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What's Going on in Turkey, Anyway?
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Back on January 1, 2014 I published one of my favorite Taki’s columns, The Shadowy Imam of the Poconos, about Turkey’s Gulen Cult:

… For example, the current political shakeup in Turkey turns out to be a mashup of various obsessions and hobbyhorses of mine, such as byzantine conspiracy theories, test prep, the naiveté of American education reform, immigration fraud, the deep state, and even the Chechen Bomb Brothers’ Uncle Ruslan.

This lattice of coincidence begins with Turkey’s prime minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, who is presently besieged by graft scandals following police raids on his inner circle.

With Turkey’s traditional ruling class—the secularist Kemalist generals—finally neutralized by the Ergenekon show trial, the Muslim civilian factions now appear to be plotting against each other. It is widely assumed among Turkish conspiracy theorists (i.e., roughly 98% of all Turks) that the prosecutorial assault on the prime minister was at the behest of Erdoğan’s former political ally, Fethullah Gülen, a powerful and mysterious Muslim cult leader holed up since 1999 in, of all places, the Poconos, where he has become America’s largest operator of charter schools.

But things move fast in Turkey. In 2014, Erdogan appears to have made a deal with the defeated Generals (here’s Harvard economist Dani Rodrik’s essay on how the Gulenists tried to frame his Turkish general father-in-law) and struck back against the Gulen Cult. The latest I’ve heard is that the Turkish government this month charged Imam Gulen with plotting a coup and have demanded life in prison for him.

On the other hand, things seem to have calmed down for the Gulenists in America. In 2014, the FBI raided numerous Gulen charter schools to figure out how they were skimming cash for their global operations from American taxpayers. But that FBI investigation has disappeared from the news for unknown reasons.

If I had to bet, I’d guess that the CIA had a sitdown with the FBI and explained that Gulen Cultists embezzling taxpayer dollars from local school budgets is a feature, not a bug, of America’s Global Grand Strategy. The Gulenists are in exile in Saylorsburg, PA in case Turkey ever needs a new government, and then voila we just happen to have a conservative Islamic but pro-American and pro-business government in exile ready to drop in. What’s a few hundred millions per year in skimmed charter school funds compared to controlling the Bosporus?

Or maybe I’m totally wrong about all this. Turkey is opaque to me.

In any case, the Gulen Cult is small potatoes at the moment, as President Erdogan now bestrides the world stage like a colossus, or maybe like somebody who has had one helluva run but whose luck is finally about to run out.

Don’t ask me.

By turning on (and potentially turning off) the outflow of Muslim “refugees” to the E.U., Erdogan has Chancellor Merkel desperately offering Turkey E.U. membership in return for the throttling back the outflow of Syrians and pseudo-Syrians into Europe. This might sound like the definition of Europe jumping from the frying pan into the fire in that the E.U. would grant open borders to 75+ million Turks But it must be a sweet moment for the Islamist Erdogan, who is being asked by Ms. Merkel to help her keep Europe Christian enough that it will elect women rulers like her in the future. Irony …

And then there’s the fighting in Syria. Erdogan has taken this opportunity to pound the Syrian and Iraqi cousins of his domestic enemies, the Turkish Kurds, who denied his party a majority in elections earlier this year.

I really can’t make sense of the new violence in Turkey regarding the Kurds at all.

For years Erdogan had been a force for less violence and better treatment of the Kurds in Turkey. As an Islamist, he was better situated ideologically to work out a friendly deal giving his fellow Muslims, the Turkish Kurds, some kind of federal autonomy within Turkey than had the previous secularist-nationalist governments. Ataturk had wisely forsworn claims to most of the Arab parts of the Ottoman Empire in building a cohesive nationalist Turkish state. Ataturk’s strategy worked pretty well considering the alternatives.

But Ataturk had stubbornly hung onto Kurdish regions by redefining Kurds as “mountain Turks.” As an anti-secularist, Erdogan seemed well situated to work out some kind of win-win federalist deal with the Turkish Kurds.

But the collapse of Syria and the rise of ISIS on the Iraq-Syrian border has brought the Kurds, who had been doing a good job of quietly picking up the Kurdish pieces of failing states like Iraq and Syria, into a more militant pan-Kurdish posture to resist ISIS. This in turn seems to have resurrected Ankara’s nightmare of a united Kurdish state that would detach a big chunk of territory from Turkey.

Recently, a couple of huge bombs went off a Kurdish political demonstration in Ankara. Immediately, the Turkish government blamed the Kurds blowing themselves up to make Turkey look bad.

After a few days, the Turkish government shifted to blaming ISIS. This has proven much more popular with foreign offices since everybody hates ISIS and they really are bad guys. Within Turkey, of course, lots of people believe conspiracy theories about the terrorist bombings being the work of the government. It’s not uncommon in Turkish history for this kind of thing to happen.

But now Erdogan has Istanbul’s ancient enemy, Muscovy, operating militarily in Syria on its Southern border.

Where this will go next, I don’t know.

Like I’ve been saying for a long time, calling somebody a “conspiracy theorist” is not a smear in Turkish culture. In Turkey, pride of place goes to whomever comes up with the most complicated conspiracy theory.

 
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  1. Please stop talking about Turkey…. Just leave us alone.

    Look, we fucking promise, we’ll sink the arabs in the sea, just stop writing about us.

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  2. Here’s a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

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    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    I was in Germany on business last week and the mood is ugly. Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg and the former East want absolutely nothing to do with these migrants....but then you go to places like Dortmund where you will see Germans applauding their arrival.

    Merkel needs to go and the hard right in the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, need to take control to prevent the SPD from taking power in the next election and kicking open the doors completely to allow even more migrants to come in.
    , @neutral
    This is not a conspiracy theory. Germany still remains a US vassal state, that means that Germany cannot undertake big foreign or domestic policy decisions without US approval. Also its not a secret that American foreign policy is now openly pushing for diversity in Europe, what is happening in Germany now could happen without US consent. People want to keep on blaming Merkel when they fail to notice that Germany is still under US direction.
    , @Anonymous

    Here’s a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.
     
    Or, maybe someone has placed small but powerful magnets by her head and her brain has been turned off, hence the bad decisions she's making and the love she's been feeling for the "Syrian" immigrants.
    , @International Jew
    She's part of a mentally ill culture, that's all.
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  3. @22pp22
    Here's a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    I was in Germany on business last week and the mood is ugly. Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg and the former East want absolutely nothing to do with these migrants….but then you go to places like Dortmund where you will see Germans applauding their arrival.

    Merkel needs to go and the hard right in the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, need to take control to prevent the SPD from taking power in the next election and kicking open the doors completely to allow even more migrants to come in.

