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Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Erdogan, Part 3

Tayyip Erdo­gan

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: A major theme of the so-called “Arab Spring” was the belief that by allow­ing the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood unfet­tered access to the reins of polit­i­cal pow­er, the result­ing regimes would resem­ble the “mod­ern,” “demo­c­ra­t­ic” gov­ern­ment of Tayyip Erdo­gan in Turkey.

(The For The Record series on the “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring” runs from FTR #733 through FTR #739.)

 In FTR #‘s 737, 738, 739, we not­ed that Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment was a direct out­growth of the Bank Al-Taqwa com­plex and an exten­sion of the Islam­ic fas­cism of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In addi­tion, Erdo­gan’s regime has strong links to euro-fas­cists and the Under­ground Reich. We have doc­u­ment­ed this in numer­ous posts and broad­casts.

The Erdo­gan gov­ern­ment appears to be an Islam­ic, Under­ground Reich enti­ty, ulti­mate­ly direct­ed at the core of the Earth Island.

As civic unrest stem­ming from pop­u­lar dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Erdo­gan’s gov­er­nance have spread, he has respond­ed with tac­tics and rhetoric pre­cise­ly and eeri­ly echo­ing the rhetoric of clas­sic fas­cism. Bor­row­ing from the rhetor­i­cal arse­nal of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni, Erdo­gan has staged mass ral­lies of rabid sup­port­ers, used ver­biage con­flat­ing the state and “the peo­ple” with him­self, accused the oppo­si­tion of being part of an amor­phous con­spir­a­cy involv­ing “for­eign inter­ests,” “spec­u­la­tors,” and the media–translation “Da Joos.”

With roots in the Bank Al-Taqwa milieu, it should come as no sur­prise that this gov­ern­ment has played out in the fash­ion that it has. Although elect­ed (so were the Nazis in Ger­many), Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment is demon­strat­ing a dis­tinct, total­i­tar­i­an bent, as evi­denced by the results of what Paul Krug­man termed “A show tri­al on the bosporus.”

Recent judi­cial rul­ings fol­low­ing on last sum­mer’s civic unrest have giv­en fur­ther evi­dence of the real nature of Erdo­gan’s gov­er­nance.

“Turkey Moves to Silence Dis­senters, but with One Eye on Its Image Abroad” by Tim Arango and Cey­lan Yegin­su; The New York Times; 11/15/2013.

EXCERPT: They came away with a ten­ta­tive agree­ment, but it was nev­er accept­ed by the rank-and-file pro­test­ers, and so the move­ment was lat­er crushed by the water can­nons and tear gas of Mr. Erdogan’s police force.

Then last month, one of those lead­ers, Eyup Muhcu, was sum­moned by a local pros­e­cu­tor and inter­ro­gat­ed as part of a spread­ing inves­ti­ga­tion of those who led the protests. “There is no con­crete charge, yet we were called in to give offi­cial state­ments,” said Mr. Muhcu, an archi­tect and a mem­ber of the Tak­sim Sol­i­dar­i­ty Plat­form, a group of activists that played a cen­tral role in the demon­stra­tions.

“For what?”

For the gov­ern­ment, the answer seems clear, Mr. Muhcu said: to silence the oppo­si­tion.

“It has come to a point where mem­bers can’t even tweet with­out fear of being inves­ti­gat­ed for their thoughts,” said Mr. Muhcu, one of the few activists still will­ing to offer a pub­lic cri­tique of the gov­ern­ment.

As the mem­o­ry begins to fade of those sweep­ing protests, which began to save Gezi Park in cen­tral Istan­bul from being razed and became the most seri­ous chal­lenge to Mr. Erdogan’s decade in pow­er, the gov­ern­ment has moved aggres­sive­ly against its per­ceived adver­saries. More than a thou­sand stu­dents, teach­ers, doc­tors and activists — even mosque imams — have been hauled in for ques­tion­ing for their role in the civic unrest.

Dozens of jour­nal­ists have lost their jobs for report­ing on the demon­stra­tions, and one of Turkey’s wealth­i­est fam­i­lies now has an army of tax inspec­tors dig­ging through its accounts, appar­ent­ly for giv­ing refuge in a fan­cy hotel it owns to demon­stra­tors escap­ing clouds of tear gas last sum­mer. . . .

. . . . Turkey’s sec­u­lar oppo­si­tion, the Repub­li­can People’s Par­ty, recent­ly cir­cu­lat­ed a doc­u­ment titled, “Turk­ish government’s retal­i­a­tion to Gezi,” in which it equat­ed Mr. Erdo­gan to Machi­avel­li, and wrote, “the one-man gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­at­ed a ruth­less cam­paign for retal­i­a­tion against the per­sons involved in the Gezi move­ment.” Inside is a list of 77 jour­nal­ists who were either fired or forced to resign, includ­ing Yavuz Bay­dar, who had been the ombuds­man for the pro-gov­ern­ment news­pa­per Sabah. . . .

. . . . Some crit­ics and ana­lysts say they have seen some­thing more sin­is­ter: a rise in anti-Semi­tism, in a coun­try with strained rela­tions with Israel. In his fiery speech­es dur­ing the protests, Mr. Erdo­gan blamed an assort­ment of for­eign actors for the unrest, includ­ing the “inter­est rate lob­by” — what many regard­ed as code for Jews — and “Zion­ists.” Some of Turkey’s Jews, a com­mu­ni­ty of rough­ly 15,000, are emi­grat­ing because, accord­ing to a recent report in an Eng­lish-lan­guage Turk­ish news­pa­per, Hur­riyet Dai­ly News, of “anti-Semi­tism, trig­gered by harsh state­ments from the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.”

Steven A. Cook, a fel­low at the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions and a long­time com­men­ta­tor on Turk­ish affairs, recent­ly wrote, “Turk­ish polit­i­cal dis­course is dark­er and the attacks on for­eign observers of Turk­ish pol­i­tics have become relent­less.”

” ‘Unite Against Fas­cism’: Anti-Gov­ern­ment Pro­test­ers Clash with Turk­ish Police” by Evrim Ergin, Humeyra Pamuk and Can Sez­er; NBC News; 6/1/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . Crowds of pro­test­ers chant­i­ng “shoul­der to shoul­der against fas­cism” and “gov­ern­ment resign” marched on Tak­sim, where hun­dreds were injured in clash­es the day before. . . .

 


Discussion

13 comments for “Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Erdogan, Part 3”

  1. http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Internal-Islamist-feud-in-Turkey-threatens-stability-of-Erdogans-government-335671

    Inter­nal Islamist feud in Turkey threat­ens sta­bil­i­ty of Erdogan’s gov­ern­ment
    By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
    20/12/2013
    Rift between Turk­ish PM and US-based cler­ic weak­ens Erdo­gan, as the Gulen-dom­i­nat­ed secu­ri­ty forces he used to go after his ene­mies now tar­get his allies.

    Prime Min­is­ter Tayyip Erdo­gan is fac­ing the great­est chal­lenge to his rule since the protests that erupt­ed in the sum­mer in Gezi Park.

    Ten­sions from with­in his Islamist base have esca­lat­ed and come out into the open.

    Istan­bul’s pow­er­ful police chief was dis­missed by the gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day in what seems to be a response to an anti-cor­rup­tion inves­ti­ga­tion strik­ing at the heart of Turkey’s rul­ing elite and threat­en­ing the author­i­ty of Erdo­gan at home and abroad.

    Huseyin Cap­kin was the most senior com­man­der so far to be sacked fol­low­ing the dis­missal of dozens of senior offi­cers on Wednes­day over what Erdo­gan has termed a “dirty oper­a­tion” to tar­nish the gov­ern­ment.

    Nation­al­ist Move­ment Par­ty (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli spoke out against the dis­missal of mem­bers of the police by the gov­ern­ment, say­ing it demon­strat­ed “pan­ic” because of “feel­ings of guilt” by the gov­ern­ment, as quot­ed by Turkey’s Hur­riyet Dai­ly News.

    Turkey’s judi­cia­ry and lawyers were upset when Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment appoint­ed two more pros­e­cuters to take part in the inves­ti­ga­tion, say­ing the gov­ern­ment was attempt­ing to obstruct and inter­fere with the inves­ti­ga­tion, Today’s Zaman news­pa­per report­ed.

    The dis­missal of senior police offi­cers came after the police staged raids on Tues­day morn­ing, detain­ing over 80 peo­ple.

    Scores of peo­ple includ­ing sons of three min­is­ters and some promi­nent busi­ness­men close to Erdo­gan have been detained in an action seen wide­ly as symp­tom of a pow­er strug­gle with a US-based cler­ic Fethul­lah Gulen, who has set up a net­work of pri­vate schools stretch­ing also to Europe, Asia and Amer­i­ca and who wields influ­ence in the police, judi­cia­ry, media, and with­in the Islamist AKP Par­ty itself.

    Gulen’s Hizmet move­ment, long a close ally of Erdo­gan, has in recent months pub­licly fall­en out with the prime min­is­ter over his plans to shut down pri­vate schools in Turkey, includ­ing those run by Hizmet.

    AKP mem­ber of par­lia­ment Hakan Sukur, a well-known fol­low­er of Gulen, quit the Par­ty on Mon­day in protest over the prep school plans.

