by Richard Cottrell
The violence in Turkey could well end in a full scale military putsch, thus making the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the fifth to be overthrown with varying degrees of severity over the last half century.
Alternatively, it may usher in the age of FascIslam, kismet-style. Or even a hodgepodge of both.
Editor’s note: be sure to read Richard’s previous articles “Beppe Grillo RIP: King Lear heads for deep space” and “An open question to NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen: why did you try to ban my book on Gladio?”
Istanbul looks like Manhattan on the Bosporus, in fact it is the least Islamic looking city to be found anywhere in the Islamic world.
The new minarets of the faith are the forests of sprouting skyscrapers. But prosperity comes at a price. There is a severe shortage of buildable space, so when the Istanbul municipality’s eye fell on one of the few remaining green oasis smack in the center of the metropolis, close to the city’s reverential heart, Taksim Square, trouble might be confidently expected.
Well, that’s the fairy tale side of things painted by the western media. The facts are infinitely more complex.
In reality, Turkey has an extremely weak environmental lobby. The number of people with time on their hands to kick up large scale environmental battles like the ones now being witnessed right across this huge and sprawling country is very limited. So where has the Peoples’ Popular Army of Protest suddenly sprung from?
The answer is supplied by the Turkish military and their old friends and allies in the country’s restless pro-secular bastions of opposition to the Islamic authorities presently in charge.
There are hordes of off duty soldiers swarming around, not to mention provocateurs owing allegiance to far-right gangs. The police (the usual hooded lot) are especially busy. Plus the temples of interested parties represented by western secret services and NATO, to which Turkey is the second largest contributor of military force after the US.
How come the ‘west’ wants to overthrow a government on the same page with tactical strategies set by Washington, such as playing the right game in Syria?
This important question leads to the relatively soft (though there are signs of hardening of late) Islamic authorities, winners of three historic landslides in a row. They find themselves increasingly in conflict with the general thrust of western policymakers who prefer their Islam-lite, not the strong flavor stuff purveyed by Erdoğan and his crew.
The long running Ergenekon derin devlet (deep state) scandal resulted in a massive swoop on the top ranks of the military, accused of endlessly scheming since 2002 to bring the government down. Ergenekon is the latest brand of a state-within-a-state organization traceable to the old Counter-Guerrilla secret army outfit, a member of the Europe-wide operation Gladio combination.
Like all its predecessors, Ergenekon is hand in glove with Turkey’s staunchly secular whisky generals, the powerful Far Right elements of Turkish politics (including senior officers in the national gendarmerie) and by no means least, the all-reaching criminal gangs in charge of the vastly lucrative smuggling of narcotics, weapons and nuclear materials pouring through the Turkish hub. The rake is said to be worth a million bucks a minute.
A lot of ‘investments’ which have transformed the Istanbul sky line and many of Turkey’s major cities are siphoned directly from the Golden Trail, no questions asked.
Erdoğan’s ruthless persecution of the rotten apples in the military’s basket was bound to end in tears, especially when the near-centenarian General Kenan Evren (former Counter-Guerrilla commander) was last year put on trial for staging the bloody putsch of 1980.
Turkey was always unique in the Islamic camp in having close ties with Israel. Erdoğan put an end to those after Israel special forces stopped a humanitarian convoy bound for Gaza in June 2010. Commandoes killed nine Turkish citizens. Both countries effectively broke off diplomatic relations.
Progressively, western capitals began to suspect that one of the chief parts of the NATO alliance was in danger of cracking.
Although Erdoğan’s image at home is now badly tarnished, he is still a kind of rock star in much of the Islamic world. But that unsettles many observers, especially those in NATO, the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon, who are deeply concerned by the idea of an emerging Ottoman-style sultanate.
Others in Turkey, especially in the secular quarters, are concerned that Erdoğan’s real aim is FascIslam, the perpetual rule of the AK (Justice and Development ) party in power for the last decade.
Erdoğan’s uncompromising response to the unrest suggests that he believes all the best cards are in his hands. For his sake, I hope he is right.
In 1960, the elected premier, the mildly socialist Adnan Menderes, was overthrown and hanged for stepping too far out of line with western policies. He was viewed as ‘too soft’ on Islam.
In fact, he intended to crack down on the honey pot smuggling trails controlled, as now handsomely documented, by western secret services (notably those of the US, Germany and the UK) in cahoots with the local mafia.
Turkey is like a giant chess board. One needs a good sense of an intricate game which is often revealed by small moves.
Take the on-going row with Nouri al-Maliki, the de facto dictator of Iraq. The Turks are harboring the former vice president who is wanted at home for treason on grounds of running secret prisons. Who isn’t running secret prisons in that utterly despoiled wreck of a country is the important question. As so often following Erdoğan around is like pursuing a phantom in a maze.
