Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #886 What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by “The Earth Island Boogie?,” Part 3: Geopolitical Quicksand

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

ISIS fight­ers prepar­ing to exe­cute Ethiopi­an Chris­tians. Note the nice, new uni­forms. Won­der where they got them?

Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast revis­its some devel­op­ments pre­sent­ed in FTR #‘s 535 and 537, record­ed in Novem­ber and Decem­ber of 2005. Exam­in­ing devel­op­ments in the Mid­dle East, we asked if this coun­try had pro­ceed­ed head­long into a death-trap laid by the Under­ground Reich and using Mus­lim-Broth­er­hood linked Islamists as proxy war­riors against the Unit­ed States, just as the U.S. has used them against the Sovi­et Union, the for­mer Yugoslavia and now, in “the Earth Island Boo­gie,” against Rus­sia and Chi­na.

We note that, like an iron hand in a mailed-gloved-fist, the Under­ground Reich dwells with­in this coun­try’s cor­po­rate and nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ments. It is our belief that this will prove fatal to the Unit­ed States in the long run.

In this broad­cast, we ana­lyze the pos­si­bil­i­ty that “the Earth Island Boo­gie” may well result in the U.S. becom­ing fatal­ly immersed in geopo­lit­i­cal quick­sand.

In a num­ber of pro­grams, includ­ing FTR #‘s 878, 879, 880, 881, 884, 885, we have exam­ined the grow­ing con­flu­ence between Mus­lim-Broth­er­hood derived Islamism and Pan-Turk­ist neo-Ottoman­ism. In the con­text of this analy­sis, we have scru­ti­nized Turkey’s sup­port for ISIS and mil­i­tary aggres­sion, as well as the Erdo­gan gov­ern­men­t’s ongo­ing turn to fas­cism.

As this pro­gram is record­ed, the glob­al econ­o­my is reel­ing, in part because of the col­lapse of oil prices. With the Chi­nese econ­o­my in shaky ter­ri­to­ry, glob­al demand for oil is falling. Sau­di Arabia–the world’s largest oil producer–has refused to cut pro­duc­tion. This is putting great pres­sure on the glob­al econ­o­my, that of Rus­sia in par­tic­u­lar. We won­der if this is a recap of the Saud­is’ ramp­ing up of pro­duc­tion in 1986, which under­cut the price of oil and helped to bring down the U.S.S.R.?

(It will be inter­est­ing to see if the result­ing eco­nom­ic dam­age also helps desta­bi­lize the Amer­i­can econ­o­my, help­ing to bring the GOP to pow­er as a result. In FTR #214, we saw how the Saud­is col­lab­o­rat­ed with the CIA, the elder George Bush and the GOP to raise oil prices, cre­ate a pho­ny “oil short­age” and desta­bi­lize the Carter admin­is­tra­tion. Might we be see­ing a vari­a­tion on that gam­bit now?)

We won­der if the Saud­is are work­ing to desta­bi­lize Rus­sia? Might the Saud­is be look­ing to estab­lish a Wah­habi caliphate in the cen­ter of the Earth Island? Might it encom­pass the Cau­ca­sus, where the Saud­is have been very active in sup­port of the Chechens? Might the “new caliphate” also incor­po­rate fos­sil-fuel-rich Xin­jiang Province in Chi­na, where Turkey, the Pan-Turk­ist move­ment, the Grey Wolves and al-Qae­da-linked ele­ments have been active? How might Turk­ish and Saudi/Wahhabi ele­ments align with regard to the new caliphate? Might they work in tan­dem, or would they be rivals?

Ottoman Empire

Fol­low­ing this line of spec­u­la­tion, we delve into the sub­ject of ISIS.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in the run-up to the Amer­i­can inva­sion of Iraq, both the pro-war and anti-war sides got it wrong with regard to Saddam’s rela­tion­ship with Al Qae­da. Although there was no indi­ca­tion that Iraq or Sad­dam were involved with 9/11, the two enti­ties did have a “dooms­day back-up” arrange­ment. Sad­dam and bin Laden worked out an arrange­ment in which Iraq—in order to pro­vide for a pay­back capa­bil­i­ty if the U.S. oust­ed him—gave infor­ma­tion about WMD’s to bin Laden’s peo­ple. Al Qae­da, in turn, was to act as a back-up unit for Saddam’s Iraq, strik­ing at the Unit­ed States if it knocked out Sad­dam. Of course, pre­cise­ly that sce­nario tran­spired.

The Unit­ed States walked into this “Death Trap.” In the after­math of the Iraq war, a dis­turbing­ly large per­cent­age of the Mus­lim and Arab com­mu­ni­ties appear ready to join the con­flict.

We note that for­mer Iraqi mil­i­tary offi­cers are appar­ent­ly play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in admin­is­ter­ing the mil­i­tary prowess of ISIS. Is this an out­growth of the “dooms­day plan” that Roland Jacquard report­ed? There has been much spec­u­la­tion about ISIS and WMD’s. Has ISIS acquired access to WMD’s as a result of the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Sad­dam Hus­sein’s offi­cers in their ranks?

After review­ing Hitler’s view that the Islam­ic world was poten­tial­ly an invalu­able asset to be used against the Allies, we exam­ine that tac­tic against the back­ground of recent devel­op­ments.

Turkey’s ongo­ing behav­ior bears scruti­ny. Close­ly allied with the EU and Ger­many, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-derived gov­ern­ment of Erdo­gan in Turkey has turned with a vengeance against the Fetu­lah Gulen orga­ni­za­tion, alleged to be a CIA front and an extrem­ist Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion. The Gulenist milieu had been one of Erdo­gan’s strongest allies and a part­ner in repres­sion of polit­i­cal oppo­nents.

Is this a turn by Turkey and Erdo­gan against the U.S./CIA and in alliance with the Under­ground Reich?

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • A meet­ing in the spring of 2002 fea­tur­ing Achmed Huber of the Bank al-Taqwa, Gian­fran­co Fini of the Ital­ian Allean­za Nationale, “for­mer” SS offi­cer Franz Schon­hu­ber of the Ger­man Repub­likan­er Partei, Jean Marie-Le Pen of the French Nation­al Front and an unnamed Amer­i­can fas­cist. In light of the fact that the BND-han­dled “Curve­ball” and the SIS­MI-direct­ed Niger yel­low-cake dis­in­for­ma­tion pro­vid­ed much of the intel­li­gence mis­in­for­ma­tion used by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion to jus­ti­fy the ill-advised and ill-fat­ed inva­sion of Iraq, we won­der if this meet­ing was designed to put a “hon­ey-trap” in the path of the maraud­ing Amer­i­can bear?
  • Gra­ham E. Fuller’s repu­di­a­tion of the alle­ga­tion that the Fetul­lah Gulen orga­ni­za­tion was a CIA front.
  • Review of Fran­cois Genoud’s involve­ment with the al-Taqwa milieu.
  • Review of al-Taqwa’s role in financ­ing the 9/11 attacks.
  • ISIS’s use of Libya as a major base. Like the blood-bath unfold­ing in Syr­ia, the ouster of Qaddafi and the sub­se­quent rise of ISIS and oth­er Islamist extrem­ist groups in Libya is a direct out­growth of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

1. As this pro­gram is record­ed, the glob­al econ­o­my is reel­ing, in part because of the col­lapse of oil prices. With the Chi­nese econ­o­my in shaky ter­ri­to­ry, glob­al demand for oil is falling. Sau­di Ara­bia, which is the world’s largest oil pro­duc­er, has refused to cut pro­duc­tion. This is putting great pres­sure on the glob­al econ­o­my, that of Rus­sia in par­tic­u­lar. We won­der if this is a recap of the Saud­is’ ramp­ing up of pro­duc­tion in 1986, which under­cut the price of oil and helped to bring down the U.S.S.R.?