    Erdo­gan, still by far the most pop­u­lar Turk­ish leader of mod­ern times, said he would not tol­er­ate cor­rup­tion, but saw in the raids a con­spir­a­cy to “cre­ate a state with­in the state.”

    Prof. Efraim Inbar, direc­tor of the Begin-Sadat Cen­ter for Strate­gic Stud­ies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan Uni­ver­si­ty, told the Jerusalem Post, “The Gulen move­ment has been crit­i­cal of Erdo­gan for some time on issues such as grow­ing author­i­tar­i­an­ism, anti-West­ern ori­en­ta­tion, and rela­tions with Israel.”

    “The open­ing rift between them weak­ens Erdo­gan and the AKP. A big test is the upcom­ing munic­i­pal elec­tion in the spring,” said Inbar.

    If the main oppo­si­tion Repub­li­can People’s Par­ty (CHP), along with oth­er oppo­si­tion par­ties, do well, they would be able to block AKP par­ty ini­tia­tives.

    Erdo­gan will be end­ing his third term in 2015 and unless he has the num­bers in par­lia­ment to extend the country’s term lim­its – beyond the cur­rent three terms — he may have to set­tle for run­ning for pres­i­dent, a less pow­er­ful posi­tion.

    Erdogan’s par­ty has been seek­ing to make con­sti­tu­tion­al changes that would keep him in charge of the coun­try, but Gulen may throw a wrench into these plans.

    A coali­tion between Gulen’s more prag­mat­ic sup­port­ers and the oppo­si­tion, could force Erdo­gan to focus his ener­gies and polit­i­cal cap­i­tal on domes­tic pol­i­tics, leav­ing less room for his aggres­sive neo-Ottoman for­eign pol­i­cy.

    “The events in Turkey sug­gest that what goes around comes around,” Michael Rubin, a schol­ar at the Amer­i­can Enter­prise Insti­tute and a for­mer Pen­ta­gon offi­cial told the Post.

    “Erdo­gan used the Gulen-dom­i­nat­ed secu­ri­ty forces to go after his ene­mies, but now that they’re tar­get­ing his allies, he’s whin­ing like a tod­dler,” said Rubin.

    Rubin does not believe that the AKP Par­ty will be top­pled any time soon because they still have too many assets.

    “But the AKP-Gulenist rival­ry might exac­er­bate splits in the par­ty and lead Erdo­gan to face more inter­nal chal­lenges,” he said adding that “we already are see­ing that with Bulent Arinc, his deputy, who is close to the Gulenist move­ment and is increas­ing­ly chal­leng­ing Erdo­gan.”

    Rubin sees a chance that Erdo­gan ends up in prison or in exile in Sau­di Ara­bia.

    “After all, Erdo­gan still has more than a dozen cor­rup­tion cas­es against him pend­ing, delayed only by his par­lia­men­tary immu­ni­ty,” he said con­clud­ing, “What’s clear is that the illu­sion of invin­ci­bil­i­ty that once sur­round­ed Erdo­gan is crum­bling.”

    Reuters con­tributed to this report.

    Posted by Vanfield | December 20, 2013, 9:39 am
  2. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/89647/Egypt/Politics-/Muslim-Brotherhood-Rabaa-channel-launched,-airing-.aspx

    Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ‘Rabaa’ chan­nel launched, air­ing from Turkey

    Ahram Online , Sat­ur­day 21 Dec 2013
    New Mus­lim Broth­er­hood satel­lite chan­nel opens host­ing con­tro­ver­sial Islam­ic schol­ar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

    The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s new satel­lite chan­nel, “Rabaa,” launched Fri­day and is being aired from Turkey, report­ed Al-Ahram Ara­bic web­site.

    The chan­nel is named after Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, where hun­dreds were killed when secu­ri­ty forces forcibly dis­persed 14 August a sit-in held by sup­port­ers of oust­ed pres­i­dent Mohamed Mor­si.

    The channel’s sign is the four-fin­ger Rabaa sign that Broth­er­hood and Mor­si loy­al­ists use in reg­u­lar ongo­ing protests against what they describe as a “coup against the legtiti­mate pres­i­dent” in Egypt.

    Turkey has been a sup­port­er of Mor­si. Turkey and Egyp­t’s new inter­im author­i­ties got into a row after Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan flashed the Rabaa sign and made com­ments against the coun­try’s post-Mor­si admin­is­tra­tion. Egypt in response down­grad­ed its diplo­mat­ic ties with Turkey.

    Mor­si was oust­ed 3 July amid mass nation­wide protests against his one year rule. Gen­er­al com­man­der of the armed forces Abdel-Fat­tah El-Sisi announced in the pres­ence of polit­i­cal par­ty lead­ers and reli­gious fig­ures a new polit­i­cal roadmap to include amend­ing the Islamist-draft­ed 2012 con­sti­tu­tion fol­lowed by par­lia­men­tary and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

    The Broth­er­hood’s Jan­u­ary 25 chan­nel, which was air­ing from Egypt, was closed by author­i­ties upon Mor­si’s ouster, togeth­er with sev­er­al oth­er reli­gious chan­nels, on alle­ga­tions of incite­ment.

    The new Rabaa chan­nel opened by host­ing pro-Broth­er­hood Egypt­ian cler­ic Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

    Al-Qaradawi, a promi­nent Egypt­ian Islam­ic schol­ar close to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, has had a firm stand against the ouster of Mor­si. He pre­sent­ed his res­ig­na­tion ear­li­er last month from Al-Azhar’s Supreme Cler­i­cal Com­mit­tee in defi­ance of what he con­sid­ered as bias in the com­mit­tee regard­ing polit­i­cal events in Egypt.

    Al-Qaradawi, who is cur­rent­ly based in Qatar, described Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb and oth­er key lead­ers with­in the insti­tu­tion as sup­port­ers of “a mil­i­tary coup that raped the office of the Egypt­ian pres­i­dent.”

    Sev­er­al Al-Azhar schol­ars had already called for his mem­ber­ship to be revoked after he made divi­sive com­ments attack­ing the insti­tu­tion and prais­ing the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

    On 9 Decem­ber, the Supreme Cler­i­cal Com­mit­tee released a state­ment say­ing that its mem­bers had vot­ed to accept Al-Qaradaw­i’s res­ig­na­tion. El-Tayyeb did not par­tic­i­pate in the vote.

    Posted by Vanfield | December 24, 2013, 10:42 am
  3. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-gulen-set-for-battle-until-end-investigative-journalist.aspx?pageID=238&nID=59876&NewsCatID=339

    AKP, Gülen set for bat­tle until end: Inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist

    ISTANBUL — Hür­riyet Dai­ly News December/20/2013
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    The pow­er strug­gle between Turkey’s rul­ing par­ty and Islam­ic schol­ar Fethul­lah Gülen’s move­ment will not be stopped until one of them is brought down, promi­nent jour­nal­ist Ned­im Şen­er has said. DAILY NEWS pho­to, Emrah GÜREL

    The pow­er strug­gle between Turkey’s rul­ing par­ty and Islam­ic schol­ar Fethul­lah Gülen’s move­ment will not be stopped until one of them is brought down, promi­nent jour­nal­ist Ned­im Şen­er has said. DAILY NEWS pho­to, Emrah GÜREL

    Ver­ci­han Ziflioğlu Ver­ci­han Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

    The pow­er strug­gle between Turkey’s rul­ing par­ty and Islam­ic schol­ar Fethul­lah Gülen’s move­ment will not be stopped until one of them is brought down, promi­nent jour­nal­ist Ned­im Şen­er has said.

    Dozens, includ­ing three min­is­ters’ sons, a may­or and a state bank CEO, were detained as part of a grip­ping bribery and cor­rup­tion inves­ti­ga­tion that became pub­lic on Dec. 17, in what is believed to be anoth­er chap­ter in the clash between rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP) and the Gülen move­ment (Cemaat).

    Fol­low­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion, the gov­ern­ment shied from nam­ing the Gülen move­ment, which has key mem­bers in Turkey’s jus­tice and police sys­tem, but Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called it “a dirty oper­a­tion” against his par­ty and point­ed the fin­ger at “some cir­cles inside and out­side of Turkey.” Some pun­dits called the source of the oper­a­tion as “a par­al­lel state,” but Şen­er reject­ed the claim.

    “This is not a par­al­lel state, but there is a secret enti­ty with­in the state. The prime min­is­ter is also part of this enti­ty, so is the Gülen move­ment. The two sides share the pow­er,” Şen­er said.

    “This will not be an easy process,” the jour­nal­ist said. “Either Cemaat will fin­ish off the AKP, or the AKP will fin­ish off them.”

    Şen­er, the writer of a 2009 book titled “Fethul­lah Gülen and Cemaat in Ergenekon,” was arrest­ed in 2011 as part of the case of the OdaTV, online news por­tal known for its fierce crit­i­cism of gov­ern­ment poli­cies. As part of the case, which start­ed dur­ing the police’s Ergenekon coup plot case inves­ti­ga­tions, Şen­er and anoth­er promi­nent jour­nal­ist, Ahmet Şık, spent a year behind bars under arrest, draw­ing crit­i­cism from pub­lic.

