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31 July 2016


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Babak Makkinejad

She might reprise her husband's policy in the case of North Korean Agreed Framework to Iran and JCOPA; instigating a war against Iran. That would be more likely, in my opinion, than war against either China or Russia.



I think Hitler's constitutionally elected government should have been overthrown. You, evidently, do not. pl

Babak Makkinejad

So, it was Gulen after all?

Babak Makkinejad

Most cases are not the extreme of Wiemar Germany.

Babak Makkinejad

The name of Islam is now mud all over the world, Erdogan contributed to that by his policies in Syria, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq.



And Erdogan is not worse than Weimar? pl

Babak Makkinejad

My opinion is that AKP will not be permanently in power in Turkey.

Furthermore, that any attempt by any Muslim-oriented party to monopolize political power in Turkey will plunge that country into religious civil war because of the Alveis/Alawites.

None of the 5 schools of Muslim jurisprudence and the 70 or sects have any way of dealing with Alveis, Druze, Yazidis, Babis, Baha'is, Ahmadis, Sikhs etc.; people who should not exist.

This is, in my opinion, an outstanding theoretical and practical problem of any claimant to the title of Islamic Political Philosophy.

In regards to Hitler, the German people wanted him - Odin was ruling them - as CC Jung observed. The only way to stop NAZIs was to invade and replace them - and to occupy Germany for a generation.

Who was going to do that? France?

And UK wanted the NAZIs; hoping for them to attack USSR and destroy her.

Even after the war, if one wanted to put all the NAZIs in jail, one would have had to build a wall around Western Germany.


FB Ali

It would help us if you explained why the Gülen people are dangerous Islamists. A google search indicates that 139 Gülen movement Charter Schools are currently in operation in the USA, in 26 different states, and another 18 apparently in the works. Is this an Islamist 5th column or not? A “Christian First” is the Republican VP Candidate. The Democrats are the War with Russia Party. This seems to me to be a very volatile mixture.

FB Ali

I had read this before my comment above. I think Rodrik tries to be honest while at the same time bending over double backwards to avoid the obvious conclusion.

He finally concedes, "But it is not farfetched to think that there are some groups in the administration – perhaps in the intelligence branches – who have been protecting Gulen because they think he is useful to U.S. foreign policy interests".

As Col Lang has taught us, there is no centralised US policy on anything. Various power centres pursue their own particular agendas, sometimes working together, at other times at cross-purposes. This is how the Borg operates.

I believe that "some groups in the administration" have not only protected Gülen, but also aided some of his ventures. He will remain untouched in the US because it is believed that he will be useful in promoting US policy and interests in the future. Especially attractive to them are his organization's tentacles in the Central Asian region.

Considering the general level of competence of these US agencies, it is not at all surprising that his Islamist agenda does not worry them.


Dr. Ali,

The FBI was raiding the Gulenist test prep centers for defrauding the federal government pretty regularly until they stopped all of a sudden. Steve Sailer has a good belief that perhaps the CIA decided that they wanted to hold on to a possible pocket president for Anatolia in case things got dicey.

Graham Fuller has his fingers in quite a bit. He was the one who sponsored the Tsarnevs (yes, THOSE Tsarnevs) to immigrate to the US.

Ishmael Zechariah

Thanks General Ali. I would also add that the tayyiban are also dangerous, but are not as "diploma laden" and not as insidious as the gulenistas. The current "decider" and his crew are failing as expected. As a pragmatic, realist, secular follower of Ataturk, I know that very tough times await Turkey. But we have overcome worse, and we will not give upt. This, too, shall pass.
Ishmael Zechariah


And there's not much legally the U.S. can do about it since that law was passed back in the 70's (after the assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile) forebidding taking
out any democratically elected leader.


I am not sure if what universities are doing is necessarily trying to "indoctrinate" students (I don't dispute that some people do). In a sense, it is far worse than that: people who are trying to "indoctrinate," if anything, care about what they are doing. Most universities don't care. They are trying to collect students' money and in return, try to give them some sense that they got something they like feel happy about. Feeding them some "textbook" answers is easy and as long as students don't make trouble, it is fine by the universities. They would be happy to "indoctrinate" on behalf of conservatives as much as they would for "liberals" if they saw it to their advantage.

Larry Kart

It's cited as fact time and again, but Hitler did not win the 1932 election, nor any other election in Germany. Rather, Hitler came to power when was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg in 1933.



Under the electoral law, a candidate who received an absolute majority of votes (i.e. more than half) in the first round was elected. If no candidate received a majority, then a second round would be held. In the second round, the candidate receiving a plurality of votes would be elected.

