The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewIsrael Shamir Archive
Erdogan Consolidates His Power
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Turkey is restless. President Erdogan is consolidating his power, trying to get rid of Parliament’s bothersome interference. He intends to reformat Turkey into a presidential republic, assuming the powers of an American president. He wants to be a Caliph, the people in Istanbul jest, and call him “Sultan Erdogan”. And the failed July coup has been used as the pretext for a huge purge in the power structure. However, the result may be better than many observers expect.

That much I learned during my visit to Turkey, where I was given an opportunity to meet Turkish members of parliament, ministers and chief editors of the major mass media. I expected the failed coup belongs to history, but I was mistaken.

Its shadow lays heavily on everyday events in the country. I was shown the debris in the parliament, where a bomb dropped by the putschists fell; there is a photo exhibition showing previous successful military coups with a horrible picture of President Menderes on the gallows. The Turkish coups weren’t vegetarian. The army intented to keep power for itself and for its NATO allies.

The July coup caused death of 240 people, half of them killed at the Bosporus bridge in a confrontation with the army. It is not much compared with the successful coup in Egypt, where the victims were counted in the thousands; and where the army defeated the legitimately elected moderate-Islamist President Morsi.

After the coup, Erdogan began the purge of Gulenists, or Fethullists, as they call the followers of Fethullah Gülen, the father of moderate Turkish political Islam and the creator of the vast school network reaching 160 countries. They were supposed to be the initiators of the coup. It is not really clear whether Gülen and his followers were behind the coup, but they are definitely enemies of Erdogan.

The purge is not bloody but painful: the purged Gulenists aren’t shot, but they lose their jobs and often land in jail. Some seventy or eighty thousand men have been purged, 35,000 are imprisoned. They are judges, army officers, officials and many teachers. 500 persons have been purged from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, some of them refusing to return home when called back. The state of emergency had been declared right after the coup and it was extended a few days ago for an additional three months.

Such emergency justice is notoriously blind: one judge died three months before the coup, but he still was purged for his participation in the coup. Some companies belonging to Gulenists had their assets confiscated, while their obligations and debts remained with their dispossessed owners. It is difficult to defend oneself against such moot accusations as Gulenism.

The Turks answer with a salubrious joke referring to ‘blind justice’: “A blind man screws whomever he can catch”.

The government claims that the Gulenists formed a conspiratorial organisation called FETO, and described it as “a terrorist organisation.” They compare it to Daesh (ISIS), to the Medellin Cartel and (surprise!) to the Jesuits.

However, it is hard to comprehend in what way the Gulenists were terrorists. The worst thing they are accused of is fraudulently obtaining examination tickets for the civil service and thus securing good positions for their followers. This is surely not cricket, but hardly an act of terror.

How can one unmask a Gulenist? This is not an easy task, but there are a few cues to revealing a crypto-Gulenist.

Users of the ByLock messenger system are suspicious. This amateur messenger had been popular with Gülen followers and with some people implicated in the coup. One hundred fifty thousand users of ByLock are being screened. This messenger system had been hacked by the state security services some time ago, for it was very light on security. Afterwards, the plotters switched to the professional WhatsApp messenger. That one offered good security, but it was enough to seize a smartphone of one plotter to gain access to the rest.

Another way to unmask a crypto-Gulenist is to locate the one dollar bill a follower of Gülen received from his guru. I was told by a member of parliament that a true Gulenist often sews his one dollar bill into his underwear, close to his skin.

This idea has been pioneered by Lubawitscher Rebbe of the Chabad Hassids. The late Menachem Mendel Schneersohn also gave away dollar bills and even blessed vodka for his Hassids’ consumption. He conversed with God, and so did Gülen – according to his followers and adversaries. Hassids also tried to obtain influence, with considerable success – but they were never called “terrorists.”

Gülen had been, and remains a very powerful figure in the Turkic-speaking world, especially in the ex-USSR and China, from Tatarstan and Yakutia to Sinkiang (Xinjiang). Youths from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan studied in his schools as well. The Gülen movement had been considered the leading moderate pro-Western branch of political Islam. Practically all modern Islamists of Turkey passed through his schools. He was the most important ally of Erdogan in his uphill fight against the violently secular Kemalists who ruled Turkey until 2002.

It is being said that the Kemalists were quite pro-American, but they refused to privatise public assets. Erdogan and Gülen were equally pro-American, and they accepted the idea of massive privatisation and sale of assets to American and other Western companies. Much of Turkish wealth is now in the foreign hands, and this is what inhibits Erdogan’s U-turn towards Russia.


While Erdogan and Gülen were friends and partners, Gülen helped Erdogan cut the secular and all-powerful army generals down to size. His followers, well established in the legal branch of government, organised the Ergenikon affair. They had claimed to have discovered a vast ultra-nationalist terrorist conspiracy called Ergenikon and sent 43 generals and many politicians to jail. Erdogan was amazed by this feat of Gülen, amazed and frightened, as this old man from Pennsylvania apparently controlled the legal system of the Republic from police to attorneys to courts.

Indeed Erdogan had good reason to be afraid. In 2013, Gülen demanded that Erdogan let him fill one hundred seats in the Parliament, and when he was refused, he unleashed his legal machine upon his old buddy. In December 2013 Gülen followers in the police and the attorney general office accused the Erdogan government ministers of corruption. Among the accused there was Bilal, Erdogan’s son, and personal friends of Erdogan.

Instead of trying to refute the accusations and argue the cases in courts, Erdogan described the accusations as “an attempted coup.” He went to people, traveled the country, appealed to the masses, and the masses supported him. He forced the police and the courts to close the cases, and began his de-Gulenisation of Turkey.

