Uncanny parallels between Iranian Revolution and Erdogan’s latest purges
After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, there has been purges in place throughout the country. In the first emergency decree after the coup attempt, the Turkish state seized the properties of 2,341 institutions. Turkey detained 8,831 army officers, 1,329 police officers, 2,100 judges and prosecutors, 52 civilian administrators and 689 civilians as of today.
Turkey's Prime Minister stated that 163 Generals and Admirals have been detained post-coup, amounting to around 45% of the Turkish military's total. Some 60,000 public sector employees have been removed or suspended from their posts. Among them are 1,577 college deans who have been forced to resign, 21,000 teachers who had their licenses removed, and 15,000 that were suspended from the Education Ministry.
Turkey shut down YARSAV, the country's largest union of judges and prosecutors in a major blow to the rights of members of the judiciary. Fethullah Gülen's nephew has been detained as the investigation into the coup continues. The Erdogan regime detained five journalists, including Aytekin Gezici, who was also arrested in 2014. In addition, 20 news websites in Turkey have been blocked. AKP supporters even destroyed and vandalized a news agency’s printing shop in Malatya, Turkey. Meanwhile, the Clarion Project reported that at the heights of the coup frenzy, Islamists attacked churches in Trabzon and Malatya. According to the report, shouts of Allahu Akhbar accompanied the throwing of stones at a Protestant church in Trabzon, which resulted in breaking the windows. A similar attack occurred at the Santa Maria Church.
Meanwhile, anonymous sources within Turkey reported that according to social media, citizens were arrested for tweeting against Erdogan. One of the people who was taken into custody was a girl, who was threatened with rape. After her boyfriend protested, the authorities arrested him and he now has disappeared. The girl does not know where he is. The girl was subsequently released after the incident. The report has of yet to be confirmed. However, Iranian dissident Shabnam Assadollahi had the following to state: “My contacts in Turkey tell me that ISIS is working for the AKP everywhere, creating an atmosphere of fear, rape and horror so that the Turkish seculars won’t protest on the streets. There are over 680 ISIS members assisting Erdogan’s Islamist mobs, vandalizing and attacking. People are so afraid to come out to protest because of ISIS. I’ve never seen people celebrate a state of emergency but ISIS is everywhere celebrating it.”
“My contacts tell me that the Ankara transit and taxi systems aren’t operating,” she continued. “Tanks and Syrian trained soldiers are all over the area. Erdogan has designed an area outside of Istanbul for the dead bodies of those recently killed by his thugs. He won’t allow those bodies to be buried in the public cemetery and named it Hainler Mezari or Traitors Cemetery, exactly like how Khomeini designated the Khavaran Cemetery outside of Tehran for the bodies of political prisoners who were executed in the early days of the Islamic Revolution.” For Assadollahi, all of these developments in Turkey have an uncanny resemblance to what happened during the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran: “It is an exact parallel.”
According to Assadollahi, Abdolkarim Sourish created the Islamic Cultural Revolution shortly after Khomeini came to power. All of the seculars were removed or imprisoned; many got executed and the rest fled to Turkey and neighboring countries. She claims that the entire Iranian educational system was transformed into becoming Islamist thanks to a person who now claims to be a reformer and lives in the United States. For her, this has an uncanny resemblance to how Fethullah Gulen transformed the educational system in Turkey to be more Islamist and worked initially with the AKP in order to overthrow the secular order in the country until Gulen had a split with Erdogan. He is now living in the United States, where he portrays himself as a moderate.
Assadollahi stressed that the Islamization of Turkey and the rise of the present AKP dictatorship did not happen in a vacuum: “Towards the end of the 1980’s, there was a huge Islamization of Turkey. Iran started to work very hard through its embassy in Ankara feeding less fortunate Turks and then paying them to dress as Muslims, to send their children to mosques, and we started to see an excessive number of kindergarten kids. In Turkey, they feed many Turks and Gulen did the same over the last 30 years. You see that these two figures Khomeini and Gulen changed Turkey. It’s not overnight that Turkey became Turkey. They built it over the years. Go back to Khomeini’s motto: ‘I will export Islam to the world.’ Where are we 37 years afterwards?”
Another parallel between Iran during the Islamic Revolution and Turkey today is the influence of foreign fighters on the ground. Assadollahi noted the Cinema Rex Fire in Iran, where at least 470 people were burned alive in 1978, was blamed on the Shah’s Secret Police known as Savak but now everyone knows that Khomeini was responsible for it. On Black Friday in 1978, many people were shot in the streets of Iran and it was blamed upon the Shah. However, it is now known that the PLO under orders from Khomeini positioned themselves among the protesters and shot at the Shah’s soldiers, which is what started the bloodshed. Some of the protesters were even killed by the PLO and not by the Shah’s soldiers.
