Erdogan Seizes Total Control of Turkey

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved his dictator status which was his long-held ambition to expand his powers after the referendum handed him the reins of supreme power. However, the integrity of the vote is seriously questioned and the slim victory of just 51.4% approving a series of constitutional changes converting Turkey’s political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one, means there is going to be tension in Turkey looking forward. There will be no real checks and balances in place.

The opposition parties naturally called for the vote to be annulled because of a series of irregularities, The electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps has really called into question did the people really vote for this dramatic change. Continue reading

Eastern Europe & World War III

Romania-Protest Feb 2017

 

Europe could become the site of a new global war in the East as tensions build there against refugees and the economic decline fosters old wounds. The EU is deeply divided over the refugee issue and thus it is fueling its own demise and has failed to be a stabilizing force. After five days of demonstrations, Romania’s month-old government backed down and withdrew a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses. They were still acting like typical politicians and looking to line their pockets. After one month, the people have rising up saying “We can’t trust this new government.”

On the eastern border of the EU, only a few hundred kilometers from Berlin as well as Vienna, there is a growing danger that the world will stumble into a global war primarily from through the incompetence of the politicians in the EU as well as in the East. The EU is more concerned about punishing Britain and trying to hold on to overpaid political jobs that to address the real issues facing Europe. Continue reading

Turkey Converts Hagia Sophia to Mosque

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Turkish Republic converted the Hagia Sophia to a museum in 1935, and Turkey’s current Islamist government is now converting it into a mosque. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

  • This is how the minds of Islamic supremacists seem to work: If you want churches to remain churches, it means you are “disturbed by the Koran or Islamic prayers,” and you disrespect or “insult” Islam. According to Islamic scriptures, those who “insult” Islam or its prophet Muhammad are to be executed.
  • So if one wants to survive under Islamic rule, one has to submit to Islam and accept one’s own inferior status. There is apparently no place for diversity or civilized, equal coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic nations.
  • “I can only think of one reason [to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque]. As a shout of Islamic triumphalism. What a mistake that would be. Christians would rightly consider it an intentional insult. The international community would see it as an open rejection of its diversity agenda. Moreover, I think that a relatively secular Turkey acting so radically would demonstrate to the world that despite moderate Muslims’ many assurances to the contrary, contemporary Islam is intolerant in outlook, belligerent toward non-believers, and dangerously hegemonist in its intentions.” — Wesley J. Smith, author.
  • The West did not protect Anatolian Christians during the 1914-1923 genocide. It does not seem as if the West will protect Europe against what seems to be the current bloodless Muslim invasion, either.

The process of converting the historic Hagia Sophia church-then-museum in Istanbul into a mosque, in the works for the past three years, now seems to have been finalized.

Continue reading

Eastern Europe: The Last Barrier between Christianity and Islam

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the Eastern nemesis of the European elite. No one else in Europe except him speaks about defending “Christianity.”
  • “Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims … This is an important question, because Europe and the European identity is rooted in Christianity.” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
  • The last chance to save Europe’s roots might well come from the former communist members of the EU — those who defeated the Ottomans in 1699 and now feel culturally threatened by their heirs.
  • Cypriots know much better than the comfortable bureaucrats of Brussels the consequences of a cultural collision. Ask about their churches on the Turkish side of the island; how many of them are still standing?

Austria’s fate is now at stake.

Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots.

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Russian Intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov: After The Attempted Coup In Turkey, ‘The Kremlin Has Reason To Be Satisfied’

After the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, Russian intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov[1] writes in an article, titled “People With Big Ambitions: What the Turkish Coup Means for Russia,” that Moscow has grounds for satisfaction with the current situation. Lukyanov believes that Turkish president Recep Erdogan now needs to find reliable foreign partners to support his regime. However, Erdogan’s “zigzag” policy has hardly gained him respect in any foreign capital, and Turkey might now regard Moscow as a possible strategic partner. Lukyanov writes that Turkey relations with the EU are worn down. The EU abandoned the idea of a common European home and if Turkey will reinstate the death penalty, as mooted after the failed coup, this would doom Turkey’s chances of joining the EU and force Ankara to leave the Council of Europe.

According to Lukyanov, the primary reason for the EU’s diminished desire to cooperate with Ankara is that the European countries never fully accepted Turkey as “one of their own.” Russia can sympathize with Turkey, as it  as well has been treated by Europe as a “barbarian at the gate” notwithstanding the common cultural and historical heritage. Lukyanov views Erdogan’s need for new allies, as an opportunity for a Turkey-Russia partnership, for offsetting and even reducing Western geopolitical influence. Lukyanov writes: “Europe is no longer the center of the world. Earlier, if Europe sneezed, the whole world caught cold. Now, however, three-fourths of humanity is simply uninterested in what ails these strange people with their oversized ambitions and diminishing ability to implement them properly.” Continue reading

A New Map for the Middle East?