For people brought up with the concept of Supremacy of Law, this feels like a travesty of the normal order of things. However, the Law is not better than the Legislative or the Executive, it is less democratic, it is less connected to an ordinary citizen, it is more connected to the real power of money. In the US, there is no Gülen or Gulenists, but the judges beginning in the Supreme Court can disregard the people’s will as we observed when they pushed for same-sex marriages or for the right of corporations to buy candidates. They are the Deep State, so their uprooting is not bad an idea.

Yes, we want justice, but we want democracy, too. Once, the US judges were all elected, all connected to the people, but not anymore. In Turkey, Gülen had been too successful in promoting his people to legal positions; he had lost the people’s support. And the Turks were ready to forgive Erdogan even some very real corruption: they felt he cared for the people, while Gülen and his followersdid not. For the legal system, corruption is a crime, and a corrupt politician must go to jail. If a politician is not corrupt, he can be sentenced for an indecent proposal to a woman. Thus the legal system has the power to block any politician, to override the political democratic process. Erdogan succeeded in overriding the legal system.

After his victory in December 2013, Erdogan accused Gülen and his followers of having created Ergenekon affair and arresting many innocent people. Generals and politicians regained freedom.

In Ankara, I’ve met a leader of the Republican Kemalist parliamentary faction, Mustafa Ali Balbai. This handsome, wiry, muscular European-looking (as many Turks do) man did five years in jail for his alleged involvement in Ergenekon conspiracy. He was elected to parliament while still a prisoner, and lately had been freed. “Now the judges who sentenced me are in jail themselves”, he said cheerfully.

Did the Ergenekon plot exist at all? I asked the chief editor of CNN Turk, a powerful network, that played the key role in neutralisation of the July coup. “There was a core of a plot, a tiny core, and it was blown into a monster that it never was”, he said. In other words, there was a conspiracy, but a conspiracy of judges and of security services, the most frequent sort of conspiracy.

As for present purges of alleged Gulenists, one number tells a lot about its extent. The Ankara police had received forty thousand tips denouncing various Gulenists, I was told on my arrival to the capital of Turkey. Wives denounce unfaithful husbands, landlords denounce tenants who are in arrears. It became a universal accusation; naturally the police are not arresting everybody, but a lot of people have been called in for investigation. This campaign reminds of McCarthy’s campaign in the US, or the campaign against Trotskyites in the USSR of 1930s.

For some people, the purge is not consistent enough. An editor of a small newspaper, let’s call him Mehmet, told me: “If they were to purge all followers of Gülen, they would have no party and no Parliament faction. All the party bosses and all ministers passed through Gülen’s network. They purge only small people, the big ones escape the purge.”

However, there is no doubt, Erdogan takes the purge very seriously, as he did the Ergenekon conspiracy purge five years ago. He does not want to have Gülen standing behind his back ready to plunge a dagger in, and he prefers to completely remove completely that network, extensive as it was. Erdogan says that the July coup was the second, while the previous one was the attempt to use police and court in December 2013 against him and his family.

Turkey’s relations with Russia and with the US are directly connected with the story of the two coups. I visited Turkey right after Putin’s October 2016 visit, when the two leaders agreed to proceed with the very important gas pipeline, and completed the last, or the most recent stretch of their zigzagging relations.

The Erdogan-Putin friendship suffered an unexpectedly strong setback in November 2015, when a Russian SU-24 jet was downed by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish jet over Syria. Relations were severed, Russian tourists ceased to arrive, Turkish vegetables lost their Russian market, oil and gas projects were shelved.

In June 2016, there was another zigzag. Erdogan sent his apologies, and the relations turned better before the July coup. Possibly this step of Erdogan actually triggered the attempted coup. After the coup, it was roses all the way. In August, Erdogan visited Russia and met with Putin. This was his first trip abroad after the coup. And now, in October, Putin came to Istanbul and signaled that their relations were as cordial as ever. Even the gas pipeline project was signed, putting paid to the only leverage Kiev had on Moscow.


The Gulenists were useful here, as well: the downing of the SU-24 has been attributed to them, though previously Ahmet Davutoglu, the Prime Minister, claimed he ordered it. On the other hand, Davutoglu was close to Gülen and even visited him in 2013, but then, Gülen was still a persona grata in Turkey. It was alleged Davutoglu was being groomed to assume power in case of the coup’s success.

So why did Turkey turn to Russia and away from the US, its old senior partner? Mehmet, the editor, ascribes this move to Erdogan’s well-developed self-preservation instinct.

It appears that the American administration decided to ditch the unruly Erdogan some time ago, and install Gülen’s man Ahmet Davutoglu in his stead. A leading American neocon expert on Turkey, Michael Rubin, had demanded Erdogan’s head for quite a while. In March 2016 he called for a coup, in August 2016 he said Erdogan should blame himself for the coup, and now in October he predicted, or rather called for another coup.

The new putsch is expected on November 10 or thereabout, and it will begin with Erdogan’s assassination, it being said. Erdogan considers his partnership with Russia and friendship with Putin give him his only chance to survive politically.

The Americans are upset by Erdogan’s attitude to the Syrian Kurds. The Turkish president cares about preserving Turkey, the rump state of the vast Ottoman empire intact, while the Americans prefer to dismantle Turkey altogether, and create a Great Kurdistan from the mainly Kurd-populated areas of Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

The Americans would like the Syrian Kurds to unite their enclaves, but Erdogan does not agree and actually stopped their offensive.

Now the battle for Mosul is a new point of disagreement. Turkey, says Erdogan, has certain rights on Mosul. The city and its area had been illegally seized by the British, the Turks say. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk tentatively agreed with Mosul being given to Iraq only in 1926, well after the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). And now Erdogan objects to Mosul being taken from the Daesh and transferred to the Kurds. The people of Mosul are also far from happy about the perspective of passing to Kurds or to the predominantly Shia government in Baghdad.

