Turkish Protests: The Next “Big Thing”

June 4, 2013
Huge protests in Turkey

Huge protests in Turkey

Readers of Dojo Rat please bear with me; we are going to take a look at what is going on in Turkey right now. Believe me, this appears to be “the next big thing”

In a nutshell, Turkey has been controlled by a secular military government for many, many years, Now, with the various “color revolutions” and “Arab springs”
(which in a great part are instigated by western intelligence agencies), Turkey finds itself facing something closer to Islamic rule. The current protests arose allegedly from the plan to build a shopping mall in a popular public park, but the underlying roots are much deeper.

For now, let’s start with an essay by former British ambassador Craig Murray, and a sample of the 187 comments that followed. We’ll flesh out some deeper issues in a later post:


Talk­ing Turkey
by craig on June 2, 2013 6:24 am in Uncategorized

To sim­ply say “pro­tes­tors good, gov­ern­ment bad” in Turkey is a symp­tom of the Blair delu­sion, that in civil con­flicts there are guys with white hats and guys with black hats, and that the West’s role is to ride into town and kill the guys in the black hats. That is what “lib­eral inter­ven­tion” means. The main aim of my sec­ond auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal book, “The Catholic Orange­men of Togo”, was to explain through the truth of the Sierra Leone expe­ri­ence how very, very wrong this is.

In fact civil con­flicts are usu­ally hor­ri­bly com­plex, anent a vari­ety of very bad peo­ple all try­ing to gain or retain power, none of them from an altru­is­tic desire to make the world a bet­ter place. There may be ordi­nary peo­ple on the streets with that altru­is­tic desire, being used and manip­u­lated by these men; but it is not the ordi­nary altru­is­tic peo­ple on the streets who ever come to power. Ever.

In Turkey the heavy crush­ing of a rain­bow of protests in Istan­bul has been going on for at least a month now. A week ago I was dis­cussing it with my pub­lisher, whose son lives in the city. A fort­night ago I was in Istan­bul myself.

The Turk­ish peo­ple I was with were nat­ural Erdo­gan sup­port­ers, and what struck me very forcibly was the fact that he has sick­ened many of his own nat­ural allies by the ram­pant cor­rup­tion in Turkey at present. Almost every­one I met spoke to me about cor­rup­tion, and Turkey being Turkey, every­one seemed to know a very great deal of detail about how cor­rup­tion was organ­ised in var­i­ous build­ing and devel­op­ment projects and who was get­ting what. It there­fore is hardly sur­pris­ing that the spark which caused this con­flict to flare to a new level was ignited by a cor­rupt deal to build a shop­ping cen­tre on a park. The des­e­cra­tion of some­thing lovely for money could be a metaphor for late Erdo­gan government.

The park is very small beer com­pared to the mas­sive cor­rup­tion involved in the appalling and mega­lo­ma­niac Bospho­rus canal project. Every­one talked to me about that one. The main­stream media, who never seem to know what is hap­pen­ing any­where, seem to have missed that a major cause of the under­ly­ing unrest in Istan­bul was the government’s announce­ment eight weeks ago that the Bospho­rus canal is going ahead.

Peo­ple are also incensed by the new pro­posal that would ban the sale of alco­hol within 100 metres of any mosque or holy site, ie any­where within cen­tral Istan­bul. That would throw thou­sands of peo­ple out of work, dam­age the cru­cial tourist trade and is rightly seen as a symp­tom of rep­re­hen­si­ble mount­ing reli­gious intol­er­ance that endan­gers Turk­ish society.

So there are plenty of legit­i­mate rea­sons to protest, and the appalling crush­ing of protest is the best of them

But – and this is what it is never in the inter­est of West­ern politi­cians to under­stand – Gov­ern­ment bad does not equal pro­tes­tors good. A very high pro­por­tion – more than the British pub­lic realise by a very long way – of those protest­ing in the streets are off the scale far right nation­al­ists of a kind that make the BNP look cud­dly and Nigel Farage look like Tony Benn. Kemal­ism – the wor­ship of Ataturk and a very unpleas­ant form of mil­i­tary dom­i­nated nation­al­ism – remains very strong indeed in Istan­bul. Ataturk has a very strong claim, ahead of Mus­solini, to be viewed as the inven­tor of mod­ern fascism

For every sec­u­lar lib­eral in Istan­bul there are two sec­u­lar ultra-nationalist mil­i­tarists. To west­ern­ers they stress the sec­u­lar bit and try to hide the rest, and this works on the uncu­ri­ous (being uncu­ri­ous is a required attribute to get employed by the main­stream media). Of course there are decent, lib­eral, envi­ron­men­tal­ist pro­tes­tors and the media will have no dif­fi­culty, now they have finally noticed some­thing is hap­pen­ing, in fill­ing our screens with beau­ti­ful young women who fit that descrip­tion, to inter­view. But that is not all of what is going on here.