On May 16, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France signed an agreement that had been negotiated by Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot to divide up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence after the end of the Great War and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. The Sykes-Picot Agreement, now 100 years old, has been denounced ever since for perpetuating a supposedly artificial division of the Middle East into unpopular nation states whose existence only fuels conflicts. Many now suggest that it is time to discard Sykes-Picot in order to solve the region’s myriad problems. Continue reading

The EU-Turkey Deal Is Bad but Worse Is Yet to Come

Afghan migrants in Greece. The majority of migrants who enter Europe pay to be smuggled by sea to Greece from Turkey, the main transit route into the EU. Nearly all of those entering Greece on a boat from Turkey are from the war zones of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

For many high-ranking politicians, it is already clear that the deal with Turkey has failed. What’s next?

On March 18, the European Union struck a deal with Turkey that was designed to decrease the influx of refugees into Europe. The deal said that anyone who arrives in Greece illegally would be sent to Turkey. And for every migrant sent back, the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee stuck in Turkish camps—with priority given to those who had not tried to enter the EU illegally.

As part of the agreement, Europe also promised Ankara $3 billion in aid, a boost to its EU membership proposal, and an easing of the visa restrictions for Turkish citizens by the end of June.

Many analysts saw this deal as problematic and even illegal, because Turkey does not meet the “safe third country” requirements of the Geneva Convention. Many viewed the deal not as a short-term solution.

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Israel Looks to Russia as a Security Partner

American unreliability is forcing nations to look elsewhere for support.

The Middle East is undergoing its most consequential transition since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Failure of the Arab Spring has resuscitated the jihadist claim that only violence can produce change in a region that’s stagnant politically and economically. Continue reading

Turkey Resorts To Blackmail, Warns Europe It Will Unleash Refugees If No Visa-Free Travel

Following months of monetary and diplomatic appeasement of Erdogan, which culminated with a migration deal according to which Turkey would hold Syrian refugees within its borders instead of allowing them to continue onward to Central Europe, things promptly fell apart. As a reminder, less than a month ago, a high-ranking deputy for Turkey’s ruling AKP party, Burhan Kuzu (also a former adviser to President Erdogan) issued an explicit threat to Europe which was at that time discussing whether or not to grant Turkey visa-free travel within the continent. Specifically, he tweeted that “The European Parliament will discuss the report that will open Europe visa-free for Turkish citizens. If the wrong decision is taken, we will unleash  the refugees!.” Many read that as tacit blackmail. Continue reading

Turkey? In the EU?

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) recently made affectionate statements expressing admiration not for the European Union, but for the last Islamic caliphate — the Ottoman Empire, an expansionist Islamic realm that committed massacres, rapes, and sexual slavery of people in the lands it invaded. The question is when the EU will start acting like a self-respecting institution, and consider Turkey according to what it actually says and does? Pictured right: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

 

  • “What is the conquest?” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked his audience. “The conquest is Hijrah [expansion of Islam through emigration, following the example of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and his followers from Mecca to Medina]. The conquest is Al-Andalus [Muslim Spain]. … The conquest is Salah al-Din al-Ayubbi [Saladin]. … It is to hoist the flag of Islam in Jerusalem again. … The conquest is to have the courage, tenacity and sagacity to defy the entire world even at the hardest times.”
  • “The EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU. Let everyone know it like that.” — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On April 25, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, while speaking at the High-Level EU-Turkey Economic Dialogue meeting in Istanbul, said that the full membership process to the European Union was Turkey’s most crucial strategic target.

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Erdogan Wants Much of Syria, Iraq in New Ottoman Empire

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Team Turkey in Ankara would love to have the old Ottoman Empire back, American Kurdish Information Network Director Kani Xulam told Sputnik.

“A prone Syria and Iraq may be a cause for concern elsewhere, but not in Ankara. Annexations may not be its stated policy, but dependencies are part and parcel of its long-term plans,” Xulam explained. Continue reading

Turkey’s Thugocracy

  • As in 1908-1912, journalists are at the center of the government’s rage.
  • “They [journalists from Turkey’s leading newspaper, Hurriyet] had never had a beating before. Our mistake was that we never beat them in the past. If we had beaten them…” — Abdurrahim Boynukalin, Member of Parliament from the governing AKP Party.
  • Last week, Ahmet Hakan, Hurriyet’s popular columnist, who has 3.6 million Twitter followers, was beaten by four men, three of whom happened to be AKP members. Hakan had to undergo surgery. Of the seven men involved in allegedly planning and carrying out the attack, six were immediately released.
  • The mob confessed to the police that they had been commissioned to beat Hakan on orders from important men in the state establishment, including the intelligence agency and “the chief.”
  • Hundreds of Turkish and Western politicians have publicly condemned the attack on Hakan. Except President Erdogan. Hardly surprising.

