Turkey’s Erdogan Likely Sending Military Towards Gaza

There is arguably no greater authoritarian leader today than Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. He has cemented his powers over the last dozen years, quashing the press and anyone that stands opposed to him.

That authoritarian leader is now under serious threat.

The Turkish economy has become incredibly weakened over the past several weeks due to various economic decisions by Erdogan and a series of tariffs imposed against Turkey by US President Donald Trump. The Turkish lira is in a state of serious decline and there is a real risk of the country’s economy collapsing.

It is very doubtful that the Turkish egomaniac will accede to the demands of Trump to release an American pastor that Turkey arrested. It is unlikely that Turkey will stop buying weapons from Russia. It is also unlikely that Turkey will only “look for other friends and allies” as Erdogan headlined in his op-ed on the online edition of the New York Times on August 10.

Erdogan is too crafty and mean-spirited to simply “look for friends.” He will provoke. Aggressively.

Erdogan knows that he cannot combat the United States either militarily or economically, so will only resort to some bad-mouthing, when it comes to the U.S.

However, Erdogan will enjoy provoking a war against an American ally, particularly one close to Trump: Israel.

Erdogan has long been allied with the Palestinian Arab terrorist group Hamas that controls Gaza. He has allowed his Turkish ports to be used for “flotillas” to break the Israeli blockade of the region in the past. He is likely to use his current weak economic situation to take a much more aggressive stance to gather support from the greater Arab and Muslim world.

Erdogan had an interview on Al Jazeera in 2011 where he made indirect threats against Israel in relation to Israel’s work with the government of Cyprus in extracting oil, and for the situation in Gaza. Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s claims in Cyprus (which no country in the world believes), and his concern for the people of Gaza. He stated that he would begin using his navy ships to protect Turkey’s interests in both Cyprus and Gaza.


Recep Erdogan interview on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
against the United States

He did not send military vessels into the eastern Mediterranean Sea at that time nor to Cyprus, as Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan for killing attackers on the Mavi Marmara boat in 2010 at the urging of US President Barack Obama. But Erdogan’s situation today is much more precarious.

In his August 2018 NY Times Op-Ed, Erdogan said “Turkey has established time and again that it will take care of its own business if the United States refuses to listen.” It is not far-fetched to imagine that an authoritarian leader with his back to the wall, will now come after Israel in a real concerted way.

It will not be surprising to see Turkish military ships off the coast of Cyprus and/or Gaza in the coming months. The only question is whether this be the start of a broader war.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Turkish Hypocrisy – Erdogan’s Line of Defense

Obama’s Friendly Pass to Turkey’s Erdogan

The United Nations Absolves Turkey’s Erdogan

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The Churlish Turkish Leadership

New York Times Talking Turkey

Related First.One.Through video:

Netanyahu apology to Erdogan (Joe Cocker)

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Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

On December 19, 2016, a Turkish policeman assassinated the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. The killer loudly proclaimed in front of rolling cameras that he did so because of the killings happening in Syria in the civil war that has claimed 500,000 lives. He called out the city of Aleppo, which was under siege by the Syrian Assad regime with the assistance of Russia.

russian-ambassador-killed

The murder of Russian diplomat Andrey Karlov in Ankara.
(Photo: REUTERS)

The United Nations outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned the assassination.  His comment implied that there was no basis for the attack.

“The Secretary-General is appalled by this senseless act of terror and emphasizes that there can be no justification for the targeting of diplomatic personnel and civilians.”

Did Ban Ki Moon not watch the video or read the transcript of why the murderer committed the act? Did he not appreciate Russia’s role in the massacre in Aleppo? Or did he feel that the murder of a Russian diplomat had nothing to do with alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people?

By way of comparison, consider how Ban Ki Moon discussed the Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israelis in 2014.  He said:

“We must address these underlying issues – including mutual recognition, occupation, despair and the denial of dignity — so people do not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances.”

When it came to the murder of Israeli civilians, the UNSG seemed to sympathize with the Palestinian Arab murderers. He did not speak of “senseless acts of terror,” but of the “underlying issues” behind the attacks.  He did not say that there was “no justification” for the murder of innocents, but that the killings were a natural means of “expressing their grievances.”

As discussed in “The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel,” the United Nations was established as a forum for countries to engage with each other. However, the UN actively advocates for the Palestinian Arabs, as it considers that the UN itself as the guardians of these stateless wards. As such, it views all attacks against Israeli civilians – including children – through a unique lens of empathy and support for the Palestinian Arab narrative.

