Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pick a Syndrome

Diana and Actaeon by Titian
Latest unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey has proven that Erdogan was/is considered a ticking time bomb by many if nothing else. His delusional leadership not only contributed to a destabilized Syria and Iraq but the resulting stream of immigrants threatened to shake the European Union at its core plus helped augment Islamophobia to an unprecedented level in the far corners of the world (USA). When you add the final icing that is his homophobia on the cake, it is not so far fetched to assume many would want him gone.

Apparently two possible endings have been planned (or wished) for him:

The Ceausescu or the Milosevic syndrome.

The failed coup is an indication that an immediate end a la Ceausescu will be tried first. Therefore, it is not so unreasonable to expect another try, though not via a military coup, that will lead to his demise. If that fails, cases of money laundering (Iranian) and being accessory to mass murder in Syria are two candidates to pave the way to Milosevic syndrome.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unsuccessful Coup Attempt in Turkey

This time, I am really really outpaced. The thriller we call history rolls with an unprecedented speed. Last week, some elements of Turkish armed forces headed by members of a cult (Fetullahcilar) tried to overthrow the government. By all measures, the coup attempt seems premature and without a solid plan as if it was rushed and executed ahead of schedule. Although some analysts would undoubtedly say the rush was due to a pending legal operation to the cult members of Fetullah or FETO, Fetullah Terror Organization according to Turkish government, we should not forget they were not alone in this endeavor and these additional groups had no reason to rush.

Typically, a successful coup requires
  1. local support or a considerable number of people without an objection to it
  2. rank and file support in especially the army
  3. international support
It was obvious that putchists did not have the first two so I have to assume they had some sort of international support, implied or otherwise. Rather than implicating any group or state, let us write down what we know:

Based on above, it is not difficult to see that a sudden policy shift favoring Russia might have created panic in some circles. This, combined with coming crackdown on the FETO group probably led to the unfortunate chain of events. 

What happens now?

It is not hard to guess that the delusional sectarian leadership of Turkey will use this as an excuse to crush all political dissent while clearing those who were involved with the coup.

Monday, July 11, 2016

What are They Faking and Why?

Miniature depicting Ottoman military campaign
One can find numerous examples here and elsewhere claiming Turkish president Erdogan and company are deluded and that is why it is not easy to make sense of their policy changes. As a matter of fact, it is not that difficult to grasp; their policy, or cause as they would say, has always been the same. It zigs and zags and zigs again; but the destination is always the land of love and peace where Islamic orgies bloom in its palaces. So, the sudden shift in relations with Israel and Russia looks absurd.

It is important to differentiate between someone who makes peace because he believes in peace, and someone who does it because he somehow needs it. Erdogan and his Islamists fall into the second category. Hence, they are faking peace.

One can always argue that Russian embargo hurts Turkish economy (it really does and costs Islamists precious votes especially in coastal cities, votes that they will presumably need to tailor a constitution that suits their delusions in the not so distant future) but it is really difficult to explain their change of heart with Israel, the terrorist state as they would say, many many times on and off the record. So, for what purpose did they require a peaceful relationship with Israel (and to a lesser extent with Russia)?

Hint: Erdogan said Syrian refugees could become Turkish citizens.
Hint: It is wildly speculative.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Angry Boys and Moderate Murderers

The events outpace us. Before we can deliberate on Turkish-Israeli deal, Erdogan (HL) caved in under economic pressure and apologized to Russia's Putin which opened the door to restoration of all relations while 3 suicide bombers wreaked havoc in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, killing 44, wounding hundreds.

Amidst all this chaos, many cities that thrive on tourism, especially Antalya,  have been eagerly waiting for the return of the Russian tourists. That, however, may not be possible soon as Russian PM Medvedev pointed out:

"At the height of the tourist season, a relevant topic is the lifting of bans on charter flights and recommendations for Russian tourists not to travel [to Turkey]. Here, it is very important to obtain additional guarantees from the Turkish authorities that effective measures are being taken to ensure the safety of our travelers, especially in light of the recent tragic events in Istanbul."

