a puppet Sunni-Islamist regime in Damascus.

3)     The ISIS regime controlling the Syrian and Iraqi oil fields provides Turkey with a source of cheap fuel and lucrative profits for the regime. Recep’s son, Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan owns and operates the BMZ Group which buys the contraband Syrian and Iraqi oil in Turkey and sells it overseas (especially to Israel) earning nearly a billion dollars a year for ‘the family’.

It is not surprise that the Erdoğan family directly financed ISIS, which uses the cash from contraband oil, pillaged antiquities and ‘tribute’ taxes, to purchase heavy and light arms, military and transport vehicles and communications equipment in Turkey and elsewhere to support its terror campaign in Syria and Iraq. Well-informed Turkish observers believe that Erdoğan’s intelligence officials are directly involved in recruiting ISIS terrorists to operate within Turkey and attack Erdoğan’s internal opposition, especially the Kurdish electoral party HDP and the broad-based Turkish left and trade union movements. Observers claim Turkish intelligence operations had a direct role in the ‘ISIS’ bomb attacks in Suruç and Ankara this year, which killed and maimed hundreds of Erdoğan opponents and civil society activists.

Erdoğan and ISIS developed a co-dependent relation, one of mutual manipulation. Each has publicly declared their tactical enmity to the other, while busily pursuing joint strategic aims.

Ankara uses the pretext of fighting ISIS in order to bomb the Kurds in Syria who are resisting the jihadis. ISIS uses the pretext of opposing the NATO member Turkey in order to cover its massive oil and weapons trade deals with Erdoğan’s family and crony business enterprises.

The Pasha Stabs the Bear and the Bear Bites Back – One Stab Too Many 

Russia’s highly effective aerial bombing campaign against the jihadi and ISIS terrorist networks in Syria was in response to a formal request for military intervention by the legitimate government of President Bashar Al-Assad. Russia has long-standing ties to the Baathist regime in Damascus. The intervention has threatened to undermine Erdoğan’s regional power ambitions and illicit business operations in Syria. First and foremost, it ended Erdoğan’s plan to annex a large swathe of Northern Syria and call it a ‘no fly zone’. The Turkish-controlled ‘no fly zone’ in Syria would  expand Turkish military training bases for ISIS and other jihadi terrorists and secure the transport routes for ISIS oil shipments smuggled out of Iraq and Syria.

Unlike the US, which had rarely bombed the strategic Erdoğan-ISIS oil smuggling operations, the Russians destroyed over a thousand oil trucks and numerous ISIS oil depots and logistical centers in the first month of its air campaign. By reducing the flow of smuggled oil, Russia cut off the main source of massive profit for Bilal Erdoğan’s BMZ Company as well as for Turkish arms dealers.

Like gangsters, Erdoğan, his family and cronies have been immersed in massive corrupt business activities at home and abroad; he can no longer operate within the context of the larger interests of the Turkish capitalist class with its $40 billion dollar annual trade and investment relations with Russia. Erdoğan’s decision to shoot down a Russian jet in Syrian territory, on November 24, 2015, was largely motivated by his fury at Russia’s successful interruption of the ISIS  oil convoys. By protecting his own family interests, Erdoğan stabbed more allies in the back: The Russians, as well as large sections of the Turkish capitalist class!

Up until Erdoğan’s act of war against Russia, he had publicly embraced Putin as an ally, friend and partner. The two leaders had cordial relations for over a decade. The Turkish military was fully informed about Russian military operations in Syria, including its flight paths. Then suddenly in November 2015 he risked a total rupture in relations and invited retaliation against Turkey from Russia by shooting down a Russian jet.

Russia immediately responded by upgrading its most advanced weapons systems to defend its operations and bases in Northern Syria and intensified its bombing of the ISIS – Turkish oil operations.

Russia retaliated by imposing visa restrictions and economic sanctions on Turkey, adversely affecting the multi-billion dollar tourist business. Strategic energy deals were terminated. Large-scale Turkish construction contracts were ended. Turkish agricultural exports to Russian markets virtually stopped.

The Pasha Bites His own Tail

Erdoğan’s unilateral actions were clearly against the broad interests of Turkey’s large export sector. From Gezi to Gülen, from one purge to another, Erdoğan, the former ‘poster boy’ of neoliberal Turkish capital, has become a self-centered despot, acting on behalf of a narrowing circle of corrupt family and crony capitalists. Erdoğan set himself up as a modern day pasha more in the image of the self-indulgent Ibrahim I (the Madman) than the far-seeing Suleyman I (the Wise).

Once Erdoğan realized the damage that his fit of egomaniac fury against the Russians had provoked abroad and his growing isolation within Turkey, he rushed to NATO on bended knee to beg for support. True to his authoritarian personality, Recep Erdoğan crawls on his knees before his ‘superiors’ (NATO-US) while grabbing the throats of his ‘inferiors’ (the Turkish people)!

Conclusion

Erdoğan’s road to absolutist power is strewn with indiscriminate purges, terror and deceit; violence against environmental and liberal protestors in Gezi Park and moderate Gülen Islamists; jail sentences and firing of journalists and publishers, military officials and judges; repression of workers and capitalists; terror bombing against activists and democrats; and war against Kurds and Syrians.

Erdoğan’s paranoid and greed-driven vision of politics precludes any trust and stable relations. He thinks he is very clever with his combination of charm and broken promises, but he fools nobody. He reignites the war against the Kurds in Turkey and Syria but they retaliate!

He attacks Russia and provokes a very costly retaliation so far limited to the Turkish economy.

He increases his personal power, but undermines the interests of the Turkish nation and its people. Erdoğan believes he is the rising regional hegemony, indispensable to the West. He blackmails the EU for billions of Euros to control the flood of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq with his promises to warehouse desperate refugees in Turkish concentration camps. But Europeans must know that their money can never buy trust and loyalty from the Pasha.

His oil deals with ISIS are in tatters. Russian bombs ensure that Erdoğan will have to find other sources of illicit profit. Worst of all, Erdoğan’s furious actions have lost markets, allies and domestic support. He faces enemies from all sides – liberal professors, students, big business owners and organized workers in Istanbul; small business people in the tourist trade; construction and oil companies in Ankara; farmers in Anatolia, and, above all, the coal miners in Soma Manis.

Who knows under what circumstances Pasha Recep (the ‘Megalomaniac’) will be replaced?