In the struggle for Mosul and for Aleppo, in the battles between Kurdish enclaves in Syria, Erdogan goes against the will of the US. The problem is that there aren’t many important Turkish leaders who are ready to stand up to Washington. The Kemalist opposition and the Gulenist forces prefer to accept the American line, more or less.

If Erdogan loses in a power struggle, Turkey may collapse into a civil war: between Turks and Kurds, between various Muslim movements and Kemalists. This was the purpose of the July coup, I was told by Ali Mustafa Balbai, the Republican MP.

It is not an easy time, for sure. The Turkish lira went south. The agenda has been changed: once, Taksim square demonstrated against Erdogan, now they demonstrate against the overwhelming presence of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Not only the European Right: Turkey also feels there are too many refugees. They are afraid the battle for Mosul will force the two millions inhabitants of that city into Turkey.

And the demonstrators are different. It is ordinary people who demonstrate against the influx of Syrians, while the educated and Westernised Turks demonstrated against Erdogan. The latter are quite unhappy and discuss whether they have a future in Turkey. The political class is unhappy, too. They do not cherish the authoritarian rule of Sultan Erdogan. Gulenists are extremely displeased. The generals are still reassessing their positions after so many purges. And the long-standing dispute between the secular and religious populations goes on unabated.

While the US has a definite idea which way should Turkey should go, its competitor, Russia, just does not care about Turkish internal politics. Or about anybody’s else internal politics. The Americans under Obama, and presumably even more under Clinton are likely to interfere; to impose their rules from swimming suits to same-sex marriages. The Russians do not interfere.

This is their tradition since the times immemorial. They did not interfere into private life of Uzbeks and Tajiks, and Chechens, and Finns, and Poles. That’s why inside Russia one can find areas ruled by Muslim law, by Buddhist tradition and even by sheer polytheist custom.

For the Russians, Erdogan is a valuable partner, and they let him – and other Turks – decide whether they should have a parliamentary or a presidential republic and whether girls should go in a scarf or without. You may be sure the Russians will not teach them what to do in their private life. This is a big advantage of having the Russians for allies.

We shall see whether having such good allies is enough in order to survive. Much is hanging upon the US elections: Erdogan was furious when Ms. Clinton referred to Kurd ambitions. But then, the whole world waits for the decision of the American people.

Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Erdogan, Russia, Turkey 
Hide 53 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. The July coup caused death of 240 people, half of them killed at the Bosporus bridge in a confrontation with the army. It is not much compared with the successful coup in Egypt, where the victims were counted in the thousands; and where the army defeated the legitimately elected moderate-Islamist President Morsi.

    I had the impression that Morsi expected “his” army to march on Damascus. Was I wrong?

    Also, are the Kurds really a threat to Turkey? Or merely an obstacle to Turkish expansion. And how is it that Erdogan and Putin can be allies while Erdogan is determined to destroy Assad?

    I hope you will continue to post here. You bring light where others bring only heat.

    • Replies: @Hrw-500
  2. Probably I have to add that I was so well received and on such a level, because in the darkest times of Russian-Turkish relations, after the bomber was downed, I called for friendship between the two neighbours in the Russian mainstream media, and it was very rare))

  3. Jason Liu says:

    I like this man more and more.

    Yes, we want justice, but we want democracy, too.

    Democracy is fundamentally unjust because it equates the political power of people who are not equals.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  4. So Israel Shamir under that name or some other travels to Turkey and talks to at least one politician so he may have something interesting to add to what we already know or surmise about Turkey and its politics. The trouble is he immediately disappoints by raising a huge question about his credibility.

    “Once the US judges were all elected, all connected to the people, but not anymore”. What utter BS – like his applying that Turkish “Deep State” expression to SCOTUS. It may be true that election of judges when it first occurred in the new republic was actually good for judicial independence in contrat to the performance of the King’s men originally appointed as judges but today one of the ressons I would advise against accepting extradition to the US is the need to run hard on law and order including capital punishment by untenured judges.

    It would be good to know what Shamir knows more about than most people and can be relied to write about truthfully and carefully.

  5. Rehmat says:

    Israel Shamir – I think with all your knowledge and support for Turkey – like American Jewish academic, Dr. Richard Falk, with a Turk-American Jewish academic as his second wife, doesn’t know the meanings of the word Caliph.

    All the Ottoman rulers were called Sultan by the Turks – but Caliph by the non-Turk Muslim majority Muslim countries such as Indian sub-continent, Egypt, Syria, and Persia.

    Erdogan is as fake Muslim as Kings of Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They’re all products of Western imperialism – and all of them have direct or indirect relations with the leaders of the Zionist entity. None of them supports Palestinians and all are committed to isolate Syria from Iran and Hizbullah.

    Erdogan’s mentor, Turkey’s first Islamist prime minister, professor Necmittem Erbakan in an interview he gave to anti-Islamist Turkish newspaper Today Zaman (published on December 6, 2010), called Recep Tayyip Erdogan “a Crypto Zionist”.

    “Why on earth did the AK Party give a ‘go ahead’ to the membership of Israel in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and not block membership? Why did the government consent to multi-billion dollars worth of defense contracts with Israeli firms? Erdoğan says ‘one-minute’ to Shimon Peres during Davos but conducts business as usual with Israel. This is hypocrisy,” said Erbakan.

    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    , @anon
  6. Hrw-500 says:

    I think it might be a blend of both factors, Kurds have actually an higher birthrate than Turks in Turkey, Ergogan saw this thread as a big obstacle.

  7. Talha says:

    He wants to be a Caliph

    Who doesn’t; it’s good to be the king…get in line:
    The Erdogani Sultanate – the first suit-and-tie wearing caliph! Sorry, it just doesn’t have the same ring as Ottoman…maybe Erdoman!!??

    Mosul as part of Turkey, very interesting proposition. Turkey likely does have the strength to keep it into devolving into a warlord free-for-all after Daesh is kicked out.

    Good article.

    Peace, and may God grant what is best for Turkey and her neighbors.