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    • Replies: @AP
    We had a German couple over for dinner recently. The guy is an expatriate businessman here in the USA, a CDU supporter. He was quite happy about the refugees - Germany doesn't have enough young workers. Germany will socialize them appropriately. Well, if anybody can accomplish something if they put a lot of effort into it, it will be the Germans. I suspect even they won't be able to do it, but we will see.
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  4. Graham E Fuller has a blog, even he thinks it is better to cut a deal with the Russians and stabilise the ME. Not a fan of Erdogan’s policy in Syria either.

    Never understood how Turkey and Russia have good relations, I guess both elites like the $, given they have such divergent interests. The fun will begin if and who closes the northern border points through which Al-Nusra and ISIS are kept supplied.

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  5. @22pp22
    Here's a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    This is not a conspiracy theory. Germany still remains a US vassal state, that means that Germany cannot undertake big foreign or domestic policy decisions without US approval. Also its not a secret that American foreign policy is now openly pushing for diversity in Europe, what is happening in Germany now could happen without US consent. People want to keep on blaming Merkel when they fail to notice that Germany is still under US direction.

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    • Agree: Glossy
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Even vassals have a wiggle room. I think Merkel is going well above and beyond the call of duty.
    , @rvg
    Germany had 7000 MBTs and assault guns and 700 fighter jets in the 80s, and still has the most powerful military in the EU aside from France and the UK. And the German defence budget is actually expected to rise very slightly in real terms.
    , @Deduction
    It sounds clever to say that Germany is a vassal state but what actually does that mean? America will bomb their cities if they don't let immigrants in?

    Germany could easily stand up to America and could easily stop the immigrants, but they don't.

    Maybe just maybe the large number of good thinkers, including Merkel, are not all parts of a giant conspiracy but actually believe what they say! It is certainly conceivable...,i have had a lot of conversations with decent and intelligent people who support every facet of the multikult. They're wrong but they're not lying.

    And if you start off with the presumption that your political opponents are lying and they're not then you'll never persuade them...which explains quite well the current state of mainstream opinion.

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  6. In the immortal words of Jennifer Lopez, “it’s Turkey time, gobble, gobble”.

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  7. My impression is that Turkey’s Sunni Islamists-in-power are perturbed!, perturbed! by the rise of the Sunni Islamic State. Islamic State being the sworn enemy of the Assad regime, and the Assad clan being the face of Syria’s Alawite minority. Alawites being a long-despised schismatic variation of that rival strain of Islam, the Shia.

    A simple-minded conspiracy theory would be that NATO member Turkey is more interested in ending Alawite rule than it is concerned with which strain of hardcore Sunni Islamists does the toppling. However — were that the case, Turkey would have been a conduit for foreign recruits for both Islamic State and Al Nusra (the al Qaeda franchise). And weapons and money would be crossing the Turkish-Syrian border with ease, as well.

    Oh, wait…

    In this view, having control of the refugee/migrant spigot would just be an added feature of a longstanding strategy.

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    • Agree: Bill
    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    In this view, having control of the refugee/migrant spigot would just be an added feature of a longstanding strategy.

    It would be a strategy with little need for strategic depth. Europeans are easy marks, they're right next door, we've got tons of surplus people,why not? Call it the "Al Gharb" version of "El Norte": just move to the path of easiest success and least resistance.

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  8. Yup.
    We don’t call labyrinthine conspiracies ‘Byzantine’ for no reason.

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  9. Speaking of Kurds, did you read the article by the Swedish-Kurd scientist/blogger linked by Razib Khan in one of his replies to a reader?! Wow, Sweden is seriously doomed by immigration and it’s going to get a lot worse real quickly there.

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    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Please link.
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  10. yawn….foreign policy…a distraction used by the elites & media to keep political debate focus away from domestic policy, and also a sop to the military industrial complex and their balance sheet….I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all….of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect…. every other “politically aware” termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet.

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    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    I'll tell you what, I'm glad you're out there doing the jobs other Americans won't do. We're so lucky to have you.
    , @Leftist conservative
    whateva...
    , @Clyde
    A legend in your own mind.
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  11. As Sailer notes, Turkey is hard to figure out. On the one hand it is transitioning from a Third World to a First world nation economically, being something akin to a South Korea of 30 years ago. On the other it is regressing politically towards an Islamic dictatorship under Erdogan as the former territory of the Ottoman Empire comes into play.

    Despite or, perhaps, because of this Turkey is no longer as willing to modify its internal political policies to meet European Union standards and Europe is no longer in a position to demand Turkey do so as EU power and influence wanes. Should, as seems likely, Obama’s attempt to ‘reset’ relations with Iran come a cropper, the West will increasingly rely on Turkey as the regional heavy heavyweight to counter the Russian/Iranian ‘axis’. As a practical matter this would mean Turkey will have to be given a free hand to do as it sees fit with Syria and the Kurds.

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  12. If people were not dying, I would consider Turkish Government policies and Turkish politics a highly entertaining comedy theatre. But as it is, it is a deadly serious tragedy.

    As to who bombed, I subscribe to a simple domestic “conspiracy theory”.

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  13. Well done ol’ chap.

    I lately find myself remembering Linklater’s Waking Life—or of what I remember thinking about that metastatic piece of aleatory flutter when I watched it stoned (and not just cause they always say I look like Ethan Hawke). Seems to me, the lattice of coincidence doesn’t impress a door until some mind notices a single lattice, whether or no that mind knows the pivotal role it is playing. I wonder, what are the chances that Gulen’s coup did not become call to sentence his life til someone saw that the mysterious American, who clearly knows things, dropped all the hints at once, like by the wayside?

    I think the Universe is a great big gestalt and gorgeous that way, most of all in the matter of human affairs. Maybe Steve, ever generous to display the wonders he has found, ever striving and happily small time, is actually a Master of the Universe.

    On that note, and in keeping with my (obtrusive) profile, I shall sign off. The farm team needs tending and, well, I really gotta get a job. Last thing.

    You know, you respect somebody, and then you grow up a bit. And later in life, you look back and realize that at that age, you only ever really respected the people you actually rather idolize. I can fairly say that for me. Thanks Steve.

    –Patrick Daniel Casey

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    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    Plate of shrimp.
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  14. Recip Tayyip Erdogan:

    Deport piracy. Ye gain.
    Yo! Ye red cap pirating.
    Adore piracy in Egypt.
    Prodigy eye Iran pact.
    Iran decoy gyp pirate.
    Iran decay. Pity grope.

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  15. Better 75 million Turks than . . . well, you know. On the Undermine European Civilization scale, normed to 100, Turks would be in the long tail of ethnic groups capable of instigating economic chaos and populist backlash. In general, you wouldn’t be able to tell a Turk from an Italian or Greek.