(It will be inter­est­ing to see if the result­ing eco­nom­ic dam­age also helps desta­bi­lize the Amer­i­can econ­o­my, help­ing to bring the GOP to pow­er as a result.)

We won­der if the Saud­is are work­ing to desta­bi­lize Rus­sia? Might the Saud­is be look­ing to estab­lish a Wah­habi caliphate in the cen­ter of the Earth Island? Might it encom­pass the Cau­ca­sus, where the Saud­is have been very active in sup­port of the Chechens? Might the “new caliphate also incor­po­rate fos­sil-fuel-rich Xin­jiang Province in Chi­na, where Turkey, the Pan-Turk­ist move­ment, the Grey Wolves and al-Qae­da-linked ele­ments have been active? How might Turk­ish and Saudi/Wahhabi ele­ments align with regard to the new caliphate? Might they work in tan­dem, or would they be rivals?

2. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in the run-up to the Amer­i­can inva­sion of Iraq, both the pro-war and anti-war sides got it wrong with regard to Saddam’s rela­tion­ship with Al Qae­da. Although there was no indi­ca­tion that Iraq or Sad­dam were involved with 9/11, the two enti­ties did have a “dooms­day back-up” arrange­ment. Sad­dam and bin Laden worked out an arrange­ment in which Iraq—in order to pro­vide for a pay­back capa­bil­i­ty if the U.S. oust­ed him—gave infor­ma­tion about WMD’s to bin Laden’s peo­ple. Al Qae­da, in turn, was to act as a back-up unit for Saddam’s Iraq, strik­ing at the Unit­ed States if it knocked out Sad­dam. Of course, pre­cise­ly that sce­nario has tran­spired. The Unit­ed States has walked into this “Death Trap,” and a dis­turbing­ly large per­cent­age of the Mus­lim and Arab com­mu­ni­ties appear ready to join the con­flict.

In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press; ISBN 0–8223-2991–3; pp. 112–113.

 . . . . It appears, how­ev­er, that this ver­sion is the pub­licly admis­si­ble one, the one that can pass polit­i­cal muster. Accord­ing to the same sources, there was anoth­er sce­nario, more in keep­ing with the cal­cu­lat­ing men­tal­i­ty of Sad­dam Hus­sein and his secret ser­vices. In 1998, after declin­ing all offers that had been made to them through offi­cial diplo­mat­ic chan­nels, those ser­vices are report­ed to have estab­lished a secret oper­a­tional ‘con­nec­tion’ with bin Laden in Mani­la and in Kash­mir. It was indeed dif­fi­cult for Iraq to ignore an Arab like Osama bin Laden who so effec­tive­ly humil­i­at­ed the Amer­i­cans.’ Colonel Khairal­lah al Takir­i­ti, the broth­er of the head of Mukkhabarat, the intel­li­gence ser­vices, is report­ed to have been named case offi­cer for the con­nec­tion. The arrest of two Mor­roc­can asso­ciates of bin Laden in Rabat on Novem­ber 11, 1998, made it pos­si­ble to estab­lish to estab­lish the link with cer­tain­ty. Accord­ing to West­ern sources, the Iraqi ser­vices have sought to secure the assis­tance of bin Laden’s net­works, in case Iraq were again to be attacked by the Unit­ed States, in order to car­ry out attacks against Amer­i­can tar­gets in Arab coun­tries. . . .

. . . . Accord­ing to Arab sources, in antic­i­pa­tion of a fore­see­able rever­sal of alliances in Kab­ul, bin Laden had been in dis­creet con­tact since Sep­tem­ber 2000 with asso­ciates of Oudai Hus­sein, anoth­er of Saddam’s sons; the ground for agree­ment was the anti-Israeli and anti-Amer­i­can bat­tle. Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged infor­ma­tion about chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons, despite the oppo­si­tion of some of the Bagh­dad lead­er­ship, includ­ing Tarik Aziz. . . .

ISIS recruits pledg­ing alle­giance. They are NOT audi­tion­ing for an anti-per­spi­rant com­mer­cial.

3a. We note that for­mer Iraqi mil­i­tary offi­cers are appar­ent­ly play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in admin­is­ter­ing the mil­i­tary prowess of ISIS. Is this an out­growth of the “dooms­day plan” that Roland Jacquard report­ed? There has been much spec­u­la­tion about ISIS and WMD’s. Has ISIS acquired access to WMD’s as a result of the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Sad­dam Hus­sein’s offi­cers in their ranks?

Note, also, that Chechens are among the forces but­tress­ing the ranks of ISIS. The evi­dence that ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence are using the Chechens against Rus­sia is strong.

“How Sad­dam’s For­mer Sol­diers Are Fuel­ing the Rise of ISIS” by Jason M. Bres­low; pbs.org [Front­line]; 10/28/2014.

As the Islam­ic State con­tin­ues its march through Syr­ia and Iraq, the jihadist group is qui­et­ly uti­liz­ing a net­work of for­mer mem­bers of Sad­dam Hussein’s Baath Par­ty to help mil­i­ta­rize a fight­ing force that has effec­tive­ly erased the bor­der between both nations and left rough­ly 6 mil­lion peo­ple under its rule.

The extent of this seem­ing­ly mis­matched alliance is detailed in a new report by the New York-based intel­li­gence firm, The Soufan Group. Despite a deep philo­soph­i­cal divide between ISIS and the Baath Par­ty, the two sides have found “suf­fi­cient coin­ci­dence of inter­est to over­come any ide­o­log­i­cal dis­agree­ment,” the analy­sis, which will be released on Wednes­day, found.

This “mar­riage of con­ve­nience,” as the report’s author, Richard Bar­rett describes it, can be seen through­out the ISIS hier­ar­chy. The cur­rent head of the group’s mil­i­tary coun­cil, for exam­ple, is believed to be Abu Ahmad al Alwani, an ex-mem­ber of Sad­dam Hussein’s army. So too was al Alwani’s pre­de­ces­sor. Anoth­er mem­ber of the mil­i­tary coun­cil, Abu Muhanad al Swei­dawi, was once a lieu­tenant colonel in Hussein’s air defense intel­li­gence, but by ear­ly 2014 was head­ing ISIS oper­a­tions in west­ern Syr­ia, accord­ing to the report.