    • Replies: @Art
    , @Avery
  8. @Jason Liu

    Democracy is fundamentally unjust because it equates the political power of people who are not equals.

    Democracy is fundamentally unjust also because it is based on compulsion as are all other forms of rule. It is also unjust because, especially when imposed on a large scale, it tends towards tyranny, partly because clever scumbags invariably find ways to subvert it.

    Here is an explanation of one reason why democracy is little or no better than any other form of rule. While I do not agree with Molinari that government arises out of a collective desire for security, (rather, it arises out of collectively organized thievery as per Oppenheimer), he is correct here.

    “Here is what the communists, the partisans of poplar sovereignty [i.e., democracy], assume. They assume that human reason has the power to discover the best laws and the organization which most perfectly suits society; and that, in practice, these laws reveal themselves at the conclusion of a free debate between conflicting opinions. If there is no unanimity, if there is still dissension after the debate, the majority is in the right, since it comprises the larger number of reasonable individuals. (These individuals are, of course, assumed to be equal, otherwise the whole structure collapses.) Consequently, they insist that the decisions of the majority must become law, and that the minority is obliged to submit to it, even if it is contrary to its most deeply rooted convictions and injures its most precious interests.”

    – Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)The Production of Security*
    (De la production de la securité – 1849) Translation © 1977 by J. Huston McCulloch, All Rights Reserved

    • Replies: @CalDre
    , @Miro23
  9. @Rehmat

    All the Ottoman rulers were called Caliph by the non-Turk

    Well, no. Selim was the first Ottoman Caliph, as before that, the Caliphs were the rulers of Egypt (and before that, of Bagdad etc). There were many Ottoman rulers before Selim, and they weren’t Caliphs, as there is a place for one Caliph (=the Vicar of ar-Rasul) in Dar ul-Islam. I understand the word Khalifa (Caliph) as well as anybody who knows some Arabic.
    As for somebody being called “fake Muslim” – are you a Takfiri? This is usually their line. There should be very strong reasons for s Muslim to call another Muslim “a fake Muslim”, and I do not think you have any.
    Everybody has some relations with Israel (aka Zionist entity), as it is one of the strongest states in the Middle East, whether you like it or not.
    Please remember that Salah ad-Din had relations and signed peace treaties with Crusaders, while the Prophet made treaties with Jews on many occasions.
    So much of fanaticism is out of place on this site, in my view.

  10. Art says:

    As a principle, secret political societies are a danger to humanity – end of story.

    Everything political should always be transparent.

    If something is political, that means that it effects everyone. No one likes things being done behind their back – it will always be resented.

  11. Art says:

    Peace, and may God grant what is best for Turkey and her neighbors.


    With the greatest respect may I say that “peace” is not up to God – peace is 100% the result of human effort.

    Peace comes about with a type of organization that does not allow powerful people to dominate.


    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Talha
  12. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe Erdogan will come to his senses and concentrate his energies on doing something for Turkey, but he is forever to be condemned as a war criminal(along with Obama, Hillary, Saudis, and Neocons) for his role in Syria.

    I don’t know what the beef is with between him and Gulen, but Syrians deserve to hang him from a lamp-post.
    And if he had paid more attention to domestic affairs and stopped playing the role of neo-sultan meddling in other nations, he wouldn’t have been so blindsided by events.

    It’s like Mussolini was doing okay in Italy… until the clown decided to play the Great Power Imperial Game.

    • Agree: sayless, schmenz
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  13. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “In Ankara, I’ve met a leader of the Republican Kemalist parliamentary faction, Mustafa Ali Balbai. This handsome, wiry, muscular European-looking (as many Turks do) man…”

    In which universe is this guy ‘wiry’ or ‘handsome’?

    • Replies: @5371
  14. Avery says:

    {… may God grant what is best for Turkey…..}

    Yo, Talha:

    What do you mean by ‘best’ for Turkey?
    Its IslamoFascist rulers?
    Its UygurTürkoğlar nomad invaders squatting on lands whose indigenous inhabitants their ancestors murdered and exterminated?
    The genocidal Sunni Türkoğlar nomad invaders who are murdering fellow Sunni Kurds? (Kurds indigenous to general area, closer to Iran).
    The genocidal Sunni Türkoğlar nomad invaders who are oppressing Alevi (Shia) Turks?

    Which criminal, genocidal ‘Turkey’ are you bestowing the best wishes of Allah – the all knowing, the all seeing – upon?

    • Replies: @Talha
  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “Now the battle for Mosul is a new point of disagreement. Turkey, says Erdogan, has certain rights on Mosul. The city and its area had been illegally seized by the British, the Turks say.”

    More crazy thinking by Turks.
    Just like Jewish Zionists have never-ending headache with West Bank, Turks are gonna have more problem meddling in non-Turkic lands.
    Maybe Mosul was once part of ‘Turkey’ during the hazy Ottoman days, but it is not inhabited by Turkic peoples. It’s mostly Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

    What Turkey should do is support the idea of Kurdistan AND try to push all Kurds out of Turkey into new Kurdistan created from regions of Syria and Iraq.

    Likewise, Israel would be better off bringing all Jews in W. Bank back to Israel and pushing all Arabs in Israel to West Bank.

    Diversity is Imperialism. Homogeneity is Nationalism. Nationalism works better.

    Turks and Israelis need to finish the ethnic cleansing. It is unpleasant, but the end-result is peace.

    Look at the peace after all those Ost-Germans were pushed into Germany and most Poles were pushed into Poland soon after WWII.
    And Age of Empire finally ended when non-whites in their own nations ethnically cleansed their homelands of Euro-imperialists. Brits went back home from India, and French left Vietnam and Algeria. And Dutch left Indonesia.

    Today, EU is turning crazy once again cuz of weak borders made worse by non-European invasions.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  16. Miro23 says:

    And the failed July coup has been used as the pretext for a huge purge in the power structure. However, the result may be better than many observers expect.

