Second Thoughts on the Turkish Coup.
I have second thoughts on the Turkish coup attempt. I always believed it was a half-authentic foreign-backed coup attempt, but felt it had been usurped by Erdoğan loyalists and re-engineered, “designed to fail”. The fact that it fell apart so quickly, within a few hours, was itself evidence, since the Turkish military is expert at undertaking coups. A very problematic account about Erdoğan journey from his hotel in Marmaris to the airport in Dalaman, and thereafter by plane to Istanbul also seemed ‘staged’, coming off as heroic and full of nick-of-time “gifts from God” in the original.
Indeed, we have yet to receive a coherent story about this journey, nor about the rebel attacks, or lack thereof, on his hotel, his car en route to Dalaman, or in the skies where early reports said rebel F-16s had fixed on the president’s plane but withdrew without firing. I will cover a few versions below.
Notwithstanding these issues, I now see the mechanisms and machinations of the botched coup much the way Erdoğan himself does, with Gülen, the operative of US, CIA, and NATO interests.
However, Erdoğan cannot be trusted. He has a dangerous past that cannot be so easily absolved. He is now systematically shifting blame for a disastrous foreign and domestic policy away from himself onto Gülenists and DC and Langley behind them. Yet he too has been involved in many subversive and violent foreign interventions, particularly in Syria, and often working alongside the same conspirators he has now betrayed.
This is not to say Gülenists, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), aren’t in this up to their eyeballs. But we need to see how the blame game serves to divert attention from the accuser’s own culpability. In the same fashion, some parts of the US establishment are standing behind Trump and flinging mud-that-sticks towards Hillary Clinton, hoping her dramatic and deserved downfall will be contained and not pull them down too.
Erdoğan’s accusations seem correct, as far as they go, but they present a similarly limited picture that neglects crucial larger contexts.
Somewhat surprisingly, the official narrative neglects to discuss in depth the most evident geo-political context, Erdoğan apology to Russia for the downing of their jet over Syria, and more generally his “Asian pivot”, which has seen renewed positive relations also with Iran. Condemnation of the US, NATO, and Gülenist role grabs larger headlines. See articles here, here, and here.
Unsurprisingly, the official narrative neglects the larger, stickier contexts of the “ISIS wars”, which still implicate Turkey as deeply as they do Turkey’s new antagonists, the CIA, NATO, and their Arab allies.
It now appears that the incompetence and confusion in the coup attempt, as well as the viciousness with which the rebellion was carried out in places — as well as equally vicious reprisals were taken in others — that the plot was indeed lurking, exposed, and rushed into action. Now Turkish news reports the attempt was pushed up six hours.
Perhaps Erdoğan anticipated that the precipitating event would be his Russian rapprochement, and triggered the event appropriately when his whereabouts were ‘on the move.’ Among the other glaring holes in the official story is why the MIT, Turkish National Intelligence, was supposedly out of the loop.
Skulking Guilty Suspects
Holes remain in the official story, but evidence now emerging suggests, first, this was a plot developed by the CIA and its large Gülenist network in Turkey, and, second, that it was provoked to hasty and ineffective action by an intelligence breach. Much of the evidence remains circumstantial and contextual, but these indications are plentiful and substantial.
Certainly, Gülen’s ties to the CIA are abundantly proven by a large number of in-depth studies, as I said last time. One can follow them further to the Clinton Foundation and beyond.
The US intel connection was recently reaffirmed by the flurry of essays and op-eds in support of Gülen’s upstanding character that were written in US papers by CIA operatives and “diplomats” of known duplicitous character, such as Eric Edelman and Graham Fuller. (These same signed off on Gülen’s “Green Card” application almost two decades ago. Nice to have such sponsors.)
The coup attempt seems also to have been done with NATO approval, and probably active oversight and involvement.
In fact, the Turkish divisions most implicated in the coup attempt were part of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps. General Joseph Votel, the U.S. NATO commander for Europe was named in Turkish press allegations. He indeed implicated himself when he said “Some of our ally generals and people have been arrested.”
