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TURKEY'S POOR PLAYER
We all commit our crimes. The thing is
to not lie about them--
ANOTHER COUNTRY, James Baldwin
He bores me, this Erdoğan. A typically flawed tragic hero, now in his political death throes. The story's been told a million times and the ending is always the same. And Erdoğan, like all the others, deserves it. Now the sharks are gathering. They pumped him up to do their job, this street-wise corner boy from Istanbul. Fingered early, he rose to power. He thought he was prime minister but he was really a pawn. To make up for that shattering awareness, he yelled, scowled and sneered for ten tedious years. They told him to be a tough guy. And he tried. But he thought tough meant straight ahead all the time, all the time with the mouth going. For a while that didn't bother them. They thought he knew his country. But now they (and the world) know better.
It must have been nice to go to the White House and be hailed by the back-slapping Bush as the leader of the Turks. And because he knew no English and he thought Bush did, and because his advisors were yes-men and a few yes-women, Tayyip became the boss of the American pipedream about mixing moderate Islam with democracy. It will lead to peace in the Middle East, they said. And all honor and glory and riches to himself, he thought. And all he had to do was ramrod some changes on secular, democratic Turkey changing it into another country. They told him more: that he would be in a privileged relationship with the USA, like Israel. You have a free hand. And we will help you out in all respects. And Tayyip saw that it was a good deal and was pleased, so pleased that he always smiled broadly in the White House. The secular, democratic Turks at home in Turkey were surprised that their nation's leader always looked constipated at home yet so frivolous in America. But it was merely noted in passing because they were mostly asleep, like the Turkish Army. No one even noticed that for his election night acceptance speech he wore a solid, Islamic green tie.
Later, when Obama came to Turkey spouting about "predominantly Christian America" and "predominantly Muslim Turkey," Tayyip suddenly understood, like Archimedes floating in his bathtub. Shouting EUREKA! to himself, Tayyip had suddenly discovered DIVISION as a political process. Now you're talking my language! So Tayyip went to work. He divided Sunni from Alevites, "his" people from the rest of the Turks, rakı and beer drinkers from ayran drinkers, head covered women from women whose hair blew gaily in the wind. He separated "his" people from terrorists (everyone else), "his" propaganda-spewing media from the few honest newspapers. And now, with the help of his bewildering foreign minister, has separated Turkey from the rest of the world. But make no mistake about one thing Erdoğan has an incredible genius for unifying. Now, except for "his" people," the world is unified AGAINST him.
He also has a genius for making money, tons of it. In a decade he went from whining about how he couldn't raise his family on a prime minister's salary to countless wealth. His family owns fleets, land, everything imaginable. Rumors of Swiss bank accounts abound. A former American ambassador said as much. Erdoğan's foreign excursions always include hundreds of his bad-actor* business cronies. America made a warrior out of him, pointing out the boundless financial opportunities inherent in destroying nations. Hence his avid embrace of the now catastrophic "Arab Spring." Obama's baseball bat and America's fat wallet did wonders for Tayyip's cooperative spirit. He could be a team player particularly after he became the team leader. Bye-bye Gadaffi! Who needs human rights awards when you can lead democracy's charge across North Africa. Bye-bye Assad! Your uncovered wife makes mine nervous. So Hello NATO! Hello Al-Qaeda! Hello hell!
And here's another "hello." It goes way back. Hello Feto! a diminutive and derisive nickname for Fethullah Gülen. Gülen is a weepy, elementary-school-educated "Islamic leader" (and CIA asset) who lives in bucolic, well-protected splendor in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. A Green Card holder courtesy of his CIA sponsors, he is a treacherous financial dynamo seemingly lifted from a James Bond novel. His Movement, (cemaat in Turkish) has completely infiltrated and undermined secular Turkey. He had revealed his intent long before he had escaped from the Turkish courts into the loving arms of the CIA. A tape of his treacherous words surfaced in 1999 wherein he said:
You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers.... Until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria, like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt...The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it...You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey...Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all–in confidence...trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here, [just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here. **
Of course then, Gülen was talking treason. Today, he is acting treasonously. His infiltration of the Turkish state is everywhere. In the judiciary, the media, the military, the state police, the parliament and in the ruling party. It is well known that the Gülen movement's heavy hand is instrumental in the legal fiasco that has destroyed the credibility of the Turkish legal system. The same hand was instrumental in the astonishing and ongoing police violence from the Gezi Park Movement.
Only a fool would fail to notice the common ground that Erdoğan and Gülen stand upon, united by their allegiance to the aims of the United States, fueled by cold, hard American dollars, ever encouraged by the cold, sneaky hand of the CIA. Erdogan controls everything in Turkey with his hands of stone. Thanks to their collaboration, the army's professional leadership is in jail. The judicial system is rancid. There is neither justice nor democracy in Turkey but the police clubs, tear gas, water cannons, bullets (rubber and real) are everywhere. The police destroy all democratically demonstrating groups with the violence of Hitler's Brownshirts. It is widely known that the Gulen movement played a major role in the legal fiasco called Ergenekon of which the prime minister dubbed himself chief prosecutor. The jail system is a penal industry by itself on the order of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's, The Gulag Archipelago. Telephone conversations, e-mail messages, are monitored. There is no privacy in Turkey. The prime minister encourages so-called "neighbors" to report all fellow neighbors if they dare bang on pots protesting the government. He claims such banging violates people's privacy. There is no freedom of banging in Turkey either. The cleansing of leftist patriots continues, in the army and in all institutions controlled by the government. The brutal crackdown on Gezi Park demonstrators continues in all its Erdoğanian fury. Call what's happening in Turkey a post-modern extermination campaign. And the astonishingly unreliable political opposition acts as the ruling party's best friend and may even be an active collaborator in the destruction of secular Turkey.
And Erdoğan? Outside Turkey he has ruined himself. His near delirious rants, preposterous claims, the insults flying, the ignorance of his advisors all fully displayed on the world stage. His rage, greed, and arrogance have brought him to comic levels. But his money and his bad-actor friends and advisors remain. And so does he prime minister. In any other country he would have long been rejected by the electorate forthwith. But as long as America says, yes, Erdoğan remains. So sad for Turkey to be the lapdog of the likes of Erdoğan, Fethullah Gulen and America. So sad for Islam to be linked with these two masters of deceit. So sad for the Turkish people to be harnessed to the moral corruption that is Turkish politicized Islam.
Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Erdogan betrayed a lot more for a lot more. Treachery has always been a good business, indeed an American specialty in their CIA-driven foreign policy. And it perfectly suits Erdoğan's two-faced description of "his" Turkey as an "advanced democracy." But now he stands alone, babbling nonsense, rich, naked to the world and disgraced. One wonders if he even knows this much. What price this glory? What price this treason?