    I’m not sure about the word “pretext”. A huge purge would seem to be the right way to go since the secretive Gulenists were almost a state with a state. It’s true that the Gulenists were pro-American, but so what? Erdogan was the head of a legitimately elected democratic government and a NATO ally even if the US Neo-Cons opposed him and his supporters.

    Also America was a not so innocent bystander . As Mike Whitney pointed out in an Unz article:

    “US claims that Washington had no advance warning of the coup are simply not credible. Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which hosts more than 5,000 American soldiers and is the main base for the US-led bombing campaign against Syria and Iraq, was the organizing center of the putsch. Pro-coup fighter jets flew in and out of Incirlik as the coup unfolded. Shortly after the coup failed, the base commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, was arrested along with other pro-coup soldiers at the base.”

    Result that it’s a real pity that the US didn’t get their own huge purge as a result of their own failed 11th September 2001 Neo-Con coup.

  17. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Why should Turks care about paLiestinians when Turkey themselves have been illegally occupying Cyprus for 40 + years ??

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Wizard of Oz
    , @Rehmat
  18. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “Why should Turks care about paLiestinians when Turkey themselves have been illegally occupying Cyprus for 40 + years ??”

    Precisely for that reason. Hide your sins by barking about sins of others.

  19. @anon

    Interesting provoking of the instant (perhaps ill-considered) point that Cyprus is a kind of test bef for a two state solution. At least it shares its origins in creation by force of arms.

  20. @Israel Shamir

    Interesting that the apparently Pakistani based syndicate with the Canadian “Rehmat” persona is going into bat here for Shia against Sunni.

    Can you explain that?

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  21. @Art

    What’s the evidence for your last paragraph?

  22. @Anon

    For remote First World outsiders is not the striking reminder afforded by Turkey that differential birthrates between the high fertility primitives and the low fertility moderns are a recipe for disaster (for the civilised moderns anyway) the most important lesson from Turkey? Apparently the immigration of Anatolian peasants to Istanbul has been critical. What will the Muslim numerous teenagers of France do to France in the next 30 – 50 years?

  23. @Anon

    Looking for a quibble I come up with the idea that empires can give centuries of stability which several generations have been able to enjoy better than whatever decades of strife might be, often are, needed to resolve problems of nationality. Can you disagree?

  24. Rehmat says:
    @Israel Shamir

    I pity your ignorance and arrogance Israel Shamir.

    Fake Muslims like Crypto Jews are those who love to sell their mother for the causes of the western colonial powers. According to Holy Qur’an, one is not a Muslims because he/she was born to a Muslim woman as the case in Jewish Halakhah. One has to practice Islam to be a Muslim.

    There were only FOUR Caliphs in Islamic history; Abu Bakr, Umer ibn Khattab, Usman, and Ali ibn Talib. The rest were all Sultans, Kings, and military or civilian dictators.

    Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi defended Syria against several Christian Crusades funded by Jewish oligarchs. He defeated and captured alive English King Richard the Lion (a white lamb), but instead of cutting his head as was the customs in those days – pardoned him like Ahmadinejad did to those three American Jew spies. It’s called ISLAMIC MERCY – just ask Gilad Atzmon.

    The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) not only made treaties with YAHUDS (there were no Jews 1400 years ago according to professor Shlomo Sand). Not only that, he married two widows from Jewish noble families. What Muslims get in return from your Jewish ancestors Israel Shamir – hatred, occupation, ethnic-cleansing and distortion of Muslim-Jewish history both in Israel and Soviet Russia. I wish Muslim rulers in the past had acted like Queen Isabella and King Philip – then world wouldn’t had the JEWISH PROBLEM in the West.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Talha
  25. Rehmat says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Neyth Israeli moron. The shia-Sunni divide has not reach to Israel dimension as yet. I have not heard any Sunni or Shia country has killed 100,000 of its Muslim youth as Zionist regime did to its Arab Jews in the 1960s.

    On August 14, 2004 – Israel’s Channel 10 showed a documentary 100,000 Radiation, exposing the ugliest secret of Israel’s Labor Zionist founders; the deliberate mass radiation poisoning of nearly all Sephardi youths. In 1951, the director general of the Israeli Health Ministry, Dr. Chaim Sheba flew to America and returned with 7 x-ray machines, supplied to him by the American army.

    They were to be used in a mass atomic experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head. For doing so, the American government paid the Israeli government 300 million Israeli liras a year. The entire Health budget was 60 million liras. The money paid by the Americans is equivalent to billions of dollars today. To fool the parents of the victims, the children were taken away on “school trips” and their parents were later told the x-rays were a treatment for the scourge of scalpal ringworm. 6,000 of the children died shortly after their doses were given, the many of the rest developed cancers that killed them over time and are still killing them now. While living, the victims suffered from disorders such as epilepsy, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic headaches and psychosis.

  26. Can someone answer these questions:

    How did Gulen and his supporters obtain immigration visas and transfer funds to build his huge compound in the USA?

    How does all this help Americans?

    What about this map of greater Turkey that has appeared on Turkish television?

    What fool in the Obama administration think it wise to press Kurd and Shitte Arabs to invade Mosul?

    Finally, please find an American outside our empire’s employment who gives a damn about Mosul?

    • Replies: @Alden
  27. CalDre says:
    @jacques sheete

    If there is no unanimity, if there is still dissension after the debate, the majority is in the right, since it comprises the larger number of reasonable individuals.

    There is no such democracy in the world. The closest are Switzerland and, before Hillary Clinton’s war crimes and destruction, Libya. The “West” is, at best, a representative democracy, but given the centralized control of the means of communication and propaganda, an oligarchy or dictatorship his more appropriate.