It should be remembered that the most end-times apocalyptic of Pentagon brass, General Breedlove, was until very recently the head of US NATO forces in Europe. Recent email leaks (more likely from Russia than the Clinton or DNC leaks) show Breedlove conspiring to push Obama into war over the Ukraine in 2013.) His successor, General Votel, was the same fingered by the Turkish half-official rumor mill as involved in the plot.
Perhaps the coup’s paymaster was a retired US general, as Yeni Safak alleged. General John Campbell worked under General Petraeus in Afghanistan. Petraeus later went on to head up the CIA and reveal state secrets to his girlfriend/biographer. He’s a friend of Hillary.
Another US “scholar/agent” Henri J. Barkey, formerly CIA and the currently Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, has also been named in the plot.
Sibel Edmonds at Newsbud has identified General Campbell as the likely “senior military source” for a false lead disseminated by MSNBC and Stratfor at the start of the coup. This reported that Erdoğan had applied for asylum in Germany. It was contrary to fact and clearly designed to deflate hopes of the loyalists.
Most Turkish allegations have not been proven with documents in the public domain, but they certainly rest on substantial evidence beyond the contextual and circumstantial evidence available to the public. The DOJ is now examining documents — actually for the umpteenth time — evincing Gülen’s subversive work in Turkey.
It also seems clear enough that the coup attempt hinged on Incirlik air base, the principle US and NATO fortress in Turkey. This is where the US stores 90 nukes we are often reminded. During the coup, aerial refueling reportedly was provided from this air base for the rebellious forces, and afterwards much of its staff was arrested. A full third of Turkish generals were detained. Incirlik base is now surrounded by 7000 Turkish police, since the police are more loyal to Erdoğan than the armed forces.
Local businesses, we hear, are hurting for the lack of US customers, even though the US withdrew most of its families from Incirlik as early as March. That is when the US press first started floating stories about “dissension” in the military ranks and the possibilities a coup would be attempted.
Now the US says it knew neither hide nor hair of any such plot even though the coup itself seemed to have been helped along, from the outset, by Western media outlets, and well-placed disinformation, clearly designed to undermine resistance to the coup.
The lethal combination of NATO and the CIA brings to mind a context of terror production of the first order: their collaborative efforts with Gladio and what has been called Gladio B. Operation Gladio illegally and unconstitutionally armed and financed post-WW2 ‘stay-behind’ units in Europe, especially in Italy and Belgium. These consisted of right-wing militants who carried out terrorist false flags, which were then blamed on the left. The Bologna train station bombing and the Milan Piazza Fontana massacre were their handiwork.
Gladio “B” or Gladio 2.0, its post ColdWar successor from the 1990s, used Western and Middle-East allied intelligence agencies to oversee the rise of takfiri terrorist groups in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Gladio and Gladio B have the same objective: to pursue US global hegemony, or more specifically, to isolate, undermine, penetrate and finally control Russia, China and their allies, and thereby put an end to the threat that cooperative Eurasian alliances will put an end to the Anglo-American maritime, aerial, and financial empire.
Where This Sits in the Wars of Terror and Wars of Drugs
NATO and the CIA are also implicated in the Afghan opium trade, and Incirlik is reported to be a major transfer point for this lucrative, officially-run market in drugs made illegal by the same powers.
This toxic mix, NATO and the CIA, has overseen a tenfold increase in opium production in the original land of the mujahaddin, Gladio B’s first progeny. Since the teetotaling Taliban were ousted, Afghanistan has been reduced to a classic colonial mono-culture, and a purchaser of Western arms. This is an old story. The Opium Wars of the 1830s remind us that the potent poppy has served Western imperial interests for decades and centuries.
According to several reports, Afghan opium is trucked in great quantities through Incirlik and provides massive off-the-books profits to the CIA and its chosen Middle Eastern representatives. In this article, “Rusticus” places Incirlik base very nicely into the global drug trade contexts.
The broader historical contexts again show the culprits long have been at it: The US has been running drugs on a large scale with its own military operations and funded para-military operations overseas since Vietnam and Iran Contra. There is nothing new in these suggestions.
