Saturday, August 20, 2016

Slow Saturday Special: Erdogan's Choice

It comes from the highest authority:

"A strong message for Erdogan" August 20, 2016

Relations between Turkey and the United States, long strained, have grown even worse in the wake of the failed military uprising in July, which the government in Ankara has all but accused Washington of abetting. On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to fly to Turkey on a fence-mending mission. The Veep is famous for his hearty affability, and if any American leader could defuse tensions with Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it would be Biden. But there are higher priorities than making nice to Turkey just now. One of them is to make it clear that the United States has no plans to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the former Erdogan ally whom Turkish officials accuse of masterminding the attempted coup.

The Globe just confirmed, in my eyes, AmeriKan involvement as they argue to protect the CIA assets. I truly expected nothing less.

Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, promotes a philosophy that comprises elements of moderate Islam and Sufi mysticism, free-market economics, and interfaith tolerance. That he has a wide following in Turkey (and elsewhere) is not in doubt. But Erdogan’s claims that Gulen orchestrated the July coup are unsupported by proof. The 75-year-old cleric is a legal permanent resident of the United States, shielded by American standards of due process. Biden must be crystal-clear on this point: Unless and until Turkey supplies convincing evidence of Gulen’s complicity in the July mutiny, he is not going to be handed over to Erdogan’s toughs.

Turkey has handed over thousands of documents that apparently the Bo$ton Globe editorial staff has seen (not a classified or redacted report in the bunch, 'eh?)

Those toughs have been busy in recent weeks, rounding up supposed “Gulenists” by the scores of thousands. Erdogan’s vengeful crackdown has been ruthless, purging not only military officers from their positions, but also judges, teachers, civil servants, journalists, prosecutors. 

The purges by the toughs tells you what side the Globe is taking and where this is going (and I've never been a big fan of the Turkish government). 

Regime loyalists have been vigorously maligning the United States. Anti-American protesters have demonstrated at the Incirlik air base in Turkey, accusing US soldiers based there of being among the plotters. One pro-Erdogan newspaper went so far as to claim that US Army General John Campbell, the respected former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, conspired with the CIA in trying to overthrow the Turkish government.

How interesting it is that the Globe does a quick flyover Incirlik. From what I've been seeing elsewhere, there is a major stand-off their regarding the U.S. nuclear missiles and their possible seizure by Turkey. Of course, were that true the Globe would certainly report it -- right?

The flip side is their incredulity that the CIA would conduct a coup. Pretty much destroys the entire credibility of their opinion, imho.

As a member of NATO, Turkey is still, formally, a US ally. But as Erdogan grows ever more authoritarian, his behavior and rhetoric are becoming intolerable — and Turkey’s reliability as a partner is diminishing. The message Biden must convey is that America seeks to cooperate with Ankara, but that by its actions the Turkish regime is poisoning the US-Turkish relationship. Erdogan can be an Islamist sultan or he can be the democratic leader of a trusted NATO ally. But he can’t be both, and the time has come to make him choose.

WWIII to soon follow!


I'm left with no choice but to conclude that the Globe editorial board is full of war-mongering psychopaths that raise alarm.

You will have to be the judge:

"Turkish prosecutors seek 2 life sentences for Gulen" by Suzan Fraser Associated Press  August 16, 2016

ANKARA, Turkey — In the more than 2,500-page indictment accepted by the court in Usak on Tuesday, US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and 111 other suspects are accused of transferring funds obtained through charities or donations to the United States via ‘‘front’’ companies, the state-run Anadolu News Agency reported Tuesday.

Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, and one of the CIA front companies was a supermarket chain. 

Think Biden has read through them?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to rule out bringing back the death penalty in order to punish the coup plotters — a move that would further jeopardize Turkey’s faltering European Union membership bid. But on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim appeared to move away from reinstating capital punishment.

‘‘Anyone who spilled the blood of our martyrs will be held to account. But, my valuable citizens, we won’t act in the spirit of vengeance,’’ Yildirim said during his weekly address to his ruling party’s legislators. ‘‘Death penalty is death for one time. But there are worse ways of dying. This is through an objective and fair trial.’’

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss an upcoming visit by Vice President Joe Biden, as well as recent developments in Syria.

He must mean the closer cooperation between the two -- with the U.S. on the outside, looking in!

So Iran did not come up, is that right?

Meanwhile, Turkey made a formal request to Greece for the extradition of eight Turkish officers who fled to the neighboring country after last month’s attempted coup, the state-run news agency reported....


They aren't asking for these extraditions:

"Turkey said to legally shield Israel over 2010 flotilla deaths" by Firat Kozok and Onur Ant Bloomberg News  August 16, 2016

Turkey is preparing to submit the terms of its reconciliation with Israel to parliament, including a provision to shield Israel from legal action over the killing of Turkish citizens on a blockade-busting ship bound for the Gaza Strip in 2010. 