    The West’s type of “democracy” (dictatorship) is the worst form of government as per Goethe’s famous passage: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

  28. 5371 says:

    Your link is broken, and there’s no accounting for taste; but yes, he seems rather dark-skinned.

  29. Alden says:

    Usually I skip rehmat but a few corrections. There was Haroun el Rashid the famous caliph of Baghad,Egypt and numerous territories Cerca 900AD
    Mohammed enslaved the Jewish women into his Harem after he killed their husbands in battle

    Roman historians recorded Jews in Rome and other parts of the empire beginning around 150BC and for several hundred years right up to the end of the empire. And the Romans called them Jews, not judeans or Israelits or yahhuds they used the word Jews. Roman histories record the conquest of Palestine the land of the Jews and the later rebellions of the Jews using the word Jews

    Abu Bakr was the earliest important follower of Mohammed. He was a local warlord tribal headman type, certainly not any kind of caliph King Duke, just a local bandit. He was an important figure but calling him caliph is ridiculous

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Rehmat
  30. Alden says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Anyone can get an immigration visa to the USA. I believe he got a clergy visa. All they have to do is claim that followers of their particular sect of in America need clergy of their own particular sect.

    Anyone can get a student visa and just stay. Then there is an H visa for anyone who claims they plan to start a business.

    They have to show they have enough cash to start a business. It used to be USD \$40,000. I don’t know what it is now.

    What they do is the whole clan chips in and it they go to a money lender. They put the money in a bank. A couple days later they get a statement which they present to the local US state department representative. The money actually only stays in the bank a few days because they withdraw it and repay the lenders(with high interest)
    Then there is family reunification Or they just come as tourists and stay. Or they fly to Canada and cross at one of the thousands of rural crossings without border patrol, or just walk across avoiding the crossings.

    We should change our slogan from In God We Trust to Come One Come All.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  31. Miro23 says:
    @jacques sheete

    Democracy is fundamentally unjust because it equates the political power of people who are not equals. Jason Liu

    They may not be equals, intellectually, financially or socially but they are equals at the basic human level of wanting to live in a society that provides opportunities for everyone, rather than just a self serving economic/social/intellectual elite. The origin of modern democracy was in the desire to reduce the power of the landed aristocracy.

    Consequently, they insist that the decisions of the majority must become law, and that the minority is obliged to submit to it, even if it is contrary to its most deeply rooted convictions and injures its most precious interests.”

    It depends on how you do it. The British parliament has a recognized place for the “Opposition”. They can ask parliamentary questions and vote on legislation, with a recognition that they represent a large section of the public. The Swiss do it even better with an obligation of citizen involvement right down to Commune level with a legally codified system for analyzing and discussing opposing viewpoints with issue based elections. But I admit that this only works if 1) the media openly discuss all viewpoints 2) elections are not rigged 3) the country has a basic My Country First policy while still respecting minority interests.

  32. @Israel Shamir

    Oh dear I think the Rehmat collective has deployed its B team – division 3 and A for Angry – to answer you and I have only scored Team D (for Dunces) though I would have to read the totally irrelevant and nonresponsive rant beyond two or three sentences to be sure.

  33. @Alden

    I have found it in many places and many circumstances difficult to get answers from people who talk about these issues on several vital questions. One is how easy it is, will and should be for new residents to become citizens with the right to vote (and to receive support from the taxpayer but that is less important if my prescription is followed). The other is how easy it is for their children, wherever born, to become citizens and receive welfare.

    My prescription is that, with a limited number of exceptions which must be clearly defensible, citizenship should only be conferred after 15 years as a net taxpayer AND that children, even those born in America to immigrants who have to meet that 15 year test, should also not be counted as voting citizens until they have met the same test.

    Of course immigrants who can or are trying to meet such a test will include the low paid who will be fiercely competitive in the labour market with the native poor but even the native poor’s advocates might find it hard to argue that the average working class American is worse off because of such hardworking taxpaying immigrants.

    I’ll leave it to others to work out how this would fit in with the Unz case for higher minimum wages.

    BTW the latest Economist has a piece in praise of Canada as an example to the world, including its immigration policy (1 per cent of its population each year though no mention is made of selection criteria) and its efforts to integrate them. But it also says Canada is not as rich or innovative as the US. No doubt true – but why? Canadian defence and health expenditure are proportionately much lower (I presume). Its prison system and law enforcement would be much less costly. It has free trade with the US. So why is it not richer per capita as the Swiss are (I presume) for example?

  34. Talha says:
    @Israel Shamir

    Much respect Mr. Shamir, I wouldn’t change a word in this worthy response.


    Note: Just as an aside, there is a difference of opinion on the possibility of two concurrently existing caliphs. If memory serves me correctly, the Maliki school (alone) allows for this possibility when two Muslim lands are not contiguous; see the historical existence of the Sokoto Caliphate in Sub-Saharan West African for a practical example:

  35. Talha says:

    Hey Alden,

    Couple of notes:

    Mohammed enslaved the Jewish women into his Harem after he killed their husbands in battle

    Two to be exact on separate occasions; the Lady Safiyah (ra) was freed and became his wife, the Lady Rayhana (ra) and there is a difference of opinion on whether she was also freed and married her or if she remained his concubine.

    He was an important figure but calling him caliph is ridiculous

    With all due respect, not calling him caliph is actually more ridiculous; he was the first of the Rashidun – he literally is the first caliph (successor to the Prophet [pbuh]) as that word lexically is defined:

    And no, he was not a local bandit.


  36. Talha says:

    Hey Art,

    We would agree with a caveat:
    Peace is 100% the result of human effort…to which God attaches success by His grace. This is what we call ‘tawfiq’.

    This is the reason why we pray for success in achieving peace even as we work towards it.


    • Replies: @Art
  37. Talha says:

    Yo Avery,

    God knows what is best for Turkey and her neighbors, that is what I am praying for. I used to think I knew what the best result was in any given situation, but many years later, I am confounded by how something I thought was good turned out to be horrible in the end.