While more Syrians have been killed in the year 2016 than the combined total of all Palestinian Arabs, Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians in every war with Israel since 1948, the UN cannot comprehend the grievances of Syrians or why they might “resort to violence.”

While at the same time, no murder of Israelis can ever be “senseless” for the United Nations.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

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Obama’s Friendly Pass to Turkey’s Erdogan

US President Barack Obama has made some interesting friends in office. Those friends get some special attention, and often more importantly, benign neglect.

Among the five world leaders that Obama highlighted as his best friends was the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Over Obama’s tenure as president, Erdogan served as both the Turkish Prime Minister and President.  This weekend, elections in Turkey could help cement his power as he attempts to remake the country’s constitution.

One would normally congratulate Obama on aligning himself with such a powerful leader, particularly one with a significant presence in the Muslim world. Such an ally could help the United States advance American interests in the volatile Middle East.

erdogan obama
US President Barack Obama talks with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a family photo at the G20 Summit in Cannes on Nov. 3, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Turkey’s “Help” in The Middle East

Turkey sits geographically as a bridge between the European and Asian continents.  Turkey borders the volatile countries Syria and Iraq, both of which are consumed by war, where Obama has expressed a US interest.

Turkey’s geographic position and large army make it a potential important ally for the US in the fight against the Islamic State.  However, despite the good terms between Obama and Erdogan, Turkey has not been a good partner in this regard.  As relayed by The Guardian October 2014: “The US is especially angry with Turkey because it is a Nato ally and yet it has refused to provide even basic logistical assistance to the US-led coalition.” It took many months for Turkey to agree to even begin training Syrian forces in Turkey to fight ISIS.  Turkey’s efforts continue to be minimal.

Erdogan’s Values

If Turkey hasn’t been so helpful to American interests, perhaps Obama’s friendship is based on shared values.

As reviewed in “The Churlish Turkish Leadership“, Erdogan has moved his country to the far right into the deep religious Islamic sphere. He has curbed the freedoms of press and expression dramatically over his tenure. Are those shared American values? Obama’s values?

A Friend With Benefits: Erdogan

Despite Erdogan’s lack of assistance to America and suppression of human rights, Obama has treated Erdogan rather nicely:

  • There were no ramifications to Turkey from withholding support in the fight against ISIS
  • There were no ramifications from Erdogan’s suppression of human rights
  • Obama has issued no statement about Turkey’s illegal occupation of northern Cyprus since 1974, which is deemed illegal by the United Nations and not recognized by any country other than Turkey.
  • When Erdogan said the “Zionism was a crime against humanity” in February 2013, the White House merely condemned the statement, but did not threaten any action against Turkey.
  • In May 2015, in the week before elections, Erdogan stated that he sought Turkish unity (with the Kurds) in liberating Jerusalem just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march together on the same path“, in a comment that did not even get a response from the Obama administration.

It would appear that Obama is fine with Erdogan despite the lack of Turkish support for American policies or values.

A Friend without Benefits: Netanyahu

Obama’s relationship with Erdogan is in sharp contrast to the way Obama treats the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

While Obama claims that the US and Israel are strong allies, his policies appear to be based more on personal friendships.  For Obama, friendship is showing he works for them and not what his friends do for the US. “I think that if you ask them — Angela Merkel, or Prime Minister Singh, or President Lee, or Prime Minister Erdoğan, or David Cameron would say, we have a lot of trust and confidence in the president. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests,”

Obama will likely continue to show benign neglect to the demagogic statesman from Turkey who makes vile attacks against allies and quells the rights of the people in Turkey.  Conversely, Obama has demonstrated that he will berate and lecture the Israeli leader about “values” and take actions that threaten the country’s existence.

Troubling trends based on personal preferences.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Turkish Hypocrisy – Erdogan’s Line of Defense

New York Times Talking Turkey

The Churlish Turkish Leadership

Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has continued to slide further and further into the extreme right towards militant Islam. It has (coincidentally?) also pushed the country closer to US President Obama and further from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

erdogan hitler

Turkish leader Erdogan on magazine cover

In terms, of the continued suppression of freedom and liberty in Turkey:

The Turkish leader has also led his country into repeated confrontations with Israel due to his adamant support for the terrorist group Hamas, a group sworn to the destruction of Israel:

erodgan netanyahu

The strong rightward shift has not changed the relationship between Erdogan and Obama.

obama erdogan

  • Obama considered Erdogan in his top five friends among international heads of state (January 2012)
  • Obama used his relationship to coerce an apology from Netanyahu to Erdogan for the assailants killed on the flotilla (March 2013)
  • US continued to contort itself to make Turkey happy as the US tried to help Kurdish fighters against ISIS, while Turkey did almost nothing in the fight, as it despised the Kurds (October 2014)

As described above, the Netanyahu apology to Erdogan did nothing to repair relations between Israel and Turkey and nothing slowed Erdogan’s crackdown on freedom in Turkey.  The Obama administration twisted itself every-which-way to excuse terrible Turkish policies (whether its treatment of the Kurds, failure to support war on ISIS, suppression of freedoms at home…) while it picks on Israel for matters of protocol.

