August, 2016 Turkey


By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

In mid-July, President Erdogan pointed his finger at the CIA, accusing US intelligence of having supported a failed coup directed against his government. Turkish officials pointed to a deterioration of US-Turkey relations following Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the alleged architect of the failed coup.
Erdogan’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was categorical:


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute

Originally published under the title "Turkey's Official 'Cocktail Terror'."
On August 21, ISIS terrorists used a child suicide bomber to kill more than 50 people, mostly children, at a wedding in Gaziantep.
Failing to name Islamic terror has cost Turkey hundreds of lives and will likely cost it hundreds more, as the country's leaders -- and many others, especially in the West -- are still too demure to call Islamic terror by its name. Without a realistic diagnosis, the chances of a successful treatment are always close to nil, and Turkey's leaders stubbornly remain on the wrong side of the right diagnosis.


Nuray Mert
Failure is doomed to be an “orphaned child,” but in fact Turkey’s foreign policy failure has many fathers. It has been argued (including by myself) that it was a mistake for Turkey to adopt a “neo-Ottoman” foreign policy that pushed it to make over-ambitious political moves, including engagement in a proxy war in Syria. It was a mistake for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to overestimate its power and underestimate the complexity of both Middle Eastern and global politics.


DEBKAfile Special Report

An all-out Turkish-Kurdish war has boiled over in northern Syria since the Turkish army crossed the border last Wednesday, Aug. 24 for the avowed aim of fighting the Islamic State and pushing the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia back. Instead of falling back, the Kurds went on the offensive and are taking a hammering.


Author Week in Review
It is no secret that the Aug. 24 Turkish military incursion into Jarablus, which sits less than 30 kilometers (roughly 19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, was secondarily about the Islamic State (IS) and primarily about checking the advances of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, as Cengiz Candar recounts this week.


By Pepe Escobar

"Information Clearing House" - "RT" - So Turkish President, a.k.a. Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to make a high-profile visit to Tehran – the date has not yet been set - to essentially kick start the ATM (Ankara-Tehran-Moscow) coalition in Syria.

 Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters walk with their weapons at the eastern entrances to the town of Tal Abyad in the northern Raqqa countryside, Syria, June 14, 2015

By sacrificing its Kurdish allies in northern Syria, Washington wants to mend relations with Ankara and prevent Turkey from strengthening its ties with Moscow, thus far killing two birds with one stone, expert on Middle Eastern affairs Jean Perier believes.


by Burak Bekdil
Turkey has been a republic since 1923, a multi-party democracy since 1946, and a member of NATO since 1952. In 1987, it added another powerful anchor into the Western bay where it wanted it to remain docked: It applied for full membership in the European Union (EU). This imperfect journey toward the West was dramatically replaced by a directionless cruise, with sharp zigzags between the East and West, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist AKP party came to power in 2002. Zigzagging remains the main Turkish policy feature to this day.

Boaz Bismuth

In an effort to distance the Kurds from the Turkish border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan found the perfect solution: A war against the Islamic State group • When it comes to Turkish military actions, always look for the Kurdish angle.

 

Author MetinGurcan
Turkey's military plunge across the Syrian border this week has all eyes focused on the Jarablus area, as observers wait for the possible fallout between Ankara and Kurds.


Author Sukru Kucuksahin
More than a month after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, the crackdown on suspected members of the Gulen community, the accused culprits of the putsch, is continuing and expanding. As of Aug. 18, about 12,000 people have been jailed pending trial, including prominent businessmen, academics, journalists and soldiers; 10,000 people remain in custody for questioning and 85,000 public servants have been either suspended or dismissed. To make room in the prisons, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government issued a legislative decree last week, paving the way for the release of at least 38,000 prisoners, including convicted thieves.


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 
Turkey - in full momentum since the Erdogan-Putin summit on Aug. 9 - is setting a rapid pace for its rapprochement with Israel. Saturday, Aug. 20, the Turkish parliament ratified the reconciliation agreement Ankara signed with Jerusalem and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced that ambassadors would be exchanged soon.


By Kemal Kirisci
Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Turkey at a time when the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15 has reiterated deep anti-Americanism in the country. There are four reasons for this mood. The Turkish public and officialdom believe that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initial response to the coup, when he called for “peace and continuity,” betrayed the expectation of an “Egyptian-like outcome.”