    Turkey’s government is not relevant to the equation in my prayer; if it is replaced, so be it…if it turns around its policies, so be it – I simply want what is best for the people of that region.

    I have seen governments replaced in my lifetime and worse things arose in their wake; South Sudan wanted independence from the North for decades. And then they finally got it and now it is devastated by a horrendous internal civil war that nobody is talking about and it is now only ranked below Somalia on the fragile states index:


  38. Rehmat says:

    I wonder if the Israeli pigs know that Turks hate the Jewish occupation of Palestine which was a part of the Ottoman empire before WWI – or that Sultan Abdul Hamid kicked the evil ‘father of the Zionist entity’ Theodor Herzl from his Royal Court?

    • Replies: @anon
  39. Talha says:

    Salaam Rehmat,

    I wish Muslim rulers in the past had acted like Queen Isabella and King Philip

    Why would anybody say that? The Muslim lands of the past were often the safe-haven for Jews – honest Jewish historians acknowledge that:
    “Mark Cohen, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, has weighed these diametrically opposing interpretations and, in the second edition of Under Crescent & Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, (Princeton University Press), he reaches a middle-of-the-road conclusion.”
    “As he puts it, “When all is said and done, the historical evidence indicates that the Jews of Islam, especially during the formative and classical centuries (up to the 13th century), experienced much less persecution than did the Jews of Christendom…”
    Cohen points out that Jews in Islamic realms did not experience “physical violence on a scale remotely approaching Jewish suffering in western Christendom.” As an example, he cites Muslim and Christian reactions to the Black Death.”

    There is no victory without honestly reassessing our attitudes on these matters. You should really drop this obsession with trying to vilify Jews in any matter – it is spiritually detrimental. If you are calling for the equivalent of the Alhambra Decree – that is a sign that something is seriously going wrong.

    Wa salaam.

    • Replies: @anon
  40. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Turkey illegally occupies Cyprus , they have no room to talk. Turkey also reveals their evil hand by failing to condemn the illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco , the illegal occupation of Papua by Indonesia .

  41. Art says:

    We would agree with a caveat:
    Peace is 100% the result of human effort…to which God attaches success by His grace. This is what we call ‘tawfiq’.

    This is the reason why we pray for success in achieving peace even as we work towards it.


    We would agree with a caveat:

    Despite the vagaries and set backs of events, Grace allows the momentum of good works to continue going on. It allows hope to triumph – to carry the day. God works through his universe – his universe allows love to work and to carry on and on.

    It is not God that we must worry about – God always allows love to work – when used love has never failed. But we have to use it – it is we who must love each other.

    Loving one’s neighbor as one loves one’s self, allows the freedom to organize society in a peaceful way. God’s grace allows it to continue.

    It is rational to think, meditate, and pray for love, and the peace and prosperity that it brings.


    • Replies: @Talha
  42. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Hello Thala,
    As I think I remember you mentioning that you are a Pakistani Muslim living in the west like Remhat I wanted to ask you a question . Is it common for Pakistani Muslims to have such a single minded obsession with Jews , coupled with a visceral hatred of Jews as such displayed by remhat ?

    I ask because in my life I have only had minimal contact with Pakistanis . In my business life I have met 3 Pakistani Muslims in the same industry and we have done business. All were aware that I was Jewish and the business was completed in an issueless fashion.

    Of the 3 , I would say 2 were secular and the third was religious . The 2 secular referred to the 3rd guy as a radical and told me to stay away from him . It turned out that he was a radical and hated Jews and all non Muslims and went so far as to actively try to convert people in front of me. Im sure he hated me too , but his ( our ) greed allowed us to carry on a very profitable endeavor until completion .

    Just curious of your insights.

    • Replies: @Talha
  43. Lot says:

    Once, the US judges were all elected, all connected to the people, but not anymore.

    US judges have never been “all elected.” No federal judge has ever been elected.

    This is wrong about state judges too. The idea of them being elected is mostly something out of the populist and progressive eras, not something from the early Republic. The newer the U.S. state, the more likely it has elected judges.

  44. Talha says:

    Dear Art,

    Beautifully stated!


  45. Talha says:

    I am a Muslim from Pakistani background. I have rarely found the kind of obsessive radical you are talking about in my dealings. Usually you get the person who is more obsessed (and I mean way beyond healthy) with conspiracy theories in which Jews are the center stage player. My own spiritual teacher (who deals with a lot of Pakistanis under his training) once told to me how he was getting tired of how many people are wasting way too much of their time delving deep into conspiracy theories and not making much progress on the things that count – that will make a difference in the world and in their lives. So maybe that is the source. The other source may be an inability to distinguish between someone like Paul Wolfowitz or Pamela Gellar and the honest Jewish guy you are conducting business with; an unhealthy ability to draw boundaries. My overall interaction with Jewish people has been overwhelmingly positive on a personal level and none of them seemed insincere so I judge accordingly. It also helps to have a sound knowledge of history to put everything into perspective. I definitely do not teach my children to distinguish in the way they treat Jews versus other people. And that radical might be shooting himself in the foot; if his children have been taught to hate all Jews (and non-Muslims) because of how evil they are, and then come across decent Jews, well – they are going to question the judgement of whatever else they were taught by their father.

    Was the guy you dealt with really that overt in his hatred and made no attempts to mask it? I mean did he straight up say ‘I hate all Jews’ or ‘I hope all of you die’ or something?


    • Replies: @anon
    , @geokat62
  46. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you for your answer .

    As far as him saying explicitly to me that he hates Jews Christians Hindus &c. no he never did . I am relying on what his business partner told me he said in confidence. Ill will give you a few examples out of many that I personally witnessed to show his behavior :

    As a Pakistani looking guy was leaving his office as I was coming in , I asked him later if it was his relative and he went insane and said : Don’t ever call a Bangladeshi my relative , they are not real Muslim , do you understand that in my country Bangladeshis are our N166ers ??