Sim­i­lar­ly, two deputies to the Islam­ic State’s self-pro­claimed caliph, Abu Bakr al Bagh­da­di, are for­mer Baathists: Abu Mus­lim al Afari al Turk­mani is believed to have been a senior spe­cial forces offi­cer and a mem­ber of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence in Hussein’s army. Today, as Baghdadi’s num­ber two, he super­vis­es ISIS oper­a­tions in Iraq. The sec­ond deputy, Abu Ali al Anbari over­sees oper­a­tions in Syr­ia. Both men are also thought to serve on the Islam­ic State’s main gov­ern­ing body, known as the Shu­ra Coun­cil.

Even the appoint­ment of al Bagh­da­di to lead the Islam­ic State of Iraq in 2010 is report­ed by an ISIS defec­tor to have been engi­neered by a for­mer Baathist: Haji Bakr, an ex-colonel from the Iraqi Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard. Bakr “ini­tial­ly attract­ed crit­i­cism from fel­low mem­bers of the group for his lack of a prop­er beard and lax obser­vance of oth­er dic­tates of their reli­gious prac­tice,” the report notes, “But his orga­ni­za­tion­al skills, knowl­edge of the Iraqi Army and net­work of fel­low ex-Baathists made him a valu­able resource.”

It’s this type of exper­tise and net­work of con­nec­tions that has made for­mer Baathists so valu­able to the Islam­ic State, says Bar­rett. Case in point, he says, is the long-term plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion seen in the Islam­ic State’s cap­ture of Nin­eveh Province and its cap­i­tal, Mosul, in June 2014. As he writes of the cam­paign:

This is not the work of neo­phyte enthu­si­asts inspired by their imag­ined rewards of mar­tyr­dom, it is clear­ly the result of detailed plan­ning by peo­ple who know Iraq well, have pri­or expe­ri­ence and train­ing, and are able to man­age an orga­ni­za­tion with dis­ci­pline and secre­cy; all char­ac­ter­is­tics of Sad­dam Hussein’s Baathist sup­port­ers. . . . .

3b. Libya has become a major base for ISIS, pro­vid­ing a plat­form for force pro­jec­tion into Africa. The sit­u­a­tion in Libya, like the Syr­i­an civ­il war, is a direct result of the so-called “Arab Spring,” one of the “con­ga-line ops” we spoke of in FTR #885.

“Jihadists Deep­en Col­lab­o­ra­tion in North Africa” by Car­lot­ta Gall; The New York Times; 1/1/2016.

. . . . Many of the extrem­ist groups are affil­i­ates of Al Qae­da, which has had roots in North Africa since the 1990s. With the recent intro­duc­tion of Islam­ic State fran­chis­es, the jihadist push has been marked by increas­ing, some­times heat­ed, com­pe­ti­tion.

But, ana­lysts and mil­i­tary offi­cials say, there is also deep­en­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion among groups using mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tions and a sophis­ti­cat­ed sys­tem of rov­ing train­ers to share mil­i­tary tac­tics, media strate­gies and ways of trans­fer­ring mon­ey.

Their threat has grown as Libya — with its ungoverned spaces, oil, ports, and prox­im­i­ty to Europe and the Mid­dle East — becomes a bud­ding hub of oper­a­tions for both Al Qae­da and the Islam­ic State to reach deep­er into Africa.

And as Africa’s jihadists come under the wing of dis­tant and more pow­er­ful patrons, offi­cials fear that they are extend­ing their reach and stitch­ing togeth­er their ambi­tions, turn­ing once-local actors into pan-nation­al threats. . . .

4. In his last will and tes­ta­ment, Hitler saw alliance with the Mus­lim world as a key to future Nazi world dom­i­na­tion. It is against the back­ground of this that much of the sub­se­quent dis­cus­sion should be eval­u­at­ed. Note also that this polit­i­cal will and tes­ta­ment was bequeathed to Fran­cois Genoud. Although he died in 1996, Genoud’s name crops up sig­nif­i­cant­ly in a num­ber of impor­tant respects in the con­text of the events of 9/11. For an overview of Genoud’s career, see FTR#453. For more infor­ma­tion about Genoud and 9/11, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 343354371456498499. We exam­ined Genoud’s links to the milieu of Al Taqwa and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in FTR #537. For a con­tem­po­rary inter­pre­ta­tion of Hitler’s words, sub­sti­tute the Unit­ed States for Britain in the fol­low­ing con­text:

Tes­ta­ment of Hitler, Head­quar­ters of the Fuhrer, Feb­ru­ary 4 to April 2, 1945, pref­ace by Fran­cois Genoud; not­ed as Foot­note #8 in: “The Reds, The Browns and the Greens” by Alexan­dre Del Valle; Occi­den­tal­is; 12/13/04; p. 10.

. . . . Adolf Hitler declared in his ‘Tes­ta­ment,’ report­ed by Mar­tin Bor­mann: ‘All of Islam vibrates at announce­ment of our vic­to­ries..... What can we do to help them..., how can it be to our inter­est and’ our duty? The pres­ence next to us of the Ital­ians... cre­ates a malaise among our friends of Islam,... it hin­ders us from play­ing one of our bet­ter cards: to sup­port the coun­tries oppressed by the British. Such a pol­i­cy would excite enthu­si­asm through­out Islam. It is, in effect, a par­tic­u­lar­i­ty of the Mus­lim world that what touch­es one, whether good or ill, is felt by all the oth­ers.... The peo­ple ruled by Islam will always be near­er to us than France, in spite of the kin­ship of blood’ . . . .

5. Next, the pro­gram revis­its a point of infor­ma­tion dis­cussed in—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 378456. In the spring of 2002, as the prepa­ra­tions for the Iraq war were under­way, Al Taqwa direc­tor Achmed Huber net­worked with oth­er Amer­i­can and Euro­pean fas­cists and far right­ists, includ­ing Gian­fran­co Fini, head of the Ital­ian Allean­za Nationale. Might the meet­ing have had some­thing to do with Iraq? Had the “Atlanti­cist” ori­en­ta­tion of the P‑2 milieu been super­seded by an anti‑U.S./Third Posi­tion ori­en­ta­tion in the Ital­ian fas­cist milieu? Did this meet­ing have any­thing to do with the feed­ing of false intel­li­gence to the US in order to lure the coun­try into a drain­ing, expen­sive and (ulti­mate­ly) fatal war with the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion of the “Earth Island”? Note in this regard, that Fini was at that time the Ital­ian for­eign min­is­ter. Is it pos­si­ble that the man (Fini) who char­ac­ter­ized Mus­soli­ni as “the great­est states­man of the 20th cen­tu­ry” has not changed his stripes? Is it pos­si­ble that he was con­fer­ring with the oth­er Euro­pean fas­cist lead­ers in order to help lure the US into a trap? (For more on Huber, see—among oth­er pro­grams—FTR#’s 343354357359377456.)

“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; pp. 14–15.