These contexts buttress Erdoğan’s story about who is behind the coup attempt, — but also implicate the president for his past collaboration with these very crime circuits, — so the Turkish press obviously does not ‘go there.’
More pressing and probable a context for the coup attempt than a turf war within the War OF Drugs, remains the Western-sponsored War OF Terror, and in particular, what is signified for Syria by Erdoğan’s recent “Russian pivot” or perhaps “Asian pivot”, if we may mean the opposite of Obama’s Asian pivot. This, of course, struck NATO and the CIA as rank betrayal.
Indeed, Erdoğan’s probably well-deserved paranoia has perhaps contributed to his rampant nepotism As a result, his family seems to have profiteered nicely in the Turkey-ISIS oil-for-terror trade that was decimated by Russian airstrikes. This gives a personal spin to Erdoğan’s ‘Eurasian pivot.’
However, the “pivot” is nowhere near 180 degrees, so far. It may be a “feint.” Turkish news continues to press the NATO line on Syria and Assad, though perhaps with less regularity. As here, there is a basic black-out of information about Syria.
However, everyone recognizes that the US alliance with the Kurds has forced nationalist Ankara and Damascus to come to some agreement. But no opposition in Turkey is willing to go as far, say, as Kelli Ward goes in attacking John McCain for his ISIS patronage, and point out what Zaman, Gülen’s old newspaper, used to print of the Russian revelations about Erdoğan’s terror trade.
The Turkish press, now loyal, loyaler, and loyalest, to il presidentissimo, do not dwell so much on the novelties of Erdoğan’s outreach to Russia and Iran, but rather on their outrage at the US which harbors the obviously guilty Gülen. Now, the beleaguered imam has admitted some of his enthusiastic followers may have joined the coup without his permission.
The US is sending a Department of Justice delegation to investigate Gülen, fresh off their whitewash of Hillary Clinton, a steady recipient of big checks from Gülen. This will be the start of an endless cycle of bureaucratic run-around that will last to the time Gülen kicks it.
I applaud Turkey, and especially the truly democratic public will to resist this foreign subterfuge. But Erdoğan’s past cannot be so easily erased, and if his present actions display an operative rational sense of true national self-interest — in the interest of his early ideal of “zero problems with neighbors” — then an account still must be made of his long involvement with the very characters he now condemns.
The Coup’s World Audience
The foreign-based guilty parties are further confirmed by the widespread disappointment sighed from one side of the NATO alliance to the other in the wake of the coup’s failure. The coup’s failure upset the ‘right’ people, and it pleased those who it pleases me to see pleased, those who are on record as resisting Western imperial reach.
The range of reaction around the world also suggests the coup was precipitated by Erdoğan’s apology to Russia and his Asian pivot.
The Western press, almost uniformly, condemns Erdoğan regularly and many outlets actually entertained the “conspiracy theory”, popular among the Turkish left and the Kurds, that il presidentissimo “staged” the event as bad theater. He certainly was tipped off and pre-empted it, and it is likely he triggered it, but he did not ‘stage’ it.
As mentioned, CIA operative op-eds in the US press vouched for Gülen’s good behavior and protested his innocence while sometimes implying Erdoğan deserved more than he got. These eloquent pens included those of former CIA Vice Chair Graham Fuller, and former ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman. Ralph Peters ditto.
The coup’s failure greatly upset the House of Sa’ud. A more moderate response came from Israel, with whom Erdoğan has been trying to mend fences as well. As similarly regards the Russian interventions in Syria, the Israeli public stance is somewhat muted. In this case, it comes off much like the patronizing attitude proffered in the shamed and embarrassed US military-industrial spheres: this arose from internal dissension within the military and it makes Turkey look like a Banana Republic. In Israel, as hier bei uns, ome sources consider their first “conspiracy theory” ever, that Erdogan ‘staged it.’
Another former Middle Eastern ally of NATO, Former Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is now turning on the Saudis, and supports Erdoğan’s victory. Both in theory still support the Syrian opposition.
