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Once the Great Hope of the Middle East, Turkey Is Weak and Unstable
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Coup attempt and purge are tearing Turkey apart. The Turkish armed forces, for long the backbone of the state, are in a state of turmoil. Some 40 per cent of its generals and admirals have been detained or dismissed, including senior army commanders.

They are suspected of launching the abortive military takeover on 15-16 July, which left at least 246 people dead, saw parliament and various security headquarters bombed and a near successful bid to kill or capture President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In response, Erdogan and his government are carrying out a purge of everybody from soldiers to teachers connected in any way to the movement of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen accused of organising the coup attempt.

Among media outlets closed in the past few days are 45 newspapers, 16 TV channels – including a children’s channel – and 23 radio stations. People fearful of being implicated in the plot have been hurriedly disposing of Gulenist books and papers by burning them, throwing it into rivers or stuffing them into rubbish bins.

Five years ago, Turkey looked like the most stable and successful country in the Middle East – an example that its neighbours might like to follow. But, instead of Iraq and Syria becoming more like Turkey, it has become more like them in terms of political, ethnic and sectarian division.

Erdogan’s personal authority is being enhanced by his bravery and vigour in defeating the coup attempt and by the removal of remaining obstacles to his rule. But the failed putsch was also a sign that Turkey – a nation of 80 million people with an army 600,000-strong – is becoming weaker and more unstable.

Its leaders will be absorbed in the immediate future in conducting an internal purge and deciding who is loyal and who is not. While this is going on, the country faces pressures on many fronts, notably the war with Kurdish guerrillas in the south east, terror attacks by the Islamic State and diplomatic isolation stemming from disastrous Turkish involvement in the war in Syria.

The destabilisation of Turkey is good news for Isis because Turkish security organisations, never very assiduous in pursuing salafi-jihadi rebels, will be devoting most of their efforts to hunting down Gulenists. Both Isis and other al-Qaeda-type movements like al-Nusra Front will benefit from the anti-American atmosphere in Turkey, where most believe that the US supported the coup attempt.

The Turkish armed forces used to be seen as a guarantee of Turkey’s stability, inside and outside the country. But the failed coup saw it break apart in a manner that will be very difficult to reverse. No less than 149 out of a total of 358 generals and admirals have been detained or dishonourably discharged. Those arrested include the army commander who was fighting the Kurdish insurrection in south east Turkey and the former chief of staff of the air force.

Many Turks have taken time to wake up to the seriousness of what has happened. But it is becoming clear that the attempted putsch was not just the work of a small clique of dissatisfied officers inside the armed forces; it was rather the product of a vast conspiracy to take over the Turkish state that was decades in the making and might well have succeeded.

At the height of the uprising, the plotters had captured the army chief of staff and the commanders of land, sea and air forces.They were able to do so through the connivance of guards, private secretaries and aides who occupied crucial posts.

The interior minister complains that he knew nothing about the coup bid until a very late stage because the intelligence arm reporting to him was manned by coup supporters. Erdogan gave a near comical account of how the first inkling he had that anything was amiss came between 4pm and 4.30pm on the day of the coup attempt from his brother-in-law, who had seen soldiers blocking off streets in Istanbul. He then spent four hours vainly trying to contact the head of the national intelligence agency, the chief of staff and the prime minister, none of whom could be found. Erdogan apparently escaped from his holiday hotel on the Aegean with 45 minutes to spare before the arrival of an elite squad of soldiers with orders to seize or kill him.

There is little question left that the followers of Fethullah Gulen were behind the coup attempt, despite his repeated denials. “I don’t have any doubt that the brain and backbone of the coup were the Gulenists,” says Kadri Gursel, usually a critic of the government. He adds that he is astonished by the degree to which the Gulenists were able to infiltrate and subvert the armed forces, judiciary and civil service. The closest analogy to recent events, he says, is in the famous 1950s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which aliens take over an American town without anybody noticing until it is almost too late.

The coup attempt was so unexpected and unprecedented that Turkey today is full of people asking questions about their future, and that of their country – questions to which there are no clear answers.

Will Erdogan exploit the opportunity offered by the failed coup to demonise all opponents and not just Gulenists as terrorists? Some 15,000 people have been detained of whom 10,000 are soldiers. The presidential guard has been stood down. One third of the judiciary has been sacked. So far most of the journalists and media outlets targeted have some connection with the Gulenists, but few believe that the clamp down on dissent will end there.

“Erdogan’s lust for power is too great for him show restraint in stifling opposition in general,” predicts one intellectual in Istanbul who, like many interviewed for this article, did not want his name published. When one small circulation satirical magazine published a cartoon mildly critical of the government last week, police went from shop-to-shop confiscating copies.