    Şen­er claims his and Şık’s impris­on­ment were a result of the Gülen movement’s influ­ence in the judi­cia­ry sys­tem, and that has also cre­at­ed a rift between the two sides.

    Şen­er says the clash between the AKP and the Gülen move­ment emerged after a raid on the Mavi Mar­mara aid flotil­la by Israeli sol­diers in May 2010. It mount­ed with an inves­ti­ga­tion on the Nation­al Intel­li­gence Orga­ni­za­tion (MİT) on Feb. 7, 2012, and blew into the open with the “der­shane” cri­sis. The gov­ern­ment want­ed to close the pri­vate prep schools, called der­shanes, many of which are owned by peo­ple with close links to the Gülen move­ment.

    “The der­shane row was just a trig­ger. This oper­a­tion offi­cial­ly start­ed the war between the AKP and the Cemaat,” Şen­er said. “The Gülen move­ment wants to fin­ish off Erdoğan, because they want an AKP with­out Erdoğan. The Gülen move­ment want­ed to have a word in pow­er. So far, Gülen and the AKP had a ‘unit­ed fate,’ as they call it. Togeth­er they made many injus­tices and they are indebt­ed to each oth­er. Once, the prime min­is­ter said, ‘We gave them what­ev­er they want­ed.’ The prime min­is­ter should explain this.”

    December/20/2013

    Posted by Vanfield | December 26, 2013, 9:55 pm
  4. http://www.dw.de/turkeys-parliament-adopts-controversial-internet-controls/a‑17411213

    06.02.2014

    Turkey’s par­lia­ment adopts con­tro­ver­sial inter­net con­trols

    Turkey’s par­lia­ment has approved con­tro­ver­sial leg­is­la­tion that would tight­en gov­ern­ment con­trol over the inter­net. Crit­ics say it will lim­it free­dom of expres­sion, but the gov­ern­ment insists it is to pro­tect pri­va­cy.
    Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment

    Turk­ish law­mak­ers adopt­ed the new inter­net leg­is­la­tion late on Wednes­day fol­low­ing hours of debate involv­ing fierce objec­tions from the oppo­si­tion.

    The new law would allow a gov­ern­ment agency, the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Pres­i­den­cy (TIB), to block web­sites with­out a pri­or court deci­sion, if they are believed to vio­late pri­va­cy or con­tain con­tent con­sid­ered insult­ing.

    It would also force inter­net providers to keep retain users’ data records for two years. They would then be oblig­ed to pro­vide author­i­ties with that infor­ma­tion upon request with­out a court order and with­out noti­fy­ing the user in ques­tion.

    The mea­sures build upon exist­ing inter­net restric­tions intro­duced in 2007 that, accord­ing to a Google trans­paren­cy report pub­lished in Decem­ber, make Turkey equal to Chi­na as the world’s biggest web cen­sor.

    Under the 2007 law, web­sites includ­ing blog­ging tool Word­Press and video-shar­ing ser­vices Dai­ly­Mo­tion and Vimeo have been blocked tem­porar­i­ly. YouTube was also blocked for two years until 2010.

    ‘Fas­cist’ mea­sures

    Turkey’s par­lia­ment approved the draft bill in Decem­ber, fur­ther anger­ing anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers who have been out in force for sev­er­al months in response to a cor­rup­tion scan­dal that has drawn in sev­er­al top polit­i­cal fig­ures.

    Oppo­si­tion politi­cians and crit­ics have brand­ed the lat­est leg­is­la­tion as cen­sor­ship. They claim it is a fresh assault from Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment on free­dom of expres­sion, press free­doms and access to infor­ma­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in light of recent protests.

    “When you came to pow­er you talked of enhanc­ing democ­ra­cy in Turkey, Now you are try­ing to imple­ment fas­cism,” oppo­si­tion law­mak­er Hasan Oren said as the debate opened on Wednes­day.

    “Remem­ber that Adolf Hitler used the same meth­ods when he rose to pow­er,” he added.

    Mean­while the New York-based Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists argued that the mea­sures would “com­pound” Turkey’s already “dis­mal” lack of press free­doms.

    ‘No cen­sor­ship’

    Erdo­gan’s gov­ern­ment has dis­missed oppo­si­tion claims, how­ev­er, assert­ing that the leg­is­la­tion is designed to pro­tect pri­va­cy and does not amount to cen­sor­ship.

    There is “no such thing as inter­net cen­sor­ship. We are freer com­pared to many oth­er coun­tries and have free­dom of press,” said Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Bulent Arinc.

    The new leg­is­la­tion is part of a pack­age due to be approved by par­lia­ment on Thurs­day and signed into law by the pres­i­dent.

    Posted by Vanfield | February 6, 2014, 1:48 pm
  5. Erdo­gan just announced a purge:

    Turk­ish PM Erdo­gan tells ene­mies they will pay price after poll

    By Humeyra Pamuk and Ralph Boul­ton

    ANKARA/ISTANBUL Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:36pm EDT

    (Reuters) — Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Tayyip Erdo­gan declared vic­to­ry in local polls that had become a ref­er­en­dum on his rule and said he would “enter the lair” of ene­mies who have accused him of cor­rup­tion and leaked state secrets. “They will pay for this,” he said.

    But while Erdo­gan’s AK Par­ty was well ahead in over­all votes after Sun­day’s elec­tions, the oppo­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Par­ty (CHP) appeared close to seiz­ing the cap­i­tal Ankara.

    Erdo­gan, fight­ing the biggest chal­lenge of his 12-year rule, addressed sup­port­ers from a bal­cony at AKP head­quar­ters at the end of a long and bit­ter elec­tion cam­paign in which he has labeled his oppo­nents “ter­ror­ists” and an “alliance of evil”.

    The harsh tone of his bal­cony address sug­gest­ed he felt he now had a man­date for strong action against his ene­mies. “From tomor­row, there may be some who flee,” he said.

    The elec­tion cam­paign has been dom­i­nat­ed by a pow­er strug­gle between Erdo­gan and a mod­er­ate U.S.-based cler­ic, Fethul­lah Gulen, whom he accus­es of using a net­work of fol­low­ers in police and judi­cia­ry to fab­ri­cate graft accu­sa­tions in an effort to top­ple him. Erdo­gan has purged thou­sands of police and hun­dreds of judges and pros­e­cu­tors since anti-graft raids in Decem­ber tar­get­ing busi­ness­men close to him and sons of min­is­ters.

    “We will enter their lair,” he said. “They will pay the price, they will be brought to account. How can you threat­en nation­al secu­ri­ty?”

    ...

    NATO mem­ber Turkey, under Erdo­gan, was long held up as a mod­el for a Mus­lim democ­ra­cy and indeed the prime min­is­ter car­ried out many reforms that eased human rights and drove the econ­o­my. But since a crack­down on anti-gov­ern­ment protests last June he has been accused of intol­er­ance.

    “CLEANING UP”

    With more than two thirds of votes count­ed, AKP, in pow­er since 2002, were win­ning between 43–47 per­cent of the vote, the oppo­si­tion CHP trail­ing with 26–28 per­cent, accord­ing to Turk­ish tele­vi­sion. If borne out, the result would be on the upper end of what Erdo­gan might have expect­ed, although the race for Ankara was going down to the line.

    The CHP, Erdo­gan said, must look at itself in the mir­ror.

    “The old Turkey is no longer. The new Turkey is here,” he said, to cheers from sup­port­ers who shout­ed Allahu Akbar (God is great­est) and “Turkey is proud of you”. “Today is the vic­to­ry day of the new Turkey, 77 mil­lion united...as broth­ers.”

    Erdo­gan, lack­ing his own trained per­son­nel, filled gov­ern­ment depart­ments with Gulen sup­port­ers when he first was elect­ed in 2002. Gulen, who runs a huge net­work of schools and busi­ness­es, is wide­ly cred­it­ed with hav­ing helped him break the army’s polit­i­cal pow­er using his peo­ple in police and judi­cia­ry.

    But in recent years fric­tion has grown between the two men and came to a head when Erdo­gan moved to curb his influ­ence and close the schools that are a key sort of income and influ­ence.

    Erdo­gan seems like­ly now to step up his dri­ve against the fol­low­ers of Gulen, who denies any wrong­do­ing. Crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tions and arrests could fol­low, espe­cial­ly after last Thurs­day’s leak of the meet­ing between spy­mas­ter Hakan Fidan, a close Erdo­gan con­fi­dante, and mil­i­tary and civil­ian chiefs.

    “Let me tell you, Erdo­gan’s response is com­ing,” said Tesev think-tank chair­man Can Pak­er, seen as close to Erdo­gan.

    “He will harsh­ly and ful­ly clean up the police and judi­cia­ry. And he will purge the press that sup­port­ed the leaks. He will most cer­tain­ly do that. He will say ‘I was elect­ed to elim­i­nate them,’ he is not going to soft­en.”

    BLOW TO OPPOSITION

    The strong show­ing could embold­en Erdo­gan to run in what will be the first pop­u­lar elec­tion for the pres­i­den­cy in August. In doing so, he would take over a role that has been large­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al, but with the aim of extend­ing its pow­ers.