But is it possible to create a reasonably safe environment for Russians in Turkey any more? The problem is two-fold:
  1. Turkey's ruling Islamists have never seen ISIS for what they are and this myopic look has resulted in thousands of sleeping terrorist cells of angry boys. This is ex Foreign Minister Davutoglu, in an interview on news channel NTV in August, 2014:

    "The structure called ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the previous name of the IS], at its core, could be viewed as a terrorist radical group, but people have joined it ... and there are significant numbers of Turkmens, Sunni Arabs, Kurds... we should understand it like this. Previous discontent, anger, discrimination and insults gave birth to a broad reaction."

    He blamed the violent behavior of Islamic State (IS) militants on those who excluded Sunni Arabs from society, saying that the marginalization had led to an accumulation of anger.
  2. Then, we have the so-called moderate jihadis, who were groomed to fight Syria's Esad. Thousands of young people, Turkish and foreign, have been passively pushed to joining the ranks of these moderate murderers by Erdogan (HL) and company while the national intelligence  agency (MIT) illegaly providing logistics services for them including all kinds of weapons and ammunition. In their delusional state, the Islamist elite dreamed of praying with their Sunni brethren in Umayyad Mosque within a couple of months:

    "But we will go there in the shortest possible time, if Allah wills it; and embrace our brothers. That day is close. We will pray near the grave of Salahaddin Ayyubi and pray in the Umayyad Mosque. We will pray for our brotherhood freely in Hejaz Railway Station."

    Once said ex PM Erdogan, speaking at an extended group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), held at the party's headquarters in September, 2012. 
Alperenler drafting ceremony
 So, one can never be certain that effective measures will be taken against the angry boys. To make matters worse, no measures can be taken against the moderate murderers at all, they are the local brew of the pub. And both of these groups have been engaging Russians in Syria. Hence, even if the Russian jet had not been shot down, providing safety for Russian tourists day in day out would have been a risky proposition. It certainly is a huge challenge now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why did We Eat It?

Turkey and Israel have decided to normalize relations, ending a 6-year dispute with 10 Turkish activists dead. In summary:
  • Turkey gains a privileged role in Gaza's economic development and a lessening of its isolation in a deeply troubled region.
  • Israel sees an end to its practical difficulties with Turkey and gets assurances about future Hamas activity on Turkish soil.
  • There could also be important economic benefits to both countries in terms of the energy sector and tourism.
 This all means they are exactly where they were 6 years ago. Since it is next to impossible to understand how Turkish leaders make policy (I do have an explanation for this particular one but need more data to draft a beautiful conspiracy theory of my own), it is best to describe the final agreement with a short story:

One day, a rich farmer was going to downtown with his servant. He sit on his comfortable carriage rode by a beautiful horse and the servant on foot, they hit the road early to run a few errands. They saw a pile of fresh shit on the road and the wicked master decided to make fun of his poor servant:

"If you eat that shit, the carriage and the horse will be yours and I'm going to walk instead of you."

The poor servant looked at the carriage and the horse and then the pile of shit. He always hated this man. So, he decided to accept the challenge and despite the smell and disgusting taste, he managed to eat it. And on they went, roles reversed.

Soon, the poor servant was angry with himself. He could not look after a horse nor maintain a carriage. The farmer, on the other hand, could buy a new horse and a carriage anytime he wanted. "I ate that shit for nothing," he thought.
The farmer was also upset. "I lost a horse and carriage for a piece of shit," he contemplated.

On the way back, noticing another pile of recently produced shit gave them both the opportunity they sought. "Master," said the servant,

"Eat that shit and you can have your carriage and horse back."

The farmer jumped to the occasion, swallowed it quickly and got on his carriage again.

Approaching their village, the poor servant asked his master,

"On the way to town, you owned the carriage and the horse and I was on foot. Now, here we are, back where we started, you still own them and I'm still on foot. So, tell me master of mine, why did we eat that shit?"