ORDER IT NOW

For the moment, Erdogan is benefiting from a degree of national solidarity against the conspirators. Many Turks (and not just his supporters) criticise foreign governments and media for making only a token condemnations of the coup attempt before demanding restraint in conduct of the purge. They point out that, if the coup had more successful, Turkey would have faced a full-blown military dictatorship or a civil war, or both. Erdogan said in an interview that foreign leaders who now counsel moderation would have danced for joy if he had been killed by the conspirators.

Sabiha Senyucel, the research director of the Public Policy and Democracy Studies think tank in Istanbul, says that the evening of the coup attempt “was the worst evening of my life”. She complains that foreign commentators did not take on board that “this was a battle between a democratically elected government and a military coup”.

She has co-authored a report citing biased foreign reporting hostile to Erdogan and only mildly critical of the coup-makers. She quotes a tweet from an MSNBC reporter at the height of the coup attempt, saying that “a US military source tells NBC News that Erdogan, refused landing rights in Istanbul, is reported to be seeking asylum in Germany”.

Turkey is deeply divided between those who adore and those who hate Erdogan. Senyucel says that “there are two parts of society that live side by side but have no contact with each other”.

But, even so, it is difficult to find anybody on the left or right who does not suspect that at some level the US was complicit in the coup attempt. Erdogan is probably convinced of this himself, despite US denials, and this will shape his foreign policy in future.

“The lip-service support Erdogan got from Western states during and immediately after the coup attempt shows his international isolation,” said one observer. The Turkish leader is off to see Vladimir Putin on 9 August, though it is doubtful if an alliance with Russia and Iran is really an alternative to Turkey’s long-standing membership of Nato.

Erdogan can claim that the alternative to him is a bloody-minded collection of brigadier generals who showed no restraint in killing civilians and bombing parliament. But the strength and reputation of the Turkish state is being damaged by revelations about the degree to which it has been systematically colonised since the 1980s by members of a secret society.

Gulenist candidates for jobs in the Foreign Ministry were supplied with the answers to questions before they took exams, regardless of their abilities. The diplomatic service – once highly regarded internationally – received an influx of monoglot Turkish-speaking diplomats, according to the Foreign Minister. “The state is collapsing,” says one commentator – but adds that much will depend on what Erdogan will do next.

In the past he has shown a pragmatic as well as a Messianic strain, accompanied by an unceasing appetite for political combat and more power. His meeting last week with other party leaders, with the notable exception of the Kurds, may be a sign that he will be forced to ally himself with the secularists. He will need to replace the ousted Gulenist officers in the armed forces and many of these will secularist victims of past purges by the Gulenists.

Turkey is paying a heavy price for Erdogan’s past alliances and misalliances. Many chickens are coming home to roost.

The Gulenists were able to penetrate the armed forces and state institution so easily because between 2002 and 2013 they were closely allied him and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in opposition to the secularists. Isis has been able to set up a network of cells in Turkey because, until recently, the Turkish security forces turned a blind eye to salafi-jihadis using Turkey as a rear base for the war in Syria. Erdogan arguably resumed confrontation and war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as an electoral ploy to garner nationalist support after his failure to win the general election on 7 June last year.

Erdogan thrives on crisis and confrontation, of which the failed coup is the latest example. But a state of permanent crisis is weakening and destabilising Turkey at a moment when the rest of the region is gripped by war.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Erdogan, Turkey 
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  1. I don’t know enough to say that Gulenists were the primary plotters of the coup. Traditionally, however, the Military has been the guarantor of the secular state and have done a good job of it. The military would overthrow someone that was destroying the country, and return to civilian rule as soon as practical.

    The battle between Erdogan and Gulen bodes ill for Turkey regardless of who planned the coup. That Erdogan has an ego bigger than his country is also an evil omen for Turkey.

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    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Turkey's military establishment is not secularist - it's all out anti-Islam while country's population is 99.7% is Muslim. Since WWI, military brought five coups against democratically elected governments. It banned Arabic language, Islamic schools, Hijab, and printing of Holy Qur'an in Arabic. No such ban was imposed on Jewish and Christian religious or educational institutions.

    YES, "the battle between Erdogan and Gulen bodes ill for Turkey." But both CIA and Mossad have succeeded using Gulen, living in self-exile in the US, as a tool for bringing an anti-Iran regime change in Ankara.

    In June 2016, realizing that Turkey’s 4-year-old proxy war in Syria and Iraq for Israel has collapsed, Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim announced that Ankara intends to repair its relation with Damascus and Baghdad which have maintained very close relations with Tehran.

    “We will expand the circle of friendship. We have already started doing it,” he said in a televised address.

    “We have normalized ties with Israel and Russia. But I am sure that we will return to normal with Syria too,” he added.