Oct 222015
 

By Michael Nevradakis, 99GetSmart

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Dear listeners and friends,

Gürkan Ozturan

Gürkan Ozturan

Beginning TODAY and all this week on Dialogos Radio, the Dialogos Interview Series will feature a timely and exclusive interview with Turkish journalist, blogger, academic and activist Gürkan Ozturan, who played a key role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey and who, as a result, is a wanted man by the Erdogan government in Turkey. 

Ozturan will speak to Dialogos Radio about all of the latest developments in Turkey and the wider region, including the recent terrorist attaks in Turkey, police and state violence in Turkey against protesters and the left, censorship that is imposed in the Turkish media and on the internet, the 2013 Gezi Park protests, the armed conflict against the Kurds, the ongoing war in Syria and the Middle East and Turkey’s involvement, and the refugee crisis which has resulted.

Along with this interview, we will feature our commentary of the week segment, as well as some great Greek music. All this and much more, this week exclusively on Dialogos Radio.

For more details and our full broadcast schedule, which begins today, visit http://dialogosmedia.org/?p=5662.

Our Interview with Déborah Berman-Santana Featured in Truthout!

Our recent radio interview with Déborah Berman-Santana, retired professor of Geography and Ethnic Studies at Mills College in Oakland, California, on the ongoing economic crisis in Puerto Rico, the island’s long history of colonial subjugation, and the similarities with the situation in Greece, has been featured in Truthout and 99GetSmart! 

Check it out here: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33275-puerto-rico-s-debt-crisis-greece-isn-t-alone-in-struggling-against-austerity.

And here: http://99getsmart.com/puerto-ricos-debt-crisis-greece-isnt-alone-in-struggling-against-austerity/

Best,

Dialogos Radio & Media
 **************************
Αγαπητοί ακροατές και φίλοι,
 
Αυτή την εβδομάδα στην εκπομπή μας, παρουσιάζουμε μία εξαιρετικά επίκαιρη συνέντευξη με τον Τούρκο δημοσιογράφο, μπλόγκερ, ακαδημαϊκό και ακτιβιστή Gürkan Ozturan, ο οποίος ήταν βασικός συντελεστής των διαδηλώσεων του πάρκου Γκεζί το 2013 και που είναι πλέον στοχοποιημένος από την κυβέρνηση Ερντογάν για τον ρόλο του στις διαδηλώσεις. 
 
Ο Ozturan θα μας μιλήσει για όλες τις τελευταίες εξελίξεις στην γείτονα χώρα και για σημαντικά ζητήματα όπως τις πρόσφατες τρομοκρατικές επιθέσεις, την κρατική και αστυνομική καταστολή στην Τουρκία, την λογοκρισία που επιβάλλεται στα Τουρκικά μέσα ενημέρωσης και στο διαδίκτυο, τις διαδηλώσεις στην πλατεία Τακσίμ και στο πάρκο Γκεζί το 2013, τον πόλεμο κατά των Κούρδων και τον πόλεμο στη Συρία, και για την προσφυγική κρίση.
 
Μαζί με αυτή την ενδιαφέρουσα συνέντευξη, θα παρουσιάσουμε τον καθιερωμένο μας εβδομαδιαίο σχολιασμό της επικαιρότητας. Όλα αυτά και πολλά άλλα, αυτή την εβδομάδα αποκλειστικά στο «Διάλογος».
 
Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες και το πλήρης πρόγραμμα μεταδόσεων της εκπομπής μας, μπείτε στο http://dialogosmedia.org/?p=5659.
 
Φιλικά,
Διάλογος Radio & Media
Oct 212015
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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Introduction

The October 12, 2015 terror bombing in Ankara, resulting in the death of 127 trade unionists, peace activists, Kurdish advocates and progressives, has been attributed either to the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regime or to ISIS terrorists.

The Erdoğan regime’s ‘hypothesis’ is that ISIS or the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) was responsible for the terrorist attack, a position echoed by all of the NATO governments and dutifully repeated by all of the Western mass media. Their most recent claim is that a Turkish member of ISIS carried out the massacre – in a ‘copy-cat action’ after his brother, blamed by the Turkish government for an earlier bombing which left 33 young pro-Kurdish activists dead in July in Suruc, on the Syrian border.

The alternative hypothesis, voiced by the majority of the Turkish opposition, is that the Erdoğan regime was directly or indirectly involved in organizing the terrorist attack or allowing it to happen.

In testing each hypothesis it is necessary to examine which of the two best accounts for the facts leading up to the killing and who benefits from the mayhem.

Our approach is to examine those behind various acts of violence preceding, accompanying and following the massacre in Ankara. We will examine the politics of both the victims and the Erdoğan regime, and their conception of political governance, especially in light of the forthcoming November 2015 national elections.

Antecedents to the Ankara Terror Bombing

Over the past several years the Erdoğan regime has been engaged in a violent crackdown of civil society activity. In 2013, massive police action broke-up a major social protest in the center of Istanbul, killing 8 demonstrators and injuring 8500 environmental and civil society activists defending Taksim Gezi Park from government-linked ‘developers’. In May 2014, over 300 Turkish coal miners in Soma were killed in an underground explosion in a mine owned by an Erdoğan supporter. Subsequent demonstrations were brutally suppressed by the state. The formerly state-owned mine had been privatized by Erdoğan in 2005 – many questioned the legality of the sale to regime cronies.

Prior to and after these violent police actions against civilian demonstrators, thousands of officials and public figures were arrested, fired and investigated by the Erdoğan regime for allegedly being supporters of a legal Islamic social organization – the so-called Gülen movement.

Hundreds of journalists, human rights activists, publishers and other media workers were arrested, fired and blacklisted at the behest of the Erdoğan regime, for criticizing high level corruption in the Erdoğan cabinet.

The Erdoğan regime escalated its domestic repression of the secular opposition in order to concentrate power in the hands of an Islamist cult-ruler. This was particularly the case after the government deepened its support of thousands of foreign jihadi extremists and mercenaries streaming into Turkey on their way to the Syrian jihad.

From the beginning of the armed uprising in Syria, Turkey became the main training ground, arms depot  and entry-point for armed Islamist terrorists (AIT) entering Syria. The Erdoğan regime directed the AIT to attack, dispossess and destroy the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds whose fighters had liberated a significant section of northern Syria and Iraq and served as an ‘example of self-government’ for Turkish Kurds.

The Erdoğan regime has joined the brutal Saudi monarchy in financing and arming AIT groups and especially training them in urban terror warfare against the secular government in

Damascus and the Shiite regime in Baghdad. They specialized in bombing populated sites occupied by Erdoğan’s enemies or the Saudi targets especially secular Kurds, leftists, trade unionists  and Shiites allied with Iran.