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    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "In general, you wouldn’t be able to tell a Turk from an Italian or Greek."

    Perhaps not while conducting an autopsy, or some other sort of anatomic examination, but rest assured, there's a HUGE difference overall (and by "Italian," I'm going to generously assume you meant "southern Italian"). No one would mistake a Genovese or a Milanese for a Turk, LOL.
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  16. Daniel Pipes on the situation:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/16224/erdogan-leads-turkey-to-the-precipice

    Excerpt:

    Erdoğan also faced some serious problems after 2011. The China-like economic growth slowed down and debt spiraled upwards. A disastrously inept Syria policy contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, the emergence of a hostile Kurdish autonomous area, and millions of unwelcome refugees flooding into Turkey. Foreign relations soured with nearly the entire neighborhood: Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Athens, the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus, and even (Turkish) northern Cyprus. Ties also went south with Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Good relations were limited to Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and – until recently, as shown by the many indications of Turkish state support for the Islamic State – Raqqa.

    Erdoğan has pugnaciously responded to this predicament by stating, “I do not mind isolation in the world” and even to suggest that other leaders were “jealous” of him. But he fools no one. The old AKP slogan of “Zero problems with neighbors” has dangerously turned into “Only problems with neighbors.”

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    • Replies: @Bill
    Thanks for the update from Daniel Pipes. Has Micheal Ledeen weighed in yet? Jonah Goldberg? Do keep us informed.
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  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @22pp22
    Here's a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    Here’s a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    Or, maybe someone has placed small but powerful magnets by her head and her brain has been turned off, hence the bad decisions she’s making and the love she’s been feeling for the “Syrian” immigrants.

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  18. Saylorsburg? Hmmmm…

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  19. @22pp22
    Here's a conspiracy theory.

    EITHER

    Merkel is mentally ill

    OR

    She is trying to stir up blood and soil nationalism in Europe before the continent is swallowed by Islam. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    She’s part of a mentally ill culture, that’s all.

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  20. Missing a big point here Steve. Pat Buchanon, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, and Ron Paul have all consistently argued that America being involved in the ME and offering Patronage and Protection has been one of our Original Sins and everything would be chocolate and marshmallows if only America were isolationist.

    The collapse of the Pax Americana, under first Clinton, then Bush, and totally dismantled under Obama, means all the old nastiness that was suppressed comes out to play.

    Erdogan is at least a transformational figure as Obama is in his own country — before Erdogan political leaders made accomodations with the military as the guardians of secular nationalism and the ever looming threat from Moscow, which has for hundreds of years yearned to retake Constantinople and set itself up as the main protector of Orthodox Christianity from Islam.

    Erdogan had a deal with the Kurds — Turkey would get preferential treatment in Kurdistan in Iraq selling all that oil (despite the Iranian-backed Baghdad central government’s objections) and in return Kurds would back his scheme to become President for Life. [Previously the President was a weak figurehead and changes to the Constitution required Kurdish votes.]

    Erdogan suffered from hubris. He could not resist arming ISIS and helping it smash the Kurds, which destroyed his alliance, caused the Kurdish party to surge and deny him electoral victory, thus leaving him exposed to his many enemies he’s made. Yes of course Erdogan is corrupt but instead of being the good-times-rolling corrupt he’s the joyless “lets make examples of people who fall out” type who makes enemies with his corruption instead of dependents.

    ISIS largely controls him, now. They’ve attacked Kurds and secularists with impunity, aided by the security services. Which makes one Vladimir Putin now, Erdogan’s enemy. Along with Iran, Hezbollah, and soon much of Europe.

    Merkel is doomed, one way or another. Hungary is already boasting that they only had 42! Only 42 asylum seekers with their fence. Orban saved his nation. Switzerland voted in the SVP and is already talking about leaving the EU which seems to be nothing more than a welfare provider for the Third World, and little else. Britain is almost certain to leave the EU, as will France under Le Pen.

    Already, people receiving housing aid, assistance in buying electricity, food, etc. will have those funds eliminated or cut drastically to aid Muslims coming in from well, everywhere, along with Africans, and that is a guarantee of riots, political guerilla action (anti-anti-Fa) and so on. Merkel acted because of her feelz and the tingles, no doubt for young violent jihadis. Status whoring and tingles, how depressingly predictable from a woman with a Phd in Chemistry.

    Can anyone see Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, even Italy saying YES to 75 million Turks living with them? At best Tingles Merkel will get Sweden. With everyone else just leaving if it comes to that. I could even see Poland, and a few other Eastern European nations that are Catholic not Orthodox making a deal with Putin — he provides them protection from Turkey and they go along with his various adventures on his borders.

    Of course with traditional US military intervention, Assad would have been removed long ago, along with Erdogan, and there would be US military occupation in Syria as Ike and Reagan stationed troops in Lebanon. Of course there would have been a grinding insurgency costing thousands of US troops over years, and an occupation lasting something like 25 years or more. But there would not have been the vast movement of Muslims into Europe, anymore than South Koreans moved in the millions to the US or Iraqis under Bush moved into Europe in the millions. Thousands, yes. But not millions and degree matters.

    People want things — Europe to remain European. A single country like Hungary can wall itself off. And fences do work, but they are not alone enough. Without military force to back them up — Israel has a military as does Russia, they are easily broken as Hadrian’s Wall or the Great Wall. Europe lacks the men, the money, and the will to have a military save a few fighter planes.

    Keeping half the ME and Africa out of Europe requires a great power, either the US or Russia, to have a great big military including a big navy, air force, and army to enforce and protect the border fences instead of say Turkey’s military just smashing it and sending half of the Third World on their way.

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  21. Kurdish demographics is what is going on. Pushing Turkey towards fundamentalism. The Euro-Secular-Turks rule Eastern Turkey. The poorer, darker, religious Kurds dominate Turkey’s West. btw I once read that Germany’s long time resident Turks are actually Kurds for the most part.

    http://www.steynonline.com/6520/young-turks Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, there have been two Turkeys — the Turks of Rumelia, or European Turkey, and the Turks of Anatolia, or Asia Minor. Kemal Atatürk was from Rumelia and so were most of his supporters, and they imposed the modern Turkish Republic on a somewhat reluctant Anatolia, where Atatürk’s distinction between the state and Islam was never accepted. In its 80-year history, the population has increased from 14 million to 70 million, but the vast bulk of that population growth has come from Anatolia, whose population has migrated from the rural hinterland to overwhelm the once solidly Kemalist cities.

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    • Replies: @Bill
    You've got East and West backwards.

    The division is not so much East and West or Turk and Kurd. And the division has not existed "since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire." It has existed since Ancient Greece, at least.