The same thing happened in Iran in 2009 following the Green Movement protests: “One of my friends was travelling in Iran and not very far from the end of the street, there was a Basij. He was told if he wants to live, go back to your house. He was told that this guy speaks Arabic and that he is allowed to kill anything that moves. They brought people from Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq in 2009 and they were authorized to kill. The same thing happened in Turkey. There are over 600 Turkish Special Forces for Erdogan trained in Syria and now they are all back together with ISIS who are helping Erdogan. So if the seculars are not protesting, it is because of the atmosphere of fear that he created. The Marshall Law was all staged and planned.”
Another parallel Assadollahi sees between the Islamic Revolution and Turkey today is how the West has reacted: “The Shah sent many Iranians to study abroad and there they formed the Islamic Student Association in the US. The Islamist National Party of Iran and the Tudeh Party worked closely with the Carter administration. At the same time, Khomeini moved from Iran to Turkey, where he started unrest. The leader of Turkey was not happy with Khomeini so he was sent to Iraq. He started unrest in Iraq. Then, the Iraqi Government sent him to another country so he was sent to France. In France, he was given five minutes daily on the radio that was broadcast into Iran with the help of the French government. They said they will help him if he wants to talk to his people. The Nationalist Islamist Movement of Iran and Tudeh infiltrated the White House at the same time the French were helping Khomeini. BBC Persian then started to broadcast against the Shah. After that, the people were told to go to the rooftops and look at the moon for Khomeini’s picture was there. I was in Iran. I could not believe how unreal and illogical can one be to look at the moon and see a picture of Khomeini. They said to open the Quran and one will see his eyebrows. Then people turned against the Shah and became pro-Khomeini. The western media helped the formation of the revolution in Iran.”
“Erdogan was in a retreat and said there was a coup,” Assadollahi continued. “He spoke with the people through his IPhone. The very first foreign news agency to address him was CNN Turk. After that, in Turkey, 8,500 mosques recited Quran passages and called Erdogan a messenger of God who will fulfill the promises in the Quran. According to Islam, there is no other messenger after Muhammed. People did not understand this for CNN Turk bombarded them about the coup and told them that they have to save the government. They love Erdogan because he is an Islamist. They were on the streets and they were all educated by Gulen. Why did CNN Turk air Erdogan’s message to the nation?”
For Assadollahi, the coup appeared staged for there is something fishy about it: “Erdogan called all the governments in the world. If there was a coup, why did the Foreign Ministry inform all of the countries that there has been a coup? If there was a coup, how much power and time do they have? Don’t they have to save their president? If there was a coup, he should have told the people to remain in their homes, not go out into the streets. But he told them that he would be at the Istanbul Airport and he came by airplane. Khomeini did the same thing by arriving by airplane and so many people waited for him. However, Erdogan came to the airport and the plane was empty. He spent 24 hours in the streets and the mosques. He brought the nation out onto the streets. Khomeini did the same thing. This is the motto of the dictators.” Assadollahi ponders how Erdogan managed to purge Turkish academia so quickly afterwards and concluded that this must all have been planned in advance: “Everything was ready. He did the Reconciliation Agreement with Israel so the world would be calm as he did this.”
All of this highlights the biases inherent in the Western media against secular Iranians and Turks: “The Obama administration has stipulated to the Voice of America Persian and Turkish desk that they are not allowed to air anything against US foreign policy for these countries. Any guests they bring and everything else must be aligned with Obama administration’s policy on Iran and Turkey. People outside that line have been fired from Iran especially after 2009. Now they are doing the same with Turkey. The Iranian regime has many lobbies inside the White House and Voice of America. They are very active in the US, both in the mainstream media and with the Obama administration. They have a strong influence over the American and Canadian media. People like us that have been fighting for democracy and freedom in Iran are not given any publicity or voice and are not even recognized by the conservative let alone the mainstream media.”
“They won’t recognize us secular people,” Assadollahi concluded. “The Western countries don’t want a secular Iran or Turkey. Why did NATO not do anything to protect Turkey’s secularism? Why didn’t the West help when the people protested in Taksim Square and were shot at? Didn’t the media see this? The West doesn’t want these countries to be democratic. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes on air and gives a written statement that he was happy democracy was preserved but the statement was removed from his website. You didn’t know anything about Erdogan and you say he preserved democracy? Donald Trump said the US shouldn’t criticize Erdogan over the post-coup purge. All of the Western world followed the same language Obama used after the coup failed and then they become stronger. Erdogan has to follow the rule of law and democracy. Why is the West allowing another Islamic Republic of Iran? After all of this, I don’t think the West wants us to be free and they want a weak Israel for the same reason. Maybe it is part of the agenda of the Iran deal. Perhaps Iran was promised to be the watchdog of the Middle East and they are creating unrest so Iran can remain in power. The Iranian government supported Erdogan after the coup and the purges. Between Iran and Turkey, there is going to be peace for one will be the great Sunni power and one will be the great Shia power.”