    “It is our greatest and irrevocable goal: Developing good relations with Syria and Iraq, and all our neighbors that surround the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” he said.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/07/14/pm-turkey-wants-to-repair-relations-with-syria/
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  2. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    There is no honest media anywhere.

    I don’t know whom to trust.

    http://www.martin-van-creveld.com/guest-article-china-headed/

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    • Replies: @Stenka Razinova
    You can trust me.
    Turks and IS are Sunnis.
    There is strong resistance in Turkey to fight Sunni IS.
    That is why US initiated putsch To introduce Military dictatorship.
    Putsch has failed.
    IS now is impossible to defeat.
    Eventually there will be full scale war in Levant.
    Shia will be eradicated.
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  3. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/175676/us-media-continues-to-back-terror-leader-gulen

    Conspiracy theorizing jumps the shark.

    ———The wall-hung painting showed the unusual “four-legged” minaret of the historical Sheikh Mutahhar Mosque in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır. This painting is considered a secret message from Gülen, as he used several tools to send messages to his followers in Turkey and around the world through international media outlets.———

    GMAB give me a break

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  4. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    http://grahamefuller.com/islamists-at-war-in-turkey/

    At this point, it’s like all sides are just trolling or clueless.

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  5. who would doubt that the united states had hand in this? we meddle in foreign affairs as a matter of policy. we fancy ourselves a puppet master pulling the strings from latin america to asia to africa.
    we’ve put an arsenal of nukes in turkey. an attempt to throw the country into turmoil seems foolish on the surface. but let’s remember, our neocon inspired government has made blunder after blunder, then doubled down on the folly; and now the fools are waving swords at russia.
    erdogan is orchestrating a massive purge. he consolidates power. turkey will regress.
    america will meddle and make things worse.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well, we have certainly over-thrown governments in several neighboring countries. I wondered about CIA involvement as soon as I heard of the coup attempt.
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  6. Avery says:

    {Once the Great Hope of the Middle East, ..}

    What a joke of a title.

    Not only Turkey has never a so-called “Great Hope”, but it has always been a criminal, genocidal troublemaker since its illegal founding.
    A criminal state founded on the bones of murdered indigenous peoples by Turkic nomads from Uyguristan.

    Always either threatening to invade or invading neighbors.
    Apparently Cockburn has conveniently forgotten 40% of Cyprus occupied by Turks.
    Apparently Cockburn has forgotten the decades long effort by nomad Turks to forcibly erase the identity of Kurds and forcibly Turkify them.
    Enough said.

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    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    To say nothing of the Greeks and the Armenians.

    The hell with Turkey, let it rot.
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  7. anon says: • Disclaimer

    So Turkey is becoming just another un-democratic, non-free, backward, poverty-stricken Muslim country. What else is new?

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  8. In the USA and Canada, “Did not take on board” does not mean “did not comprehend” or “did not take to heart”, as the author seems to use it. Never even heard that expression.

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  9. Svigor says:

    Turkish coup was clearly a false flag carried out by Islamist Erdogan regime.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I disagree.

    I think there was a real coup attempt.

    But it turned out to be a blessing to Erdogan.

    It reminds me of the failed communist coup in Indonesia.

    Sukarno tried to balance the Muslims, Communists, and pro-Western modernizers. He tried to play all sides and bring them together. But for Sukarno to be pro-Islam, he had to play anti-communism. For him to be pro-communist, he had to anger the Muslims. For him to play the anti-imperialist card, he had to piss off Americans.
    He told all sides to work together, but all sides just became super-paranoid of the other.

    The communists feared a Muslim-military takeover, so they struck first with arms from China. Many Chinese were communists. The coup failed, and this gave the Muslim generals and Indonesians a golden opportunity to flush out all the communists and massacre whole bunch of Chinese.

    Hugo Chavez was also aided greatly by the failed US-backed coup.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56YJLxNKBGs
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  10. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    If they love Turkey so much, what are they doing in Germany?

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/31/pictures-huge-pro-erdogan-islamist-rally-germany/

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  11. Alfred says:

    “The destabilisation of Turkey is good news for Isis …”

    This statement is total nonsense. Without support from Turkey – money, training, weapons and logistics – there would have been no ISIS.

    The idea that a band of discontented Wahabists can take over much of Iraq and Syria without external support is a bit like claiming that Napoleon got to Moscow without the hay needed to feed his horses. Total misinformation.

