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21 July 2016


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I suppose the question is what should US policy toward Turkey be?


The dictatorial nature of this Turkish government is now on full display. But the question is what should be done about it? How can the US shape its policy toward Turkey to benefit US interests and promote regional stability?

Istanbul Guy

The next step will be to go after the private, commercial sector. When that happens you will really see the lira tank. Some of my friends who work in finance said as many as 10% of their clients could be recognized by them, as Gulen sympathizers. These individuals have had a lot of credit extended to them, so if their operations cease their loans will go unpaid and that will create a cascade of bankruptcies and foreclosures. Of course any purge in the business world would encompass more than just those people, with many being reported or thrown in for other reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if such actions shutter 20% of the going concerns in Turkey.

Most likely after the "state of emergency" is passed, we will see business interests attacked and the scraps that remain handed out to whatever supporters have an interest in them.

CHP has called for a rally in Taksim square on Sunday, whether this takes place and what happens after will also be telling. The square, which has nearly always been "unsafe" for opposition groups in the past eight months, has suddenly been safe for an entire week. If the CHP is allowed to have a rally there we all will see how much "democracy" is cherished. Already groups of islamists have gone to public areas to beat up on people who drink alcohol. I'm dreading what will happen on Sunday if the two sides collide.


Also blocking teachers from leaving country as well as firing them.



It seems clear that the Sultan has wanted absolute power for some time. Since his efforts to bamboozle Turkish voters failed repeatedly, he created the faux coup to become the dictator. He can now rule by decree. Additionally, under the state of emergency his decrees cannot be reviewed by the constitutional court, which will of course be packed with his loyalists. Anyone who wants to get ahead in Turkey will have to toe the Sultan's line.

Don't you think our intelligence knows by now exactly what transpired and is advising Obummer about the dangers of the nukes being forcibly taken? What does it say about decision making in DC when the discussion is about extradition of Gulen and not about the threat to the nukes and US personnel at Incirclik? How come our corporate media are not asking the Administration any questions on these matters?


But are 'Assad must go!' countries supporting his effort? (... with the view that Turkey is a 'frontline' state vs. Iran and Russia?) Was Gulen/CIA behind the coup or just foil/excuse?

Will Turkey be an Islamist State?

Some think Turkey is "turning" toward Russia. But maybe the realignment is regional? An alliance of Sunni States?

Is a Turkey that is unconstrained by ties to US/NATO more dangerous to peace?


Not only there is no need to argue--it is obvious that Turkey is heading towards dictatorship--but the main question is HOW drastic will be re-islamization and if this transition will create conditions for civil war and eventual break up of Turkey.

r whitman

The Gulen organization sponsors the Harmony charter schools here in the US. There are a lot of Turkish teachers here on temporary visas. Is this an attempt to get back at the Gulen organization. Does anyone know if they sponsor schools in Turkey and other countries?


Col: Kerry muttered something about expelling Turkey from NATO if the purges continue. Can our politicians actually let a country go? We have a number of troublesome, one-sided "alliances" that need review.

I am curious about a Turkish perspective on the costs and benefits of NATO membership to Turkey. IZ, some thoughts, please.

Does Erdogan fear and loathe the secularists more than the Russians and the Iranians?


Can't argue with this assertion!

What is interesting is the extent of the purge across all relevant institutions that must have been planned in great detail - who are the targets, how will they be "rounded up" or otherwise handled with (jobs terminated), etc.

This plan must have been "on then shelf" and ready to be deployed when appropriate.

This transition would seem to radically shift Turkey's global situation - hard to see how this won't further damage Turkey's economy. So Erdogan gains totalitarian power, but the price is severe economic decline and isolation??

Where does this end and what are the broader regional implications?


Nah! It will be called a democrature.


There is an interesting analysis of what is actually happening in Turkey written by Omar Kassem at Counterpunch and it refutes much of the propaganda we are fed about that country and where it is headed. It's too easy for us westerners to sit back and use our often uninformed biases when passing judgment on the 'Other' especially because this other was securely captured by western secularism for so long.