    There would be some risks involved. Erdo­gan has described audio record­ings anony­mous­ly post­ed on the Inter­net impli­cat­ing him in cor­rup­tion as “mon­tage”, a manip­u­la­tion. But he must reck­on with fur­ther such post­ings in the run-up to the pres­i­den­tial race.

    His gov­ern­ment has blocked access to both the social net­work­ing site Twit­ter and YouTube in moves con­demned by West­ern gov­ern­ments and rights groups.

    He could also choose to run for a fourth term as prime min­is­ter in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions next year.

    Sun­day’s results will come as a bit­ter blow to the CHP.

    “It’s already clear from his speech this evening that he’s basi­cal­ly threat­en­ing soci­ety,” said Gursel Tekin, CHP Vice Pres­i­dent. “This shows his state of mind isn’t to be trust­ed, and these obvi­ous threats are not some­thing that we can accept.”

    Erdo­gan formed AK in 2001, draw­ing nation­al­ists and cen­ter-right eco­nom­ic reform­ers as well as reli­gious con­ser­v­a­tives who form his base. Since his 2011 poll vic­to­ry he has moved more towards these core reli­gious sup­port­ers he sees as hav­ing been “looked down upon” over gen­er­a­tions by an urban sec­u­lar elite.

    What­ev­er the scale of Erdo­gan’s vic­to­ry, he will awake on Mon­day to a huge task in restor­ing con­trol over the secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus of the coun­try. Even in purg­ing mem­bers of the police force he con­sid­ers unre­li­able, he can­not be sure that the replace­ments he brings in are loy­al.

    It will be inter­est­ing to see how this sit­u­a­tion pans out.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 30, 2014, 5:23 pm
  6. http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/cleveland-fbi-leads-investigation-of-charter-school-chain‑1.494782#.U5dGYApKRCU.blogger

    Cleve­land FBI leads inves­ti­ga­tion of char­ter school chain

    By Doug Liv­ingston
    Bea­con Jour­nal edu­ca­tion writer
    Pub­lished: June 10, 2014 — 12:51 PM

    Fed­er­al agents have raid­ed 19 char­ter schools, includ­ing three in Ohio, where an FBI crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion in Cleve­land has led to search war­rants in Indi­ana and Illi­nois over the past week.

    The 19 schools are man­aged by Con­cept Schools, a char­ter school oper­a­tor head­quar­tered near Chica­go.

    Con­cept Schools, which empha­sizes math and sci­ence, has been inves­ti­gat­ed pre­vi­ous­ly by the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor for its use of for­eign work­ers. Ohio audits found that pub­lic mon­ey for the schools had been used improp­er­ly for visas. Con­cept received more visas for immi­grant work­ers than Google in 2009, and many of the school’s employ­ees are of Turk­ish descent. Most of the non­prof­it schools’ board mem­bers in North­east Ohio are male and of Turk­ish descent.

    The com­pa­ny man­ages 19 char­ter schools in Ohio, sec­ond only to Texas with 44 such schools. There are near­ly 140 char­ter schools, spread across 26 states, asso­ci­at­ed with Turk­ish Cler­ic Fethul­lah Gulen, an Islam­ic cler­ic exiled from Turkey, liv­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia.

    The raid began last week as unmarked vans and agents seized doc­u­ments from an Indi­ana char­ter school. The search war­rants have been sealed.

    “Last Wednes­day after­noon we exe­cut­ed some search war­rants in con­junc­tion with the [U.S.] Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion and the FCC [Fed­er­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion],” said Vic­ki Ander­son, a spe­cial agent with the FBI Cleve­land office.

    “It is in regards to an ongo­ing white-col­lar crime inves­ti­ga­tion,” Ander­son said, declin­ing to divulge fur­ther details. “It’s a crim­i­nal ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.”

    Ander­son con­firmed that raids on Con­cept Schools in Indi­ana and Illi­nois were “all based on the inves­ti­ga­tion in the Cleve­land Field Divi­sion.”

    Kather­ine Beck­with, a spokesper­son for Con­cept Schools oper­a­tions in Indi­ana, released the fol­low­ing state­ment in response to the raid last week.

    “Ear­li­er this week we were asked to pro­vide infor­ma­tion to U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion offi­cials as part of a larg­er fed­er­al audit of e‑rate tech­nol­o­gy grants. Those offi­cials indi­cat­ed they are audit­ing the funds dis­persed to var­i­ous schools to ver­i­fy that work paid for with e‑rate grants was com­plet­ed as report­ed.”

    Ander­son could not speak to the nature of the Indi­ana raid, or whether the audit also is part of the white-col­lar crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion.

    She also could not con­firm or deny any con­nec­tion with pre­vi­ous inves­ti­ga­tions, which date back to 2011.

    A request for com­ment with Murat Efe, super­in­ten­dent Con­cept Schools’ North Ohio Region­al Office, was not returned Tues­day.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 11, 2014, 11:53 am
  7. If you are inter­est­ed, please check on the link and check out the out­landish graph­ic that was post­ed on the Aus­tri­an FM’s web­site.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/austrian-fms-website-hacked-after-warning-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67860&NewsCatID=338

    Aus­tri­an FM’s web­site hacked after ‘warn­ing’ Turk­ish PM Erdoğan

    VIENNA — Anadolu Agency

    Turk­ish pro-gov­ern­ment hack­ers have defaced Aus­tri­an For­eign Min­is­ter Sebas­t­ian Kurz’s web­site, fol­low­ing his “warn­ing” to Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his upcom­ing vis­it to Vien­na.

    “I warn Prime Min­is­ter Erdoğan explic­it­ly: he should not intro­duce splits into Aus­tri­an soci­ety,” Kurz had told dai­ly Öster­re­ich on June 13.

    Hack­er group Cyber-War­rior Akıncılar (Raiders) attacked Kurz’s web­site on June 16, pro­ceed­ing to post pho­tos of Erdoğan along­side 16th cen­tu­ry Ottoman Sul­tan Süley­man the Mag­nif­i­cent. The group also post­ed a mes­sage in three lan­guages:

    “Aus­tria for­eign min­is­ter! Who do you think you are kid­dy! You can­not decide how to talk to our prime min­is­ter! Erdoğan the prime min­is­ter is the grand­son of ances­tors who reached Vien­na, the soil you’re walk­ing on now! We are Akıncılar [Raiders], We are Ottomans, We are Turkey!.”

    Born in 1986, Kurz is Europe’s youngest for­eign min­is­ter.

    Erdoğan is due in Vien­na – home to many of Austria’s 250,000-strong Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ty – on June 19. The vis­it is seen by many as a bid to win over­seas votes for an expect­ed run for the pres­i­den­cy in August.

    June/16/2014

    Posted by Vanfield | June 17, 2014, 2:13 pm
  8. Does­n’t Erdo­gan real­ized he’s not sup­posed to express admi­ra­tion for Hitler until after he’s grant­ed addi­tion­al pow­ers? Appar­ent­ly not. Oops. It’s time for some bureau­crat­ic blus­ter:

    The New York Times

    Turkey Says Hitler Com­ment by Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan Was ‘Dis­tort­ed’

    By CEYLAN YEGINSU

    JAN. 1, 2016

    ISTANBUL — Turkey issued a state­ment on Fri­day say­ing that com­ments by Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan — in which he cit­ed Hitler in response to a ques­tion about whether a strong pres­i­den­cy was pos­si­ble in Turkey — had been mis­in­ter­pret­ed.

    Mr. Erdo­gan, who is push­ing to imbue the large­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al pres­i­den­cy with sweep­ing exec­u­tive pow­ers, told reporters late Thurs­day that “there are already exam­ples in the world.”

    “You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Ger­many,” he said.

    Mr. Erdo­gan did not elab­o­rate, but his com­par­i­son to Hitler drew imme­di­ate crit­i­cism because of what many view as his increas­ing author­i­tar­i­an­ism. His com­ment also raised the issue of how the leader of one of the world’s most influ­en­tial coun­tries, an Amer­i­can ally and mem­ber of NATO, would men­tion Hitler in the con­text of his own tenure.

    On Fri­day, the office of the pres­i­den­cy said that “Erdogan’s ‘Hitler’s Ger­many metaphor’ has been dis­tort­ed by media out­lets and has been used in the oppo­site sense.”

    It said Mr. Erdo­gan had used the exam­ple to demon­strate that an exec­u­tive pres­i­den­cy does not depend on a fed­er­al sys­tem of gov­ern­ment.

    “If the sys­tem is abused, it may lead to bad man­age­ment result­ing in dis­as­ters as in Hitler’s Ger­many,” the state­ment said. “The impor­tant thing is to pur­sue fair man­age­ment that serves the nation.”

    Mr. Erdo­gan became Turkey’s first pop­u­lar­ly elect­ed pres­i­dent in August 2014, hav­ing dom­i­nat­ed Turk­ish pol­i­tics for more than a decade as prime min­is­ter. Since assum­ing the new post, he has aggres­sive­ly cam­paigned to rewrite the Turk­ish Con­sti­tu­tion and estab­lish an exec­u­tive sys­tem of gov­ern­ment.