In 1908, the Ottoman Empire, under the new name of The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), transformed into an autocratic establishment openly threatening its critics, especially journalists. In 1910, three prominent journalists, Hasan Fehmi, Ahmet Samim and Zeki Bey, who were leading opponents of the regime, were murdered. Several other journalists were beaten by thugs commissioned by the CUP. Continue reading

Erdoğan’s game plan as Turkey enters war

Essentially, a revived Ottoman Empire is what Erdoğan wishes for. As stated here a few times, the Turkish incursions in Syria were never about ISIS, but eliminating the Kurds. The Kurds are just one small stumbling block in the way of gaining a foothold in Syria. Also, the Kurds are not allied with Syria, but are stuck in the middle and could eventually face extinction as Washington has now turned its back on them.

Washington gets to do what it wants in Syria as well as Turkey, per the deal allowing U.S. military additional base access in exchange for turning a blind eye.

Meanwhile, ISIS gets free access to Turkish hospitals when in need of care while America stages minimal impact bombing runs on ISIS and fakes its outrage at Turkey’s massacre of Kurds.

 

Turkey’s relentless military campaign against Kurds and her pseudo fight against the Islamic State has certainly opened up many new questions regarding the future of the Middle East.

With Saudi-US bi-lateral relations experiencing some stress due to the yet-in-the-making Iran deal, Turkey has resurfaced as a potential U.S. ally, capable of not only virtually replacing the House of Saud, but also on the way to becoming the latest Mid-Eastern behemoth. Continue reading

Geopolitics Will Trump Economics in Greece

It seems that other people are finally catching on.

This is why it’s often repeated here over and over again for years now (See also HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) that Greece plays too much of a strategic role in Europe and will not be let go, although at times it seems it’s teetering right on the edge of the abyss and threatens to bring the world down with it. Although the latter still might happen, Greece isn’t going anywhere.

Whether it’s with today’s European Union or tomorrow’s planned United States of Europe after the EU crumbles, Greece will stick around. Europe does not want Russia (and China) directly on their continent. The Russians having strategic Kaliningrad is still bad enough. If a deal with Russia were to go through, you can bet there will be Soviet military bases within months — because that’s the cost of saving their necks.

Greece is also too important from an energy perspective and, whether the oil & gas comes from the Middle East or Africa, has the potential to be a critical energy hub for all of Europe. This would break Russia off of Europe’s back and Greece would rebound and become awash in cash.

In the end, we’ll still have to wait and see what exactly happens but it’s hard to believe Europe, mainly Germany’s Fourth Reich, will let an opportunity like this escape. Come hell or high water, before or after the aftermath in the current situation, Greece will remain reined in.

 

Based on the continued failure of the negotiating parties to make any substantive progress in the talks over Greek debt payments, the financial world is tied up in knots over a possible Greek exit from the European Union. The uncertainty has manifested in both high and low finance, with a sharp sell-off in bonds, particularly EU and Greek government debt, and heightened retail withdrawals from Greek banks as depositors become wary of capital controls that would be imposed in the case of an exit. All concerned parties should likely breathe easier. Despite Greece’s almost complete lack of financial integrity, neither NATO nor the EU can afford the political cost of a Greek exit from the EU. Continue reading

“Secular” Turkey

  • A deeper look into the history of Turkey reveals that, unfortunately, Turkey has never been either truly secular or democratic. In Turkey, freedom of conscience and religion is respected — but only if you are a practicing Sunni Muslim.
  • The problem is that “modern” Turkey claims to be a “secular” republic; a secular republic is supposed to treat all people — Muslims and non-Muslims — equally. The objective of the Diyanet (Presidency of Religious Affairs), on the other hand, is to keep religion (Islam) under the control of the state, and to keep the people under the control of the state by means of religion.
  • “Those who are not genuine Turks can have only one right in the Turkish fatherland, and that is to be a servant, to be a slave. We are in the most free country of the world. They call this Turkey.” — Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, Turkey’s first Minister of Justice, 1930.

When many Western analysts discuss the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, they rightfully criticize it for its religious intolerance, authoritarianism and lack of respect for secular principles and minorities. They also tend to compare the AKP to former Kemalist governments, and draw a distinction between the Islamist AKP and former non-Islamist governments.

They claim that Turkey was “secular” and somewhat “democratic,” until the AKP came to power.

Continue reading