The Erdoğan regime’s intervention in Syria was motivated by its desire to expand Turkish influence (neo-Ottomanism) and to destroy the successful Kurdish autonomous government and movement in Northern Syria and Iraq.

To those ends, Erdoğan combined four policies:

(1) He vastly expanded Turkish support for and recruitment of Islamic terrorists from around the world, including Libya and Chechnya.

(2) He facilitated their entry into Syria, and encouraged them to attack villages and towns in the ethnic Kurdish regions.

(3) He broke off peace negotiations with the PKK and re-launched a full-scale war against the militant Kurds.

(4) He organized a covert terrorist campaign against the legal, secular, pro-Kurdish electoral party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The Erdoğan regime sought to consolidate dictatorial powers to pursue and deepen its ‘Islamization’ of Turkish society and to project his version of Turkish hegemony over Syria and the Kurdish regions inside and outside Turkey. To accomplish these ambitious and far reaching goals, Erdoğan needed to purge his Administration of any rival power centers.

He started with the jailing and expulsion of secular, nationalist Kemalist military figures. He continued with a purge of his former supporters in the Gülen organization.

Failing to gain a majority in national elections because of the growth of the HDP, he proceeded with a systematic terror campaign: organizing street mobs made up of his followers in the ‘Justice and Development Party’, who burned and wrecked HDP offices and beat up activists. Erdoğan’s terror campaign culminated with the July 2015 bombing of a leftist youth meeting in Suruc whose activists were aiding Syrian Kurdish refugees and the beleaguered fighters resisting Islamist terrorists in Korbani, a large Syrian town across the border controlled by the Erdoğan-backed ISIS. Over 33 activists were murdered and 104 were wounded. Two Turkish covert intelligence officers or ‘policemen’, who knew in advance of the bombing, were captured, interrogated and executed by the PKK. This retaliation for what was widely believed to be a state-sponsored massacre provided Erdoğan with a pretext to re-launch his war on the Kurds. Erdoğan immediately declared war on both the armed and unarmed Kurdish movements.

The Erdoğan regime trotted out the claim that the Suruç terrorist attack was committed by ISIS suicide bombers, ignoring the regime’s ties to ISIS. He announced a large-scale investigation. In fact it was a perfunctory round up and release of suspects of no consequence.

If ISIS was involved in this and the Ankara massacres, it did so at the command and direction of Turkish Intelligence under orders of President Erdoğan.

The Suruç Massacre: A Dress Rehearsal for Ankara

Suruç was a ‘dress rehearsal’ for Erdoğan’s terrorist attack in Ankara, three months later.

Once again the main target was the Kurdish opposition electoral party (the HDP) as well as the major progressive trade unions, professional associations, and anti-war activists.

Once again Erdoğan blamed ISIS, without acknowledging his ties to ISIS. Certain facts point to Turkish state complicity:

1)      Why were the bombs placed in the midst of the unarmed demonstrators and not next to the police and intelligence headquarters within a block of the carnage?

2)      Why did Erdoğan’s police attack and prevent emergency medical assistance to the demonstrators in the immediate aftermath of the bombing?

3)      Why did he block popular leaders, independent investigators and representatives from targeted groups from examining the bombing site?

4)      Why did Erdoğan immediately reject a cease-fire offer from the PKK and launch a vast military operation while promoting rabidly chauvinistic street demonstrators against Kurds engaged in legal political campaigning?

5)      Why did the police attack mourners at the subsequent funerals?

Who Benefited from the Terror Attacks?

The terror attacks benefited Erdoğan’s immediate and long-range strategic political goals – and no one else!

First and foremost, they killed activists from the HDP party, anti-war leftists and trade unionists. The violent government attacks against the HDP in the aftermath of the massacre has increased Erdoğan’s chances of securing the electoral majority that he needs in order to change the Turkish constitution so he can assume dictatorial powers.

Secondly, it was aimed at (1) reducing the ties between the Turkish and Syrian Kurds; (2) breaking the ties between progressive Turkish trade unions, secular professionals ,peace activists and the Kurdish Democratic Party; (3) mobilizing the rightwing ultra-nationalist Turkish street mobs to attack and destroy the electoral offices of the HDP; (4) intimidating pro-democracy activists and progressives and silencing dissent to Erdoğan’s domestic power grab and intervention in Syria.

To the question of who is responsible for serial violent attacks on civil society organizations, opposition political parties, and purges and arrests of independent officials in the lead-up to the terror attack? The answer is Erdoğan.

Who was behind the campaign of violence and bombing in Kurdish neighborhoods in Istanbul and elsewhere leading up to the Suruç and Ankara terrorist attacks? The answer is Erdoğan.

Conclusion

We originally counter -posed two hypotheses regarding the terrorist attack in Ankara: The Erdoğan regime’s hypothesis that ISIS – as a force independent of the Turkish government – or even the PKK were responsible for brutally killing key activists in Turkish and Kurdish civil organizations; and the opposite hypothesis that the Erdoğan regime was the mastermind.

After reviewing the motives, actions, beneficiaries and interests of the two hypothetical suspects, the hypothesis, which most elegantly and thoroughly accounts for and makes sense of the facts is that the Erdoğan regime was directly responsible for the planning and organization of the massacres through its intelligence operatives.

A subsidiary hypothesis is that the execution – the placing of the bombs – may have been by an ISIS terrorist, but under the control of Erdoğan’s police apparatus.

Oct 122015
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

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From The Bogman’s Cannon:

Friends,

On Saturday 10th of October, a peace rally in Ankara Turkey was bombed. The explosions killed many protestors and injured many more. As I write the death toll is reported as being 120 and this is likely to rise given the large number of people who have also been injured and traumatized. It was a sad irony to see bodies draped in banners of the peace rally.

The Turkish Government are blaming IS. The people, in mass rallies in Istanbul, are accusing the Government of undertaking the attack against the people. The police have attacked the survivors with water-cannons and rubber bullets.

Over the past two days, the Turkish people are protesting by refusing to open shops, go to school and to co-operate as a resistance to this atrocity.

As a guerilla poetry action, we encourage people to print off this poem AdA/ Island and leave it in public spaces, and to distribute on social media the following quotation from it:

‘Beauty will save the world;
It will start with loving someone.’

Maria McManus & Gürkan Özturan , translators

AdA /Island 

after Sait Faik Abasiyanik

I have looked at the world from this shore:

salt in my hands; pearls in my palms.
Marmara blue opens ahead;
a longing for freedom
beats in my heart.

Where? Where are all the humans?

   Beauty will save the world; 
                   it will start with loving someone.

Grief comes suddenly
with the rain.
Once again I make a world
with pain.