From the analysis I read the Turks totally capitulated here.

The restoration of ties is expected to unlock energy contracts worth billions of dollars, as Israel seeks to export natural gas and Turkey looks to restore relations with regional allies that have soured in recent years. Russian economic sanctions since the Turkish military downed a Russian warplane have highlighted Turkey’s vulnerability to Moscow’s energy policies.

That looks like bad narrative or data that is no longer operative. After the coup attempt (which Russia may have tipped off beforehand), Erdogan has moved towards Russia in self-interest. The coup itself was attempted because of Turkey's retreat on the overthrow of Assad and support for U.S.-sponsored ISIS, and the rapprochement with Israel must also be viewed in that sense. Maybe the Mossad (involved in past coup plans) may come to heel a bit.

Israel has authorized a $20 million payment to compensate families of the victims of the naval raid on the Mavi Marmara-led flotilla, a Turkish ship that tried to breach the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. According to the text of the deal, Turkey has agreed to cover any costs to Israel or Israelis that exceed that amount. Ten Turkish citizens died.

Other aspects of the deal were already publicized, including a provision for Turkey to transfer materials through Israel to build houses, a hospital, a power station, and a desalination facility in Gaza. Turkey will also be able to build major projects in the West Bank, including an industrial zone in Jenin.

The mending of the Israel-Turkey rift is proceeding in tandem with negotiations to reunify the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, whose north has been occupied by the Turkish military since 1974. A solution to that conflict would allow Turkey to buy gas from Cyprus as well as Israel, bringing it closer to its long-held dream of becoming an energy hub between East and West.... 

They already sit on a critical lynchpin between Europe and Asia, and nothing short of celestial interference can change that.


Also seeTurkey to release 38,000 from jail; frees space for plotters

Obama and Kerry really fucked up, and I predict the "Who Lost Turkey?" debate will be reminiscent of Mao coming to power in China. Obama lost them in his waning days, but it can be blamed on the new president (especially if they be Trump).

Related14 killed in attacks on police, military in Turkey; 220 hurt

It was the Kurds, close partners of the USrael, and who didn't see that coming? 

I wonder if Biden will apologize when he is there"

"Biden offers condolences for 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia" Associated Press  August 16, 2016

BELGRADE — Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday offered condolences to the families of those killed during the Balkan wars, including the victims of the NATO air war against Serbia.

What was it, senility? Dementia?  Slip?

Why would he confess to the war crimes after all these years?

As a senator, Biden was a strong advocate of the NATO bombing of Serbia in the 1990s. He once said that his work to end the Yugoslav wars was one of the ‘‘proudest moments’’ of his long political career.

The US-led bombardment in 1999 stopped Serbia’s crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists, ending Belgrade’s rule over its former province of Kosovo. The intervention, when thousands were killed, shifted many Serbs from their generally pro-Western views to their traditional ally Russia.

Nothing more to say really, other than the ethnic Albanian separatists were imported Al-CIA-Duh.

‘‘The memories of the loss of the loved ones are still fresh,’’ Biden said after his talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

‘‘I would like to add my condolences to the families of those whose lives were lost during the wars in the 1990s, including those whose lives were lost as the result of the NATO campaign,’’ he said.

The bloody breakup of former Yugoslavia claimed tens of thousands of lives and left millions homeless in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Ethnic tensions remain high in the Balkans, with neighbors bickering over who was the most responsible for the bloodshed.

Biden, on his last trip to the Balkans as a senior American official, traveled later Tuesday to Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

visit underscores Washington’s desire to maintain influence in the Balkans as Moscow works to keep Serbia — one of Russia’s last remaining allies in the region — within its fold. The trip also highlights Washington’s worry about the slow pace of regional reconciliation 17 years after the NATO air war and 21 years after a Bosnia peace deal was signed. 

Everywhere you look in the world Washington is losing influence and receiving lip service!!

About 300 ultranationalist supporters, some wearing T-shirts with pictures of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, protested against Biden’s visit in downtown Belgrade.

Vucic, a former ultranationalist turned pro-EU reformer, pledged Serbia’s commitment to peace in the region, warning the simmering tensions in the Balkans could lead to more clashes.

‘‘Only a spark is needed for chaos,’’ he said.

Like making Erdogan choose.



"A bomb exploded at an outdoor wedding ceremony in southeastern Turkey on Saturday, killing at least 30 people and wounding at least 94, authorities said. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek of Turkey said the ‘‘barbaric’’ attack in the city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, appeared to be a suicide bombing. Other officials said it could have been carried out by either Kurdish militants or Islamic State group extremists."

Both of which work for the United States government.