. . . . Per­haps the most recent remark­able sto­ry con­cern­ing Huber comes from a brief item in the Swiss tabloid Blick that in an April 26, 2002 arti­cle by Alexan­der Saut­ter that Huber was involved in a meet­ing of far-right lead­ers from Europe. A pho­to show­ing Huber with Jean Marie Le Pen accom­pa­nies the arti­cle. The Blick sto­ry (avail­able on the web) is as fol­lows: ‘Mon Pelerin VD: Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat, the pro­mot­er (Scharf­mach­er) of the right extrem­ist Jean-Marie Le Pen (73): The guru assem­bles togeth­er some of the top lead­ers of the Euro­pean right. On the idyl­lic Mont Pelerin, they debate their crude ideas. At his secret vis­it to a spa in Switzer­land, Le Pen hard­ly remained alone. Right­ist lead­ers from all over Europe trav­eled to meet the extrem­ist pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who was host­ed by Cam­buzat. Franz Schon­hu­ber (79). Founder of the Repub­li­can Par­ty in Ger­many and a for­mer mem­ber of the SS. He talked with Le Pen who con­sti­tutes togeth­er with Schon­hu­ber the ‘Front Nation­al’ Fac­tion in the Euro­pean par­lia­ment. Gian­fran­co Fini (50). Ital­ian post-fas­cist, Mus­soli­ni admir­er, and founder of the Alleanze Nationale. He also was at the meet­ing with Le Pen and Schon­hu­ber. Ahmed Huber (74). The Swiss is on the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion black­list . . . ‘I met le Pen at Mont Pelerin as he went to Chris­t­ian Cambuzat’s spa,’ Huber told Blick yes­ter­day. At the extrem­ist ren­dezvous an Amer­i­can far right politi­cian was also sup­posed to have tak­en part. [Note: the Amer­i­can is not fur­ther identified.—KC] Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat said that Le Pen (after the elec­tion) had again become the sharpest weapon of the ‘Front Nation­al’ because Le Pen changed his image from a ven­omous old man to a ‘kind­ly U.S. TV evan­ge­list.’ Proud­ly Cam­buzat brags, ‘With me Le Pen can relax well’ [from his polit­i­cal endeavors—KC]. And open­ly link up with new con­tacts. [Although the Blick sto­ry does not give details, Cam­buzat runs a spa for the very rich, the Lemanique de Revi­tal­i­sa­tion, inside a hotel on the famous Mont Pelerin.]’ . . .

6. The Turk­ish AK Par­ty (tout­ed as a role mod­el for the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) has a strong eco­nom­ic rela­tion­ship with Ger­many and oth­er Euro­pean eco­nom­ic play­ers.

“The Turk­ish Mod­el”; german-foreign-policy.com; 2/18/2011.

. . . . The focus is on two par­tic­u­lar aspects of Turk­ish pol­i­cy. The first is that over the past few years, polit­i­cal Islam in Turkey has proven to be very coop­er­a­tive with the EU. This is due to the eco­nom­ic rise of the con­ser­v­a­tive sec­tors of the Ana­to­lian hin­ter­land, which is orga­nized with­in the Adelet ve Kalk­in­ma Par­tisi (AKP), the par­ty of Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan and rul­ing par­ty in Ankara since 2002. The AKP has a clear­ly Islam­ic ori­en­ta­tion. The Ana­to­lian enter­pris­es form­ing the back­bone of the par­ty have close eco­nom­ic ties in EU coun­tries. It is on this basis that the AKP has estab­lished inten­sive ties to West­ern Europe, and incor­po­rat­ed into its brand of polit­i­cal Islam a reori­en­ta­tion favor­able to the EU. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2]) The par­ty has since stood as a mod­el for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of Islamism hav­ing a pro-west­ern char­ac­ter. In fact, over the past few years, sev­er­al North African Islam­ic forces — includ­ing sec­tors of the influ­en­tial Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood — have been ori­ent­ing them­selves on the AKP. Accord­ing to a recent study, co-financed by the SPD-affil­i­at­ed Friedrich Ebert Foun­da­tion, near­ly two-thirds of the pop­u­la­tions in sev­en Arab nations, includ­ing Egypt, would be in favor of their coun­tries’ adopt­ing the Turk­ish model.[3] A pro-west­ern ori­en­ta­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, implic­it in such a mod­el, would be appre­ci­at­ed in west­ern cap­i­tals. . . .

7a. In FTR #739, we took a brief look at the pow­er­ful inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tion of the Penn­syl­va­nia-based Turk­ish Mus­lim cler­ic and author Fetul­lah Gulen. Being inves­ti­gat­ed by the FBI and exco­ri­at­ed by numer­ous sources for Machi­avel­lian gam­bits to destroy polit­i­cal oppo­nents, the orga­ni­za­tion has a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in 80 coun­tries, includ­ing spon­sor­ship of char­ter schools here in the Unit­ed States.Suspicions and reser­va­tions about the Gulen orga­ni­za­tion include: fears in Cen­tral Asian republics that the group is Islamist and/or pan-Tur­kic in nature; con­vic­tions among jour­nal­ists like the estimable Sibel Edmonds and intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary offi­cers in Turkey and else­where that the Gulenists are fronting for CIA agents; that the Gulenist cadre engage as a mat­ter of course in ille­gal acts to destroy their oppo­nents, includ­ing numer­ous inci­dents of forgery and per­jury, as well as libel and pro­pa­gan­da. In Gulen’s native coun­try of Turkey, the orga­ni­za­tion became a key ally of the sup­pos­ed­ly “mod­er­ate” Islamist gov­ern­ment of Tayyip Erdo­gan. A sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing body of doc­u­men­ta­tion sug­gests that the Gulenists have been instru­men­tal in forg­ing evi­dence used by the Erdo­gan gov­ern­ment to stage tri­als of mil­i­tary offi­cers allegdly involved in a coup plot against the government.(Historically, the mil­i­tary has served as a bul­wark in mod­ern Turkey against Islamiza­tion, pre­serv­ing with the gun the sec­u­lar tra­di­tion estab­lished by Kemal Attaturk fol­low­ing the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Far from being “mod­er­ate,” the Erdo­gan gov­ern­ment is, as we have seen in FTR #737, derived from the Mus­lim Brotherhood/Islamic fas­cist al-Taqwa milieu.) It is worth not­ing that the Erdo­gan gov­ern­men­t’s “mod­er­ate” Islamist nature is belied by the fact that Turkey cur­rent­ly has more jour­nal­ists in prison than Chi­na and Iran com­bined! Hey, that is SOME mod­er­a­tion, no?!  The Broth­er­hood, of course, was allied with the Axis in World War II and has been used by numer­ous intel­li­gence ser­vices, includ­ing ele­ments of CIA, as a vehi­cle for covert action and repres­sion in the post­war period.In addi­tion to sup­port­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, ele­ments of CIA have also sup­port­ed the Pan-Turk­ist move­ment in the past. Pan-Turk­ists have also allied his­tor­i­cal­ly with the Third Reich, as we have seen in FTR #720, among oth­er pro­grams. In con­nec­tion with the Fetul­lah Gullen orga­ni­za­tion, a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions sug­gest them­selves:
  • If the alle­ga­tions con­cern­ing CIA involve­ment with the Gulenists are accu­rate, what might be the goal of the CIA/Gulen alliance?
  • Might the GOP/petroleum industry/Under­ground Reich ele­ment of CIA be aim­ing to use Islamists and/or Pan-Turk­ists against Rus­sia and/or Chi­na?
  • As pre­pos­ter­ous as it may seem at first glance, might that same ele­ment of CIA and oth­er West­ern intel­li­gence ser­vices be pro­mot­ing a “neo-Ottoman Empire” as a vehi­cle for gain­ing con­trol of resource-rich parts of the “Earth Island,” petro­le­um-pro­duc­ing areas in par­tic­u­lar?
  • Might such a “neo-Ottoman Empire” be a key ele­ment in the ongo­ing “Earth Island Boo­gie?
  • The brand of Islam embraced by the Gulen orga­ni­za­tion is gen­er­al­ly rep­re­sent­ed as mod­er­ate. Sibel Edmonds and, appar­ent­ly, some of the group’s crit­ics in Cen­tral Asia allege that the group is, in fact, extrem­ist. If that is, in fact, the case, might the alleged CIA/Gulen alliance be part of the same polit­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion as the “Arab Spring” that we looked at in FTR #‘s 734 through 739?
  • The tac­tics appar­ent­ly pur­sued by the Gulen orga­ni­za­tion sug­gest that its true nature is any­thing but mod­er­ate.
  • The Turk­ish for­eign min­is­ter is indeed pur­su­ing a “neo-Ottoman,” Pan-Turk­ist agen­da.
  • What might be the agenda/goal of the con­sid­er­able Gulenist pres­ence in the Unit­ed States?
  • Is the FBI inves­ti­ga­tion of the Gulenist activ­i­ties in the U.S. anoth­er exam­ple of the bureau cut­ting across an oper­a­tion by ele­ments of CIA?
  • Is the Under­ground Reich a play­er in this sce­nario?