On the other hand, Egypt’s General Sisi, who overthrew Erdoğan’s Muslim Bro’ Muhammad Morsi, was sorry the military failed. He too has been attributed with CIA-sponsorship. This sympathetic voice must have pleased the West, but Sisi is playing a very thin line too, as the CIA-sponsored ISIS is loose next door in Libya and the CIA has a history of dumping those it once sponsored.
By the same token, Russia and Iran clearly were behind Erdoğan from the start. In recent days Kazakh and Hungarian praise for him made clear the growing eastern consensus. The Kazakh president paid a supportive visit to Turkey. He has pledged his own investigation into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) network of schools, which are widespread in Central Asia and Africa as well as through the US and in the Middle East. Hungary has followed suit, with a pledge to investigate the organization’s influence.
Of course, the most notable of media notices does not concern its sorry attempts to report the news, but its equally sorry attempts to intervene, clearly on the side of the rebels. Stratfor, often considered a CIA info/disinfo site, but with strong Israeli links as well, carried the faux report that Erdoğan had sought asylum in Turkey. This was carried also on MSNBC and NBC.
Yeni Safak, an Erdogan mouthpiece that gives him plausible deniability, rightly criticized the Stratfor reporting. It was not just the disinformation about a non-existent asylum request which evoked the ire of the Turks, but that Stratfor was publishing continual radar image updates of the location of Erdoğan’s plane. Yeni Safak charged:
“This is not news-gathering, it is directing. By giving the location of the president’s flight they were trying to give directions to coup planes”
The US response was clumsy from the start, and as ill-prepared to handle Turkey’s allegations, or even contemplate that it would fail or DC would stand accused. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner made a fool of himself once again in the attempt to explain Gülen’s continued protected presence. A few days later he broke into hysterics after opening the press conference with a platitude about “this exercise in transparency and democracy”. Right on cue, the US press corps laughed along with him, one piping up “you mean duplicity and obfuscation? hahahaha!”
The Department of State is still beholden to Hillary Clinton’s war-mongering heritage. Indeed, State seems more under the control of Victoria Nuland than John Kerry. If Obama said most with his silence, and State seems unable to mask its disappointment, the Pentagon once again comes across somewhat more adult and reasonable in its “foreign policy”.
General Dunford, with apologetic demeanor, made his way first to Ankara, and contritely affirmed US support for democratic institutions in Turkey, and its legitimately-elected government. Nevertheless, the US continues to resist ever more pressing demands to extradite Fethullah Gülen. Following Erdoğan’s trip to Moscow next week, Kerry will arrive in Ankara on August 24.
Several other succeeding events suggest that the Russian rapprochement was the event that provoked the rebellion, and thus points the finger towards, perhaps we should say, the neo-cons.Erdoğan had already promised to charge the murderer of a Russian fighter shot down over Syria. The two pilots who shot down the Russian jet were arrested as well. At the time, some hypothesized that Erdoğan had lost control of the military, and this was done either without his knowledge or against his consent, in order to provoke a larger war.
Perhaps most importantly, Erdoğan called Hassan Rouhani just after the coup, on Monday. “Today, we are determined more than ever before to contribute to the solution of regional problems hand in hand with Iran and Russia and in cooperation with them,” the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Erdoğan as saying.
Erdoğan’s Asian Pivot : Trust in Allah but Tie That Horse
The CIA may have just lost a major battle, and it is a good thing their Gülenist ranks in Turkey have been decimated. I also am relieved to see that Erdoğan has made several new moves towards the Russian-Syrian-Iranian camp since the coup attempt, as well as away from the US and NATO. All the worst elements of our globe are morose and in different stages of grief about the failure of the coup, so that grants me some Schadenfreude.
Still, I would like to hold out a red flag of warning, though I am relieved the US, or rather the CIA, did not achieve its coup.
