Can Erdogan ride the nationalist wave to get his all-powerful presidency?
…by Ray Camen, VT guest contributor
[ Editor’s note: We have been needing someone with extensive history and experience with Turkey to help us cover the Turkish side of the current controversies more fully. I don’t think we have the relationship similar to what we have with Syria, in terms of the direct communication.
We did not want someone who was not Turkish, but VT has enough reach now, so we can put the word out that we are looking, and people sometimes step forward at the right time.
Ray Camen is one of those, joining a long list of other VT sources and contributors, most of whom do not write and don’t want to. But Ray (not his real name) can, and we look forward to hearing what people inside Turkey feel about where their country is heading — politically, militarily and economically.
Erdogan’s international approval will be chasing that of the US Congress’ single digit range soon, and his iron-hand crackdowns on any internal opposition historically always builds more opposition.
It is just a matter of time before “outsiders” step in to help the opposition, as Erdogan has done inside Syria, and by that I mean violent opposition, the kind that would target the Erdogan regime, not the people as the Syrian terrorists have done, including those backed by Turkey.
Erdogan’s response would be to crank up the false flag bombings of ordinary Turks, as that is how he would play and has played the game to manipulate the masses, because it works. Here is part of a transcript of a conference call intercept in March of 2014 that got released that shows how easily a false flag can pop up as a tool to exploit a situation.
Ahmet Davutoğlu – Foreign Minister: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”
Hakan Fidan – Intel chief: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
Feridun Sinirlioğlu – Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”
Yaşar Güler – Deputy Chief of General Staff of Turkey: “It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”
It’s a nasty world out there, from the top to the bottom, and Turkey is no exception… Jim W. Dean ]
VT introduces Ran Camen
Having pushed all the limits by downing a Russian SU-24 and the hell with the consequences, Turkish Head of State Erdogan is “reveling” in the international limelight.
So what if he got the cold shoulder treatment at the Paris Climate Conference and who cares if he is facing serious allegations regarding his many-faceted dealings with ISIL?
Erdogan has the full power of the State media and a tight grip on the private media sector in Turkey, giving him the ability to spin even negative publicity into public agenda gold.
The best example of this is Erdogan’s totally unexpected shake-down of the Judiciary in December 2014, in the face of open and shut court cases complete with voice recordings and videos of highly dubious financial affairs involving him, his family, his Ministers and his closest business associates.
The biggest irony is that he played the victim all along, while wiggling out of this deep cesspool, and he also managed to expose and destroy his long-time partner Mr. Fethullah Gulen and his movement in the process. The “cleansing” of Gulenists along with anyone who opposes Erdogan is almost over, and all vacant positions are being rapidly filled by his own people.
He is also using strong-arm tactics in the private business and media sectors, using State mechanisms to take over companies and hand them over to his accomplices as trustees.So one Russian jet down and Erdogan feels all important again as a “world leader”.
He has NATO backing with the Marmara, Aegean and East Mediterranean seas full of naval ships from the US, France, Italy, England, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Greece and Holland, including two aircraft carriers from the US and France. Maybe its all part of a secret “NATO” plan to stop Putin and the exponential rise of the East, but Erdogan has stuck his foot in the hornets nest and started a volatile chain of events that may have catastrophic consequences.
Despite the hype created by his news and social media propagandists, Erdogan ultimately measures his public image in Turkey with the approval ratings of his bid for a new all-powerful “Presidency”. This bid has not gone down well with the Turkish public including the voters of his AK Party, as is evident in polls where votes in favour peak around 35%.
It is unlikely that the disputed constitutional amendments will be passed in Parliament, even with some opposition support, and Erdogan is banking on a public referendum with over 50% of the vote to clear the way.
He is secretly hoping that downing the Russian jet and the ensuing developments will give him enough credibility as a “strong leader” to pave the way for his all-important “Presidency” with powers befitting Ottoman Sultans.
At first glance, it seems to be working given the rising nationalist sentiment that is also fanned by support for the remaining Islamist Turkmen populations near the Turkish-Syrian border under fire from Russian forces.
The incident on the 6th of December with a “show-off” sailor brandishing a portable missile during the Bosphorus crossing of Russian naval ship Caesar Kunikov, gave Erdogan’s media empire and his social media “AK Trolls” (as they have come to be known) the perfect chance to create a new wave of sympathy and solidarity with the “Reis” – Chief or Boss in English.
This may be Erdogan’s biggest and final gamble before he finally loses it, but Turkey faces dire consequences regardless of Erdogan’s public support. So how are ordinary people in Turkey feeling the crunch of the Russian debacle?
Citrus, fruit, vegetable, poultry and other perishables exporters to Russia have lost a major overseas market and will face considerable losses. All Turkish investments in Russia, especially in the crucial construction industry that drives the Turkish economy, have come to a complete stand-still. The Turkish tourism industry will also take a blow with major cancellations from Russian travel agencies.