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  12. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Huffpost jumped the gun and had a headline at night of coup announcing Erdogan flying to Tehran and then onto seeking asylum in Dubai.. The source was one tweet from some nobody..U.S. definitely had hand in it.. The media was getting ready and Huffpost wanted to be ahead of the rest..but they took it down hours later when the ploy went south.. Israel do not want turkey harming their little Kurdish foothold next to Iran.. and U.S wants total control.. So regime change was the answer.. now they are in damage control

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  13. timur says:

    Mr.Cockburn writes just like MI6 wants him to do; A bunch of renegade officers with the support of MI6 and CIA tried to overthrow a democratically re-elected (only 8 months ago) civilian government and again a democratically elected (only two years ago) civilian President slaughtering 250 civilians and maiming 1500 others by tank and aircraft fire, Turkish public and duty bound security forces with ALL top command stop them to the chagrin of all “Democratic-Civilized” Western governments, and this is a BAD thing.
    Yes US was behind this failed putsch and so was MI 6 and Mossad and Germany. They all harbor members of the “Gulen Religious” traitor group under their command.
    So Sisi is a democrat but President Erdogan (after 6 democratic elections) is a Dictator huh? What is the level of intelligence of your readers?

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  14. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    Was Turkey ever the great hope of the Middle East?

    For one thing, Turks are not Arab and different from Iranian Persians. Turks don’t even get along with Kurds.

    Wasn’t Turkey essentially a bigger Greece but Islamic? Greece has been a basketcase forever.

    Also, ‘great hope’ from whose view?

    Isn’t the model of the modern secular Muslim nation what the Zionists fear most?

    After all, US never went after Saudis and other theocratic Gulf states. It went after secular Iraq. It toppled the Gadaffy of Libya.

    Turkish nationalism, the glue that holds the nation together(indeed more than Islam) with the exception of Kurds who don’t feel ‘Turkish’, is the national model that the Zionists fear most.

    Where Arab nations have failed most in creating a united national consciousness that rises above sectarian differences. As a result, nations like Iraq, Syria, Libya, and etc. have been inherently unstable and held together only by the Iron Boot of autocracy.
    Even Persian Iran is shaky in this regard since only 50% of the population is Persian. The meaning of ‘Iranian’ means little to many ethnic groups there.

    In Israel, there are real differences between secular Jews and religious Jews and among various kinds of Jews from different ethnic backgrounds. But Israeli nationalism is real in binding all those people together. Even as a democracy, Israeli Jews of all stripes see one another as one people and culture of shared history(and suffering and survival).

    This is where Syria and Iraq, among others, have failed. What does it mean to be ‘Syrian’? What does it mean to be ‘Iraqi’? Such are secondary to issues of clan, tribe, patronage, big boss-ism, religious sectarianism, and etc.

    In contrast, there seems to be a genuine sense of Turkishness among most Turks, and this goes for secular Turks and religious Turks. Even though there has been conflicts between the secular forces and religious forces, it hasn’t exploded into the kind of civil war we see in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and etc. First and foremost, all Turks are Turks. To this extent, even Muslim Turks owe much to Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkish nationalism. (Hopefully, Erdogan learned from the lesson of favoring pan-Islamism over Turkish nationalism. His role as champion of all Muslims got him in needless confrontation with Israel and insane alliance with ISIS and other nuts against secular Assad.)

    Now, an hypothetical West that isn’t ruled by Zionists might not be opposed to nationalism in Arab nations. It might even see that as a positive building block for creating more stable and modern nations in the Middle East.
    But a Zionist-controlled West is anxiously keen about “what impact will modern nationalism have among Arabs and etc?” And Jews don’t like it.
    Jews don’t want Syrians to be united like Turks are united. Or like Jews are united in Israel.

    Islam’s universalism is paradoxical in spreading war by spreading unity.
    By bringing so many different peoples under the same spiritual umbrella, there is more often conflict and distrust than unity and brotherhood. For awhile, anti-imperialist struggle and anti-Zionism held the Middle East together, at least thematically. But that’s history. Arabs and Muslims no longer give a crap about Palestinians. They are just at each other’s throats.

    Judaism is specific to the Jewish Tribe. So, there is unity between credo and ethno. Jewish ethnicity and Jewish spirituality are one.

    In contrast, Islam won converts among so many kinds of people. In terms of credo, they are supposed to be united. But the ethno do get in the way. Persian Muslims, Kurdish Muslims, Turkic Muslims, Middle East Arab Muslims, North African Arab Muslims, Afghani Muslims, Pakistani Muslims, and etc may all believe in Allah and Muhammad, but they don’t feel as one people like the Jews do.
    Turkey is blessed in one way because Turks constitute the overwhelming majority in that nation be they secular or religious. Indeed, a Muslim Turk is likely to get along better with secular Turk than with a Muslim Kurd.

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  15. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website
    @Svigor
    Turkish coup was clearly a false flag carried out by Islamist Erdogan regime.

    I disagree.

    I think there was a real coup attempt.

    But it turned out to be a blessing to Erdogan.