Is the CIA Infil­trat­ing Cen­tral Asia Via Turk­ish Mus­lims?” by Joshua Kocera; eurasianet.org; 1/6/2011.

. . . . That is appar­ent­ly the claim of for­mer top Turk­ish intel­li­gence offi­cial Osman Nuri Gun­des, who has pub­lished a mem­oir alleg­ing that the Fethul­lah Gulen move­ment has been shel­ter­ing CIA agents in Cen­tral Asia since the 1990s. Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post’s SpyTalk blog, “in the 1990s, Gun­des alleges, the move­ment “shel­tered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyr­gyzs­tan and Uzbek­istan alone.”

The Gulen move­ment already is a con­tro­ver­sial one in Cen­tral Asia, with gov­ern­ments crack­ing down to vary­ing degrees because of the group’s alleged Islamist or pan-Tur­kic bent. And that’s with­out alle­ga­tions of being a CIA stalk­ing horse. . . .

. . . . Any­way, Sibel Edmonds, the FBI-trans­la­tor-turned-whistle­blow­er, says that account does­n’t go far enough, and the Gulen move­ment is an extrem­ist Islamist one — and that the CIA is coop­er­at­ing with them nev­er­the­less: “. . . Based on what I per­son­al­ly know, US Islamiza­tion Oper­a­tions in Cen­tral Asia via Gulen start­ed in late 1997, ear­ly 1998 . . .”

7b. About the Erdo­gan gov­ern­men­t’s sup­pres­sion of jour­nal­ists:

“A Moscow Show Tri­al on the Bosporus” by Dani Radrik; “Con­science of a Lib­er­al” by Paul Krug­man [The New York Times]; 3/12/2012.

In what is prob­a­bly the country’s most impor­tant court case in at least five decades, hun­dreds of Turk­ish mil­i­tary offi­cers are in jail and on tri­al for alleged­ly hav­ing plot­ted to over­throw the then new­ly-elect­ed Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty back in 2003. The case also hap­pens to be one of the most absurd ever pros­e­cut­ed in an appar­ent democ­ra­cy. The evi­dence against the defen­dants is such an obvi­ous forgery that even a child would rec­og­nize it as such. Imag­ine, if you can, some­thing that is a cross between the Moscow show tri­als and the Salem witch­craft hys­te­ria, and you will not be too far off.

The government’s case rests on a set of doc­u­ments (most­ly Word files) that describe in gory detail prepa­ra­tions for the coup (code­named Sledge­ham­mer), includ­ing false-flag oper­a­tions to set the stage for the takeover and a list of cab­i­net mem­bers to be appoint­ed. These are unsigned dig­i­tal doc­u­ments on elec­tron­ic media (CDs, a detached hard dri­ve, a flash dri­ve) that have nev­er been traced to actu­al mil­i­tary com­put­ers or oth­er­wise authen­ti­cat­ed. The mil­i­tary has vehe­ment­ly denied that such plans ever exist­ed.

Most telling­ly, a tor­rent of evi­dence has come out since the doc­u­ments first emerged that points to their fraud­u­lent nature. The doc­u­ments con­tain hun­dreds of anachro­nisms – names of NGOs, mil­i­tary instal­la­tions, or firms that did not yet exist – that make clear beyond any rea­son­able doubt that they were pro­duced years lat­er and back­dat­ed to impli­cate the offi­cers on tri­al. Some of the defen­dants have shown that they were out­side the coun­try at the time they are alleged to have pre­pared these doc­u­ments or attend­ed plan­ning meet­ings.

An Amer­i­can foren­sic spe­cial­ist has deter­mined that the “hand writ­ing” on the CDs was actu­al­ly pro­duced by mechan­i­cal­ly repli­cat­ing indi­vid­ual let­ters from the note­books of one of the defen­dants. Devi­a­tions from mil­i­tary for­mat­ting sug­gest the doc­u­ments were pre­pared by indi­vid­u­als not ful­ly famil­iar with the army’s style require­ments. As long-time Turkey ana­lyst Gareth Jenk­ins put it to the New York­er: “It’s absolute­ly clear that these doc­u­ments have been forged.” . . . .

. . . . The Turk­ish mil­i­tary has a his­to­ry of polit­i­cal inter­ven­tion and has often clashed with the Islamists. So the alle­ga­tions have been a god­send for Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has exploit­ed the tri­al to gain con­trol over mil­i­tary pro­mo­tions and to break the army’s polit­i­cal pow­er.

But the real mov­ing force behind this and a num­ber of oth­er sim­i­lar tri­als is the Gülen move­ment, a key ally of the Erdoğan gov­ern­ment made up of the fol­low­ers of the Penn­syl­va­nia-based Turk­ish Mus­lim preach­er Fethul­lah Gülen. Gülenists have a long track record of fram­ing their per­ceived oppo­nents and engag­ing in judi­cial dirty tricks. Their con­trol of key posi­tions in the nation­al police and judi­cia­ry enables them to mount tar­get­ed oper­a­tions dis­guised as legal inves­ti­ga­tions. Pros­e­cu­tors scru­ti­niz­ing them, whistle­blow­ers reveal­ing their activ­i­ties, crit­i­cal jour­nal­ists, and even busi­ness­men have been among their vic­tims, in addi­tion to mil­i­tary offi­cers. As Ahmet Şık, a jour­nal­ist who wrote an expose about the move­ment and then found him­self fac­ing pre­pos­ter­ous charges of help­ing ter­ror­ists even before the book was pub­lished, exclaimed on his way to jail: “he who touch­es [them] burns.”