The dependency of Turkey on Russian natural gas, with approximately half being imported from Russia and much of the rest coming from Iran, is also a major concern if Putin decides to limit or disrupt the supply in the coming winter. Not accounting for the economic disruption of a major fall in gas supply, the total loss in Turkey’s trade with Russia is expected to be upwards of 10 billion USD.
Entrepreneurs all over Turkey have already been hard hit in the last three years with trade and investment losses in Libya, Iraq, Iran and Syria of potentially around 100 billion USD, as a result of Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman expansionist plan blowing up in his face.
On the upside though, prices of certain perishable goods such as vegetables and fruit are likely to fall in the domestic market as a result of dumping to cut losses and Erdogan’s propaganda will surely hail this as a major economic breakthrough.
As far as the influx of war refugees is concerned, so far Erdogan has managed to spin the crisis he co-created as a humanitarian effort “helping neighbors in dire times”. But tensions are rising as more and more desperate refugees are coming to Turkey, with an estimated 2.5 million existing “guests” and some 300,000 already providing cheap labor in the domestic work force.
Syrian refugees are spread out across Turkey including all the major cities, they are moving into inner-city slums and taking over begging on street corners and windshield washing at traffic lights, pushing out the Kurdish and Gypsy monopoly in these areas with their sheer numbers. Now that there is no hiding from the refugee problem, Erdogan is getting the blame even from parts of his own voter base.
Beyond the all the propaganda in the news and social media, there is ever-increasing talk of a military coup d’etat as a solution to the ills facing Turkey, the foremost being Erdogan himself.
Traditionally the Turkish Armed Forces has always enjoyed the highest public confidence ratings in Turkey (with politicians consistently ranking at the bottom of the list) but it has taken a massive blow as a result of the successful CIA-Gulen-Erdogan plot to rip out its pro-Republic and pro-Ataturk brains.
There are still plenty of younger officers who can pull this off, but they know that they will be charged with nothing less than high treason if they fail.
If they succeed, things will be like Egypt under Sisi with Islamists uprisings and terror attacks, compounded by heightened agitation from the PKK. Not great prospects, but military coups in Turkey have by rule come under the most difficult conditions with both factional blood-shed and financial collapse.
Meanwhile, Erdogan’s political opponents are still licking their wounds from the November elections, where they collectively lost major ground to Erdogan’s AK Party. The disappointed voter bases of both the socialist CHP and the nationalist MHP are calling for a change of guard, which is being met with strong resistance from their party leaders. CHP’s Mr. Kilicdaroglu and MHP’s Mr. Bahceli are still holding out along with their old guard, albeit in a precarious situation given consecutive election losses.
The fourth party in Parliament, namely the pro-Kurdish HDP that barely scraped past the 10% national election barrier, continues with its agenda of “freeing the Kurdish people” – this of course, starting with the release of their “Leader” PKK terrorist mastermind and butcher Abdullah Ocalan who serves a life sentence on a secluded military island. One of the most hated people in Turkey, Ocalan still controls the PKK and enjoys support among the Kurdish population despite his imprisonment.
As part of his bid for supreme “Presidency” Erdogan forged a “secret” deal with Ocalan, using the Undersecretary of Turkish Intelligence Mr. Hakan Fidan as a middle-man, and weathered the fallout when the deal was exposed. In summary, the weakened political opposition in Turkey is in such turmoil that it provides Erdogan with some consolation as a red herring and a punching bag under mounting pressure at home and in the global arena.
The Turkish Nation, as the proud and compassionate amalgamation of diverse ethnic groups around Anatolia including the Kurds (the true melting pot of the world), has endured so much since the secular Republic of Turkey was established in 1923.
The new Republic later abolished the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate; Islamists in Turkey have been bent on a historic mission to avenge and restore both.
The legacy of founding father Kemal Ataturk, the military genius who spearheaded the Turkish War of Independence and the visionary statesman who began a series of unique reforms to modernise the country, still stands strong despite the erosion caused by the puppet Liberals, Second-Republicans, Nationalists, Separatists and Islamists in Turkey.
On the global level, the NWO Rothschilds, Rockefellers and a host of other families who lost massive fortunes with their “investment” in the Allied occupation of Anatolia have a long-standing vendetta with Ataturk and the Turkish Nation. As if putting a strangle-hold of cumulative debt on Turkey to the tune of 600 billion USD was not enough, the NWO has constantly played different factions against each other to perpetuate chaos and instability to its advantage.
Whether he is aware of it or not, Erdogan is the NWO’s top man in Turkey for the moment, one of many in a distinguished line of dictators that the NWO has used and “tossed aside” in the past.
The patient and resolute Turkish Nation, with all its ethnic colours, is the constant underlying force that drives Turkey and it will continue to endure every challenge thrown at it by the NWO or its lap-dog Erdogan.