At just this moment Mossad is in town, for a gentle parlay with the Turkish Pentagon. Kiss and make up time? But by who exactly? Did these old pals ever really break ranks? How much of the bust-up was stage scenery?
Erdoğan attempts to bring the militant Kurdish liberation front into the home camp, thus causing outrage in US eyes that his real game is to prise away the Kurdish province in Northern Iraq, then dump his dissidents there.
The US repeats gruffly that the PKK have always been and remain international terrorists. Washington carefully refrains from mentioning that Abdullah Occalan, the jailed PKK leader, is a pawn in the much wider Game of Thrones organized by western – and Turkish – intelligence.
Out of the blue Turkish national state security suddenly gets a whole new pack of powers which makes US efforts in the war on terror look like a kids’ game. Suddenly MIT operatives are back to the good old days (1960’s-80’s) game of the ‘have gun, will travel’ 007 licence to kill any person designated a threat to Turkish national security anywhere in the world.
Mohamed Ali Agca, convicted of attempting to kill Pope John Paul was a Turkish criminal terrorist working as a hired hand to the Turkish state. (My book Gladio – see below – is expansive on this matter).
A huge dragnet of mass surveillance is to be rolled out without as much as token notice by elected parliamentarians or the supine mainly state controlled media. The sole exception is Zaman, an influential daily which is splitting with the AK party after ten years of almost craven loyalty. The paper has directly accused the ruling party and Erdoğan explicitly of advancing towards a home-grown Buyek Kardes (Big Brother) state at almost reckless speed.
Moreover, thanks to the huge commotion now conveniently under way, there is not a peep from a single public organ, bar Zaman, concerning such a massive destruction of civil liberties. Janet Napolitano, eat your heart out.
The MIT card is especially interesting because it can be played by either party.
The military as a whip hand over the government, or the government playing favour with the secret services and the soldiers. Personally I think it bears the mark of a typically calculated Erdoğan ace, splitting the ranks of the military complex. Always share the spoils around.
The same with the recent ‘crackdown’ on alcohol. This was a perfect sop to the country’s vast pious majority. Of itself it means absolutely nothing. It will be ‘strictly enforced’ in the great Anatolian land mass, bastion of traditional Islamic values, and already as dry as dust when it comes to the demon drink. The lucrative tourist hot spots dotting the blue Aegean are left alone completely.
There are two concluding factors. These concern two important individuals, both exercising crucial influence in the present crisis. Abdullah Gül the president and one must now say, former ally of Erdoğan, and the Hizmet movement founded and led by Fethullah Gülen.
I for one would not be surprised if Gül quietly encouraged a palace coup against Erdoğan to install the ever-grinning, reassuringly moderate foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, as the peacemaker. Davutoğlu has almost certainly spotted the opening. He is fanatically ambitious. He seems to be smiling more than ever as the uproar unfolds.
Gülen is often described as the spiritual father of the AK party. Equally some people suspect he is a stooge of the CIA, given that he lives most of the time in the US. Others see Hizmet as a front for creeping Islamism.
Worldwide, Gülen is benevolently regarded as a prophet for Islam with a Smiling Face, rather as though Elijah returned to praise the virtues of tolerance, peace and market forces. In my view Gülen is capable of using his influence – alongside the president – to depose Erdoğan. But will he or would he?
He has many supporters in high places, some quarters of the police, the universities and among many of the young protestors who are now facing the full roar of Turkey’s tear gas and water cannons of public order. He is surely between a rock and a hard place.
Ten years back he was charged with plotting a coup. He was conclusively cleared. Yet to sully his hands at just this moment might drag Hizmet and its well proclaimed policies of clean hands back into the controversies of the public arena.
The advantage, for now at any rate, lies with Erdoğan. What more opportune moment than nationwide uproar, youths fighting like savages in the streets, the scent of revolution mixing with the tear gas, in order to usher in the buyuk kardes devlet?
These are the tried and trusted tactics of Operation Gladio, the fomenting of public disorder to dramatize the enemy within, and then usher in the total regimentation of society at large. The ‘Taksim Platform’ is below the surface another extension of the global Occupy movements, penetrated and manipulated by secret actors with a view to entrench and expand the established order.
I will close with a final thought, which follows directly from that statement. In this Game of Thrones, can it be that a remarkable coalition twinkles as the final outcome in Erdoğan’s eye: FascIslam and the whisky generals exchanging toasts in the same big top?
Edited by Madison Ruppert
Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Doctor Who? The Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways is available and Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here – Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis)
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