In the first round on March 13, 1932, no candidate obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast, though Hindenburg with 49.6% failed only by a narrow margin. [Hitler got a disappointing total of 30.1 %]…. Hindenburg, Hitler, and Thälmann competed in the second round.... [Hindenburg got 53% of the votes, Hitler 39.6%.] Hindenburg, who owed his election to the support of the Social Democrats, took office with little enthusiasm. On May 29 he dismissed his intercessor Chancellor Brüning and appointed Franz von Papen, a declared anti-democrat, his successor. Although Hitler lost the presidential election of 1932, he achieved his goals when he was appointed chancellor on 30 January 1933. On February 27, Hindenburg paved the way to dictatorship ... by issuing the Reichstag Fire Decree which nullified civil liberties. Hitler succeeded Hindenburg as head of state upon his death in 1934, whereafter Hilter abolished the office entirely, and replaced it with the new position of Führer und Reichskanzler ("Leader and Reich Chancellor"), cementing his rule.

The March 5th 1933 election [which took place after many left-of-center parties had been banned and thus was more or less a referendum on Nazi rule] was the last election to be held under Hitler. Hitler may have expected the election to have resulted in an overwhelming Nazi victory, but the Nazi Party got less than 50% of the votes cast by 39 million voters. Other right wing parties pushed the vote for the right to just over 50%, but it was not the result Hitler would have wanted. This may well have been one of the reasons why the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag, was passed in late March 1933. Game over.

michael brenner

"For God’s sake, what do they teach in contemporary universities?"

As someone who has taught International Relations and Comparative Politics at a number of institutions since 1963, I am in a position to offer an answer. The tensions between Democracy and Liberty is a staple topic in an Political Science or Government Department. Certainly, any student majoring in the Social Sciences will be aware of it. BUT - how long they retain that awareness, and how ready they are able or inclined to apply it to contemporary real-life circumstances is quite another matter. There's the rub. Let us bear in mind the general level of public discourse among the politicos, the mainstream media, the commentariat and even the IR "specialists" in the think tank world who either ignore these verities OR deploy them dishonestly to make a doctrinally driven policy points. Let us all bear in mind that we inhabit a culture wherein serious discussion in any social setting is so rare as to qualify for inclusion on the endangered species list.

This same phenomenon is manifest in the U.K., as I'm sure David Habakkuk can attest. Willful ignorance has been equated with Freedom (indeed, it has become one of our most prized freedoms).

michael brenner

On Erdogan and Turkey. I suspect that we all suffer from the understandable bias of presuming a higher level of rational thinking and logical action that actually things. The preponderance of evidence suggests to me that Erdogan is at sea - lost in a tangle of contradictory aims and purposes - and confused as to where he wants to go as well as the means for getting there. In that state of disarray, his conduct become erratic and. at times, literally senseless. Just like the United States.


Ergodan 1.0 was a breath of fresh air, Good Neighbor Policy, EU Assention, Peace with the Kurds, etc.

Ergodan 2.0 was a "nightmare", ( other than for the Borg),

Ergogan 3.0, ????????????????????????????


Larry Kart

OK. He came to power in a legal constitutional process. Better? The legality of it and the subsequent oath to him personally were major psychological impediments to plots against him in the Heer. pl


FB Ali

There is also a matter of due process which applies in the extradition of a person legally in the US. I cannot think of an example of someone extradited from the US for reasons of "policy" without due process. pl


I am not home, Fred. But the images I got surely don't look spontaneous. Someone, I suppose the organizers, had to get the multitude of Turkish flags. The demo was organized by the Union of European-Turkish Democrats. I supposed they took care of flag production.

One point: "Protesters take part in a counter-demonstration against a rally held by far-right demonstrators who protest against supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan". The image and the text of the last photo don't add up. The image clearly portrays a left-wing counterprotest, while the caption alludes to the far right - Pro NRW and the "identitarians" who where stopped at the cathedral or the main station. Remember events at that spot? This is a shot from that scene. Never mind you don't see either station or cathedral in this shot:



The sign with the "unwanted mosque" is a sign of Pro-NRW (NRW=Northrhine-Westphalia) another group on the right.


Looking at the media pattern, I would say Russian controlled media was taken by surprise by events in Turkey as it took about a week to sort out their angle in Turkey and are now aggressively exploiting the situation to weaken US-Turkish relations. This can be seen on the #incirlik twitter feed for example. Perhaps we will know more on the 9th.

Is Russia really better if Turkey goes rogue? I wouldn't think so, but perhaps studying Russian actions during prior Turkish political crisis might provide insight.

If you are asking about Russia and DNC, evidence is they hacked but not clear they leaked to Assange. Saw Assange interview yesterday and I'm not sure he knows the source of the emails he published.


Demise of the Turkish Armed forces.