The proof is in the pudding. We await the main indication that Erdoğan is now serious about turning against the NATO-led jihadi wars against Assad and the Russian ‘sphere of influence’. This will come when he takes serious action against the takfiri terrorists that he, his family, and his administration, have long supported. We should not be satisfied till a full account of the enormously lucrative arms-for-ISIS oil trade is made. The Erdoğan family is heavily implicated in profiteering, gaining massive profits in the ‘terror trade’.
Also alarming is the extent to which it is likely that Erdoğan’s reprisals are striking beyond the Gülenist network. To be sure, the hidden Hizmet membership, the FETO, certainly does run through Turkish (and Central Asian, and African) academics, politics, and military. It is not clear to me how ‘dedicated’ its members are for the Gülen schools are ‘innocent’ enough on their outer face. Though realistically true operatives could be in the thousands, Erdoğan is in a paranoiac mood. This, of course, is exacerbated by the fact that someone really is trying to get him.
But he is also in an opportunistic frame of mind, and is now cutting wide swaths for his autocratic impulses. Kemalists and leftists — even “Eurasianists” — are also in danger of his slashing scythe, as are religious minorities, especially the Alevis, and as always, the Kurds. Even though the HDP also condemned the coup, Erdoğan has lumped them with the Kurdish PKK and YPG, who also are infiltrated and controlled by foreign intelligence and military operatives, Erdoğan insists, not completely unrealistically.
Following the coup Erdoğan immediately lumped the Gezi Park protestors with the Gülenists. Engrained AKP hatred for Alevis provoked attacks on their neighborhoods. His thugs lynched innocent soldiers who may have been their own neighbors’ kid, “on an exercise” as many were told. These same thugs had long stormed media outlets that bucked the AKP line — not just Zaman, Gülen’s mouthpiece, but Hurriyet, one of the oldest and respected of Turkish dailies. The political opposition was muzzled. The Kurds and the HDP were vilified. Constitutional “reform” will be shoved through with nationalist hysteria and national paranoia driving the way to a legalized dictatorship.
His control of the Turkish mass media is almost complete. Wikileaks dumped 300,000 AKP emails, but this has been blocked by the man who was fortunate FaceTime was running a few weeks back. The Wikileaks dump is huge and has barely been investigated, but no doubt is full of damning material — just do a search for “Alevi”. This is one of the religious groups the AKP loves to hate, in particular because many are associated with radical leftist politics.
It is a good sign, but perhaps a temporary one, that Erdoğan has buried the hatchet with some of the opposition parties, — or cowed them perhaps — but his attitudes have not changed towards the Kurds. Nor have they verifiably changed towards Assad, despite reports that the US-Kurdish alliance frightened Erdoğan into ‘secret negotiations’ with the Syrian “despot.” For Erdoğan, the enemy of his enemy may still be his enemy.
Remaining Questions about the Coup Attempt
The most confusing, and suspicious part of the official story, concerns Erdoğan’s narrow, or not-so-narrow, escape from his hotel in Marmaris, his hour-long drive to Dalaman, the nearest airport, and his jet’s flight to Istanbul. His arrival there effectively put an end to the coup.
A half-dozen reports about this trip have hit the media. The US put out the false lead that Erdoğan sought, and was refused, asylum in Germany. The official story looks shifty too. In fact, it has shifted several times.
The first story was that Erdoğan’s jets were locked on by the radar of rebel F-16s, who inexplicably did not fire. Nor did this story explain why the two F-16s accompanying Erdoğan did not engage the rebels if the President’s plane had been locked on by hostile radar. Later we heard that the President avoided rebel air patrols by disguising its radio signal as a commercial jet.
Now, we hear that the rebel plane tasked with the Presidential take-down ran out of fuel and had to return to base — and get this: this occurred just as the rebel jet came within missile range of Erdoğan’s plane. Dang! that was a close call.
Well, I guess anything is possible. By the same token we know Erdoğan does media as well as the CIA. The official story still has holes in it, and some others have been only half-covered up, in a fairly obvious way.
Very suspiciously, advance word of the coup did not come from Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish National Intelligence (MIT.) The MIT reportedly informed a top general, who was then taken into custody by the rebels, but not the president. Fidan’s MIT evidently is beholden to the CIA, if not necessarily by way of Gülenists, and it has long been arming the CIAliphate, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as well as Jubhat al-Nusra.