Coup Attempt Sparks Backlash Against Turkey’s Minorities

Aykan Erdemir
Turkey’s July 15 abortive coup has produced a show of cross-party support for the country’s elected government. All three major opposition parties explicitly denounced the attempt, and the government returned the favor by thanking them in parliament. That apparent spirit of unity, however, does not include everyone: The failed coup has sparked a wave of hatred and violence against religious minorities for their supposed “complicity” in the incident.

 Kvirikashvili-Erdogan

By Boris Ajeganov

The CACI Analyst

Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili became the first foreign head of state to visit Turkey after the failed coup attempt by parts of the Turkish military in the evening of Friday, July 15. Kvirikashvili met with his counterpart, PM Binali Yildirim, and President Erdoğan in Ankara on July 19 as part of an inaugural meeting of the High Level Georgia-Turkey Strategic Cooperation Council.


By Gareth Porter

 "Information Clearing House" - In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict.

The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, August 9, 2016. © Sergei Karpukhin

Turkish President Erdogan has given up on NATO and the EU, and is pivoting toward the East, says ex-Pentagon official Michael Maloof. As Ankara and Moscow discuss military ties, this offers an intriguing new opportunity for regional cooperation.

DAILY SABAH
With the normalization of bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia, Turkish media outlets have reported that Moscow has taken diplomatic steps toward establishing a permanent solution to the ongoing Syrian civil war with a trilateral coordination group of Turkey, Russia and Iran.


Author Metin Gurcan
TranslatorTimur Göksel

A piece I wrote in October 2014 titled “Is NATO membership shackling Turkey?” was about the Turkish public opinion debate over NATO. Today's article asks whether NATO might find Turkey's membership burdensome.

 

BURAK BEKDİL

It is barely a year since Turkish authorities came to understand that it would not be possible for a Chinese company to build Turkey’s first long range air and anti-missile defense system and make the system interoperable with NATO and Turkish assets in Turkey. It had curiously taken Ankara two years to come to that otherwise quite straightforward understanding. Now the Turkish understanding seems to be rewinding back to the near impossibility.

Extradition talks for Turkish cleric living in US
As Turkey presses the Obama administration to hand over a Pennsylvania-based cleric, claiming he spearheaded last month’s coup attempt, the Muslim nation's media is pointing an accusatory finger at a respected American academic -- and in a bizarre twist, an infamous San Quentin death-row inmate convicted of killing his wife.

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s warnings that Turkey’s refugee deal with the European Union will collapse if it fails to waive visa restrictions for Turks have become more frequent, almost routine in recent days, signaling a looming and serious crisis in Turkish-EU ties.

 

Turkey-Parade-Ground-5-MillionELIM KORU

Three weeks after the attempted coup in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on citizens to gather at the Yenıkapı (“new gate”) Parade grounds in Istanbul. More than five million people across the country showed up to the event on the Bosphorus’ shores.

By Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research
“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” (J. Edgar Hoover, Elks Magazine, August 1956.)  
On 23rd May Sean Adl-Tabatabai wrote what now surely seems a prophetic article: “Erdogan Is Preparing For Military Coup In Turkey.” The writer warned that: “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be out of control. He is cracking down on opposition, imprisoning opponents and seizing media outlets … the Turkish leader has threatened to dissolve the Constitutional Court.” This at a time when: “ …the security problems have deteriorated amidst a wave of terrorism.”

By IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror  

Gemunder Center Distinguished, Fellow IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) , Yaakov Amidror

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The failed military coup in Turkey was most likely the swan song of the country's secular endeavor. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now has a firmer hold on power, despite external and internal conflicts. Israel should remain wary of taking sides.

Author Kadri Gursel
The prevailing view among punditry and the media, both Turkish and international, is that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged much stronger from the July 15 coup attempt and is now empowered to steer the country as he likes.


PATRICK COCKBURN
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.

Credit Image: Getty

Stephen Schwartz, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, DC. 

This essay was sponsored by Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

A “weaponized academic” trained in the U.S. has risen to become Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “deputy undersecretary and senior advisor,” yet another servant for Islamist ideology produced by the American Middle East studies industry.

 A Turkish special forces policeman stands guard in front the damaged building of the police headquarters which was attacked by the Turkish warplanes during the failed military coup last Friday, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, July 19, 2016

While controversy is still simmering over Washington's alleged role in the latest Turkish coup, it does not matter much whether or not the US was behind the plot: it didn't lend a helping hand to its longstanding ally Erdogan and as history shows, Washington has a long record of abandoning its partners.

 

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.