TAF took a heavy blow after the coup in terms of losing almost o quarter of its trained officer corps, and personnel, albeit most were undoubtedly Gulenists, groomed from very early ages to top positions for just an eventuality as we have observed last month. How did they ascend to the key positions as they were? Well, AKP and its followers are claiming to be fooled, saying, “we believed these people because they were pious, like us, what harm could have come from them?” Hoca Efendi was declared and revered as a holy scholar. The prevailing tendency within AKP for almost a decade was “We should give them anything they want, government contracts, newspapers, lucrative land deals, and any juicy government position at the expense of anyone else, regardless of qualification, as long as they are within our ranks against modern and secular Turkey. In return, they asked for nothing except the brutal and illegal purges and suppression of the Kemalists and seculars from all public life. For example, during Sledgehammer and Ergenekon trials, the vacated positions of expelled and illegally jailed generals and staff officers were filled with Gulenists, all of whom now are jailed for involvement in the coup. As IZ writes above, a few token of them have been restored to their former posts and promoted. So what, RTE’s pact with the devil had already paid off astronomically for both. Mission accomplished, no more Turkish Army which was the last castle of a secular, modern Turkey, and the only restrain to hold back the current and future populists and the fundamentalists.

As a Turkish proverb goes “ Tell it to my funny hat”. They used Gulenists, nay, they milked all the advantage they can milk out of them for material and rhetorical gain, and created a monster, until the monster demanded fair return for his investment in the form of, at first, a substantial number of PM positions in elections 5 years ago. Erdogan refused, well aware of his pact with the scorpion which will eventually sting him if became finally politically powerful, and untouchable because of parliamentarian immunity. And now politically accorded with power to split AKP majority in case of dispute. So started a war of wills which included a huge corruption expose against RTE and his cronies orchestrated by security forces loyal to Gulen, answered by AKP by closing and confiscating of Gulen newspapers, businesses and university prepotary schools, purge of judges loyal to Gulen, and demonization of the his Hizmet movement in public. Any newspaper which still held even an appearance of objectivity was branded Gulenist and sentenced to huge made up tax levies, such as the Dogan Group newspaper Hurriyet. Gulenist’s next salvo was to try to arrest Hakan Fidan head of MIT on trumped up charges, which he avoided by some intricate political outmaneuvering by RTE.

As the influence and the infiltration of the movement became more and more apparent now, in the spring of 2016, the top level public prosecutors and the Armed Forces itself were resolved to preemptively purge as many of Gulenists as they can possibly identify from the Army and the Judiciary. Hence the purge lists, they were already composed, because finally there was a political will to act upon them, especially in the case of the Military. The loyal active military personnel knew exactly whom among them were the Gulenists, just for the simple reason that they were the ones who made life hell for them, with the backing and tacit approval of the AKP, over a period of a decade. Same as the judiciary, every persecuted prosecutor and judge knew exactly who their nemesis were. A major purge of the Gulenists was imminent right before July 15. It would have curtailed Gulen project of taking over the whole state apparatus and perhaps cripple and expose it forever.

The coup day was moved up, and had crossed the Rubicon during the day hours of the 15th of July. But the imminent commencement of it was tipped off by someone, most likely the MIT, which in turn informed the General Staff of the Army, and they both tried to take preventive measures, so they say, especially in the case of MIT. Who warned them, Colonel Lang knows, and as to why, my humble speculation is, a counter faction to neo-cons within numerous western intelligence agencies, which puts them on the same side as the Russians in this case. There is also plenty of speculation that it was Putin. But the tip off is real as following events and as now more confessions of the plotters come to light.

A Turkey under a successful Gulenist junta would have been a disaster, a civil war would have been inevitable-Kemalists within the Army would not have yielded without fighting, though some may have joined the junta as an old reflex. Die-hard Erdogan supporters would have resorted to molotov cocktails and shutguns instead of laying in front of the tanks and seculars would have found themselves fighting and resisting on the side of Islamists, Kurds and Alevi. Turkey would have turned into Syria on steroids, who knows, there may have been NATO intervention a la the Balkans. Now, who would have wanted such a mess?

Contrary to common belief, the coup was well planned, and indeed had the numbers and weapons adequate for a surprise attack, and a detailed follow up plan. Their initial shock and success would have garnered the plotters many supporters, especially in the Army. Some would have simply follow orders of their superiors, but also in public, you know, those who always go along with the winners, and those who are easily cowed into submission. Not to mention internationally, those who are fed up with RTE along the spectrum, for one reason or another, moral, or geopolitical, would have also jumped on the bandwagon. Public could have been easily suppressed with an effective curfew, especially if the press and communication channels were muted. So the plotters, already knowing that at least some within the state have been forewarned, moved up the time schedule to 10 PM instead of planned 3 AM next morning in a busy Friday night while people were still out on the streets, looking for something to do. Closing the Bosphorus Bridge before turning off the airways and imposing a curfew , tipped off their hand prematurely, and a brilliant Erdogan call to his supporters to pour out into the streets sealed their failure. All are unforeseen, fortunes of war, and I don’t think RTE could have orchestrated such a risky plan. At best he could have facilitated its premature implementation, but we are still surprised the extent of secret resources and deep moles the Gulenists had, no one could have risked such a dangerous Russian rulet, no matter how great is the return on investment is. One such example is that ADC of the Chief of General Staff is exposed to be a Gulenist-who knew?