    It reminds me of the failed communist coup in Indonesia.

    Sukarno tried to balance the Muslims, Communists, and pro-Western modernizers. He tried to play all sides and bring them together. But for Sukarno to be pro-Islam, he had to play anti-communism. For him to be pro-communist, he had to anger the Muslims. For him to play the anti-imperialist card, he had to piss off Americans.
    He told all sides to work together, but all sides just became super-paranoid of the other.

    The communists feared a Muslim-military takeover, so they struck first with arms from China. Many Chinese were communists. The coup failed, and this gave the Muslim generals and Indonesians a golden opportunity to flush out all the communists and massacre whole bunch of Chinese.

    Hugo Chavez was also aided greatly by the failed US-backed coup.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    If not Suharto as #1, could it have been Nasution?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Haris_Nasution
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  16. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    I disagree.

    I think there was a real coup attempt.

    But it turned out to be a blessing to Erdogan.

    It reminds me of the failed communist coup in Indonesia.

    Sukarno tried to balance the Muslims, Communists, and pro-Western modernizers. He tried to play all sides and bring them together. But for Sukarno to be pro-Islam, he had to play anti-communism. For him to be pro-communist, he had to anger the Muslims. For him to play the anti-imperialist card, he had to piss off Americans.
    He told all sides to work together, but all sides just became super-paranoid of the other.

    The communists feared a Muslim-military takeover, so they struck first with arms from China. Many Chinese were communists. The coup failed, and this gave the Muslim generals and Indonesians a golden opportunity to flush out all the communists and massacre whole bunch of Chinese.

    Hugo Chavez was also aided greatly by the failed US-backed coup.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56YJLxNKBGs

    If not Suharto as #1, could it have been Nasution?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Haris_Nasution

    Read More
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  17. Turkey was doing better. However, it has for centuries been the “sick man of Europe” and never really rose so far that was not true. Better is not always good. It can be just less bad.

    Turkey is declining again. I don’t deny that. However, we must not overstate what it was. It has always struggled.

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  18. You claim the coup was a vast conspiracy decades in the making, not a minor insurrection of middle ranking officers. You say this without any evidence whatsoever. If it was the former, the coup would not have been so ineptly executed or collapsed so quickly. In fact, it would still be going on. If opposed, the result would be a civil war.
    The Lebedevs must be paying Unz a lot of money to publish this drivel in the Unz Review.

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    • Replies: @Thomato
    In the beginning I was drawn to Erdogan and his open embrace of moderate Muslim religiosity. I see the Muslim faithful being wrongly demonized by America and large swaths of European opinion. So I have the utmost respect for people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams, and NOT sold out to craven power hungry exploiters. occupiers or those seeking to enrich the few at the expense of the many.. My allegiances are with families and the children, and only with the agencies of state when they are doing more good than harm if ever.

    I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary's foreign legion, ISIS.

    Now that RTE has suffered this momentous betrayal, I hope he will make his peace with those who have the best interests of the Ummah in mind, and not the MachaivellIan horrors of those forces that dream to control the entire world with their full spectrum dominance, and nuclear blackmail.
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  19. Does anybody have any idea what the actual ideological differences between Gulen and Erdogan might be (if any)? Thanks.

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  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Lawrence Fitton
    who would doubt that the united states had hand in this? we meddle in foreign affairs as a matter of policy. we fancy ourselves a puppet master pulling the strings from latin america to asia to africa.
    we've put an arsenal of nukes in turkey. an attempt to throw the country into turmoil seems foolish on the surface. but let's remember, our neocon inspired government has made blunder after blunder, then doubled down on the folly; and now the fools are waving swords at russia.
    erdogan is orchestrating a massive purge. he consolidates power. turkey will regress.
    america will meddle and make things worse.

    Well, we have certainly over-thrown governments in several neighboring countries. I wondered about CIA involvement as soon as I heard of the coup attempt.

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  21. Thomato says: • Website
    @Verymuchalive
    You claim the coup was a vast conspiracy decades in the making, not a minor insurrection of middle ranking officers. You say this without any evidence whatsoever. If it was the former, the coup would not have been so ineptly executed or collapsed so quickly. In fact, it would still be going on. If opposed, the result would be a civil war.
    The Lebedevs must be paying Unz a lot of money to publish this drivel in the Unz Review.

    In the beginning I was drawn to Erdogan and his open embrace of moderate Muslim religiosity. I see the Muslim faithful being wrongly demonized by America and large swaths of European opinion. So I have the utmost respect for people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams, and NOT sold out to craven power hungry exploiters. occupiers or those seeking to enrich the few at the expense of the many.. My allegiances are with families and the children, and only with the agencies of state when they are doing more good than harm if ever.

    I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary’s foreign legion, ISIS.