    His con­sol­i­da­tion of pow­er has had a potent effect on Turk­ish soci­ety. Crit­ics say Mr. Erdogan’s divi­sive rhetoric, in which he has den­i­grat­ed oppo­nents as ter­ror­ists or trai­tors, has helped polar­ize the coun­try.

    A gov­ern­ment crack­down on dis­sent — includ­ing a grow­ing cam­paign of intim­i­da­tion against the oppo­si­tion news media, with a mob of his sup­port­ers attack­ing news­pa­per offices ahead of the Novem­ber elec­tion — has raised con­cerns domes­ti­cal­ly and abroad about Turkey’s com­mit­ment to democ­ra­cy.

    To change the Con­sti­tu­tion, Mr. Erdogan’s Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty, which regained its par­lia­men­tary major­i­ty in Novem­ber, needs sup­port from oppo­si­tion par­ties, who fear that such a sys­tem would con­sol­i­date too much pow­er in Mr. Erdogan’s hands.

    ...

    Prime Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­to­glu told the leader of Turkey’s main oppo­si­tion par­ty, Kemal Kil­ic­daroglu, that a pres­i­den­tial sys­tem would not lead to a dic­ta­tor­ship.

    “What is right for Turkey is to adopt the pres­i­den­tial sys­tem in line with the demo­c­ra­t­ic spir­it,” he said in a tele­vi­sion inter­view this week. “This sys­tem will not evolve into dic­ta­tor­ship, but if we do not have this spir­it, even the par­lia­men­tary sys­tem can turn into this dic­ta­tor­ship.”

    In Turkey, reac­tion to his remarks was strong on social media.

    “now let’s do a close com­par­i­son of hitler and Erdo­gan,” one per­son wrote on Twit­ter. “The dif­fer­ence is that Hitler was a bit short­er.” That remark lat­er appeared to have been delet­ed.

    Peo­ple also shared an ani­mat­ed image of Mr. Erdogan’s face chang­ing into Hitler’s.

    So Erdo­gan brings up Hitler’s gov­ern­ment as an exam­ple of how his vision for a pow­er­ful pres­i­den­cy could oper­ate. And fol­low­ing the uproar, the gov­ern­ment issue state­ments about how Erdo­gan was actu­al­ly ref­er­enc­ing Nazi Ger­many as a warn­ing of the poten­tial abus­es of pow­er that could emerge from the con­sti­tu­tion­al changes Erdo­gan wants to hap­pen.

    So, at best, Erdo­gan’s Hitler ref­er­ence was an argu­ment against the con­sti­tu­tion­al over­haul he’s long cham­pi­oned. At, at worse (and more like­ly), Erdo­gan actu­al­ly things Hitler’s Ger­many is a great mod­el to emu­late. Well, Turkey can’t say it was­n’t warned.

    With that dis­turb­ing inci­dent of foot-in-mouth syn­drome in mind, it’s going to be extra inter­est­ing to see what hap­pens to the peo­ple who shared an ani­mat­ed image of Mr. Erdogan’s face chang­ing into Hitler. After all, the tri­al of Bil­gin Çiftçi, the man who shared images com­par­ing Erdo­gan to Gol­lum from the Lord of the Rings, is cur­rent­ly adjourned so experts to study whether or not being com­pared to Gol­lum actu­al­ly qual­i­fies as an insult (it’s a sur­pris­ing­ly nuanced ques­tion). So will the Hitler com­par­isons result in more tri­als for those that dare to insult Turkey’s wannabe Führer? Or, giv­en Erdo­gan’s appar­ent atti­tudes towards Hitler’s Ger­many, would he even con­sid­er it an insult?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 1, 2016, 4:49 pm
  9. Here’s some good news/bad news for world trav­el­ers: If you’ve ever pub­licly insult­ed Erdo­gan and you’re plan­ning a hol­i­day in Turkey, the tick­ets should be a lot cheap­er. You’re not going to need to buy return tick­ets. It’ll be a one way trip:

    Reuters

    Dutch jour­nal­ist who crit­i­cized Erdo­gan held in Turkey: offi­cial

    ISTANBUL/AMSTERDAM | By David Dolan and Thomas Escritt
    Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:10am EDT

    A promi­nent Dutch jour­nal­ist has been detained by Turk­ish police while on hol­i­day, Dutch offi­cials said on Sun­day, a week after she crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Tayyip Erdo­gan in print for clamp­ing down on dis­sent.

    Colum­nist Ebru Umar, who is of Turk­ish descent and an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Erdo­gan, was detained by police overnight in Turkey where she was on hol­i­day. She tweet­ed on Sun­day that she had been released but was not allowed to leave the coun­try.

    In the free news­pa­per Metro last week, Umar called Erdo­gan a “dic­ta­tor” and crit­i­cized a Turk­ish con­sular offi­cial in the Nether­lands for ask­ing all Turks there to report inci­dents of insults against Erdo­gan in the coun­try. The call was wide­ly crit­i­cized and lat­er with­drawn.

    Erdo­gan is known for his readi­ness to take legal action over per­ceived slurs. At his behest, pros­e­cu­tors in Ger­many are pur­su­ing a come­di­an for mock­ing him. Crit­ics say Erdo­gan uses the courts to sti­fle dis­sent.

    Dutch Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte, who joined the crit­i­cism of the Turk­ish offi­cial’s call, said he had spo­ken with Umar after her arrest. “Had tele­phone con­tact with Ebru Umar last night,” he said on his offi­cial Twit­ter account on Sun­day.

    A Dutch for­eign min­istry spokesman said of her deten­tion: “We are aware of this and we are fol­low­ing the sit­u­a­tion close­ly. We are in con­tact with her.”

    “NO JOKE”

    On her offi­cial Twit­ter account, Umar tweet­ed overnight: “Police in front of the door. No joke.” She lat­er tweet­ed that she was being tak­en to a police sta­tion in Kusadasi, a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast.

    “Free but under coun­try arrest,” she said in a tweet on Sun­day after­noon, her first since her arrest 15 hours ear­li­er.

    Umer’s Twit­ter feed showed she had recent­ly engaged in spir­it­ed exchanges with her crit­ics on Twit­ter. She repost­ed a tweet from some­one claim­ing to have report­ed her to the police.

    Insult­ing the pres­i­dent is a crime in Turkey pun­ish­able by up to four years in jail, but the law had pre­vi­ous­ly been invoked only rarely. Since Edo­gan became pres­i­dent in 2014, pros­e­cu­tors have opened more than 1,800 cas­es against peo­ple for insult­ing him, the jus­tice min­is­ter said last month.

    Those who have faced such suits include jour­nal­ists, car­toon­ists, aca­d­e­mics and even school chil­dren. Erdo­gan has said he is open to crit­i­cism, but draws the line at insults.

    Ger­many has decid­ed to allow pros­e­cu­tors to pur­sue a case against a Ger­man come­di­an who mocked Erdo­gan. This deci­sion has angered many Ger­mans, who see it as a sop by Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel to an author­i­tar­i­an leader.

    ...

    Born in The Hague to Turk­ish par­ents, Umar has been an out­spo­ken crit­ic of mil­i­tant Islam, first in columns for the web­site of Theo van Gogh, who was mur­dered by a rad­i­cal Islamist in 2004 after mak­ing films crit­i­cal of the reli­gion.

    Writ­ing in Metro and the crit­i­cal web­site Geen­Sti­jl, she has denounced head­scarves, exces­sive noise from mosques and what she sees as exces­sive Dutch tol­er­ance, attract­ing bulging bags of hate mail from furi­ous crit­ics.

    “In the free news­pa­per Metro last week, Umar called Erdo­gan a “dic­ta­tor” and crit­i­cized a Turk­ish con­sular offi­cial in the Nether­lands for ask­ing all Turks there to report inci­dents of insults against Erdo­gan in the coun­try. The call was wide­ly crit­i­cized and lat­er with­drawn.”
    Turkey is now an Erdo­gan-insult snitch state. That should do won­ders for tourism. So does some­one suf­fer­ing from Hubris Syn­drome con­sid­er it an insult to point out that they’re suf­fer­ing from Hubris Syn­drome? That seems like a med­ical­ly rel­e­vant ques­tion at this point.

    And since the answer is prob­a­bly “yes, they would con­sid­er that an insult and want you arrest­ed”, you might want to keep any plans to final­ly dis­cov­er and pho­to­graph Erdo­gan’s gold­en toi­let of leg­end dur­ing your next trip to Turkey, you’ll prob­a­bly want to keep that on the down low.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 24, 2016, 4:47 pm
  10. Here’s a devel­op­ment that sort of bodes well for Turk­ish and EU jour­nal­ists fear pros­e­cu­tion over insult­ing Erdo­gan. But it also might end up mak­ing things worse: The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion agreed to a far-reach­ing deal grant­i­ng Turkey’s cit­i­zen’s visa-free access to the Schen­gen Area in exchange for Turkey agree­ing to take in a large num­ber of refugees cur­rent­ly resid­ing in the EU. But the Com­mis­sion had also giv­en Turkey a list of 72 con­di­tions that had to be met before such a deal could be agreed to, and thus far Turkey has­n’t met five of those con­di­tions. And one of those unmet con­di­tions is an end to the per­se­cu­tion of jour­nal­ists. So the EU is threat­en­ing to rescind this new agree­ment if Turkey does­n’t meet all of 72 con­di­tions, but Turkey is threat­en­ing to unleash the refugee flood­gates with­out the deal. And Erdo­gan obvi­ous­ly does­n’t want to end the per­se­cu­tion of jour­nal­ists. Just imag­ine the mock­ery he’s earned at this point. It would be unre­lent­ing and he’d prob­a­bly have a psy­cho­log­i­cal melt­down. And that’s just one of the con­di­tions the EU set that Ankara just can’t bring itself to meet and it’s very pos­si­ble that, in Erdo­gan’s mind, he’d rather just spite­ful­ly ditch the deal and send back the refugees than meet any of the unre­solved EU demands.