    He had hired a new secretary who happened to be a young 22-23 year old Pakistani girl . She dressed western in jeans and a sweater with a button up shirt underneath. Conservative enough but no veil or religious markers . The first time I met her he was in his office and didn’t appear for 10 minutes so I was talking to the girl , just chit chat not hitting on her but we were joking around and when he came out of his office and saw it , he screamed at her in Urdu and she ran into the bathroom. He then tried to berate me and said that she is his best friends sister , she was a Muslim girl and I had no business talking to her and furthermore he said that I had disrespected him . She was fired the same day and I never saw her again in his office .

    Sans secretary when I came into his office unannounced he would invariably be online on Jihadi sites and not even bother to close the screen .

    He hired a Jewish girl as secretary solely to abuse her according to his partner . He made the girl , who was petite , carry file boxes weighing 40 pounds down to his car just so later he could tell her it was a mistake and bring the file boxes back upstairs. He admonished her that her people kill Muslims and she needs to convert to Islam . She quit after her first paycheck.

    Even though he would never touch a woman in public , going so far as to refuse handshakes at a closing table , his partner told me he had a huge porn collection in the office , he regularly went to strip clubs after work and he caught him banging strippers in the office late at night. He was also married .

    Several years later one of the alphabet agencies contacted me and asked questions about the guy but nothing must have come about from it because I ran into him recently and we was walking around a free man . To his credit he seemed like he had mellowed and was a nicer person .

    • Replies: @Talha
  47. Talha says:

    Wow! This guy is a serious piece of work! I person with that profile (assuming some of the unverified stuff is true) seems to me:
    1) is a general misanthrope (treatment of both young women – yeah, the Jewish girl you just abused and berated is going to become Muslim – what a joke!)
    2) has massive cognitive dissonance (likely thinks Islam is great for promoting universal brotherhood and then turns around and denigrates Bengalis)
    3) has massive hypocrisy issues (will obey the small prohibition of not shaking hands – which is supposed to provide a barrier to the bigger prohibition of adultery)

    Again – wow! I sincerely hope he has mellowed out – maybe a meeting with the FBI put the fear of God in him or he found some guidance almost lost his wife, etc. – otherwise, this kind of a personality is a very, very dangerous mix. One I would certainly have kept my eye on – he has a lot of the check marks next to the self-radicalized archetype.


  48. geokat62 says:

    My own spiritual teacher (who deals with a lot of Pakistanis under his training) once told to me how he was getting tired of how many people are wasting way too much of their time delving deep into conspiracy theories

    Salaam, Talha.

    Do you mind elaborating on what some of these conspiracy theories might be?

    Just curious to see if they have anything to do with what’s written in PNAC’s A Clean Break or in Oded Yinon’s A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s.


    • Replies: @Talha
  49. Talha says:

    Hey Geo,

    No – nothing like that – Pakistanis are aware they are in Israel’s cross-hairs as a nuclear power with a fairly formidable military (for the region). Nothing new about that, especially since they are often military advisers and trainers for many Arab countries. This is a good article about how certain legitimate concerns often boil over into very nonsense conspiracy theories in that country:


    • Replies: @Rehmat
  50. Rehmat says:

    “Usually I skip rehmat but….” AHA – The Zionist filth is lying as usual because she cannot stop reading and commenting my posts.

    If Haroon al-Rashid was a famous Abbasid Caliph centuries ago – we have Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a Jewish Butcher Caliph right now…..

    On October 11, 2016, Michael Rubin, penned a Op-Ed at the Israel lobby, American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI), official website, entitled, Don’t Kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    Rubin is a former senior military instructor at the Pentagon and currently a ‘resident scholar’ at AEI. He also pens propaganda lies for AJC mouthpiece The Commentary.

  51. Rehmat says:

    Malala Yousafzai is a ‘poster girl of Zionism’. Her story gets muddy once you learn that it’s Adam B. Ellick, the “integrated journalist”, who created Malala Psyop in the first place. Ellick is member of the powerful Jewish Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and journalist at the ‘Jewish York Times’, planted by the CIA. Ellick mostly writes on Jewish affairs around the world.

    “For decades, the Pakistani establishment has been obsessed with the Indian intelligence agency RAW. In the last decade, Pakistan has become a battleground for the CIA, British MI6, Germany’s BND and the Israeli Mossad, to name only a few, whose agents roam every nook and cranny of the country, mostly disguised as journalists, aid workers or businessmen. So it is not surprising to learn that poor Malala was used as a pawn by these monsters that will stop at nothing to advance their nefarious agenda. It does not require a genius to figure out what the US-British-Zionist and their allies’ agenda in Pakistan is: to entangle Pakistan in a never-ending conflict with its own people from the tribal area to provide the pretext for grabbing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. For proof of this, one only has to read the October 21 piece published in the British daily, the Guardian, by Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst. He warned, on the eve of the third and final presidential debate that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed the “greatest security threat” to the US and urged both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney to pay close attention to this,” wrote Canadian journalist and author, Zafar Bangash, in November 2012. …

    • Replies: @Talha
  52. Talha says:

    Salaam Rehamt,

    Whoa!! Zafar Bangash!! I haven’t heard that name for a long time – glad he’s still writing!

    Look Rehmat, you have some very useful things to say and have done some deep research into certain important issues. There just is no reason to go beyond what the evidence is (like the ones brought up in the article I linked to) and especially come at people with such vitriol. Most people will simply say you are unstable and discount the stuff they could be benefiting from that you bring to the table. Also – there are definitely factual mistakes that you have made, if people call you out on them, just own up to it and correct it instead of insulting them.

    Hikmah bro, hikmah.

    Wa salaam.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Israel Shamir Comments via RSS