    The division is Ionia vs the rest---Ionia is the part of Turkey which was, for a long time, part of the Greek world. It's the coastal part of Eastern and Southeastern, and Northeastern Turkey. The inland part of Turkey is more religious, whether it's the Turks of the Anatolian Plain or the Kurds further East.

    Here is an annoyingly small map where you can see the relevant division---light is the civilized part.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O_AvFbNZPI0/UZRoN136ElI/AAAAAAAAK10/1oE0Z_hKNO0/s1600/MJ+2013+AsiaMinorGreeceIonia.gif
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  22. A number of Turks I know say that the domestic situation in Turkey is incredibly fragile right now, with Erdogan’s best option being for him to “flee the country before the coup”. The central government tells the newspapers what can and cannot be printed for “security reasons”, but it seems many opposition papers have told him to go to Hell and printed the ugly news as well.

    You’ve made some good observations here, but seemed to have missed the one where Erdogan has Ottoman ambitions. There’s also the not so small matter of Turkey playing the US (which may or may not have been allowing itself to be played) and IS against each other in order to take over huge portions of Syria.

    However Russia entering the picture has smashed all that, and now he’s left holding the bag. The question is not if, but how hard and with how much emphasis he was told that there will be no NATO Article V invocation for anything short of a Russian VDV dropping into Istanbul, so don’t go trying to play cute with President Putin.

    Remember that Erdogan is another Islamist, just much more adept at manipulating gullible Western blank slaters into thinking that the veil is “pro woman” and was very good at playing the long game. The problem is that when he was dealing with Westerners who were terrified of “Islamophobia” he could get away from it. Now’s he got the R+5

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "There’s also the not so small matter of Turkey playing the US (which may or may not have been allowing itself to be played) and IS against each other in order to take over huge portions of Syria. "

    Your view is supported by the fact that, based on numerous reports, Turkey's agreement with the U.S. to use the airbase at Incirclik was conditioned on the establishment of a "no-fly" zone over part of western Syria adjoining Turkey in order "to protect the Syrians." It was Putin's reaction to that agreement by sending Russian planes and AAA batteries to Syria that put a halt to that arrangement. Establishment of a "no-fly" zone seemed like an inevitable precursor to Turkey gobbling up part of Syria.
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  23. Erdogan has a tiger by the tail. There was a lot of talk among the Khalifa guys not so long ago that suggested that Turkey should be the center of a renewed caliphate (i.e. an empire ruled by Arab Mullahs and Turkish soldiers, just like the old Ottoman Empire), and if I recall correctly the Turks fostered that idea for some time, or at least didn’t object in any meaningful way. Now that the talk has translated to action, the practical reality of an Arab religious uprising is proving to be a lot harder to manage than it was in theory.

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  24. Steve

    I completely agree that Gulen is our “man on ice” in case we need him to replace Erdogan in Turkey. We use the charter schools as a ways to fund him indirectly. I wrote about this in February.

    http://28sherman.blogspot.com/2015/02/hypothesis-on-gulens-us-residence.html

    The Kurds are uniting, but they have Kurds in Iran and some in Turkey. The main issue with their union could be if they want to keep population lower to enjoy the oil spoils more like a northern, mountainous UAE or boost population to be big enough to discourage neighbors from starting fights. Plus, leaving Kurds in Turkey always leaves a population to screw with Turkey, kind of like how Mexico does with the US.

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  25. The thing I found jarring was the fact that the Turkish government forbade Turkish media to cover the bombing and investigation into it, and made sure the opposition party that got bombed were never allowed onto TV. That made me wonder if elements in the Turkish government or the ruling party were involved in the bombing. Though I don’t know enough to know whether this is silly conspiracy theory thinking or sensible conspiracy theory thinking.

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  26. Read More
    • Replies: @Big Bill
    Those Israeli Jews know how to take care of business. This episode is a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If I were of the dusky persuasion, living in Israel, not speaking fluent Israeli, I wouldn't go outside my front door without wearing one of those Jewish doo-rags and that Jewish poncho undershirt with the stringy dangly bits hanging out.

    When that Galil swings around in your direction, you want to look as Tribal as you can.
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  27. @Leftist conservative
    yawn....foreign policy...a distraction used by the elites & media to keep political debate focus away from domestic policy, and also a sop to the military industrial complex and their balance sheet....I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all....of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect.... every other "politically aware" termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet.

    I’ll tell you what, I’m glad you’re out there doing the jobs other Americans won’t do. We’re so lucky to have you.

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "I’ll tell you what, I’m glad you’re out there doing the jobs other Americans won’t do. We’re so lucky to have you."

    Funny, but I think you miss his main point: he's the one American who refuses to do the work that virtually every other American gladly does. Here are his words: "I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all….of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect…. every other “politically aware” termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet." I think we should seriously think of deporting him for being such an admitted slacker. The one thing that makes me hesitate is that I recall reading numerous polls that show that foreign policy barely registers as an issue that Americans give a damn about, so I don't know where he comes up with that nonsense that most Americans "slavishly follow the foreign policy debate." I have the impression that most Americans could stand on the eastern shore of Lesbos and not have a clue where Turkey is located. That seems to make him delusional rather than a slacker, which means he should be directed to a mental institution rather than deported.
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  28. @ic1000
    My impression is that Turkey's Sunni Islamists-in-power are perturbed!, perturbed! by the rise of the Sunni Islamic State. Islamic State being the sworn enemy of the Assad regime, and the Assad clan being the face of Syria's Alawite minority. Alawites being a long-despised schismatic variation of that rival strain of Islam, the Shia.

    A simple-minded conspiracy theory would be that NATO member Turkey is more interested in ending Alawite rule than it is concerned with which strain of hardcore Sunni Islamists does the toppling. However -- were that the case, Turkey would have been a conduit for foreign recruits for both Islamic State and Al Nusra (the al Qaeda franchise). And weapons and money would be crossing the Turkish-Syrian border with ease, as well.

    Oh, wait...

    In this view, having control of the refugee/migrant spigot would just be an added feature of a longstanding strategy.

    In this view, having control of the refugee/migrant spigot would just be an added feature of a longstanding strategy.

    It would be a strategy with little need for strategic depth. Europeans are easy marks, they’re right next door, we’ve got tons of surplus people,why not? Call it the “Al Gharb” version of “El Norte”: just move to the path of easiest success and least resistance.

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  29. “I really can’t make sense of the new violence in Turkey regarding the Kurds at all.”

    The real problem for Turkey physical integrity isn’t ISIS/Daesh but the Kurds, I don’t know why Erdogan is trying to bring Assad down because this War in Syria just empowered the Kurds in the Turkish border regions, the Kurds is Iraq are already autonomous and the big prize is Turkey Southeast region.

