Saturday, July 23, 2016

Turkey's Erdogan Running Wild, Geopolitics in Play

Turkey’s Erdogan Running Wild, Geopolitics in Play

by Stephen Lendman

Wannabe sultan Erdogan’s policies aren’t pretty. His reign of terror continues into its eighth day, likely lots more purging ahead.

What’s unfolding followed what looked like a stage-managed sham military uprising - sloppy, inept and stillborn when initiated, Erdogan never in danger of being toppled.

Citing “Turkish and foreign intelligence sources inside Turkey,” investigative journalist Wayne Madsen called the July 15 uprising a “ ‘false flag’ coup…limited by Erdogan’s design from the start.”

“The coup attempt was a standard ‘fly paper’ operation,” used to flush out opposition elements, seeing which ones stick, eliminating them as a threat to his absolute rule.

He’s taken full advantage, using the events of July 15 to eliminate potential challenges - cleaning house, targeting tens of thousands.

His mass purge continued on Saturday, signing a decree, usurping power to detain anyone for any reason up to 30 days - targeted individuals denied legal rights guaranteed under Turkish and international law.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, he ordered closure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities, as well as 35 hospitals and medical facilities - over suspected links to regime opponent Fethullah Gulen, longtime CIA asset living in Pennsylvania. He denies involvement in the July 15 uprising.

State of emergency powers let Erdogan enact laws without parliamentary approval, crush fundamental freedoms as he sees fit, do whatever he pleases unrestrained - tyranny by any standard.

Turkey needs more prison capacity to handle large numbers arrested and detained. How many more remains to be seen. For now, daily targeting continues.

A massive military restructuring is underway, overseen by the prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff.

“They are all working together as to what might be done, and… within a very short amount of time a new structure will be emerging. With this new structure, I believe the armed forces will get fresh blood," Erdogan explained.

His pledge to protect democracy while mass purging and arrests continue is laughable on its face. Despots always claim they’re right, concocting phony reasons to make their case.

Erdogan long ago lost credibility, a thuggish outlaw, waging wars at his discretion, crushing fundamental freedoms while claiming democratic credentials.

Legitimate opposition is considered terrorism or treason. Critics, including journalists, human rights workers, academics, students and children, are subject to arrest and imprisonment. Cleansed courts are more rubber-stamp than ever. Guilt by accusation is automatic.

According to Fars News, Rai Alyoum and other Arab media cited Ankara diplomats, saying Russian intelligence warned Erdogan of the July 15 uprising hours before initiated - based on “intercepted highly sensitive encoded radio messages,” information passed to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated no advance Russian knowledge of what happened on July 15.

Both countries are adversaries, not allies - notably on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict. Turkish relations with Washington are cool - US policy toward Russia extremely hostile. 

Putin’s outreach to Erdogan, if true, is geopolitically sound, attempting to get Turkey to stop supporting terrorism in Syria in return for restoration of normalized ties.

Billions of dollars in trade are at stake, business Turkey’s economy vitally needs. Perhaps Erdogan promised to do more than he intends, playing the Russia and US card simultaneously. He can’t be trusted.

Putin is too savvy to fall for his tricks. Yet an opening exists to damage Washington’s imperial agenda further.

Russia’s intervention against terrorism in Syria hurt greatly. Getting Turkey on board for diplomatic conflict resolution would be a huge Putin victory, a major Obama setback.

Given Erdogan’s untrustworthiness and unpredictability, nothing can be counted on except in hindsight if successful. 

Whatever unfolds, Washington won’t sit idle on the sidelines watching, letting the chips fall where they may. Not a chance!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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