Is there no one in love in this city?

Beauty will save the world; 
                    it will start with loving someone.

The air, the seagulls, this city of lights,
I am drunk on the smell of kelp.
With no shield I want to embrace
the world, the city, you.

    Beauty will save the world; 
                  it will start with loving someone.

Gurkan’s Blog is here: https://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com/biography/

Maria McManus is a poet and playwright based in Belfast. mariamcmanus.wordpress.com

Sait Faik Abasıyanık (18 November 1906 – 11 May 1954) was one of the greatest Turkish writers of short stories and poetry and considered an important literary figure of the 1940s
Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sait_Faik_Abasıyanık

 

Oct 112015
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas responds to Prime Minister Ahmet Davudoglu in the aftermath of the peace rally bombing in Ankara on Oct 10, 2015. With English subtitles.

 

minister-eroglu-blames-activists-killed-in-bomb-attack-calls-them-provocateurs_10153_720_400

Minister Eroğlu blames activists killed in bomb attack, calls them ‘provocateurs’

In the aftermath of Saturday’s twin bomb blast that killed at least 30 pro-Kurdish and leftwing activists in capital Ankara, Minister of Forestry and Waterworks Veysel Eroğlu scandalously called the activists “provocateurs” and referred to their peace gathering as a “terrorist demonstration.”

“Our people need to be careful of such provocateurs who organize terrorist demonstrations in order to incite discord in social harmony,” said Minister of Forestry and Waterworks Veysel Eroğlu in reaction to Saturday’s attack, “This was a provocation.”

Speaking to reporters from Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar province, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) minister also made reference to the deadly bomb attack that occurred on June 5th, killing four and injuring hundreds in Diyarbakır during the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) pre-election rally.

“If you recall, they had previously organized a similarly provocative rally in Diyarbakır in an effort to portray themselves as victims to the public, in an effort to ultimately pass the electoral threshold,” said Eroğlu. Earning 13.12 percent of the vote in the June 7th general election, the HDP had been able to pass Turkey’s prohibitive 10 percent election threshold and enter parliament for the first time.

The Minister of Forestry and Waterworks also stated “I send my condolences to all who have lost their life… Our police force will do whatever is necessary. The public should refrain from acting on such provocative gatherings.“

Oct 10, 2015 | BGNNews.com | Istanbul

Oct 082015
 

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan99GetSmart

ahmet-hakan

A prominent Turkish anchorman of the critical news network CNNTurk and columnist for critical daily newspaper Hurriyet, Ahmet Hakan has been subjected to a brutal attack by four men recently. The assailants had then quickly been caught and taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime where the investigation was to be carried out and their statements to be taken separately. The four men had given similar statements as confession that they had been offered 100.000 TL (~$35.000), and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the “Chief” is also involved in the situation.

Raids against Media

The whistleblower from President Erdoğan’s circle “Fuat Avni” had spoken of raids against the critical news networks in the month of August, and several newspaper headquarters had been raided by police, and on September 5th, Hurriyet Daily’s HQ building was raided by an angry mob which seemed to have been coordinated and organized by an MP of the governing AK Party. The attack against Ahmet Hakan came in the aftermath of this raid, and several other Doğan Media journalists have been threatened openly, even during live broadcast through social media messages.

Massive Payment Promised in Return for Attack against Journalist

One of the assailants, K.E., has stated that they were offered 100.000 TL in order to carry out the attack; and the cross-examination of the statements have revealed the planned assault as to how the assailants carried out close examination and surveillance prior to the attack and how they followed the journalist back home.

The assailants have now been released except for one who is now under arrest; and all of them have changed their statements after they have been taken to the court house of Istanbul and met the prosecutor.

One of the assailants’ statement reveals that they were taken to a disclosed location and someone who introduced himself as the district chairperson told them that there is a problem with the journalist Ahmet Hakan and he needs to be beaten. The 100.000 TL promised would be arranged through the Ottoman Organization district directorate by someone named Nezir.

The assailants claim that they were under the influence of drugs at time of the negotiation and that’s why they had accepted the offer; and they also stated that they were promised immunity and no-investigation as the request has come from the state but would only realize the gravity of the issue once taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime.

K.E. also stated that they have been deceived and were subjected to a conspiracy and would file a legal complaint about a retired special-ops officer called Y.K.G. who has given them the orders and given false legal information.

New-Deep State Involvement?

According to the statements from the assailants, Y.K.G., who owns a cafe in Fatih district of Istanbul, invited them and gave the orders there. He told them that Ahmet Hakan says “dead” rather than “martyr” for soldiers, and he supports HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) and provokes people. He added “the secret service is in this, whole security department is in this, the Chief is in this. In the next two days you are to finish this and the package will arrive.”

The assailants explain the event of the night as follows, “On the night of 30th, YKG was angry as we could not carry out the orders, then he told us that Ahmet Hakan’s program ends at 8:30pm. We went to the back-exit and followed his car until they came to the street where he lives. When his car stopped, we crushed slowly and he came out of the car after his bodyguard and driver. The bodyguard was warded off by one of us and when we finished we went back to Y.K.G.”

One of the assailants U.A. tells in his statement that they “met with someone named N.Ö. at Y.K.G.’s cafe and he told them that the Ottoman Organization (pro-AK Party far right youth assembly) would be much better than the Nationalist Movement Party (Far Right political party in the parliament with the abbreviation MHP). Upon following Ahmet Hakan with a car, the aim was to start a fight after a minor traffic accident. Once outside of the car, he made a run for his house, fell down and then upon second attempt to run he was caught and pushed and fell again.”

“After getting caught, in detention room we decided to tell the authorities that we got into a fight after a traffic accident, then we were transferred to the Organized Crime Unit. We were told that Hakam was a traitor and we were doing this for the state, in the name of security.”

According to cross-examination statements, Ahmet Hakan was requested to be beaten in such a way that he would be unable to hold a pen and write again; and the Y.K.G. would talk of him as a traitor who provokes violence. And the assailants were promised that they would receive a hero’s welcome by the security forces, justice, people and everyone as well as the promised sum of money.

Ahmet Hakan’s lawyer Aslı Kazan Gilmore, commented on the change of statements in the courthouse and said, “The assailants have given consistent statements regarding who requested them to do what and how much was promised, and it is all in coherence with what seems to have happened; however the investigation at the courthouse seems to have changed a few things alongside the statements given. Now the assailants deny their statements; the aim is to hide those who are behind this attack.”