    My crackpot theory is that the Neocons and Zionists would love to see a Kurdish State, who is handling the Kurdish lobby in Washington?

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  30. @CJ
    Daniel Pipes on the situation:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/16224/erdogan-leads-turkey-to-the-precipice

    Excerpt:

    Erdoğan also faced some serious problems after 2011. The China-like economic growth slowed down and debt spiraled upwards. A disastrously inept Syria policy contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, the emergence of a hostile Kurdish autonomous area, and millions of unwelcome refugees flooding into Turkey. Foreign relations soured with nearly the entire neighborhood: Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Athens, the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus, and even (Turkish) northern Cyprus. Ties also went south with Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Good relations were limited to Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and – until recently, as shown by the many indications of Turkish state support for the Islamic State – Raqqa.

    Erdoğan has pugnaciously responded to this predicament by stating, "I do not mind isolation in the world" and even to suggest that other leaders were "jealous" of him. But he fools no one. The old AKP slogan of "Zero problems with neighbors" has dangerously turned into "Only problems with neighbors."
     

    Thanks for the update from Daniel Pipes. Has Micheal Ledeen weighed in yet? Jonah Goldberg? Do keep us informed.

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    • Replies: @CJ
    I read Pipes because he has proven over the years to be accurate. He was extremely skeptical about the military interventions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria and highly dubious of the "Arab spring". None of these were popular positions at the time, which also goes for his sympathy with the populations of western countries afflicted with massive Muslim immigration. Obviously he's Jewish and pro-Israel and you read him with that in mind, but as far as I can tell he goes where the facts go.
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  31. @neutral
    This is not a conspiracy theory. Germany still remains a US vassal state, that means that Germany cannot undertake big foreign or domestic policy decisions without US approval. Also its not a secret that American foreign policy is now openly pushing for diversity in Europe, what is happening in Germany now could happen without US consent. People want to keep on blaming Merkel when they fail to notice that Germany is still under US direction.

    Even vassals have a wiggle room. I think Merkel is going well above and beyond the call of duty.

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  32. @Anonymous
    Speaking of Kurds, did you read the article by the Swedish-Kurd scientist/blogger linked by Razib Khan in one of his replies to a reader?! Wow, Sweden is seriously doomed by immigration and it's going to get a lot worse real quickly there.

    Please link.

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  33. OT: WaPo columnist Samuelson actually acknowledged that unfettered immigration might not be the great boon that the elites claim it to be. Samuelson surprisingly makes the connection between low-skill Hispanic immigration and poverty in the country.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-flight-from-reality/2015/10/18/3dea14ba-742b-11e5-9cbb-790369643cf9_story.html

    “Unless we curb immigration of the unskilled, we will never make much progress against poverty.”

    Granted, Samuelson favors amnesty, but he would tie granting amnesty to the Dems agreeing to a tighter border, e-verify and curbing unskilled immigration. I’d prefer the latter without the former, but the fact that one of the nation’s elites mentions immigration’s impact on our society (other than as unalloyed good) is slightly encouraging.

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  34. @Clyde
    Kurdish demographics is what is going on. Pushing Turkey towards fundamentalism. The Euro-Secular-Turks rule Eastern Turkey. The poorer, darker, religious Kurds dominate Turkey's West. btw I once read that Germany's long time resident Turks are actually Kurds for the most part.

    http://www.steynonline.com/6520/young-turks Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, there have been two Turkeys — the Turks of Rumelia, or European Turkey, and the Turks of Anatolia, or Asia Minor. Kemal Atatürk was from Rumelia and so were most of his supporters, and they imposed the modern Turkish Republic on a somewhat reluctant Anatolia, where Atatürk's distinction between the state and Islam was never accepted. In its 80-year history, the population has increased from 14 million to 70 million, but the vast bulk of that population growth has come from Anatolia, whose population has migrated from the rural hinterland to overwhelm the once solidly Kemalist cities.

    You’ve got East and West backwards.

    The division is not so much East and West or Turk and Kurd. And the division has not existed “since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.” It has existed since Ancient Greece, at least.

    The division is Ionia vs the rest—Ionia is the part of Turkey which was, for a long time, part of the Greek world. It’s the coastal part of Eastern and Southeastern, and Northeastern Turkey. The inland part of Turkey is more religious, whether it’s the Turks of the Anatolian Plain or the Kurds further East.

    Here is an annoyingly small map where you can see the relevant division—light is the civilized part.

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    • Replies: @Clyde
    Damn! I reversed East-West!
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  35. OT redneck gun owners responsible for immigration from Central America:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/10/why-people-immigrate-to-the-united-states

    This is a refugee crisis that is not that much less horrible than what is happening in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, this violence is fueled by the United States in two important ways. First, it’s our insatiable desire for drugs, which is the economic basis for these gangs in the first place. Second, it’s that our ridiculous gun laws, or lack thereof, make it very easy for buyers to enter the U.S., purchase large amounts of guns, and drive them back into Mexico and Central America.

    Given these two points, we should be allowing a nearly unlimited immigration flow from these nations. If we want to crack down on why these people have to migrate, OK, then I guess we could justify keeping the people out. But creating violence and then dooming people to die in that violence instead of entering the U.S., well, that’s pretty immoral.

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    • Replies: @t
    From the comments:

    Which brings us to, depopulated mid-sized industrial cities in metro areas that have sound employment bases.

    Gary, Indiana would do well with a few thousand Syrians.
     


    The fact that we, though our governmental policies, have systematically impoverished and politically destabilized these countries for over a century and then turned around and dumped our gang culture problem on them, should of course have no place in any such discussion.
     

    Because of my church’s work with a local immigrant aid / advocacy group, I’ve heard at first hand the stories of some of these people. They’re horrific. Any sane person would want to escape, and if we were the kind of country we pretend to be, we would welcome them.
     

    My normal response to this sort of thing is that I’m proud of the words at the Statue of Liberty. Who wouldn’t be?
     
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  36. Conspiracy theory du jour:

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/19/british-journalist-jacky-sutton-found-dead-in-istanbul-airport

    A western journalist covering Iraq was found hanged in a restroom cubicle at Istanbul’s main airport. Thus far, it’s being ruled a suicide. She was allegedly upset at having missed her flight to Erbil. Her predecessor at the agency she worked for had recently been blown up in Baghdad. For whatever it’s worth.

    This story thus far has not been much covered in the Turkish media.

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  37. @Hunsdon
    I'll tell you what, I'm glad you're out there doing the jobs other Americans won't do. We're so lucky to have you.

    “I’ll tell you what, I’m glad you’re out there doing the jobs other Americans won’t do. We’re so lucky to have you.”