The closing of the bridge early in the night was not planned, it was ad hoc, given the inadequate numbers of soldiers manning the check point which I saw, it was to prevent the bulk of the NATO armor stationed on the European side from moving and reaching the Asian side to protect or take over the capital. The road block was later reinforced by tanks, as they were delayed leaving the barracks. Early block was because the plotters knew that MIT has been tipped off, and if they waited until 3 AM as it is prescribed in CM-101, Coup Making 101, preventive security measures and activation of the loyal local military and security forces in numbers would have doomed their attempt to failure from its commencement. And indeed, as a small and cautionary measure of prevention, Erdogan was moved away from his vacation villa, thus foiling the direct attempt on his life and liberty, giving his time to rally his supporters on face time live from an iphone on CNN Turk, which was the moment I decided not to go to the bank machine to withdraw my savings, as our small ex pat community here was advising each other to do. That was the time and point when the coup had failed.

And what happened since is maybe worse.

Now by decree, all Armed forces are subjugated to Erdogan officially, not anymore as the symbolic commander in chief of the Turkish Republic. All the Military Academies, Staff Collages and Military High Schools are closed, The Jandarma is now completely under a civilian and politically appointed minister, and General Chief of Staff, indeed all Army and Corps commanders under the direct military orders of the President, as in a chain of command.

Next will come a decree to enable Imam Hatip religious schools graduates to be admitted as officers in all branches. Of course, a change favorable to Erdogan’s vision and all powerful presidency for life is in the books after the fact, opposition being just as dumbfounded and literally neutered as the Army.

These changes were resisted by the Army stubbornly for decades, but now, not a peep. The Armed forces have been decimated because of the loss of trained personnel after two coups, one concocted by Gulenists and administered by AKP and the other by the Gulenists through a direct military putsch. The military is embarrassed by the treason in their ranks, and the loss of respect in the eyes the general public and the inevitable loss of morale within the remaining ranks. Someone I know in the military has told me, “before I could have given my life for Turkey easily, but now, why should I die for him?

Unfortunately the military are the ones left holding the bag. AKP is just as complicit if not more on where things have come. At least the military has been warning about the Gulenists within their ranks and demanding a decisive, but legal purge, and AKP has been stubbornly resisting in any way and shape they could. After all that had happened, and revealed to my horror as I have been watching extensive discussion programs on CNN for weeks, interviewing ex generals, scholars, political personalities and dissident journalists, who can now talk freely. But still not a word of contrition from AKP adherents, or any kind of suggestion of institutional reform or change on the political side. Just “We were also fooled” does not cut it.

And worse of all, the military’s reason d’etre of protecting the Ataturk’s republic and secular modern democracy against all perils, and coups as such, civil or military, has been taken away from them, which have been the corner stone of their esprit de coeur and pride over 90 years. Now they will be the employees of a fundamentalist rhetorician with millions of brainwashed adherents who think of him as a man of mystical, superior abilities.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

I continue to believe that he was recruited by US into helping with the project of Wounding-Iran-Through-Syria.

I do not know what happened between Obama Administration and Erdogan's, but clearly something went wrong and he started acting like a betrayed man.

Were there promises made to Erdogan by US, by EU, by Gulfies which were left unfulfilled?


I agree, the extradition of a legal resident from US is a long, legal process. However, the reason for Gulen's legal residence, ie his Green Card is not. It is in a way a probation period with full rights on the path to citizenship. A Green Card can be taken away, for a multitude of reasons, which is very simple and quick, and often after an arbitrary court process. Once his legal status is nullified, he is immediately deportable to his country of origin with only a difficult and almost impossible appeal process. It will become political indeed if he claims asylum after his legal status is revoked.

In my opinion, some of the reasons for repeal of his legal status can easily be established now that we know what we know. In short, here his extradition to Turkey should not be based upon reasons of policy, but his non adherence to the conditions of being granted legal status. If he broke the US, or international law, he should be prosecuted.

A case that comes to my mind is the deportation of Lucky Luciano to Italy after the WWII.


dd - thanks for link to Dani Rodrik. Important perspective on Turkey, and also good Economics (My BA was in Econ).

I'll want to dig more deeply into his "Trilemna" theory about the incompatibility of...

- Hyper-Globalization
- National Sovereignty
- Democratic Politics

...(Pick Two, any two):


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