Sep 292015
 

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan99GetSmart

f18c2b.jpg

 

The Turkish educational system suffers yet another blow; after last year’s signaling of a lifestyle indoctrination by President Erdoğan, this year’s new rules and regulations update seems to target the students’ future experiences and uses of free speech and questioning capacity. President Erdoğan had said “We have a problem with certain things, still. Thus we will tackle those problematic feelings by presenting [children with] a lifestyle, starting from as early as kindergarten onward.”

He had been talking about how the educational system was working in favor of “traitors” thus this was an open call for educational experts to work on new precautions to stop treason. The new rules and regulations that all children at school between the ages of 7 and 18 are subjected to now are as follows:

  • “National Values” is a recognized criteria that requires all pupils to comply with national and spiritual values; as well as present behaviors that follow general morality and customs. Failure in compliance results in expulsion from school.
  • Separatist, destructive, immoral, pro-violence content in the form of audio, textual, visual, video material will bring ultimate expulsion from school and the pupil will not be accepted back to schools anymore.
  • Students will only be allowed to miss 30 school days throughout the year; those who wish to become hafiz will not be required to comply with the 30 day limit.
  • Students who indulge in IT tools without the knowledge and control of the teacher will get disciplinary punishment.
  • Students who pester classmates through social media will get ultimate expulsion from school.
  • Students who share visual material that is shot at school, will be sent to disciplinary board.

In December 2014 President Erdoğan had accused the educational system of training individuals who are departing from their mother tongue and are ashamed of their society and culture; defined this as a national problem of training and discipline. After the national elections on June 7, 2015, the opposition parties all demanded to take ministry of education to reverse the harm done during the single party rule of AKP in the past 13 years, regarding the curricula and rules & regulations that are applied to children. The current system of national education in Turkey dictates a way of life and ideology.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Sep 102015
 

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan99GetSmart

hurriyet

Turkey has been experiencing what seems to be a repeat of events from the many pogroms and national-lynching campaigns that the country has witnessed several times in the past century. Angry mobs took to streets under the leadership of AKP youth organizations, right after President Erdoğan said, “If a particular party [as I had wanted before the elections] had received 400 deputies in the parliament [out of 550], things would have been completely different,” – referring to the soldiers who were killed in clashes between Turkish Armed Forces and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the east of Turkey. The mobs, led by the leader of AKP Youth Movement and also a member of the parliament, attacked the Hurriyet Daily’s headquarters. The social media troll army and pro-government journalists described the events as the “democratic right to protest the corrupt media” and encouraged people to take to streets.

The violent attacks on the Hurriyet Daily received no response by the police, which has been terrorizing peaceful protesters that had criticized the government. Later, on the night of September 6th, the mobs started circulating around another critical media organization’s headquarters, the Zaman Daily. Using the excuse of protesting the killing of soldiers by PKK, they have started marching to the pro-Kurdish ‘People’s Democratic Party’ (HDP), which is a parliamentary party that has received 13+% of the national vote.

Attacks on the Kurdish Citizens

balikesir-hdp-saldiri

Ahead of upcoming elections, AKP has been meaning to gather more of the nationalist votes to sustain the will of Erdoğan, thus trying to steal votes from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) by organizing nationalist events, and intimidating Kurds, socialists, leftists and other components of HDP in violent pogrom attempts, trying to push HDP down through the national election threshold of 10%. Even though the mobs have originally targeted the HDP as a party, not much later the Republican People’s Party (CHP) offices have come to be subject of some attacks too – even though some CHP voters have also supported the attacks!

002147888707

Across the country, AKP youth organizations have attacked HDP and CHP offices, homes and shops of Kurdish citizens, in hundreds of towns. Thousands of people across the country have set fire to the HDP offices and the HDP headquarters in Ankara, while shouting “Allahuakbar” to justify the roots of their islamofascist attacks. On the streets, one young man has been stabbed to death by 6 others for speaking Kurdish on the phone, and thousands of people have been injured with swords, stones, clubs, sticks, etc. for being Kurdish or holding any of the other identities that the nationalist mobs deem as “treacherous”. The day after these attacks, HDP officials stated that the mobs knew exactly what to do, in what seems to be simultaneous and coordinated attacks. The information-centers of HDP offices, where the application documents for the upcoming election had been kept, has become the main target of arson, a day before the application deadline. When the leader of HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, called the Governor of Ankara to ask for state protection of the headquarters, he received a “very disturbing and impolite response denying HDP the police protection or firefighting services”.

yak1-680632

So far several Kurdish citizens have been reportedly killed in the pogroms, and districts of temporary workers who live in tents were set on fire, destroying their only housing. In the meantime, across the country, nationalist mobs are hanging onto flags and honking from their cars all night long, making rounds in predominantly Kurdish neighborhoods, thus implementing a psychological pressuring mechanism. It has been reported that the police do nothing against the attackers and in most cases, join and help the mobs.

hdp-yandi

In light of violent events, many citizens have started putting up Turkish flags on their windows and balconies, to show that “Turks are living in this household”, as the absence of a flag has come to be taken as a sign of non-Turkish, non-muslim residence. Also, in some neighborhoods massive flags have been put up at the entrance of streets as a show of force.

Nationalist Youth Denies Involvement

The hand gesture of “wolf” is common among Ülkü Ocakları members/supporters

The hand gesture of “wolf” is common among Ülkü Ocakları members/supporters

Amid violent attacks, when HDP offices are being set on fire one by one, the nationalist youth organization, “Ülkü Ocakları”, have made an announcement declaring that they have not supported nor taken part in what has been going on, and that it is the government-paid people pretending to be their members who try to take people to streets for violent attacks. Most of the participants of mobs have been photographed with the hand signal of the Ülkü Ocakları, which is the sign of a wolf head with fingers.

The Ülkü Ocakları released an official statement saying that they have only organized events to commemorate the soldiers killed at city squares and their groups did not participate any events that involved violence. The group has taken precaution against “undesirable” events from taking place and called for only peaceful, democratic manifestation at city-squares. Nationalist organization also condemned the attacks which they declare have been organized by the governing AKP and their paid-activists who pretend to use the nationalist symbols to lure in their supporters.

Erdoğan’s “deep throat”, who disseminates secretive information from the palace, had earlier tweeted that the nationalist Ülkü Ocakları would be blamed in mob-attacks that would be carried out by AKP’s youth organization “Ottoman Union”. The deepthroat Fuat Avni also states that the Ottoman Union’s members are mostly agents of the secret service, led by Canpolat who had been arrested while preparing for assassination of the Pope in 2006.