The police and pros­e­cu­tors who have staged the coup plot tri­al are known Gülen sym­pa­thiz­ers. And Gülenist media have worked over­time to shape pub­lic opin­ion, whip­ping up hys­te­ria against the defen­dants and pro­duc­ing a steady stream of dis­in­for­ma­tion about the case. The occa­sion­al judge who has ruled in favor of the offi­cers and com­men­ta­tors point­ing to prob­lems with the pros­e­cu­tors’ evi­dence (includ­ing me) have become tar­gets of Gülenist defama­tion. . . .

8. A for­mer Turk­ish intel­li­gence chief has claimed that the Gulen orga­ni­za­tion is a CIA front. Gra­ham E. Fuller has dis­missed this alle­ga­tion. As we have seen, Fuller is a major advo­cate for the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and its free-mar­ket, cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic agen­da.

“Islam­ic group is CIA front, ex-Turk­ish Intel Chief Says” by Jeff Stein; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 1/5/2011.

A mem­oir by a top for­mer Turk­ish intel­li­gence offi­cial claims that a world­wide mod­er­ate Islam­ic move­ment based in Penn­syl­va­nia has been pro­vid­ing cov­er for the CIA since the mid-1990s.

The mem­oir, rough­ly ren­dered in Eng­lish as “Wit­ness to Rev­o­lu­tion and Near Anar­chy,” by retired Turk­ish intel­li­gence offi­cial Osman Nuri Gun­des, says the reli­gious-tol­er­ance move­ment, led by an influ­en­tial for­mer Turk­ish imam by the name of Fethul­lah Gulen, has 600 schools and 4 mil­lion fol­low­ers around the world.

In the 1990s, Gun­des alleges, the move­ment “shel­tered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyr­gyzs­tan and Uzbek­istan alone, accord­ing to a report on his mem­oir Wednes­day by the Paris-based Intel­li­gence Online newslet­ter. . . .

. . . . Like­wise, Gra­ham Fuller, a for­mer CIA sta­tion chief in Kab­ul and author of “The Future of Polit­i­cal Islam,” threw cold water on Gundes’s alle­ga­tions about Kyr­gyzs­tan and Uzbek­istan.

“I think the sto­ry of 130 CIA agents in Gulen schools in Cen­tral Asia is pret­ty wild,” Fuller said by e‑mail.

“I should has­ten to add that I left CIA in 1987 — near­ly 25 years ago — and I have absolute­ly no con­crete per­son­al knowl­edge what­so­ev­er about this. But my instincts tell me the claim is high­ly improb­a­ble.”

Fuller added, “I can­not even imag­ine try­ing to cred­i­bly sell such a scheme with a straight face with­in the agency. As for Nuri Gun­des, I am not aware of who he is or what he has writ­ten. But there is a lot of wild stuff float­ing around in Turkey on these issues and Gulen is a real hot but­ton issue.” . . . .

9. Erdo­gan has turned on the Fetul­lah Gulen orga­ni­za­tion, for­mer­ly a very close and valu­able ally. We have more ques­tions than answers about this. Has Erdo­gan (Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and al-Taqwa derived) turned on the U.S.? Is he actu­al­ly work­ing for the Under­ground Reich/Germany/EU?

“Turkey Issues Arrest War­rant for Erdoğan Rival Fethul­lah Gülen” by Con­stanze Letch; The Guardian; 12/19/2014.

A Turk­ish court has issued an arrest war­rant for the US-based Islam­ic cler­ic Fethul­lah Gülen, a for­mer ally of Turk­ish pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has since become a fierce crit­ic.

In his request for the war­rant, Istan­bul pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor Hasan Yil­maz accused Gülen of lead­ing a crim­i­nal organ­i­sa­tion. Accord­ing to Turk­ish media reports, the charges include oper­at­ing an armed ter­ror group, which car­ries a penal­ty of up to 15 years in prison. Yil­maz said that “suf­fi­cient tan­gi­ble evi­dence show­ing that Gülen com­mit­ted a crime was col­lect­ed dur­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion.”

Turk­ish author­i­ties are now able to apply to Wash­ing­ton for extra­di­tion of the elder­ly cler­ic, though such a request is like­ly to put strained rela­tions with Turkey’s Nato ally under fur­ther pres­sure.

Fol­low­ing a string of orches­trat­ed raids on media out­lets with ties to the cler­ic last Sun­day, the war­rant marks anoth­er esca­la­tion in the bat­tle between Erdoğan and Gülen, whose move­ment, also known as Hizmet, has mil­lions of fol­low­ers world­wide.

Erdoğan has accused his foe of estab­lish­ing a “par­al­lel struc­ture” with­in the state by plac­ing his fol­low­ers in insti­tu­tions such as the judi­cia­ry and the police, and of exert­ing strong influ­ence through his media empire. Gülen denies any intent to over­throw Erdoğan or the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.

The Euro­pean Union has strong­ly con­demned the raids, which Erdoğan defend­ed as a nec­es­sary response to “dirty oper­a­tions” against the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.

Speak­ing at the open­ing of an exten­sion to an oil refin­ery near Istan­bul, Erdoğan told his EU crit­ics to mind their own busi­ness: “We have no con­cern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as mem­bers or not, we have no such con­cern. Please keep your wis­dom to your­self,” he said.

EU enlarge­ment com­mis­sion­er Johannes Hahn described the police oper­a­tion as “not real­ly an invi­ta­tion to move fur­ther for­ward” with Turkey. The US State Depart­ment has also expressed con­cern, urg­ing Turk­ish author­i­ties “to ensure their actions do not vio­late [the] core val­ues [media free­dom, due process, and judi­cial inde­pen­dence]”.

On Fri­day, a Turk­ish court also kept a media exec­u­tive and three oth­er peo­ple detained dur­ing Sunday’s raids in cus­tody pend­ing tri­al, all of them on charges of being mem­bers of a ter­ror­ist group.

Hidayet Kara­ca is the head of the Samany­olu Broad­cast­ing Group, a media organ­i­sa­tion known to have close ties to the Gülen move­ment. Ekrem Duman­li, edi­tor-in-chief of the Zaman news­pa­per also linked to Gülen, was released pend­ing tri­al, but for­bid­den from trav­el­ling abroad before the com­ple­tion of the crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion.

Human rights groups crit­i­cised the court’s deci­sion. “Human Rights Watch is con­cerned at today’s court deci­sion to place jour­nal­ist and Samany­olu broad­cast­ing group head, Hidayet Kara­ca, in pre-tri­al deten­tion,” said Emma Sin­clair-Webb, HRW’s senior Turkey researcher. “Pre-tri­al deten­tion should be the excep­tion, and keep­ing jour­nal­ists in cus­tody on dubi­ous ter­ror­ism charges with­out clear jus­ti­fi­ca­tion harms media free­dom and is like­ly to fur­ther dent Turkey’s inter­na­tion­al rep­u­ta­tion.”