Because of its inability to anticipate the coup attempt, Erdoğan pulled Fidan into the office in the days afterwards for a private meeting. The press was permitted a day or two’s dressing down for Fidan’s negligent behaviour during the coup and shoddy work beforehand. Things have quieted down since that time, but Erdogan is making public his intent to centralize intelligence services under his own command.
Fidan, along with other top AKP ministers were actually audio-taped planning a bloody false flag in Syria in order to draw NATO into a bigger fight. Erdoğan’s plausible deniability in that instance is hardly credible since his family has been directing and profiting from the oil-for-terror trade. In this they conspire with the Israel and US dominated KRG, the Kurdish Regional Government, in Erbil, Iraq, governed by the House of Barzani.
Fidan has been directly implicated in planning Syrian false flags, in funneling weapons to al-Nusra and ISIS jihadists. He distinguished himself diplomatically last year by remarking that the world should just accept ISIS as a fait accompli in Syria and get on with dealing them as a legitimate state.
Laforgue, the French cement company that sits Clinton chum John Podesta on their director’s board and once sat Hillary, already have been doing just that, and making a good dime at it too. The Clinton Foundation still receives regular remittances, or donations, from Laforgue.
This fits well with the Langley narrative. Fidan was not alone in his assessment of the ‘modernity’ of the takfiri terrorist “state”. (Indeed, there is nothing there a medieval or early modern Muslim would recognize as Islam.) This attitude was the PR spin encouraged by the “think tanks” in DC who, Hillary Clinton famously said, “tell me what to do”. Indeed, the CFR was sold on the post-modern caliphate when ISIS showed off its sophisticated finance and bureaucratic skills. For humor and illustrative purposes only, here is Hillary at the CFR. Rarely does she bow so low, except before AIPAC and Goldman-Sachs, and…:
Westerners were especially wowed by ISIS command of the sine qua non of 21st century politics: media. When they demonstrated Hollywood worthy media skills by courtesy of Rita Katz, Jewish mouthpiece for terrorists everywhere, CFR and Brookings Institute “scholars” practically vowed obeisance, and updated ‘dirty terrorist in a cave’ to ‘gangster dressed in black talking from a minbar’.
The CIA and the US had deeply penetrated the Turkish military long before Gladio B, and most completely with the 1980 coup, which most now acknowledge as orchestrated by the US. Certainly some of the old Kemalists and nationalists with deeper loyalties to NATO and DC remain a threat to Erdoğan’s autocracy and Turkey’s democracy. These oddly have overlapped in their interests, for the time being.
Erdoğan has already begun to restructure the gutted military as well as the intelligence agencies. As with everything, more centralization under Erdoğan loyalists is the game plan. He now will sideline the MIT and Fidan, who remain under deep suspicion, and other agencies under an centralized umbrella agency.
Though we may applaud his Russian pivot and be thankful the coup failed, protesting Erdoğan’s innocence is absurd and dangerous. At the least, he is guilty by logic of “buck stops here”. Russian accusations in December and other journalistic investigations indicating that the family of Erdoğan and other “Turkish elites” were massively profiting from the massive oil trade with ISIS. Abundant evidence had emerged before that time that Turkish MIT and army were principle pipelines for arms and fighters, and that this was a terror-friendly policy pursued by all the US allies and puppets in the region.
Cui bono, ‘who benefits’, like Occam’s razor, is a rule of thumb, not a rule of Nature. While Erdoğan clearly benefits most from the coup attempt, which he called a “gift from God”, this could not have been ‘staged’ as a ‘false flag’ in the conventional sense. A few mind-controlled or mindless patsies is all that is needed for that, but not the thousands of military officers who participated in this coup.
So, let us assume Erdoğan has indeed provoked the ire of the CIA by his own “Asian pivot”. Let us assume he is correct that the NATO-US-Gülenistas were behind a coup attempt that one way or the other came to his attention and forcing the rebels to realize it was ‘now or never.’ Let us assume the remaining confusion, obvious disinformation, and complete variance of stories concerning Erdoğan’s Marmaris-Istanbul journey may be resolved without major surprises.