    Funny, but I think you miss his main point: he’s the one American who refuses to do the work that virtually every other American gladly does. Here are his words: “I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all….of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect…. every other “politically aware” termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet.” I think we should seriously think of deporting him for being such an admitted slacker. The one thing that makes me hesitate is that I recall reading numerous polls that show that foreign policy barely registers as an issue that Americans give a damn about, so I don’t know where he comes up with that nonsense that most Americans “slavishly follow the foreign policy debate.” I have the impression that most Americans could stand on the eastern shore of Lesbos and not have a clue where Turkey is located. That seems to make him delusional rather than a slacker, which means he should be directed to a mental institution rather than deported.

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  38. OT: Yglesias admits Denmark has low levels of immigration but says they should increase because it’s good for third worlders.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/16/9544007/denmark-nordic-model

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    • Replies: @anon
    If that was the true reason then he'd want it for Israel as well - but he doesn't, surprise, surprise.
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  39. I don’t know why you’re worrying about any of this, Steve. As The Atlantic reassured us last year, the whole Gulan charter school thing is simply evidence that CHARTER SCHOOLS are wrong.

    Not that there’s anything particularly nefarious about Islamists skimming US taxpayers’ billions.

    Surely you remember this (though I include it for readers who don’t):

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/08/120-american-charter-schools-and-one-secretive-turkish-cleric/375923/

    “Singling out the Gülen schools as particularly nefarious, simply for being run by Muslims, smacks of xenophobia.”

    Delicious disingenuousness there. Superb straw-mannery. Absolut multicult.

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  40. anon • Disclaimer says:

    My take

    1. Globalization is/was a scam. The last 30+ years weren’t a period of *indigenous* growth and development in the 3rd world. They were a period when the corporate oligarchy which fully took over the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union *transferred* production capital from the 1st world to 3rd world to produce goods for *export* to the West with Western demand for these exports maintained through debt. The Turks didn’t do it. Wall St. did it.

    However because the entire system relied on ever increasing western debt *it could never last*. It lasted long enough to make the oligarchs responsible into billionaires but we’re at the end of the road now hence the current problems in China and the “emerging” markets like Turkey as it all unravels.

    That’s the underlying context which is racking up the tension.

    .

    2. Factions – as stated, pretty much: secular nationalist types around the west coast, conservative Muslims in the interior, Kurds in the mountains.

    Plus your Gulen lot who are part of the secular nationalist faction (but really US puppets).

    3. Erdogan, stealth Islamist, good economy allowed him to do a number on the Generals and make nice with Kurds.

    4. Iraq war – semi-autonomous Kurdish region with oil in Iraq creating a general Kurdistan magnet effect and spooking the Turkish Generals.

    5. Syria war – Isis attacking Kurds, Kurds fighting back, Turkey (or maybe just the Generals) helping Isis against the Kurds (lots of violence in both Turkish and European cities over this). Kurds doing okay in the fighting in their parts of Syria leading to the possibility of more autonomous Kurd regions on Turkey’s southern border.

    .

    Conclusion

    Economic situation weakening Erdogan and increasing tension.

    US/Isis intervention in Syria lit a fuse between Turks and Kurds which has got out of hand and if Erdogan can’t control it will probably topple him. Generals and Gulenites see this as an opportunity to get him so they are stirring it up. Someone aligned with their aims bombed the Kurdish demonstration to increase the Turk vs Kurd violence.

    .

    My Merkel conspiracy theory

    The US is using European economic sanctions as a weapon against Russia. Pooty Poot has dirt on Merkel from her Stasi days and got her to do this to wreck the EU economy and push the east euro countries back towards Russia.

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  41. @Jack Hanson
    A number of Turks I know say that the domestic situation in Turkey is incredibly fragile right now, with Erdogan's best option being for him to "flee the country before the coup". The central government tells the newspapers what can and cannot be printed for "security reasons", but it seems many opposition papers have told him to go to Hell and printed the ugly news as well.

    You've made some good observations here, but seemed to have missed the one where Erdogan has Ottoman ambitions. There's also the not so small matter of Turkey playing the US (which may or may not have been allowing itself to be played) and IS against each other in order to take over huge portions of Syria.

    However Russia entering the picture has smashed all that, and now he's left holding the bag. The question is not if, but how hard and with how much emphasis he was told that there will be no NATO Article V invocation for anything short of a Russian VDV dropping into Istanbul, so don't go trying to play cute with President Putin.

    Remember that Erdogan is another Islamist, just much more adept at manipulating gullible Western blank slaters into thinking that the veil is "pro woman" and was very good at playing the long game. The problem is that when he was dealing with Westerners who were terrified of "Islamophobia" he could get away from it. Now's he got the R+5

    “There’s also the not so small matter of Turkey playing the US (which may or may not have been allowing itself to be played) and IS against each other in order to take over huge portions of Syria. ”

    Your view is supported by the fact that, based on numerous reports, Turkey’s agreement with the U.S. to use the airbase at Incirclik was conditioned on the establishment of a “no-fly” zone over part of western Syria adjoining Turkey in order “to protect the Syrians.” It was Putin’s reaction to that agreement by sending Russian planes and AAA batteries to Syria that put a halt to that arrangement. Establishment of a “no-fly” zone seemed like an inevitable precursor to Turkey gobbling up part of Syria.

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  42. @t
    OT: Yglesias admits Denmark has low levels of immigration but says they should increase because it's good for third worlders.


    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/16/9544007/denmark-nordic-model

    If that was the true reason then he’d want it for Israel as well – but he doesn’t, surprise, surprise.

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  43. Gulen’s about five miles from me. A good friend of mine sold him some property and ended up doing a lot of legal work for him. she and her husband were invited to Turkey and when they went there was none of the passport nonsense to deal with. She tells me that all their subsequent international trips have been considerably easier at airports so they’ve obviously been flagged in a good way.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    She tells me that all their subsequent international trips have been considerably easier at airports so they’ve obviously been flagged in a good way.
     
    Yeah sure right...

    the unsophisticated conspiracy nuts here...
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  44. @t
    OT redneck gun owners responsible for immigration from Central America:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/10/why-people-immigrate-to-the-united-states

    This is a refugee crisis that is not that much less horrible than what is happening in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, this violence is fueled by the United States in two important ways. First, it’s our insatiable desire for drugs, which is the economic basis for these gangs in the first place. Second, it’s that our ridiculous gun laws, or lack thereof, make it very easy for buyers to enter the U.S., purchase large amounts of guns, and drive them back into Mexico and Central America.

    Given these two points, we should be allowing a nearly unlimited immigration flow from these nations. If we want to crack down on why these people have to migrate, OK, then I guess we could justify keeping the people out. But creating violence and then dooming people to die in that violence instead of entering the U.S., well, that’s pretty immoral.
     