The pow­er and influ­ence of the elder­ly cler­ic and his far-reach­ing net­work have long been a defin­ing issue of Turk­ish pol­i­tics. The dom­i­na­tion of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey was aid­ed by his alliance with Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Penn­syl­va­nia since 1998. Those who dared to speak up and crit­i­cise the Gülen move­ment were swift­ly pun­ished, often through dubi­ous court cas­es and on fab­ri­cat­ed charges.

The rela­tion­ship between the two turned sour after a cor­rup­tion scan­dal in Decem­ber last year that impli­cat­ed the gov­ern­ment, Erdoğan’s clos­est asso­ciates and his fam­i­ly. Main­tain­ing that the sleaze alle­ga­tions were unfound­ed and part of a coup attempt led by Gülen, Erdoğan purged the police of thou­sands of offi­cers, trans­ferred pros­e­cu­tors linked to the inves­ti­ga­tion and tight­ened con­trol over the judi­cia­ry. Pros­e­cu­tors dropped the cor­rup­tion charges this year.

Erdoğan said that both the oper­a­tions and the purges of state insti­tu­tions would con­tin­ue, and added that the judi­cia­ry and some oth­ers, includ­ing the state sci­en­tif­ic agency Tubitak, must yet be “cleansed of all trai­tors”.

 

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #886 What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by “The Earth Island Boogie?,” Part 3: Geopolitical Quicksand”

  1. Could the “coup attempt gains Erdo­gan” have also been a pre­text to attack/sabotage a NATO air­base?

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/692791/Firefighters-battle-massive-blaze-near-Turkey-NATO-base-after-sabotage-attempt

    Fire­fight­ers bat­tle mas­sive blaze near NATO base in Turkey after ‘sab­o­tage attempt’

    A HUGE fire has bro­ken out near the NATO base in Turkey in what offi­cials fear may be a sab­o­tage attempt.

    Posted by Annon | July 25, 2016, 3:58 am
  2. Here’s a night­mare sce­nario that isn’t like­ly but is still worth pon­der­ing because, well, the world is nuts: What if Don­ald Trump man­aged to serve two full terms as Pres­i­dent and then went on serve in a spe­cial cer­e­mo­ni­al post in the gov­ern­ment and from that cer­e­mo­ni­al post man­aged to pro­mote and push through a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum that made abol­ished the pres­i­den­cy and instead gave that cer­e­mo­ni­al post the pow­er to rule by decree. And imag­ine Trump push­es this ref­er­en­dum and it actu­al­ly pass­es! But just bare­ly and with many vot­ing anom­alies. Boy, would­n’t that be a night­mare sce­nario. And while that does­n’t seem like a very like­ly sce­nario for Trump’s future (at least let’s hope not), it just hap­pened in Turkey:

    CNN

    Inter­na­tion­al mon­i­tors deliv­er scathing ver­dict on Turk­ish ref­er­en­dum

    By James Mas­ters and Kara Fox, CNN

    Updat­ed 2:06 PM ET, Mon April 17, 2017

    Ankara (CNN)International elec­tion mon­i­tors have deliv­ered a scathing ver­dict on the con­duct of Turkey’s con­tro­ver­sial ref­er­en­dum to grant expan­sive new pow­ers to Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan.

    Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a coali­tion of inter­na­tion­al bod­ies said the vote took place on an “unlev­el play­ing field” with the “yes” cam­paign dom­i­nat­ing media cov­er­age.

    Vot­ers were not pro­vid­ed with ade­quate infor­ma­tion, oppo­si­tion voic­es were muz­zled and the rules were changed at the last minute, they said.

    “The legal frame­work remained inad­e­quate for the hold­ing of a gen­uine­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic ref­er­en­dum,” the mon­i­tors’ ini­tial report stat­ed.

    The con­clu­sions drew a stiff rebuke from Turkey’s For­eign Min­istry, which said the mon­i­tors’ find­ings are a “reflec­tion” of a “biased and prej­u­diced approach.”
    “The com­ment that the ref­er­en­dum was below inter­na­tion­al stan­dards is unac­cept­able,” the min­istry state­ment said.

    Erdo­gan’s mar­gin of vic­to­ry in the ref­er­en­dum was razor-thin. Despite a state of emer­gency and a wide­spread crack­down on dis­sent, he suc­ceed­ed in per­suad­ing only 51.4% of vot­ers to back his con­sti­tu­tion­al upheaval.

    The three biggest cities in Turkey — Ankara, Istan­bul and Izmir — reject­ed the plans, which would abol­ish Turkey’s sys­tem of par­lia­men­tary democ­ra­cy and replace it with an exec­u­tive pres­i­den­cy with sweep­ing, large­ly unchecked pow­ers.

    Oppo­si­tion groups vowed to chal­lenge the out­come, cit­ing a rule change to allow unstamped bal­lots, announced after polls had opened.

    Euro­pean gov­ern­ments acknowl­edged the result but bris­tled at a sug­ges­tion by Erdo­gan that he would seek the restora­tion of the death penal­ty — a move that would sink Turkey’s long-stalled bid to join the Euro­pean Union.

    The results cement a years-long effort by Erdo­gan to con­sol­i­date his posi­tion. After serv­ing as prime min­is­ter for near­ly a decade, he took over as pres­i­dent in 2014 and through force of per­son­al­i­ty turned a large­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al role into a de fac­to head of gov­ern­ment.

    A failed coup last year allowed him to turn up the heat on oppo­si­tion voic­es in the run-up to Sun­day’s ref­er­en­dum. The “no” cam­paign said it faced intim­i­da­tion and threats of vio­lence, while oppo­si­tion fig­ures and jour­nal­ists were jailed. The nar­row­ness of the result, cou­pled with alle­ga­tions of irreg­u­lar­i­ties, sets the scene for fur­ther insta­bil­i­ty.

    Crit­i­cism from mon­i­tors

    The mon­i­tors — a part­ner­ship of the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­ri­ty and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe and the Coun­cil for Europe — offered a harsh analy­sis on the way the ref­er­en­dum was con­duct­ed.

    Pre­sent­ing their pre­lim­i­nary find­ings at a news brief­ing in Ankara, Tana de Zulue­ta, head of the mon­i­tor­ing mis­sion, described a litany of short­com­ings.

    * The state of emer­gency imposed after a failed coup last July had a pro­found effect on the polit­i­cal process. “Fun­da­men­tal free­doms essen­tial to a gen­uine­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic process were cur­tailed,” the mon­i­tors’ report said. “The dis­missal or deten­tion of thou­sands of cit­i­zens neg­a­tive­ly affect­ed the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment.”

    * State media was biased in favor of Erdo­gan and did not ade­quate­ly cov­er oppo­si­tion. “The legal frame­work for the ref­er­en­dum nei­ther suf­fi­cient­ly pro­vides for impar­tial cov­er­age nor guar­an­tees eli­gi­ble polit­i­cal par­ties equal access to pub­lic media,” she said.