To listen to liberal media and democrats these days, you would think that it was Israel that was acting “churlish” for matters of protocol as opposed to specific attacks on Israel.

Here is the satirical music video by First.One.Through about the sad state of the world, where victims must apologize to the aggressors (music by Joe Cocker):


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times support of Erdogan over Netanyahu: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/new-york-times-talking-turkey/

 

Pope Francis in Turkey

The news agencies reported on Pope Francis’ visit to Turkey in November 2014. Remarkably, the major media outlets such as CNN, BBC, and The New York Times did not report on the extreme hardened Islamic moves that have taken place in Turkey over the past several years, nor other abuses:

  • No mention of the Turkish persecution of the Kurdish minorities
  • No mention of Turkey’s illegal invasion and ongoing occupation of northern Cyprus
  • No mention of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians
  • No mention of rightward shift of Turkish government:
    • Banning kissing in public
    • Banning Youtube
    • Banning Twitter
    • Jailing the most journalists in the world in 2012 and 2013
    • Banning drinking at night

The closest any major news organization came to criticizing Turkey was the Guardian, which quickly backed off with a quote “Things are good now, better than before certainly,” Atmaca said. “I think the Islamist rhetoric [of the government] is mostly show.””

By way of comparison, when the Pope visited Israel in May 2014, the New York Times did nothing to describe the positive environment of Christians in Israel, and constantly sought to portray every move of Pope Francis as critical of Israel in the Arab-Israel conflict (as described in the FirstOneThrough articles below.)  Absent from their narrative, was that Israel is a thriving country with more freedoms of press and worship than any country in the Middle East.  The country is much more than the conflict with the Palestinians, just as Turkey is more than its conflict in Cyprus or with the Kurds.

Here is a FirstOneThrough video analysis of an interview of Recep Erdogan from September 11, 2011, then the Prime Minister and now the President of Turkey. Like the liberal media outlets, the attacks on Israel are persistent, and the hypocrisy is without limits.

FirstOneThrough video “Turkish hypocrisy: Erdogan threatens Neighbors”:


Sources:

CNN coverage: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/28/world/europe/turkey-pope-visit/

BBC coverage: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30239233

New York Times coverage: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/world/europe/pope-brings-message-of-interreligious-peace-to-istanbul.html?_r=0

FirstOneThrough comparing NY Times coverage of Turkish and Israeli elections: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/new-york-times-talking-turkey/

FirstOneThrough on Pope in Israel: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/nytimes-shows-its-preference-in-dueling-narratives-in-the-middle-east/

FirstOneThrough on NY Times Pope’s “Peace prayer” invitation: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/ny-times-skewed-view-on-pope-prayer-invitation-and-mideast-peace/

erdogan

New York Times Talking Turkey

Sometimes a contrast in coverage helps boldface the biases.

20140811_074503

The New York Times (for some reason) wrote quite glowingly of Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey during presidential elections in August 2014. Some of the choice language on August 9 before the election included:

  •  “hoping to secure a legacy greater than that of the revered founder of modern Turkey”;
  • “broken down secular taboos”;
  • “economic policies have improved the lives of many”;
  • “long been a strategic ally of the United States”;
  • “In 2011, President Obama developed a close personal relationship with Mr. Erdogan, seeing Turkey as a model to emulate for countries upended by revolution’

After the elections, on August 11 the Times continued to use positive expressions: “thousands massed…and erupted in applause” to Erdogan’s victory, while caveating later in the article that there were some concerns among the country’s “liberals” about an “authoritarian” streak in Erdogan.

In both articles, the New York Times neglected to remind readers of a few policies of Erdogan over the prior year that gave Turkish citizens pause about Erdogan:

But if the New York Times likes you, certain facts will fade to the background.

Consider the surprisingly low-turnout for this first-time Turkish presidential election: only 74% came out to vote compared to 87% in 2011 general elections. The NYT said that few people showed up to vote “presumably because many had assumed Erdogan would win”. Erdogan squeaked out a win with 52% of the vote compared to the second place winner at 38% – only 37% higher. However, the NYT said “the election felt like a coronation”.