The Only Bookstore Set on Fire

During the pogroms, in the province of Kırşehir, the one bookstore of the city has been set on fire for containing material that is harmful to the national will; however the fact that the owner of the bookstore supported HDP might have also had an effect in this anti-intellectual stance. The owner of the bookstore, whose property has been damaged, has paid for a banner to be put in front of his burnt-shop saying “We are one and we will remain one in peace”.

East of Turkey, the Land of Civil War Imposed by State

Cizre

Cizre

In the east of Turkey, where clashes have been going on since the Suruç bombing of activists that has left 36 activists dead and riot police laughing at the victims in July 20th, a state of emergency has been declared in hundreds of locations which imposes a curfew. There are many citizens who have been killed by soldiers, police or special forces, and very little news makes it out of the city centers due to an imposed digital-lockdown which does not permit any phone or internet connection from the cities.

Several HDP deputies have gone to the cities in the east, in order to observe the situation and bring out news of the suppression. The level of suppression had increased to a new high after dozens of cities started declaring self-governance upon state terror. As of September 9th, the city is under siege with heavy weaponry and reports of tanks and helicopters are coming in; while leader of HDP Selahattin Demirtaş, the HDP ministers and 40 MPs are marching to the city of Cizre on foot to stop a massacre from taking place. One of the latest announcements, shared from the city by HDP deputy Ferhat Encu, is from the police announcement stating, “This will be the last night for you”.

In the light of calls for massacre and coordinated mobs, Demirtaş has made a long speech saying that the state officers who are employed as tools of the fallen government of AKP should immediately stop in their contributions to a dirty war, that there will be no one to protect them a few years from now, when they will all sit in jail for the crimes they have committed. Demirtaş also responded to the danger that citizens are in, saying that every living being has a right to self-defense and citizens should defend themselves with proportionate means when subjected to such pogroms. Upon Demirtaş’s call, some youth organizations have been reported to gather at HDP headquarters in Ankara against the daily attacks by thousands of police-escorted islamist nationalist mobs.

Preventing the Flow of Information, Control of Media Tools at Maximum

While for the last three months many Kurdish cities in the east have been subjected to an imposed news-censorship and cutting of phone/internet lines, on the night of September 8th, social media has been shut down – yet again – alongside censorship of hundreds of accounts. Moreover, the international journalist, Frederike Geerdink, who has written the book, “Kurdish Matters”, and reports from the Kurdish cities of Turkey, was arrested and announced to be deported. The pro-government media has started a smear-campaign to distort the image of the journalist, sharing her news with the headline suggesting that she was “a PKK supporting foreign activist”.

The soldiers who have been killed in the PKK’s landmine attack had been reported by their comrade, soldier Private Şahin Şimşek, had used social media to disseminate crucial information as to how the soldiers and their commanders were forced to leave the headquarters almost knowing that they would be subjected to an attack. Later on, Private Şimşek was reported to have committed suicide by the military officials, and later he was reported to have been killed in armed conflict, not giving details as to exactly how the conflict started or took place. Private Şimşek was one of the many Kurdish soldiers who got killed while serving in the military in the recent clashes.

Intent to Jail Kurdish Movement

The locations where there have been attacks against HDP and Kurdish citizens

The locations where there have been attacks against HDP and Kurdish citizens

Back in 1994, when Prime Minister Tansu Çiller faced a major economic crisis, she had also chosen the option to attack the Kurdish movement. The end result of the campaign was dozens of citizens killed, hundreds of repressive attacks by special forces and military, Kurdish politicians who stood up for peace were jailed. It took a decade for the clashes to calm down and it was only thanks to Erdoğan’s efforts that peace negotiations had begun. Right now, showing the Kurdish politicians of HDP as target and organizing mobs to attack them seem to take a path which reminds of 90s. Early September 10th, the prosecutors have called for the leader of HDP Selahattin Demirtaş’s political immunity to be lifted, which would pave the way to his imprisonment for “inciting violence”.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Aug 212015
 

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan99GetSmart

latu2

Turkey recently started a new digital crackdown on critical and independent media. However, the Turkish government has been involved in ‘online security’ policies as far back as 2007 with the law numbered 5651, Law Regulating Digital Publications, which has very quickly expanded from its original aim and started targeting political dissent and criticism. The law originally had been designed to punish those involved in child pornography, yet was later expanded to also protect national symbols at the first draft.

Over the years, the law numbered 5651 has experienced several revisions which always made the law even worse than it has been. The original version of the law foresaw a child-protective, mature content filter that would be compulsory for all users and everyone would have to pay extra for this “service” by the state. An estimated number of more than 90.000 websites have been blocked due to this law and many keep getting added on a daily basis. Turkey still is by far the worst country in filing content removal requests from world internet giants such as Twitter, Google and Facebook.

Since the general elections that ended 13-year-governing AK Party’s single-party rule on June 8th, the government has started military operations against own citizens. So far death toll is countable by the hundreds, and independent/critical media platforms are being subjected to censorship due to government intentions to control flow of information. Over a hundred news agency and newspaper websites have been closed down by government’s telecommunications authority and the decision of Gölbaşı courts in Ankara. The court mandates blocking access to websites do not even mention a reason for the decision. However, due to the latest update of the law numbered 5651, based on Article 8, the Prime Minister may request blocking access to a website due to national security reasons, and there is no further questioning necessary for the court.

The websites that are blocked appear with a line stating that it is a precaution against further escalation of violence; making up a new category of ‘preemptive censorship’ in the thick book of repressing media in the country. Majority of the censored media platforms have been quite active in the regions where military operations are taking place.

Even though the officials of the censored media platforms apply to courts demanding a reason for blocking of access, they return without any answers. Experts state that this proves a violation of the constitutional rights of citizens as well as international agreements, of which Turkey is a part.