    So it’s look­ing like the EU might soon find itself forced to choose between defend­ing jour­nal­ists and see­ing a renewed refugee cri­sis, or throw­ing the jour­nal­ists over­board in the hopes of avoid­ing a refugee flood. In addi­tion, the EU Com­mis­sion has a new scheme for ensur­ing that refugees will be dis­trib­uted between EU states fair­ly in the case of a new cri­sis: EU coun­tries that refuse to accept their refugee quo­tas will be fined €250,000 per refugee, which will be paid to one of the nations tak­ing in more than its quo­ta. And refugees that refuse to go to their assigned coun­tries will also lose their refugee ben­e­fits. So if Erdo­gan does drop the deal over the Com­mis­sion’s demands and the cri­sis surges again, the inter-EU con­flicts over which mem­ber states will accept which refugees could take on a very dif­fer­ent dynam­ic than the pri­or show­downs.

    So while it was hoped that this big EU/Turkey visa deal was going to have the effect of dis­si­pat­ing ten­sions with­in Europe and between the EU and Turkey, it’s look­ing like the oppo­site could end up hap­pen­ing. :

    The Tele­graph

    Migrant deal at risk as MEPs cry foul over Turk­ish visa ‘black­mail’

    Matthew Hole­house, Brus­sels

    4 May 2016 • 5:36pm

    The EU’S frag­ile deal with Turkey to halt migrants is at risk of col­lapse on the eve of Britain’s ref­er­en­dum, after offi­cials said the coun­try should be award­ed visa-free trav­el despite fail­ing to pass major legal reforms.

    Mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment react­ed with fury and threat­ened to block the rad­i­cal loos­en­ing of trav­el rules to grant free access to the Schen­gen zone for up to 75 mil­lion Turk­ish pass­port hold­ers from June.

    The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion buck­led under intense pres­sure from Ankara, which has threat­ened to “open the gates” and flood Europe with migrants dur­ing nego­ti­a­tions, and made the rec­om­men­da­tion despite Ankara fail­ing to meet five out of 72 long-stand­ing reform con­di­tions in time.

    In issu­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion, the Com­mis­sion said it “expects” Turkey meets the remain­ing goals that require new leg­is­la­tion. They include no longer des­ig­nat­ing oppo­si­tion jour­nal­ists and aca­d­e­mics as ter­ror­ists, clamp­ing down on cor­rup­tion and pre­vent­ing police forces from abus­ing per­son­al data.

    If the trav­el deal is sunk, then Turkey is poised to imme­di­ate­ly ter­mi­nate a deal that has cut migrant boat cross­ings over the Aegean to a few dozen peo­ple a day. “The clock is tick­ing,” said an offi­cial.

    Man­fred Weber, the leader of the biggest con­ser­v­a­tive bloc in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, said it was “hard to under­stand” how the Com­mis­sion could pro­pose the move. “There must be no water­ing down of the rules.”

    Guy Ver­hof­s­tadt, the lib­er­al bloc leader, said he would oppose the deal until Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan ends a “bru­tal clam­p­down” on jour­nal­ists, includ­ing end­ing 1,800 Press pros­e­cu­tions includ­ing that of Ger­man satirist Jan Boehmer­mann.

    “We have made our­selves depen­dent on Sul­tan Erdo­gan, which isn’t in Europe’s long term inter­ests,” he said.

    Nigel Farage, who runs the euroscep­tic EFDD group, said it was a “huge error of judge­ment” to cave to “black­mail”.

    Mar­tin Schulz, the Par­lia­ment pres­i­dent, said no vote would hap­pen until he had a writ­ten guar­an­tee from the Com­mis­sion that the reforms were passed.

    The Com­mis­sion also unveiled a vast and dra­con­ian new regime to dis­trib­ute migrants around the EU, that would be trig­gered if a coun­try was over­whelmed in a new cri­sis.

    Coun­tries that refuse a quo­ta will be hit with fines of €250,000 per refugee, which will be paid to the over­whelmed coun­try. Frans Tim­mer­mans, the first vice pres­i­dent, admit­ted it would be a “hell of a job” to get back­ing for the plan after fierce rows over quo­tas last Sep­tem­ber, led by east­ern Euro­pean states hos­tile to Mus­lim immi­gra­tion.

    That quo­ta scheme flopped, in part because many migrants are deter­mined to reach Ger­many over poor east­ern Europe, and so the new sys­tem pro­pos­es strip­ping enti­tle­ments to hous­ing, food vouch­ers, school­ing and work from refugees who refuse to go where they are allo­cat­ed – a phe­nom­e­non Mr Tim­mer­mans dubbed “asy­lum shop­ping”.

    EU offi­cials dis­missed warn­ings the pol­i­cy could vio­late the Char­ter on Fun­da­men­tal Rights: “We are con­fi­dent of the legal­i­ty of the pro­pos­al.”

    The EU’s asy­lum com­put­er data­base, which is used by Britain, will be over­hauled to take bio­met­ric facial scans of all asy­lum seek­ers after it emerged some were delib­er­at­ing ruin­ing their fin­ger­tips to avoid reg­is­tra­tion dur­ing the scram­ble to reach Ger­many. The age for Euro­dac scans will be cut from 14 to 6, amid grow­ing con­cerns about young chil­dren becom­ing sep­a­rat­ed from their par­ents.

    Don­ald Tusk, the Euro­pean Coun­cil pres­i­dent, fears the Turkey deal is an invi­ta­tion to black­mail – and yes­ter­day Niger asked for €1 bil­lion from the EU to halt the flow over its bor­der to Libya, a depar­ture point for jour­neys to Italy.

    “We’ve solicit­ed the help of the Euro­pean Union, France and Ger­many,” said Ibrahim Yacoubou, the for­eign min­is­ter.

    ...

    “In issu­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion, the Com­mis­sion said it “expects” Turkey meets the remain­ing goals that require new leg­is­la­tion. They include no longer des­ig­nat­ing oppo­si­tion jour­nal­ists and aca­d­e­mics as ter­ror­ists, clamp­ing down on cor­rup­tion and pre­vent­ing police forces from abus­ing per­son­al data.”
    Those are the expec­ta­tions. Whether or not they’re real­is­tic expec­ta­tions remains to be seen, although it’s not look­ing good

    Dai­ly Sabah

    Turkey expects EU visa lib­er­al­iza­tion with absolute­ly no strings attached

    SENA ALKAN
    ISTANBUL
    Pub­lished 5/4/2016

    The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is expect­ed to declare today that Turkey has met all cri­te­ria for visa lib­er­al­iza­tion, but some EU sources say con­di­tion­al approval is on the table. In com­ments to Dai­ly Sabah Turkey’s EU deputy min­is­ter, said that Ankara will not accept con­di­tion­al approval under any cir­cum­stance

    The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is expect­ed to declare today that Turkey has met the 72 bench­marks for visa lib­er­al­iza­tion that will allow Turk­ish cit­i­zens to trav­el in the Schen­gen zone with­out obtain­ing a visa now that all the EU’s cri­te­ria have been dis­cussed and approved by Par­lia­ment. Touch­ing on pos­si­ble results of today’s Euro­pean Com­mis­sion report, Turkey’s EU Deputy Min­is­ter Ali Sahin said that Ankara will not accept con­di­tion­al approval from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion under any cir­cum­stance after spec­u­la­tion has cir­cu­lat­ed in some media out­lets com­ing from EU sources. “We stat­ed that Turkey does not accept con­di­tion­al approval in var­i­ous plat­forms.

    There is only one con­di­tion in this process, which is the EU-Turkey Read­mis­sion Agree­ment signed in 2013 and approved in Turk­ish Par­lia­ment,” Sahin said, adding that Turkey has ful­filled all the cri­te­ria and the ball is now in the EU’s court. “Turk­ish peo­ple want to trust and believe in the EU. The process func­tions as a con­fi­dence vote in the EU. In the event of an unex­pect­ed result by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Turk­ish peo­ple’s trust in the EU will be shak­en.” When asked what the process would be if the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion approved visa lib­er­al­iza­tion, Sahin said if the com­mis­sion finds that Turkey has met all the cri­te­ria, the approval process by Euro­pean par­lia­ments and EU mem­ber states will offi­cial­ly start.

    “The report by the com­mis­sion will deter­mine and shape the results from Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Euro­pean Coun­cil,” he said.

    He said that Ankara does not expect any fail­ure in the process, stressed that even though there are some voic­es against visa lib­er­al­iza­tion and assert­ed that EU fig­ures have com­plete clar­i­ty on the issue.