Let us assume further that Erdoğan will now slowly, issue by issue, begin aligning with the Russian bloc and against the takfiri terrorists he long has supported. We can not expect him to pull out all the stops at once, or the CIA and NATO will pull out all theirs.
How far, and how fast, can this go? If Turkey adheres to the promises entertained here, this could prove to be the second major shift of WW3 in the last year. The Russian intervention in Syria, last September, was the crucial first step and pivoted prospects for the globe in a positive direction.
Erdoğan is off to Moscow next week. The range of subjects under discussion will be immense: the re-opening of economic relations, the coup and its aftermath, and the situation in Syria each are worthy of substantial attention.
More steps will certainly be discussed next week in the Moscow meeting between Erdoğan and Putin. Certainly the latter knows he must see further shifts towards Moscow’s way of looking at the world, rather than trust his defeated former rival. It may be easier for Erdoğan to turn his back on ISIS now that their oil production has been decimated by Russian strikes.
But we should remember his reversals, and we should remember that Turkey and the US have long seen neither eye to eye nor at cross-purposes when it comes to
What counts now are his actions, especially towards his neighbors, especially towards Syria, but quite as imperatively towards his neighbors in Turkey, those that do not profess the bigoted version of Islam he does, even those that profess that idiocy of atheistic scientism.
He must again establish “zero problems with neighbors”. His new (or renewed, rather) outreach to Iran is welcome.
This means Turkey must do what it can to qualm Azerbaijani agitation over Nagorno-Karabakh. This is partially provoked by the Israelis, whose influence is deep in Azerbaijan.
Another positive gesture in this direction is the recent pull-back of Turkish forces from Bashiqa, Iraq, where they shared a friendly border with ISIS and the Peshmerga. This always rankled Baghdad for obvious reasons, who also never asked for an increase in US troops which were just announced. However, even Erdoğan’s withdrawal may have been entirely for tactical reason following upon the coup attempt.
Further down the line, perhaps, he must withdraw support for the corrupt Barzani regime in Erbil that has usurped authority and revenue from Baghdad. Barzani has been entirely too friendly with Ankara, often abandoning his fellow Kurds elsewhere. The KRG and Peshmerga stand several times accused of ethnic cleansing of Arab populations. As VT, and “Raqqa’s Rockefellers” show, Kurdish collaboration (Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government: KRG) is necessary for ISIS oil to flow to Turkey, and Israel is on the receiving end of this cut-throat energy bargain basement sale. According to Sibel Edmonds, Israel long has maintained secret bases in Iraqi Kurdistan along the Iranian border. Turkey resisted Israeli presence, but has long been complicit in the mutually profitable trade in terror: Barzani is exactly the kind of Kurdish neighbor that Ankara and Tel Aviv long have sought, both for economic and geo-political reasons.
Israel is the elephant in the room. Erdoğan’s highly public dispute with Israel never provoked much distance between the country’s solidly entwined military cultures, and now Erdoğan is stitching relations. Of course, Turkey worked together with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and NATO’s other Middle East allies, to nurture ISIS, Jubhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and other takfiri terrorist groups into existence. Obviously, he must reverse course 180 degrees.
Erdoğan has made overtures to Israel in the last weeks, not needing to provoke the one political leader more paranoiac than Erdoğan himself. Netanyahu must not be provoked directly, the Russians example seem to instruct Erdoğan, but its puppets must be carved up.
The renewal of the Turkstream will doubtless be among the topics of conversation in Moscow. This Gazprom project always made vastly more sense for Turkey — and for all of Europe — than the Western alternatives. These intended, against all geo-political reason, to stymie the flow of Russian energy westwards at the Ukraine, and the Iranian at the Persian Gulf. This was why a deal was signed with Iran. The US never had any intention of letting Iranian gas get online to the Mediterranean because the a pipeline originating in Qatari fields and traversing Syria was intended to pre-empt it. This required the fall of Assad, who preferred – as good economic sense would have it — the flow of Iranian gas and oil through his nation, and — if cooperative sense would prevail over competitive insanity — that of the Persian Gulf states too.