    Now that RTE has suffered this momentous betrayal, I hope he will make his peace with those who have the best interests of the Ummah in mind, and not the MachaivellIan horrors of those forces that dream to control the entire world with their full spectrum dominance, and nuclear blackmail.

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    • Replies: @Parbes
    "I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary’s foreign legion, ISIS"

    That's because you don't really understand Erdogan, Turkey, or the Middle East; and you were trying to graft your own Western libertarian, ignorant romanticized notions of "families and children", "people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams", etc., onto societies and polities halfway around the world which you have very little true knowledge of. Erdogan "turned against Syria and Assad" because he is a militant Sunni Islamist at the head of a militant Turkish Islamo-nationalist reactionary political movement, who managed to grab the reins of power in Turkey; while the Assad government in Syria is a secular government with a socialistic background and non-Sunni Alawite origins. That's IT! The relationship between Erdogan and "Hillary" or the U.S. government in general with regards to their shared anti-Assad hostility, is one of COLLABORATORS - not a master (U.S.) and puppet (Erdogan) relationship.
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  22. Svigor says:

    Erdogan apparently escaped from his holiday hotel on the Aegean with 45 minutes to spare before the arrival of an elite squad of soldiers with orders to seize or kill him.

    Decades of Turkish military planning.

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  23. Svigor says:

    I disagree.

    I think there was a real coup attempt.

    Nah. All coups in non-white countries are false flag coups staged by the rulers, all terrorist attacks are false flag attacks staged by the rulers, etc.

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  24. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    CrossTalk: Erdogan’s Turkey

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  25. Parbes says:
    @Thomato
    In the beginning I was drawn to Erdogan and his open embrace of moderate Muslim religiosity. I see the Muslim faithful being wrongly demonized by America and large swaths of European opinion. So I have the utmost respect for people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams, and NOT sold out to craven power hungry exploiters. occupiers or those seeking to enrich the few at the expense of the many.. My allegiances are with families and the children, and only with the agencies of state when they are doing more good than harm if ever.

    I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary's foreign legion, ISIS.

    Now that RTE has suffered this momentous betrayal, I hope he will make his peace with those who have the best interests of the Ummah in mind, and not the MachaivellIan horrors of those forces that dream to control the entire world with their full spectrum dominance, and nuclear blackmail.

    “I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary’s foreign legion, ISIS”

    That’s because you don’t really understand Erdogan, Turkey, or the Middle East; and you were trying to graft your own Western libertarian, ignorant romanticized notions of “families and children”, “people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams”, etc., onto societies and polities halfway around the world which you have very little true knowledge of. Erdogan “turned against Syria and Assad” because he is a militant Sunni Islamist at the head of a militant Turkish Islamo-nationalist reactionary political movement, who managed to grab the reins of power in Turkey; while the Assad government in Syria is a secular government with a socialistic background and non-Sunni Alawite origins. That’s IT! The relationship between Erdogan and “Hillary” or the U.S. government in general with regards to their shared anti-Assad hostility, is one of COLLABORATORS – not a master (U.S.) and puppet (Erdogan) relationship.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    Well-said, Parbes.
    Only thing I would add is that Erdogan is a completely unprincipled opportunist, who will wrap himself in Ottoman or Islamist clothing whenever he feels the need.
    Being an unprincipled opportunist is severely counterproductive. You antagonise the military and state sector employees at home and replace them with placemen who will do your bidding. Result: a weakened state both military and civil.
    You antagonise external actors you must work with, e.g. Russia. The latter will be less likely to co-operate unless you give them more and more concessions.
    Finally, your external and internal enemies will be laughing their heads off.
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  26. Rehmat says:

    Turkey during the 80-year Crypto-Jew (Donmeh) rule may be “a hope for the ME” for the anti-Muslim West but not the Muslim world.

    The present-day Turkey with good economy and Muslim world’s largest army is not weak. It’s sitting on NATO’s 80 nuclear warheads which can easily vaporize the tiny Zionist entity within a few minutes.

    The Zionist regime and the Jewish lobby groups around the western world have been demonizing president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his so-called “Islamist” ruling AKP party since Erdogan called Israeli president Shimon Peres mass murderer at World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009.

    “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill. And I think that it is very wrong. I remember the children who died on beaches. I remember two former prime ministers who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks,” Erdogan told the war criminal Peres.

    Since Gen. Mustafa Kemal (a Doenmeh aka Crypto-Jew) abolished the Ottoman Empire in late 1920s, the so-called “modern Turkey” has been ruled by Doenmeh and Turkish secularist elites with the help of a Kemalist-controlled army.