There cer­tainly was no more free­dom in Turkey before the AKP came to power. Gov­ern­ment for decades had been either by the Kemal­ist mil­i­tary in dic­ta­tor­ship or occa­sion­ally by civil­ian gov­ern­ments they tol­er­ated and con­trolled. Peo­ple sud­denly have short mem­o­ries if they think protest was gen­er­ally tol­er­ated pre-Erdogan, and pol­icy towards the Kurds was mas­sively more vicious.

The mil­i­tary elite dom­i­nated soci­ety and through cor­rup­tion they dom­i­nated com­merce and the econ­omy. The inter­ests of a pro­tected and gen­er­ally fas­cist urban upper mid­dle class were the only inter­ests that counted at all. The slight­est threat to those inter­ests brought a mil­i­tary coup – again, and again, and again. Reli­gion was barely tol­er­ated, and they allied closely with Israel and the United States.

When Erdo­gan first came to power it was the best thing that had hap­pened to Turkey for decades. The for­got­ten peo­ple of the Ana­to­lian vil­lages, and the lower mid­dle class of the cities, had a voice and a posi­tion in the state for the first time. In indi­vid­ual towns and vil­lages, the mil­i­tary and their clients who had exer­cised absolute author­ity had their power sud­denly dimin­ished. I wit­nessed this and it was a new dawn, and it felt joyous.

Then of course Erdo­gan grad­u­ally got sucked in to power, to money, to NATO, to the cor­rup­tion of his Black Sea mafia and to arro­gance. It all went very wrong, as it always seems to. That is where we are now.

Yes of course I want those pretty, gen­uinely lib­eral envi­ron­men­tal­ist girls in the park to take power. But they won’t. Look at the hard-eyed fas­cists behind them. Look at the west­ern politi­cians lick­ing their lips think­ing about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel gov­ern­ment into power.

We should all be con­cerned at what is hap­pen­ing in Turkey. We should all call for an end to vio­lent repres­sion. But to wish the over­throw of a demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected gov­ern­ment, and its replace­ment – by what exactly? – is a very, very fool­ish reac­tion.
Sam­ple comments:

“This is the best English-language arti­cle about this event so far. I hope it’s read by many peo­ple. It’s pretty close to what I think as a lib­eral Turk­ish cit­i­zen.“
“This is the only sen­si­ble and true com­men­tary I’ve seen on recent events in Turkey. I’ve been liv­ing in Istan­bul for 2 years now, and have always been amazed at the fact that it is vir­tu­ally impos­si­ble to meet any­body with a sane grasp of Turk­ish his­tory, or a gen­uinely pro­gres­sive out­look on equal rights for minori­ties. The gov­ern­ment has brought exactly the ben­e­fits and trou­bles you men­tion, but the pro­test­ers have no clear vision, and bring with them dis­turb­ing ide­o­log­i­cal bag­gage of their own. It is all very well to try to save a park, but the pro­test­ers them­selves would all tell you that their goal is much more sweep­ing than that. They are against the rul­ing party’s cor­rup­tion, but blind to the faults of the other party, which are mired in nation­al­ist excep­tion­al­ism and a Dis­ney ver­sion of his­tory.“
“I think you’ve mis­judged the geopol­i­tics here. Erdo­gan is a NATO pup­pet of the Fethul­lah Gullen school of Islamiza­tion that allows the CIA to con­trol client states like Turkey much as the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is a CIA out­fit to con­trol Egypt after the syn­thet­i­cally trig­gered Arab Spring (A CIA colour revolution).

All of this is detailed on FBI whistle­blower Sibel Edmonds site or her inter­views with James Cor­bett. It takes a day or two to digest all the infor­ma­tion that pre­sented but after that there’s no ques­tion how the region oper­ates.“
”‘Look at the west­ern politi­cians lick­ing their lips think­ing about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel gov­ern­ment into power.’

I don’t believe this is at at all what West­ern pow­ers want. It increas­ingly appears to me they want Arab states to come under the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood umbrella. Once they do, all pol­icy can be con­trolled from the top by either Turkey or Qatar and will con­form to West­ern needs. Mus­lim Brotherhood’s agenda looks demo­c­ra­tic but then once in power step by step this changes. In Libya the insta­bil­ity at the moment is caused by the under­hand machi­na­tions of the Brotherhood.”


There is no doubt that this is going to have a huge influence in this part of the world, Turkey is a NATO ally and a number of American military bases operate from the region.
More to come…

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