    From the comments:

    Which brings us to, depopulated mid-sized industrial cities in metro areas that have sound employment bases.

    Gary, Indiana would do well with a few thousand Syrians.

    The fact that we, though our governmental policies, have systematically impoverished and politically destabilized these countries for over a century and then turned around and dumped our gang culture problem on them, should of course have no place in any such discussion.

    Because of my church’s work with a local immigrant aid / advocacy group, I’ve heard at first hand the stories of some of these people. They’re horrific. Any sane person would want to escape, and if we were the kind of country we pretend to be, we would welcome them.

    My normal response to this sort of thing is that I’m proud of the words at the Statue of Liberty. Who wouldn’t be?

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  45. Erdogan and his government are extremely corrupt. Behind the facade of religion is an extremely corrupt regime that is milking the system to the hilt. His sons have become billionaires – it is an open secret in Turkey that if you are a real estate developer and want to build a hotel or a resort, you need to bribe the Erdogan family members handsomely. This problem is aggravated by the total lack of viable leadership in the Turkish political system – some of my own Turkish friends, who are staunch Kemalists, admit that the alternatives to Erdogan today are worse than Erdogan.

    My “conspiracy” theory about Erdogan is that he is being handsomely bribed by the Saudis and the Qataris who never miss an opportunity to advance their own Islamist agenda – and a few billion for them is nothing (Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund until recently had about a Trillion in assets). And Erdogan being the whore that he is, happily plays along for billions in bribes through various ways. His entire foreign policy with respect to Syria could not have been more Saudi and Qatari compliant. And I don’t think this is simply a coincidence.

    A man born to extremely humble means, through luck and gumption makes it to the top in what was then still a relatively poor country. When he makes it to the top, it is time for him to glut his fantasies for extreme wealth. And in places like Turkey (or most of the world), that is the only way to do it – either as a politician or as a businessman in bed with politicians.

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  46. @JohnnyWalker123
    Eritream man lynched in Israel.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/eritrean-mistakenly-shot-israel-attack-dies-151019064200199.html

    Those Israeli Jews know how to take care of business. This episode is a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If I were of the dusky persuasion, living in Israel, not speaking fluent Israeli, I wouldn’t go outside my front door without wearing one of those Jewish doo-rags and that Jewish poncho undershirt with the stringy dangly bits hanging out.

    When that Galil swings around in your direction, you want to look as Tribal as you can.

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  47. @Bill
    You've got East and West backwards.

    The division is not so much East and West or Turk and Kurd. And the division has not existed "since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire." It has existed since Ancient Greece, at least.

    The division is Ionia vs the rest---Ionia is the part of Turkey which was, for a long time, part of the Greek world. It's the coastal part of Eastern and Southeastern, and Northeastern Turkey. The inland part of Turkey is more religious, whether it's the Turks of the Anatolian Plain or the Kurds further East.

    Here is an annoyingly small map where you can see the relevant division---light is the civilized part.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O_AvFbNZPI0/UZRoN136ElI/AAAAAAAAK10/1oE0Z_hKNO0/s1600/MJ+2013+AsiaMinorGreeceIonia.gif

    Damn! I reversed East-West!

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  48. @Pat Casey
    Well done ol' chap.

    I lately find myself remembering Linklater's Waking Life---or of what I remember thinking about that metastatic piece of aleatory flutter when I watched it stoned (and not just cause they always say I look like Ethan Hawke). Seems to me, the lattice of coincidence doesn't impress a door until some mind notices a single lattice, whether or no that mind knows the pivotal role it is playing. I wonder, what are the chances that Gulen's coup did not become call to sentence his life til someone saw that the mysterious American, who clearly knows things, dropped all the hints at once, like by the wayside?

    I think the Universe is a great big gestalt and gorgeous that way, most of all in the matter of human affairs. Maybe Steve, ever generous to display the wonders he has found, ever striving and happily small time, is actually a Master of the Universe.

    On that note, and in keeping with my (obtrusive) profile, I shall sign off. The farm team needs tending and, well, I really gotta get a job. Last thing.

    You know, you respect somebody, and then you grow up a bit. And later in life, you look back and realize that at that age, you only ever really respected the people you actually rather idolize. I can fairly say that for me. Thanks Steve.


    --Patrick Daniel Casey

    Plate of shrimp.

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  49. @Leftist conservative
    yawn....foreign policy...a distraction used by the elites & media to keep political debate focus away from domestic policy, and also a sop to the military industrial complex and their balance sheet....I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all....of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect.... every other "politically aware" termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet.

    whateva…

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  50. Since progress is inevitable, Turkish politics has a pro-Kurdish, feminist, LGBT-friendly party that has grown up naturally and is totally not Western-backed: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/record-number-women-elected-turkish-parliament

    a platform of gender equality, promising to create a ministry of women and make International Women’s Day a national holiday…. The party has male and female co-chairs and a near-50% quota for female candidates and 10% quota for LGBT candidates. It charges women half as much as men to stand as candidates.

    Does the West want to split the Kurdish vote or have a progressive alternative to Erdogan?

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    • Replies: @5371
    [a progressive alternative to Erdogan?]

    Scarcely, since only Kurds seem to have voted for it. Tribal HDP supporters in the darkest south-east are probably not even aware of the feminist-faggot farce that plays out in the media.
    , @Some Economist
    Interesting observation, but I don't think this comes only from being currently Western-backed. It's my understanding that the PKK has for some time now (always?) been deeply Marxist, so the International Women's day is, to that end, almost genuine seeming.
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  51. @Bill
    Thanks for the update from Daniel Pipes. Has Micheal Ledeen weighed in yet? Jonah Goldberg? Do keep us informed.

    I read Pipes because he has proven over the years to be accurate. He was extremely skeptical about the military interventions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria and highly dubious of the “Arab spring”. None of these were popular positions at the time, which also goes for his sympathy with the populations of western countries afflicted with massive Muslim immigration. Obviously he’s Jewish and pro-Israel and you read him with that in mind, but as far as I can tell he goes where the facts go.

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  52. @Leftist conservative
    yawn....foreign policy...a distraction used by the elites & media to keep political debate focus away from domestic policy, and also a sop to the military industrial complex and their balance sheet....I always refuse to play along and get caught up in it all....of course, once again, I am almost unique in that respect.... every other "politically aware" termite-american slavishly follows the foreign policy debate like a good little puppet.

    A legend in your own mind.

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  53. @Bill Jones
    Gulen's about five miles from me. A good friend of mine sold him some property and ended up doing a lot of legal work for him. she and her husband were invited to Turkey and when they went there was none of the passport nonsense to deal with. She tells me that all their subsequent international trips have been considerably easier at airports so they've obviously been flagged in a good way.