    * Mon­i­tors saw “no” sup­port­ers sub­ject­ed to police inter­ven­tion at events and senior offi­cials in the “yes” camp equat­ed them with ter­ror­ists.

    * The involve­ment of Erdo­gan and oth­er nation­al and local pub­lic fig­ures in the “yes” cam­paign led to a “restric­tive” and “imbal­anced” cam­paign frame­work, she said.

    * The deci­sion on the day of the vote to allow unstamped bal­lots “sig­nif­i­cant­ly changed the bal­lot valid­i­ty cri­te­ria, under­min­ing an impor­tant safe­guard and con­tra­dict­ing the law.”

    Erdo­gan prais­es cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment

    Erdo­gan showed no signs of being cowed by the nar­row mar­gin of vic­to­ry. In a rous­ing speech to sup­port­ers in Ankara, he hailed the result and attacked his West­ern crit­ics. The vote, he said, demon­strat­ed that Turk­ish peo­ple had said, “Yes to a sin­gle nation. Yes to a sin­gle flag...Yes to a sin­gle state.”

    Erdo­gan, speak­ing in Ankara on Mon­day, served up blunt words for the inter­na­tion­al elec­tion mon­i­tors.

    “There is an orga­ni­za­tion named OSCE in Europe. Now they are prepar­ing a report in their own way, say­ing that such and such hap­pened in Turk­ish elec­tions,” he said.

    “First of all, you should know your lim­its. Know your lim­its. We would nei­ther see nor hear nor know the polit­i­cal­ly-ori­ent­ed reports you pre­pare. We will just march ahead. This coun­try has just under­tak­en the most demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions nev­er seen in any West­ern coun­try,” he said.

    He reit­er­at­ed his desire to restore the death penal­ty as crowds chant­ed: “We want cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment.”

    Oppo­si­tion par­ties crit­i­cized the deci­sion of elec­tion author­i­ties to allow bal­lots that did not bear an offi­cial stamp.

    Bulent Tez­can, deputy chair­man of the main oppo­si­tion par­ty, the Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Par­ty, or CHP, said his par­ty would con­test the result in Turkey and, if nec­es­sary, at the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights.

    “The only deci­sion that will end legit­i­ma­cy debate and ease peo­ple’s con­cerns about the judi­cia­ry is for the High Elec­tion Board to can­cel the ref­er­en­dum,” Tez­can said.

    Turk­ish oppo­si­tion par­ties have three days to appeal the ref­er­en­dum results under the elec­tion law, CHP law­mak­er and human rights lawyer Sez­gin Tan­riku­lu said.

    “We will do all we can with­in the rule of law.”

    ‘Pro­found changes’

    Once con­firmed, moves could get under­way to imple­ment the 18-arti­cle reform pack­age put for­ward by the rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP).

    They include:

    * Abol­ish­ing the post of prime min­is­ter and replac­ing it with a pow­er­ful exec­u­tive pres­i­dent with pow­ers to rule by decree.
    * Giv­ing the pres­i­dent the pow­er to appoint a cab­i­net and some senior judges.
    * Curb­ing the pow­er of par­lia­ment to scru­ti­nize leg­is­la­tion.
    * Reset­ting term lim­its for pres­i­dent, mean­ing Erdo­gan could serve until 2029 if he wins elec­tions in 2019 and 2024.

    Ahmet Kasim Han, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at Kadir Has Uni­ver­si­ty in Istan­bul, said the result would “pro­found­ly change the way the coun­try is gov­erned.”

    Crit­ics of the pro­pos­als say they give over­ly broad pow­ers to the pres­i­dent, Han said. Sup­port­ers of the “Yes” result argue the changes are jus­ti­fied giv­en the “exis­ten­tial threat” on the coun­try’s south­ern bor­ders with Iraq and Syr­ia, along with last sum­mer’s attempt­ed coup, he added.

    Serkan Demir­tas, Ankara bureau chief of Hur­riyet Dai­ly News and an expert on judi­cial issues, explained that the Board is expect­ed to respond to CHP’s appeals next week. He does­n’t expect a dif­fer­ent deci­sion from the Board, the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court or the Euro­pean Court from Human Rights.

    Cau­tion from Europe

    Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel said the result showed that “Turk­ish soci­ety is deeply divid­ed” and called for the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to engage in “respect­ful dia­logue” with all polit­i­cal enti­ties.

    In a joint state­ment with For­eign Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel, she called on the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to “address con­cerns” about the vot­ing process.

    The office of the French Pres­i­dent, Fran­cois Hol­lande, warned that any ref­er­en­dum in Turkey on the rein­state­ment of the death penal­ty would con­sti­tute a break with EU val­ues and com­mit­ments.

    The Coun­cil of Europe, a human rights orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes Euro­pean val­ues and of which Turkey is a mem­ber, said the tight vote meant the coun­try would have to pro­ceed with cau­tion.

    “In view of the close result the Turk­ish lead­er­ship should con­sid­er the next steps care­ful­ly,” said the state­ment from Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Thor­b­jorn Jagland.

    Joy and despair

    As the results came in, thou­sands of the pres­i­den­t’s sup­port­ers con­verged at the Ankara head­quar­ters of the AKP, which Ergo­dan found­ed. Wav­ing flags, they shout­ed, “Tell us to kill, we will kill. Tell us to die, we will die. Erdo­gan, Erdo­gan, Erdo­gan.”

    But there were just as many who were dev­as­tat­ed by the result.

    ...

    “The results cement a years-long effort by Erdo­gan to con­sol­i­date his posi­tion. After serv­ing as prime min­is­ter for near­ly a decade, he took over as pres­i­dent in 2014 and through force of per­son­al­i­ty turned a large­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al role into a de fac­to head of gov­ern­ment.”

    Yes, thanks to a dubi­ous elec­tion that just bare­ly passed the refendum — despite the rul­ing AKP gov­ern­ment clear­ly try­ing to ensure pas­sage — Erdo­gan is now back in pow­er with more pow­ers than ever before:

    ...
    Once con­firmed, moves could get under­way to imple­ment the 18-arti­cle reform pack­age put for­ward by the rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP).

    They include:

    * Abol­ish­ing the post of prime min­is­ter and replac­ing it with a pow­er­ful exec­u­tive pres­i­dent with pow­ers to rule by decree.
    * Giv­ing the pres­i­dent the pow­er to appoint a cab­i­net and some senior judges.
    * Curb­ing the pow­er of par­lia­ment to scru­ti­nize leg­is­la­tion.
    * Reset­ting term lim­its for pres­i­dent, mean­ing Erdo­gan could serve until 2029 if he wins elec­tions in 2019 and 2024.
    ...

    And now we get to see what it’s like when Gol­lum gets his ring back. It should be pret­ty hair-rais­ing. And per­haps even hair-raz­ing, but prob­a­bly not. The hair-raz­ing decree was already issued last week as part of a ploy to get ‘Yes’ votes from beau­ti­cians. So it’s just the hair-rais­ing decrees left to do. Let the decree spree com­mence.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 17, 2017, 2:55 pm

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