    ...

    When asked what will hap­pen if the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion decides against drop­ping the visa require­ment, Sahin said: “We nev­er think of a neg­a­tive deci­sion, but it should not be for­got­ten that the EU needs Turkey as much as Turkey’s needs to the EU.”

    Refer­ring to his meet­ing with the chair­man of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Com­mit­tee on For­eign Affairs, Elmar Brok, over irreg­u­lar migra­tion in Brus­sels, Sahin said: “I told Mr. Brok that if the EU accepts 3 mil­lion Syr­i­an refugees, Turkey can imme­di­ate­ly deliv­er finan­cial aid that amounts to around 3 bil­lion euros to the EU with no oblig­a­tions or con­di­tions attached.” He added that Turk­ish-EU rela­tions are bilat­er­al, not one-sided.

    ...

    Visa lib­er­al­iza­tion is part of a broad migrant deal between the 28-nation bloc and Turkey. Fol­low­ing the deal, Europe has seen a dra­mat­ic decrease in ille­gal migra­tion and human traf­fick­ing. On some days, the Greek islands have report­ed that not a sin­gle migrant had arrived in the coun­try from Turkey. Turk­ish offi­cials warned their Euro­pean col­leagues sev­er­al times that the migrant deal with the EU will fail if visa lib­er­al­iza­tion is not car­ried out.

    “Touch­ing on pos­si­ble results of today’s Euro­pean Com­mis­sion report, Turkey’s EU Deputy Min­is­ter Ali Sahin said that Ankara will not accept con­di­tion­al approval from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion under any cir­cum­stance after spec­u­la­tion has cir­cu­lat­ed in some media out­lets com­ing from EU sources. “We stat­ed that Turkey does not accept con­di­tion­al approval in var­i­ous plat­forms.
    Hmmm...it sounds like Turkey’s gov­ern­ment isn’t inter­est­ed in hear­ing any crit­i­cisms. At all. But we already knew that.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 4, 2016, 1:19 pm
  11. Turkeys Prime Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­to­glu resigned foll­wing a sur­prise move by his AKP par­ty strip him of pow­ers to appoint provin­cial-lev­el par­ty offi­cials in the midst of a deep­en­ing con­flict between Davu­to­glu and Erdo­gan over Erdo­gan’s desires to over­haul Turkey’s con­sti­tu­tion to give the Pres­i­dent, cur­rent Erdo­gan, much more pow­er. Davu­to­glu cit­ed that move as the rea­son for his res­ig­na­tion, but also promised to not men­tion one neg­a­tive word about Erdo­gan going for­ward. And observers are already declar­ing that Erdo­gan is basi­cal­ly the de fac­to one-man ruler of Turkey now, even with­out those con­sti­tu­tion­al changes in place. So it looks like Erdo­gan’s hubris syn­drome is going to be a lot more dif­fi­cult to man­age going for­ward:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Turkey’s prime min­is­ter resigns amid high-lev­el rifts and deep­en­ing crises

    By Erin Cun­ning­ham
    May 5 at 2:31 PM

    ISTANBUL — Turkey’s prime min­is­ter resigned Thurs­day after a pub­lic rift with Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan, throw­ing the country’s pol­i­tics into tur­moil and paving the way for Erdo­gan to con­sol­i­date pow­er at a time of domes­tic and region­al crises.

    In an oth­er­wise defi­ant speech in Ankara, the cap­i­tal, Prime Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­to­glu said he would bow out of upcom­ing elec­tions for leader of the rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP). The deci­sion meant he would also step down as pre­mier.

    “I decid­ed to step down from my post,” Davu­to­glu said at the tele­vised news con­fer­ence, fol­low­ing a meet­ing with AKP’s cen­tral com­mit­tee. The par­ty, which Erdo­gan found­ed, has gov­erned Turkey since 2002. Davu­to­glu has served as prime min­is­ter since 2014.

    “I have nev­er nego­ti­at­ed or bar­gained with any­one” for any of my posi­tions, Davu­to­glu said, hint­ing at recent divi­sions with­in the par­ty. But “I am not plan­ning to become a can­di­date in the upcom­ing [par­ty] elec­tions” on May 22.

    The move marks anoth­er poten­tial step by Erdo­gan to weak­en the country’s par­lia­men­tary sys­tem and estab­lish a strong pres­i­den­cy, fur­ther cement­ing his author­i­ty. Erdo­gan has tak­en an increas­ing­ly hard line against per­ceived oppo­nents, and the president’s rela­tion­ship with Davu­to­glu also grew strained.

    Davu­to­glu, a for­mer pro­fes­sor and for­eign min­is­ter, report­ed­ly was less enthu­si­as­tic about the push toward a stronger exec­u­tive. And the two dis­agreed over many issues, such as eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy and pre­tri­al deten­tion for dis­si­dents. Erdo­gan has pros­e­cut­ed scores for the crime of “insult­ing the pres­i­dent.”

    In a sur­prise move last week, the AKP stripped Davu­to­glu of his pow­er to appoint provin­cial-lev­el par­ty offi­cials. On Thurs­day, Davu­to­glu cit­ed the blow as a key rea­son for his res­ig­na­tion, say­ing it was “not behav­ior I would expect from fel­low col­leagues.”

    “Hav­ing man­dat­ed [Davutoglu’s] res­ig­na­tion . . . Erdo­gan is now head of state, but also de-fac­to head of gov­ern­ment and head of the AKP,” said Son­er Cagap­tay, direc­tor of the Turk­ish Research Pro­gram at the Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute for Near East Pol­i­cy.

    Davu­to­glu was seen as a large­ly com­pli­ant AKP par­ty chief and prime min­is­ter, but “that does not seem to have sat­is­fied Erdogan’s urge to con­sol­i­date polit­i­cal pow­er in his hands,” Cagap­tay said.

    In addi­tion to the lat­est polit­i­cal tur­moil, Turkey faces numer­ous and over­lap­ping crises, includ­ing a rag­ing Kur­dish insur­gency, attacks from Islam­ic State mil­i­tants and nego­ti­a­tions with the Euro­pean Union over how to han­dle migra­tion flows over the Aegean Sea. Turkey is a key U.S. ally in the war against the Islam­ic State.

    Davu­to­glu led the dis­cus­sions with E.U. lead­ers to secure a deal under which migrants would be returned to Turkey in exchange for aid and visa-free trav­el for Turks in Europe. Turkey is now host­ing near­ly 2 mil­lion refugees, most of them from Syr­ia.

    “It’s a bit too ear­ly to define if it will have impli­ca­tions and, in that case, of what kind,” E.U. for­eign-pol­i­cy chief Fed­er­i­ca Mogheri­ni, on a vis­it to Koso­vo, said of Davutoglu’s res­ig­na­tion, the Reuters news agency report­ed.

    The Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, too, saw Davu­to­glu as more of a col­lab­o­ra­tive real­ist than the prick­ly Erdo­gan.

    Davu­to­glu on Thurs­day said he will remain loy­al to Erdo­gan and stay in the AKP as a deputy. “You will not hear one neg­a­tive word from me about our pres­i­dent,” Davu­to­glu said, warn­ing against “spec­u­la­tion” over deep­en­ing rifts.

    ...

    “Nev­er before in this sys­tem has one per­son amassed so much pow­er in his hands as Erdo­gan has,” Cagap­tay said. “The risk that looms for Turkey here is the hol­low­ing out of all insti­tu­tions.”

    Erdogan’s con­sol­i­da­tion of pow­er will “ren­der the coun­try so brit­tle polit­i­cal­ly that when Erdo­gan leaves office one day, there will be near­ly no insti­tu­tions left stand­ing to keep the coun­try togeth­er,” he said.

    ““Hav­ing man­dat­ed [Davutoglu’s] res­ig­na­tion . . . Erdo­gan is now head of state, but also de-fac­to head of gov­ern­ment and head of the AKP,” said Son­er Cagap­tay, direc­tor of the Turk­ish Research Pro­gram at the Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute for Near East Pol­i­cy.”
    Yep. So now one of the coun­tries that will be crit­i­cal for any sane han­dling of both the cri­sis in Syr­ia or the relat­ed flood of EU refugees is poised to become even more insane. And don’t for­get that Erdo­gan’s ambi­tions go far beyond Turkey’s bor­ders. A neo-Ottoman Empire is also on his to-do list. It’s all a high­ly unfor­tu­nate reminder that the Ring of Pow­er isn’t casu­al wear.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 5, 2016, 1:10 pm
  12. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/07/20/50000-arrested-fired-suspended-in-Erdogans-post-coup-crackdown-in-Turkey/8981469009834/

    50,000 arrest­ed, fired, sus­pend­ed in Erdo­gan’s post-coup crack­down in Turkey

    By Andrew V. Pes­tano UPI July 20, 2016 at 6:57 AM

    ANKARA, Turkey, July 20 (UPI) — The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment under Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan has now arrest­ed, fired or sus­pend­ed a total of more than 50,000 peo­ple in its post-coup d’e­tat attempt crack­down.