Currently thousands of online platforms that have political criticism are officially banned in Turkey, yet many users circumvent the censorship mechanisms, thus reaching the sites. Yet, government’s plans seem to go a step further nowadays. In the past few weeks, when the military operations in the Kurdish dominated southeast have been at its highest, phone lines and internet access as a whole has been shut down and the cities lost communication with the world. When news finally reached out of the city borders, bodies were being counted and photos of ruined districts were revealed as well as short videos of journalists getting harassed by special forces personnel.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Aug 012015
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

Netanyahu and Erdoğan

Netanyahu and Erdoğan

Introduction

The rulers of the two most powerful authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are launching major wars to reconfigure the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared war by proxy on Iran, announcing full-scale military mobilization within Israel (July 27 -29) and organizing the biggest political campaign of ultra Zionist Jews in Washington. The purpose of this two-pronged propaganda blitz is to defeat the recently signed US-Iranian agreement and start another major Middle East war. Ultimately, Netanyahu intends to take care of his ‘Palestinian Problem’ for good: complete the conquest and occupation of Palestine and expelling the Palestinian people from their homeland – the single most important foreign policy and domestic goal of the Jewish state. In order to do this, Israeli leaders have had to systematically campaign for the destruction of the Palestinians regional supporters and sympathizers – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

Erdoğan’s Multiple Wars

At the same time, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has launched a major war against the Kurdish people and their aspirations for a Kurdish state. This has followed closely on several recent incidents beginning with the bombing (with cooperation from Turkish intelligence ) of a Kurdish youth camp, killing and wounding scores of young secular activists. Within days of the massacre of Turkish-Kurdish youth, Erdoğan ordered his air force to bomb and strafe Kurdish bases within the sovereign territories of Iraq and Syria and Turkish security police have assaulted and arrested thousands of Kurdish nationalists and Turkish leftist sympathizers throughout the country. This has all occurred with the support of the US and NATO who provide cover for Erdoğan’s plans to seize Syrian territory, displace Kurdish civilians and fighters and colonize the northern border of Syria – under the pretext of needing a ‘buffer zone’ to protect Turkish sovereignty. Such a massive land grab of hundreds of square kilometers will end the long standing support and interaction among Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurdish populations who have been among the most effective opponents of radical Islamist groups.

Erdoğan’s newly declared war on the Kurds has complex domestic and regional components (Financial Times 7/28/15, p 9): Within Turkey, the repression is directed against the emerging electoral-political power of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party. Erdoğan plans to discredit or outright ban this political party, which had won a surprising number of seats in the recent parliamentary election, call for new elections, secure a ‘majority’ in Parliament and assume dictatorial ‘executive powers’.

Regionally, Erdoğan’s invasion of Syria is part of his strategy to expand Turkey’s borders southward and westward and to provide a platform from which Turkey’s favorite jihadi clients can launch assaults on the secular government in Damascus and Aleppo. The bombing of Kurdish villages and camps in Iraq and Syria are designed to reverse the Kurd’s military victories against ISIS and will justify greater repression of Kurdish activists backing autonomy in southeastern Turkey.

Erdoğan is counting on Turkey’s agreements with the US and NATO for overt and covert collaboration against the Kurds and against Syrian national sovereignty.

Netanyahu’s Proxy Wars

Netanyahu’s multifaceted political offensive is designed to drag the US into a war with Iran. His strategy operates at many levels and in complex complimentary ways. The immediate target is the nuclear agreement recently signed between the White House and Iran. Part of longer-term strategy to destroy Iran includes the formation of a coalition of Middle East states, especially Gulf monarchies, to encircle, confront and provoke war with Iran. This political-military strategy is being pushed by leading Zionists within the highest circles of the US Government.

All the major Israeli political parties, and most Israeli voters support this dangerous policy against Iran. The Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations in the US have been mobilized to bully, bribe and bludgeon the majority of Congress into following Netanyahu’s dictates. Every US Congressperson is being ‘visited’ and presented with propaganda sheets by leaders, activists and full time functionaries of AIPAC, the Jewish Confederations and their billionaire political donors. All the major US press and TV media parrot Netanyahu’s call for ‘war on the peace accord’ despite massive US public opinion against any escalation of the conflict.

At the highest levels of US Executive decision-making top Zionist officials avoid association with AIPAC’s public polemics and thuggish bluster, all the while promoting their own political-military ‘final solution’ … for eliminating Iran as an adversary to Israeli-Jewish supremacy in the Middle East. In the State Department and Departments of Commerce, Defense and Treasury, US-Israeli agents acting as special Middle East advisers, ambassadors and insiders push Netanyahu’s policies to undermine any normalization of relations between the US and Iran.

A recent proposal written by Professor Phillip Zelikow in the Financial Times (7/23/15, p. 9 ) entitled “To Balance (sic) the Nuclear Deal, Defeat ISIS and Confront Iran” is chilling.

The former ‘Executive Director of the ‘9/11 Commission Investigation Report’, uber-insider Zelikow promotes the formation of an ingenious coalition, in the name of fighting ISIS, but whose real purpose is to “confront Iranian ambitions”. Zelikow’s “coalition” includes Turkey, which will be assigned to attack Iran’s regional allies in Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah) – all in the name of “fighting ISIS”.

The bland, bespectacled and most respectable Professor Zelikow lays out Netanyahu’s own bloody hit list down to the most minute detail – but tidied up with a thin veneer of ‘confronting ISIS’ to obscure his real agenda. This is no blustering AIPAC thug or open Neo-Con war monger beating the drums…

Zelikow’s ‘anti-ISIS coalition’ will ultimately go after the Iraqi Shia militia and their main supporters among Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – hewing closely to Netanyahu’s strategy!

Zelikow was a major inside advocate of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Twelve years after the US invaded, occupied and destroyed Iraq, Zelikow pops up again to promote a policy of sending US combat troops to serve Israel’s regional interest. He writes, “The military side [of the ‘coalition’] will need more Americans on the ground to offer meaningful combat support among the coalition”. (FT ibid).

Zelikow is clearly aware of US public opinion in favor of diplomacy with Iran and against the US engaging in more ground wars in the Middle East, when he writes that a ‘military effort is not an alternative to diplomacy.” Zelikow and his bosses in the Israeli Foreign Office know any US military intervention with such a “coalition” would lead to the destruction of the US-Iran Agreement and another major ground war with US troops fighting for Israel once again!

Considering his position as a highly connected insider, Zelikow’s attempts to sabotage the Iran-US agreement presents a far greater danger to world peace than all the noisy lobbying by the 52 Zionist organizations active in Congress.

Zelikow has been a highly influential security adviser to the US Executive and State Department since the early 1980’s under Reagan. He was appointed ‘special adviser to the State Department’ in 2007, a position held earlier by Neo-Con operative Wendy Sherman and followed by war-monger, Victoria Nuland. In 2011 President Obama appointed him to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

He came to national prominence when President Bush appointed him Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission where he directed the highly controversial (and highly censored) 9/11 Commission Report against much public opposition. The appointment was made after Bush first choice of Henry Kissinger had created a media storm – Kissinger was never a serious choice with an insider-gatekeeper like Zelikow waiting in the wings. He was a controversial choice because of his role as intimate advisor to Condaleeza Rice and his authorship of the notorious Bush national security strategy promoting pre-emptive war, published in September 2002.