By way of comparison, look at the way the Times covered the election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2013.  The Times did not include any of the commentary used for Turkey about Israel: being a strong US ally; the strong economy of Israel; the island of stability in the sea of chaos of the Middle East.  Instead, the headline read: “Tepid Vote for Netanyahu in Israel Is Seen as Rebuke”. In that “tepid vote”, Israelis came out in numbers greater than ever before – 67% voted for the cabinet, compared to the 2009 election turnout of 65% and of 63% in the 2003 election.  Not only was the vote not “tepid”, but Netanyahu’s Likud party won the vast majority with 31 seats compared to the second place winner, Yesh Atid, with 19 votes – a margin of 63% (almost twice Erdogan’s clearance).

But the Times despises Netanyahu. The article had remarkable quotes for the victorious Prime Minister:

  • weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”;
  • “the outcome was a humbling rebuke”;
  • “Mr. Netanyahu posted a panicky message on Facebook”;
  • “The results were a blow to the prime minister, whose aggressive push to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has led to international condemnation and strained relations with Washington.”

This last quote is a particularly embarrassing and revealing lie.  Jodi Roduren (who wrote the piece from the fantasy of her head instead of based on facts) sought to lay out a scenario where the Israeli public disagreed with the “aggressive push to expand Jewish settlements”.  In the real world, both the number two party, Yesh Atid (19 seats) and the number four party, Jewish Home (11 seats), were in favor of a united Jerusalem and continuing to build homes for Jews in Judea & Samaria.  The Jewish Home party campaigned on the basis of annexing Judea & Samaria.  The Times’ favorite parties, the left-wing parties of Hatnua and Meretz came in almost last place with 6 seats each.  (If you’re counting at home, that’s 61 seats versus 12 seats for the parties that want to keep united Jerusalem- a margin so large and bold you would think Roduren’s handlers could have managed to edit her “news” article).


The Times ignored reality in both situations. In Turkey, it failed to report on Erdogan’s strong right-ward shift into deep Islamic camp and painted him as more of a moderate. His modest win as blown out of proportion.

For Israel, Netanyahu’s strong win was considered poor. The country’s support of his policies about the rights for Jews to live all parts of Judea and Samaria were not just dismissed, but painted in a way that was completely opposite of the facts.

I sometimes think of the Times the way I think about turkey:  it tastes quite good but it puts a person to sleep.  Oh, and of course, it is one of the dumbest animals on the planet.


Sources:

Turkey, most journalist jailed 2012 and 2013: http://cpj.org/reports/2013/12/second-worst-year-on-record-for-jailed-journalists.php

Erdogan banned twitter May 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/21/turkey-bans-twitter-and-twitter-explodes/

Erdogan blocked Youtube: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/europe/turkey-youtube-blocked/

Turkey ban kissing in public; late sale alcohol: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22780773

Netanyahu headline “Tepid Vote for Netanyahu in Israel Is Seen as Rebuke”: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/world/middleeast/israel-votes-in-election-likely-to-retain-netanyahu.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Lapid, Yesh Atid: Jerusalem not for negotiation http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Lapid-Jerusalem-is-not-up-for-negotiation-because-the-city-will-never-be-divided-330680

 

Turkish Hypocrisy – Erdogan’s Line of Defense

On July 19, Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his vile attacks against Israel, comparing Israelis to Hitler. “(Israelis) have no conscience, no honour, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism,”

Erdogan is famous for his hypocrisy. He has shelled Syria repeatedly for accidental mortar fire into Turkey. He has refused to admit Turkey’s Armenian Genocide. He has refused to back down from Turkey’s illegal annexation of northern Cyprus.

Maybe his title should be changed to the “Prime Turkey”.


Sources:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/19/uk-israel-turkey-travel-idUKKBN0FO0XD20140719

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68204

The Turkish Chickpea: Recep “Hummus” Erdogan

“Israel is dropping 400 tons of bombs on our brothers, not chickpeas…to agree with brutality is brutality itself,” said the prime minister.

The Turkish Prime Minister has come to the side of Gaza again, seemingly with a bowl of hummus.

Just over one year after Erdogan extracted an apology from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the killing of nine “activists” on the Mavi Marmara, Erdogan is pointing an accusing finger at the victim of aggression again.

A satire of the Netanyahu apology to Erdogan is below. Perhaps Erdogan should leave it in his favorites folder.

 

 


 

Source:

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Erdogan-accuses-Israel-of-using-terrorism-in-its-operations-against-Hamas-in-Gaza-362759