    She tells me that all their subsequent international trips have been considerably easier at airports so they’ve obviously been flagged in a good way.

    Yeah sure right…

    the unsophisticated conspiracy nuts here…

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  54. @Lost in Time
    Since progress is inevitable, Turkish politics has a pro-Kurdish, feminist, LGBT-friendly party that has grown up naturally and is totally not Western-backed: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/record-number-women-elected-turkish-parliament

    a platform of gender equality, promising to create a ministry of women and make International Women’s Day a national holiday.... The party has male and female co-chairs and a near-50% quota for female candidates and 10% quota for LGBT candidates. It charges women half as much as men to stand as candidates.

    ---

    Does the West want to split the Kurdish vote or have a progressive alternative to Erdogan?

    [a progressive alternative to Erdogan?]

    Scarcely, since only Kurds seem to have voted for it. Tribal HDP supporters in the darkest south-east are probably not even aware of the feminist-faggot farce that plays out in the media.

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  55. @neutral
    This is not a conspiracy theory. Germany still remains a US vassal state, that means that Germany cannot undertake big foreign or domestic policy decisions without US approval. Also its not a secret that American foreign policy is now openly pushing for diversity in Europe, what is happening in Germany now could happen without US consent. People want to keep on blaming Merkel when they fail to notice that Germany is still under US direction.

    Germany had 7000 MBTs and assault guns and 700 fighter jets in the 80s, and still has the most powerful military in the EU aside from France and the UK. And the German defence budget is actually expected to rise very slightly in real terms.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Most of Germany's defense budget funds salaries and pensions. It's military is in a very poor state currently.

    One can find many articles like this one:

    http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/germanys-military-dying-13748

    But you are correct - changes are being made to reverse the decline. For now, the only real armies in NATO are the Americans, the Brits, and French and the Turks.
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  56. @Lost in Time
    Since progress is inevitable, Turkish politics has a pro-Kurdish, feminist, LGBT-friendly party that has grown up naturally and is totally not Western-backed: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/record-number-women-elected-turkish-parliament

    a platform of gender equality, promising to create a ministry of women and make International Women’s Day a national holiday.... The party has male and female co-chairs and a near-50% quota for female candidates and 10% quota for LGBT candidates. It charges women half as much as men to stand as candidates.

    ---

    Does the West want to split the Kurdish vote or have a progressive alternative to Erdogan?

    Interesting observation, but I don’t think this comes only from being currently Western-backed. It’s my understanding that the PKK has for some time now (always?) been deeply Marxist, so the International Women’s day is, to that end, almost genuine seeming.

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  57. @neutral
    This is not a conspiracy theory. Germany still remains a US vassal state, that means that Germany cannot undertake big foreign or domestic policy decisions without US approval. Also its not a secret that American foreign policy is now openly pushing for diversity in Europe, what is happening in Germany now could happen without US consent. People want to keep on blaming Merkel when they fail to notice that Germany is still under US direction.

    It sounds clever to say that Germany is a vassal state but what actually does that mean? America will bomb their cities if they don’t let immigrants in?

    Germany could easily stand up to America and could easily stop the immigrants, but they don’t.

    Maybe just maybe the large number of good thinkers, including Merkel, are not all parts of a giant conspiracy but actually believe what they say! It is certainly conceivable…,i have had a lot of conversations with decent and intelligent people who support every facet of the multikult. They’re wrong but they’re not lying.

    And if you start off with the presumption that your political opponents are lying and they’re not then you’ll never persuade them…which explains quite well the current state of mainstream opinion.

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  58. @Seth Largo
    Better 75 million Turks than . . . well, you know. On the Undermine European Civilization scale, normed to 100, Turks would be in the long tail of ethnic groups capable of instigating economic chaos and populist backlash. In general, you wouldn't be able to tell a Turk from an Italian or Greek.

    “In general, you wouldn’t be able to tell a Turk from an Italian or Greek.”

    Perhaps not while conducting an autopsy, or some other sort of anatomic examination, but rest assured, there’s a HUGE difference overall (and by “Italian,” I’m going to generously assume you meant “southern Italian”). No one would mistake a Genovese or a Milanese for a Turk, LOL.

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  59. @Niccolo Salo
    I was in Germany on business last week and the mood is ugly. Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg and the former East want absolutely nothing to do with these migrants....but then you go to places like Dortmund where you will see Germans applauding their arrival.

    Merkel needs to go and the hard right in the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, need to take control to prevent the SPD from taking power in the next election and kicking open the doors completely to allow even more migrants to come in.

    We had a German couple over for dinner recently. The guy is an expatriate businessman here in the USA, a CDU supporter. He was quite happy about the refugees – Germany doesn’t have enough young workers. Germany will socialize them appropriately. Well, if anybody can accomplish something if they put a lot of effort into it, it will be the Germans. I suspect even they won’t be able to do it, but we will see.

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    • Replies: @Steve Austen
    He was quite happy about the refugees – Germany doesn’t have enough young workers.

    There is a huge flaw in his thinking. Can you spot it?
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  60. @rvg
    Germany had 7000 MBTs and assault guns and 700 fighter jets in the 80s, and still has the most powerful military in the EU aside from France and the UK. And the German defence budget is actually expected to rise very slightly in real terms.

    Most of Germany’s defense budget funds salaries and pensions. It’s military is in a very poor state currently.

    One can find many articles like this one:

    http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/germanys-military-dying-13748

    But you are correct – changes are being made to reverse the decline. For now, the only real armies in NATO are the Americans, the Brits, and French and the Turks.

    Read More
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  61. @AP
    We had a German couple over for dinner recently. The guy is an expatriate businessman here in the USA, a CDU supporter. He was quite happy about the refugees - Germany doesn't have enough young workers. Germany will socialize them appropriately. Well, if anybody can accomplish something if they put a lot of effort into it, it will be the Germans. I suspect even they won't be able to do it, but we will see.

    He was quite happy about the refugees – Germany doesn’t have enough young workers.

    There is a huge flaw in his thinking. Can you spot it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    :-)

    It will be an interesting experiment. I wouldn't want such an experiment in my country, and I'm not optimistic, but if anybody can succeed in a project that they put effort into, it will be the Germans. They'll either succeed, or there will be an epic backlash.
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  62. @Steve Austen
    He was quite happy about the refugees – Germany doesn’t have enough young workers.

    There is a huge flaw in his thinking. Can you spot it?

    :-)

    It will be an interesting experiment. I wouldn’t want such an experiment in my country, and I’m not optimistic, but if anybody can succeed in a project that they put effort into, it will be the Germans. They’ll either succeed, or there will be an epic backlash.

    Read More
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