I don't think you can describe firing government officials for either belonging to a cult, supporting a coup or failing in their duty to protect the government, totalitarian. The teachers being removed looks suspect at first glance but these are private schools where the Gulanists indoctrinate young people just as in the charter schools Gulan runs in the US.

The latest Erdogan assault on Turkish freedom, according to our propagandists, is the state of emergency now in legal effect. The Turkish government declares this defensive and necessary precaution after a cult inspired and bloody coup attempt and the western handwringing begins while the French have been under similar restrictions for over a year because of a relatively small number of attacks and no one seems to be concerned about their actions.

tim s

Can anyone argue that a leader with that much power doesn't already have one?

The Beaver

Turkey to temporarily suspend European Convention on Human Rights after coup attempt


Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said, "while vowing that fundamental rights and freedoms will not be affected during this period."

Yep, Students in foreign universities are asked to return to the country, citizens can't take vacations outside Turkey and other little demands from teh govt.


Timing is everything. Perhaps now partly because the BHO administration is going away and the window will close?

Bill Herschel

Slightly off topic. This is an "interview" between NYTimes reporters and Donald Trump. It is nearly impossible to read it without deciding to vote Trump. If only he had not selected Pence. I suggest reading this in its entirety.




Don't be obtuse. France is the modern mother of democracy and Western liberal government. Unless LePin is elected, nobody, not even you, would argue that it is headed towards totalitarianism. Unless you are devoted multi-culti, surely you must see that he is bent on creating an Islamist oriental despotism. pl



"Does Erdogan fear and loathe the secularists more than the Russians and the Iranians?" Yes. The secularists are the enemies of his life illusion concerning the restoration of the Ottoman leadership of the Umma. The Russians are merely local players that he must mollify for economic and military reasons and the Iranians are apostates or schismatics (depending on your POV) to be punished but not a threat to his possible ascension. pl


Does anyone have an idea of how these lists were compiled? I am looking to help a colleague in Istanbul (letter of invite to speak at my company), and do not want to accidentally get him on a list.



"Was Gulen/CIA behind the coup or just foil/excuse?" Sounds like you have seen too many Bourne movies. The Obozo Administration LOVED Erdogan before this. They would NEVER have wanted to oust him. pl



the leaders of the IC are now bureaucratic politicians first and always. They are telling the Borg what they think it wants to hear. pl

The Beaver

@ Istanbul Guy

Is there a reason why Erdo's son-in-law is always close by the President since the coup?



Corporate media does not ask questions anymore, of anyone. It simply collects answers from its masters and expects its consumers, its readers and viewers, to buy the story it spins.


Yeah, Trump has the ability to see a few more levels of permutations out than the average person. His throwing out the possibility this was a faux coup, while simultaneously playing it down through expressing admiration for Erdogan, is high-level deal-making stuff that will send neurotic neocons to rubber rooms.

David Brooks was having an aneurism over Trump's NYT comments on NATO and Erodgan.
Linda Graham is having a hissy fit and calling on Trump to explain and justify his comments.

Trump's like, "Whatever. Give me your new number Linda and I call and explain."

This is the best political season EVER. It's a shame so much is at stake or it could be more fun. I agree with Ann Coulter, that "if Trump doesn't win, it's light out for America". I would add that if Trump doesn't win, we can also extinguish all hope in saving what's left to save of Western Europe.

This news story could be out of a Evelyn Waugh novel. Not! Maybe an Enoch Powell dystopian speech. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3698316/Police-officer-stabbed-struck-bottle-spontaneous-Hyde-Park-water-fight-descends-blade-chaos-two-revellers-suffering-knife-wounds.html

Seamus Padraig

A fair point. I myself am undecided as to whether this was a real coup attempt sponsored by Washington, or perhaps an 'autogolpe' (as the Peruvians would say) on the part of Erdogan. Both seem quite plausible to me.

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