    Turk­ish media report that 15,200 teach­ers and oth­er edu­ca­tion staff have been fired; 1,577 uni­ver­si­ty deans have been forced to resign; 8,777 inte­ri­or min­istry employ­ees have been sus­pend­ed or fired; 1,500 finance min­istry staff have been fired; 257 employ­ees of Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Binali Yildirim’s office have been fired; over 6,000 mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been arrest­ed; 9,000 police offi­cers have been fired; and 3,000 judges have been sus­pend­ed.
     
    The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment has blamed Fri­day’s failed coup on Fethul­lah Gulen, a Mus­lim cler­ic liv­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia in self-exile. The coup attempt left more than 232 peo­ple dead and 1,541 injured.

    The Turk­ish media reg­u­la­tion agency on Tues­day revoked the licens­es of 24 radio and tele­vi­sion chan­nels on accu­sa­tions of hav­ing links to Gulen.
    Turkey is increas­ing pres­sure on the Unit­ed States to extra­dite Gulen, who said the accu­sa­tions that he was behind the failed coup are “ridicu­lous.”

    “I urge the U.S. gov­ern­ment to reject any effort to abuse the extra­di­tion process to car­ry out polit­i­cal vendet­tas,” he said in a state­ment.

    White House Press Sec­re­tary Josh Earnest on Mon­day said any deci­sion to extra­dite Gulen would be made under a shared treaty between the Unit­ed States and Turkey.

    Mean­while, state-run Anadolu Agency report­ed Wednes­day that pro-coup sol­diers who attacked a hotel where Erdo­gan and his fam­i­ly were vaca­tion­ing said they were ordered to “cap­ture an impor­tant ter­ror­ist leader.” About 40 spe­cial forces sol­diers were air­lift­ed into an air­base with the order to attack a resort where Erdo­gan was stay­ing, anony­mous secu­ri­ty sources told Anadolu. Sources said the sol­diers began to fly away from the base but were told of the coup attempt dur­ing the flight. It is unclear how many sol­diers con­tin­ued on with the attack.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2016, 3:55 am
  13. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36835340

    Turkey coup attempt: Who’s the tar­get of Erdo­gan’s purge?
    By Paul Kir­by July 20, 2016
    BBC News

    After the failed coup, the crack­down. The num­bers of peo­ple arrest­ed or thrown out of their jobs are eye-water­ing.
    From judges to teach­ers, civ­il ser­vants to sol­diers, the list is enor­mous.
    There are very real fears among Turks about what will come next.

    So who is being tar­get­ed and why?

    As soon as it became clear that the coup had failed, the crack­down began — first with the secu­ri­ty forces, then spread­ing to Turkey’s entire civil­ian infra­struc­ture. In the words of one Turk­ish colum­nist it was a “counter-coup” — a cleans­ing of the sys­tem, in the style of a coup, that had tak­en place in the past.

    The express aim of the pres­i­dent is to “cleanse all state insti­tu­tions”. And the tar­get is what he calls “the par­al­lel state” — a move­ment head­ed by an arch-rival in self-imposed exile in the US, accused of plot­ting the coup.

    No-one real­ly knows how exten­sive that move­ment is, but fol­low­ers of exiled cler­ic Fethul­lah Gulen are sus­pect­ed of infil­trat­ing some of the posts clos­est to the pres­i­dent, includ­ing chief mil­i­tary aide Ali Yazi­ci and air force advis­er Lt Col Erkan Kivrak,
    A “Gulenist clique” in the army was behind the coup, offi­cials say. And they came so close, says the pres­i­dent, that they were with­in 10 or 15 min­utes of assas­si­nat­ing or kid­nap­ping him. More on the Gulenists lat­er.

    Erdo­gan — Turkey’s ruth­less pres­i­dent
    Who is being purged?

    The purge is so exten­sive that few believe it was not already planned. And there seems lit­tle chance that every­one on the list is a Gulenist.

    The sheer num­bers are sober­ing. Some 9,000 peo­ple are in cus­tody and many more are out of a job. Although accu­rate details are dif­fi­cult to come by, this is the cur­rent list:
    7,500 sol­diers have been detained, includ­ing 85 gen­er­als and admi­rals
    8,000 police have been removed from their posts and 1,000 arrest­ed
    3,000 mem­bers of the judi­cia­ry, includ­ing 1,481 judges, have been sus­pend­ed
    15,200 edu­ca­tion min­istry offi­cials have lost their jobs
    21,000 pri­vate school teach­ers have had their licences revoked
    1,577 uni­ver­si­ty deans (fac­ul­ty heads) have been asked to resign
    1,500 finance min­istry staff have been removed
    492 cler­ics, preach­ers and reli­gious teach­ers have been fired
    393 social pol­i­cy min­istry staff have been dis­missed
    257 prime min­is­ter’s office staff have been removed
    100 intel­li­gence offi­cials have been sus­pend­ed

    The list may be incom­plete because the sit­u­a­tion is con­stant­ly chang­ing. But it is clear that the purge has affect­ed well over 58,000 peo­ple.

    Turkey’s purge
    Why edu­ca­tion?
    Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan has seen the rise of Islam­ic edu­ca­tion in Turkey’s schools and uni­ver­si­ties as a per­son­al mis­sion.

    Since his Islamist-root­ed par­ty came to pow­er in 2002, the num­ber of chil­dren edu­cat­ed in seg­re­gat­ed reli­gious schools known as “Imam-Hatip” has soared by 90%. He has repeat­ed­ly said he wants to raise a “pious gen­er­a­tion” and has reformed state edu­ca­tion accord­ing­ly.

    Mr Erdo­gan sought to reverse the many clo­sures of reli­gious schools that came in the wake of Turkey’s last coup in 1997, which he com­pared to the cut­ting of an artery.

    They vir­tu­al­ly sev­ered our carotid artery. Can a per­son live when his artery is cut? No he can­not” — Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan
    Reuters
    He has also moved to shut down Gulenist-run schools out­side Turkey. Reports from Roma­nia say Turk­ish offi­cials have told 11 to close, but the schools argue they fall under Roman­ian rather than Turk­ish juris­dic­tion.

    What is less clear is why uni­ver­si­ty deans are also being tar­get­ed. The offi­cials told to leave their posts are unlike­ly to be Gulenists. There is some sug­ges­tion that a revamp of Turkey’s 300 uni­ver­si­ties is being pre­pared.

    On Wednes­day, Turkey’s high­er edu­ca­tion author­i­ty banned aca­d­e­mics from trav­el­ling abroad and said any­one cur­rent­ly out­side Turkey should return home.

    The curi­ous case of Erdo­gan’s degree
    And why so many civ­il ser­vants?

    This could hark back to a 2010 cheat­ing scan­dal in Turkey’s civ­il ser­vice exams. When 3,227 were sus­pect­ed of cheat­ing because they scored top marks, the gov­ern­ment sus­pect­ed Gulenists.

    The post-coup purge may be the time to get rid of the sus­pect­ed cheats.
    Anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty is that the gov­ern­ment is also weed­ing out oppo­nents from Turkey’s Ale­vi com­mu­ni­ty, which num­bers some 15 mil­lion.

    Turkey’s rul­ing AKP is pre­dom­i­nant­ly a Sun­ni Mus­lim par­ty which gains sup­port from an Islamist base. The Ale­vi sect com­bines ele­ments of Shia Islam with pre-Islam­ic folk cus­toms.

    What will Erdo­gan do next?
    There are deep sus­pi­cions and wide­spread fears of what the pres­i­dent is plan­ning next. He is expect­ed to make a major announce­ment on Wednes­day.

    Some have com­pared the crack­down to the fall­out of the mil­i­tary coup of 12 Sep­tem­ber 1980. But that result­ed in exe­cu­tions and 600,000 deten­tions, so cur­rent events are far less dra­mat­ic.

    There seems lit­tle chance of mar­tial law being declared, as the army is so deeply dam­aged by the botched coup.

    But emer­gency mea­sures could be on the cards. Deten­tion with­out charge could be extend­ed and fir­ing civ­il ser­vants could be approved with­out the need for par­lia­men­tary approval.

    Will there be cur­fews? That seems unlike­ly when it suits the gov­ern­ment to have sup­port­ers on the streets at night.

    Will the death penal­ty be rein­stat­ed 12 years after its abo­li­tion?

    Will Erdo­gan bring back death penal­ty?

    So who is his arch-rival any­way?

    Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan’s declared aim is to root out fol­low­ers of a for­mer ally, Islam­ic cler­ic Fethul­lah Gulen, who became his arch-rival and went into self-imposed exile in the US in 1999.

    Fethul­lah Gulen has made a lot of ene­mies but he also has a large num­ber of fol­low­ers and they are accused of plot­ting the coup. Gulenists, who espouse a tol­er­ant form of Islam, are thought to donate up to 20% of their income to the move­ment. They have roles in all sec­tors of Turk­ish soci­ety and local reports say some Gulenists have con­fessed to involve­ment in the attempt­ed coup.

    The order, one fol­low­er was quot­ed as say­ing, came from a civil­ian teacher known as Big Broth­er.

    Exact­ly who is a Gulenist is very hard to assess, but Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan blamed the move­ment for dam­ag­ing cor­rup­tion alle­ga­tions that entan­gled the sons of sev­er­al Turk­ish min­is­ters in 2013.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2016, 4:03 am

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