Phillip Zelikow suppressed any discussion of Israel’s role as a major catalyst for US involvements in the Afghan and Iraq wars. As executive-director of the 9/11 Commission Report, Zelikow assumed the role of editor and censor. He ignored the history of Israeli Mossad operations in the US, especially in the run-up to the attack on September 11, 2001. The report made no mention of the fake ‘moving’ van filled with Israeli spies arrested on September 11, 2001 while celebrating and photographing the destruction of the World Trade Center complex. Nor did he discuss the quiet ‘deportation’ of the Israeli agents. The report contains no discussion of the scores of phony Israel “art students” who operated in South Florida around US military installations and in the vicinity of the apartment of the alleged 9-11 hijackers. They too were quietly arrested and deported.

He also suppressed discussion of the Defense Department’s ‘Able Danger Project’, which showed US intelligence awareness of the hijackers presence and activities much earlier dating back to 1997.

In October 2001, the first ‘anthrax attack’ occurred – first sickening and killing a photojournalist at a scandal sheet in Florida. National news programs featured an interview with … the re-packaged ‘al Qaeda’ and ‘bioterrorism’ expert Professor Zelikow (his lack of Arabic and scientific credentials notwithstanding …) who declared the anthrax to be ‘weapons grade’ and ‘definitely from a state sponsored military lab’, implying Iraq. (He was correct in the ‘military lab’ part of his declaration – only the facility was the US Weapons Lab at Fort Detrick. Zelikow’s role in accusing the embargoed and beleaguered regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of the anthrax hysteria was crucial in the public build-up for the case to invade Iraq, echoed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s call for the destruction of Iraq. Master-performance complete, ‘scientist’ Zelikow’s interview (among others) has disappeared from the ‘web’.

Zelikow’s ‘expertise’ (such as it is) and usefulness to Israel derives from his articles on the political usefulness of ‘false flags’ and catastrophes – events concocted or instigated by imperialist powers to push a traumatized public into unpopular wars and draconian domestic police state policies. His work has centered on the manipulation and exploitation of ‘events’ to push public policy – and include the Cuban Missile Crisis, the re-unification of Germany, policing Northern Ireland, (but not Middle East studies or bio-weaponry’). His expertise is in the historical use of the ‘public myth’- whether the Riechstag Fire or Pearl Harbor. In Foreign Affairs, November-December 1998, he co-authored an article with the current US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, entitled Catastrophe Terrorism where a ‘watershed event’ could result in ‘horror and chaos’ pushing the US public to accept the destruction of ‘their civil liberties, wide-spread surveillance, detention and use of deadly force …

Zelikow continues to push the “false flag” script: In 2001 with the “anthrax hysteria” and now with the “Iran threat hysteria” … What is not surprising is that in both instances he hews closely to Israel’s strategic goal of utterly destroying countries, which have opposed Israel’s dispossession, occupation and expulsion of Palestinians – Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and now Iran.

Zelikow is a long-term, major asset for Israel, working quietly and effectively while the AIPAC bullies break down the doors of Congress. He never held a prominent position in the Cabinet or White House post like the brazen Zion-Cons Wolfowitz, Feith, Libby, Perle, Abrams and Levey who aggressively pushed the country into war with Iraq. Wolfowitz and company have scuttle back into obscurity under the cover of lucrative private positions while Zelikow continues to work inside pushing the Iran war agenda out of the limelight.

Zelikow’s role is far more discrete and important to Israel over the long haul than the loudmouths and thugs of AIPAC and other Zionist fronts. On the surface he pursues his academic and university administrative career (an excellent cover) while repeatedly inserting himself into crucial public discussions and quietly assuming strategic positions to advise on events or policies which have ‘turning point’ consequences and where his deep ties to Israel are never discussed.

Zelikow has one asset, which his bullying and blustering Zionist comrades lack and another which he shares with them. Zelikow is a great con-man – claiming knowledge about anthrax, Middle East relations, and military strategy. He spouts … pure unadulterated rubbish with authoritative finesse! …  Claiming legal and investigative expertise he controlled the 9/11 Commission Report and denied the American people any open and relevant discussion of the event. He even likened the Commission Report skeptics to ‘an infection’ within American public opinion – apparently relying on his ‘expertise’ in biological warfare …

What Zelikow does have in common with the raging bulls of Zionism is his constant resort to vituperation against any country or movement identified as a target by Israel. He consistently refers to the secular government of Syria (under attack by jihadi terrorists) as a “terrorist regime”. He calls the Iraqi militia fighting ISIS “Shia torture squads”. This is part of a build-up to push the US into ground war for Israel against Iran and its allies.

Unlike Turkey’s Erdoğan who uses his own armed forces to launch an all-out war to dispossess, terrorize and colonize ethnic Kurdish territories in Syria, Iraq and Turkey, Israel’s Netanyahu relys on his overseas (US) high level operatives to set in motion the wheels of war. Within days of attacks of September 11, 2001, Israel’s leading mouthpiece in the US Senate, Joseph Lieberman presented the roadmap for US wars for the next decade and a half – declaring that “the US must declare war on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Iran”, despite the complete absence of these countries’ involvement in the event.

Is he a prophet or just a highly successful agent? Zelikow will push for a ‘coalition’ of Middle East dictators and monarchs to fulfill Israel’s dream as dictated by Joseph Lieberman in September 2001. This is a dream of waging devastating war against Iran leading to its partition, similar to the de facto partition of Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in a Middle East forever ravaged by  sectarian strife, foreign occupations, balkanized and devoid of any possibility of regaining civilized life. Israel can then carry out its brutal final solution: the dispossession and expulsion of all Palestinians and establishment an expanded, purely Jewish state – surrounded by unspeakable destruction and destitution …

Conclusion

Erdoğan expands ‘Turkoman frontier’ into Syria and Iraq – despite the fact that Turkey has never shown any interest in the Turkoman minorities. To that end, he allies with ISIS terrorists to uproot Kurds, everywhere extending into Turkey. Erdoğan, like, Netanyahu, wants a ‘pure’ ethnic state – one Jewish, the other Turkish! Both brutal leaders have no regard for the sovereignty of neighboring states, let alone the security of their civilian populations. Both depend on the military support of the US. Both are in the process of igniting wider and more destructive wars in the Middle East. Netanyahu and Erdoğan want to reconfigure the Middle East: Turkey seizes Kurdistan and Syria; Netanyahu expands military dominance in the Persian Gulf through the destruction of Iran.

These two leaders appear to hate each other because they are so similar in arrogance and action …  But according to Professor Zelikow, the US will step in ‘god-like’ to ‘mediate’ the different power grabs among what he mindlessly refers to as the ‘partners of the coalition’