    Önder Sığırcıkoğlu, a 19-year veteran of Turkey’s Intelligence Agency MIT, who was handed a 20-year sentence for opposing MIT intelligence sharing with CIA and Mossad on Syria. After 32 months incarceration at Osmaniye prison, Sığırcıkoğlu made his escape to Syria while being transferred to another facility. In a recent interview, Sığırcıkoğlu criticized Erdogan’s Syrian policy while claiming that Turkey is still run by the Crypto Jews behind the scene….

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/03/26/whistleblower-turkey-is-still-ruled-by-crypto-jews/

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  27. @Parbes
    "I was terribly disappointed when Erdogan began turning against Syria and Assad and making common cause with efforts to turn Syria over to Hillary’s foreign legion, ISIS"

    That's because you don't really understand Erdogan, Turkey, or the Middle East; and you were trying to graft your own Western libertarian, ignorant romanticized notions of "families and children", "people and leaders living their own lives, values and dreams", etc., onto societies and polities halfway around the world which you have very little true knowledge of. Erdogan "turned against Syria and Assad" because he is a militant Sunni Islamist at the head of a militant Turkish Islamo-nationalist reactionary political movement, who managed to grab the reins of power in Turkey; while the Assad government in Syria is a secular government with a socialistic background and non-Sunni Alawite origins. That's IT! The relationship between Erdogan and "Hillary" or the U.S. government in general with regards to their shared anti-Assad hostility, is one of COLLABORATORS - not a master (U.S.) and puppet (Erdogan) relationship.

    Well-said, Parbes.
    Only thing I would add is that Erdogan is a completely unprincipled opportunist, who will wrap himself in Ottoman or Islamist clothing whenever he feels the need.
    Being an unprincipled opportunist is severely counterproductive. You antagonise the military and state sector employees at home and replace them with placemen who will do your bidding. Result: a weakened state both military and civil.
    You antagonise external actors you must work with, e.g. Russia. The latter will be less likely to co-operate unless you give them more and more concessions.
    Finally, your external and internal enemies will be laughing their heads off.

    Read More
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  28. Parbes says:

    Thanks – but you have it wrong. Erdogan is NOT an “unprincipled opportunist”, in the sense of using Islamism/Ottomanism merely for personal political gain, “wrapping himself in it” without really deeply believing it. He is a dyed-in-the-wool, bona fide, true-believing Islamic extremist and card-carrying member (figuratively, of course!) of the international Muslim Brotherhood organization. He may act opportunistically sometimes, of course, when there is some short-term gain which could be obtained; but that doesn’t mean he is an “unprincipled opportunist”. He never does anything that would go against the tenets of his Islamist/Ottomanist ideology and belief system.

    Years ago – now no such thing is possible, of course, since press freedom has been completely muzzled in Turkey – photos were published in the Turkish mainstream press, taken sometime in the Af-Pak region in the 1990s, of a younger Erdogan KNEELING in a worshipful pose before the famous Afghan Islamist and top 1980s Afghan jihad leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, as his acolyte and follower.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    You may well be right. The next few years will definitely tell.
    And the next few years will never be a more propitious for a mass Kurdish Insurrection. Much of Turkey may end up looking like Iraq or Syria. Whatever happened to the most " stable state in the Middle East. "
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  29. @Parbes
    Thanks - but you have it wrong. Erdogan is NOT an "unprincipled opportunist", in the sense of using Islamism/Ottomanism merely for personal political gain, "wrapping himself in it" without really deeply believing it. He is a dyed-in-the-wool, bona fide, true-believing Islamic extremist and card-carrying member (figuratively, of course!) of the international Muslim Brotherhood organization. He may act opportunistically sometimes, of course, when there is some short-term gain which could be obtained; but that doesn't mean he is an "unprincipled opportunist". He never does anything that would go against the tenets of his Islamist/Ottomanist ideology and belief system.

    Years ago - now no such thing is possible, of course, since press freedom has been completely muzzled in Turkey - photos were published in the Turkish mainstream press, taken sometime in the Af-Pak region in the 1990s, of a younger Erdogan KNEELING in a worshipful pose before the famous Afghan Islamist and top 1980s Afghan jihad leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, as his acolyte and follower.

    You may well be right. The next few years will definitely tell.
    And the next few years will never be a more propitious for a mass Kurdish Insurrection. Much of Turkey may end up looking like Iraq or Syria. Whatever happened to the most ” stable state in the Middle East. “

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  30. Rehmat says:
    @Quartermaster
    I don't know enough to say that Gulenists were the primary plotters of the coup. Traditionally, however, the Military has been the guarantor of the secular state and have done a good job of it. The military would overthrow someone that was destroying the country, and return to civilian rule as soon as practical.

    The battle between Erdogan and Gulen bodes ill for Turkey regardless of who planned the coup. That Erdogan has an ego bigger than his country is also an evil omen for Turkey.