Whats good for Turkey is good for Europe, and it is good especially for Greece, the present-day “sick man of Europe” (starved and poisoned more like). The Turkstream, which links through Greece and promises vast advantages to both, is the perfect example of the way Eurasia may profitably unite. The Anglo-American maritime empire has so far shown no sign it wants to cooperate with the SGO, BRICS, and other Eastern and Southern alliances, but it certainly could and should.
Erdoğan must overcome internal enmity and unite with the many sympathetic forces in Greece to push through a Eurasian project. Merkel’s Germany is a good example of what happens when you do DC’s bidding over a thousand and one national interests.
Erdoğan says he is cleaning Turkey of the foreign elements (though he funds foreign terrorists in Syria). He must also truly unite Turks, especially the classes most persecuted by AKP thugs, like the Alevis and Kurds. Iran should demand the protection of these ‘Alid relations, the Turkish Alevis (who are not properly Shi’a, however). He needs to open up some communication with the Turkish Kurds, on whom he declared all-out war last year. He still accuses the HDP, the Kurdish party whose 11% showing at last years election seem to have provoked a genocidal ire, as well as the blatant manipulation of electoral politics and mayhem to engineer a second election where the AKP got their bloody majority. Under a rain of bombs, not many Kurds made it to the polls that day.
On the day of the coup, AKP thugs attacked Alevi neighborhoods. Terror attacks on Alevis is a regular event during Ramadan, since many are secular and Marxist and do not fast. But many Alevis are highly religious, but their highly musical gatherings, where men and women mix and dine together, are abhorrent to bigots among the Sunnis. Many in the AKP are such. Ankara mayor among them.
Actually, the Ottomans original religious roots were closer to the present day Alevis – highly syncretistic, creative, and inclusive — than to the often bigoted, Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood modernity of AKP’s “Islam.” This is a “political Islam” in the purely political sense.
Now Erdoğan’s vehemently “Islamist” right wing is allied with the nationalist and Grey Wolf right wing in attacks against both Kurds and Alevis.
It serves Erdoğan to assimilate the Kurds to the PKK, which he considers a terrorist organization because then he does not have to talk to anyone. In the same way Alevis are associated with the DHKP-C (Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi), a Marxist-Leninist party whose military front has carried out terror attacks and attempted an assassination of Erdoğan in 2008. This is the offspring of Dev Sol, the Revolutionary Left, or Devrimci Sol, and a yet longer leftist heritage going back to the 1960s and 70s.
This Alevi-associated left-wing party stands now accused of ‘foreign’ infiltration and manipulation, just like the HDP. Perhaps there is a grain of truth to this, — it would be par for the Gladio course. Dev Sol is the Turkish equivalent of Italy’s Brigate Rosse, the Red Brigades. Gladio operatives, Italian fascists and Masonic P2 agents, undertook horrific terror attacks in the BR name: Piazza Fontana in Milano and at the Bologna train station. The true leftist group, we now know, was infiltrated to the highest levels by Gladio operatives: these were those that murdered Italian PM Aldo Moro. Thus, the history is there for these accusations to not be taken as poppycock. But again a warning must be raised.
Erdoğan is conveniently unwilling to meet any representative of these oppressed groups, and condemns all their assemblies as conspiratorial. In the claustrophic world of this entrenched essentialism and identity politics, its the same ol’ same ol’. Sometimes its hard to tell an “Islamist” from a “Grey Wolf.”
Erdoğan, like all representatives of dominant and overwhelming power structures faced off against weaker oppressed peoples, must come more than halfway to a genuine outreach. By the same token, it would be a wonderful opportunity for the HDP or other parties to search their own ranks for Gülenists, NATOnuts, or Mossad provocateurs, for it would be naive to pretend they are not there.
If its time to clean house, the neighborhood should do it together. Lets join in.