    Turkey’s military establishment is not secularist – it’s all out anti-Islam while country’s population is 99.7% is Muslim. Since WWI, military brought five coups against democratically elected governments. It banned Arabic language, Islamic schools, Hijab, and printing of Holy Qur’an in Arabic. No such ban was imposed on Jewish and Christian religious or educational institutions.

    YES, “the battle between Erdogan and Gulen bodes ill for Turkey.” But both CIA and Mossad have succeeded using Gulen, living in self-exile in the US, as a tool for bringing an anti-Iran regime change in Ankara.

    In June 2016, realizing that Turkey’s 4-year-old proxy war in Syria and Iraq for Israel has collapsed, Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim announced that Ankara intends to repair its relation with Damascus and Baghdad which have maintained very close relations with Tehran.

    “We will expand the circle of friendship. We have already started doing it,” he said in a televised address.

    “We have normalized ties with Israel and Russia. But I am sure that we will return to normal with Syria too,” he added.

    “It is our greatest and irrevocable goal: Developing good relations with Syria and Iraq, and all our neighbors that surround the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” he said.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/07/14/pm-turkey-wants-to-repair-relations-with-syria/

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    • Replies: @anon
    Why would there be any need to have a ban on Christian or Jewish Institutions of any kind in a country that you state is 99.7% Muslim?

    You say the most ridiculous, laughable things.
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  31. @Priss Factor
    There is no honest media anywhere.

    I don't know whom to trust.

    http://www.martin-van-creveld.com/guest-article-china-headed/

    You can trust me.
    Turks and IS are Sunnis.
    There is strong resistance in Turkey to fight Sunni IS.
    That is why US initiated putsch To introduce Military dictatorship.
    Putsch has failed.
    IS now is impossible to defeat.
    Eventually there will be full scale war in Levant.
    Shia will be eradicated.

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  32. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Rehmat
    Turkey's military establishment is not secularist - it's all out anti-Islam while country's population is 99.7% is Muslim. Since WWI, military brought five coups against democratically elected governments. It banned Arabic language, Islamic schools, Hijab, and printing of Holy Qur'an in Arabic. No such ban was imposed on Jewish and Christian religious or educational institutions.

    YES, "the battle between Erdogan and Gulen bodes ill for Turkey." But both CIA and Mossad have succeeded using Gulen, living in self-exile in the US, as a tool for bringing an anti-Iran regime change in Ankara.

    In June 2016, realizing that Turkey’s 4-year-old proxy war in Syria and Iraq for Israel has collapsed, Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim announced that Ankara intends to repair its relation with Damascus and Baghdad which have maintained very close relations with Tehran.

    “We will expand the circle of friendship. We have already started doing it,” he said in a televised address.

    “We have normalized ties with Israel and Russia. But I am sure that we will return to normal with Syria too,” he added.

    “It is our greatest and irrevocable goal: Developing good relations with Syria and Iraq, and all our neighbors that surround the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” he said.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/07/14/pm-turkey-wants-to-repair-relations-with-syria/

    Why would there be any need to have a ban on Christian or Jewish Institutions of any kind in a country that you state is 99.7% Muslim?

    You say the most ridiculous, laughable things.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Tell me moron - Why Jewish women are discriminated so much in the Jewish-majority Israel?

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/05/15/8-places-jewish-women-discriminated-in-israel/
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  33. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website
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  34. WhatEvvs [AKA "Mipchunk"] says:
    @Avery
    {Once the Great Hope of the Middle East, ..}

    What a joke of a title.

    Not only Turkey has never a so-called "Great Hope", but it has always been a criminal, genocidal troublemaker since its illegal founding.
    A criminal state founded on the bones of murdered indigenous peoples by Turkic nomads from Uyguristan.

    Always either threatening to invade or invading neighbors.
    Apparently Cockburn has conveniently forgotten 40% of Cyprus occupied by Turks.
    Apparently Cockburn has forgotten the decades long effort by nomad Turks to forcibly erase the identity of Kurds and forcibly Turkify them.
    Enough said.

    To say nothing of the Greeks and the Armenians.

    The hell with Turkey, let it rot.

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  35. Rehmat says:
    @anon
    Why would there be any need to have a ban on Christian or Jewish Institutions of any kind in a country that you state is 99.7% Muslim?

    You say the most ridiculous, laughable things.

    Tell me moron – Why Jewish women are discriminated so much in the Jewish-majority Israel?

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/05/15/8-places-jewish-women-discriminated-in-israel/

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  36. Marcus says:

    Very sad, Turkey was really a great place to visit, unless you’re smuggling hashish (though US prisons are probably worse than Turkey’s), now I don’t think it will be safe for tourists for a long time.

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