Turks Careening Backward under Erdogan’s Fist

 

Dictator of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's solitary fiefdom by unpopular and oppressive diktat is intolerable to the descendants of Kemal Ataturk, and is turning Turkey's progress backwards by a century.

I hope the truth is stronger than the “Wag the Dog” Hollywood-style spin we are being shoveled, both sides being to some extent culpable, and both sides being enough misrepresented that we need to couch everything we have stated in the freshet of weasel words to modify any suggestion of a solid affirmative  anywhere within the  hype we have been fed for hours.

Not that it makes a huge difference what I deem Turkey’s ratchet backwards to pre-reformation Turkey; in fact, I disliked Turkey more than any other of the 100-plus countries I have been to, lived or spent time in.

Erdoğan’s thumbnail history includes: Born in 1954, this pol has been Turkey’s 12th President, since 2014. Before that, he was Prime Minister, from 2003 to his ascendancy to leader in 2014; and prior to that, was mayor of Istanbul from 1994 through 1998.  Erdoğan, it has become clear over the recent past, merits ouster. He ought to have been replaced years ago, as his positions have concretized, his bellicosity has become more evident, and his insistence on outlandish privilege or accommodation were noticed as excessively parochial and leaning toward revanchist adherences to an untenable Islam that Ataturk had been contemptuous of enough to have massively reformulated.  

Kemal’s was a modernist sensibility in the Anatolia he loved. The fez outlawed. Women brought into the current century.   Such reforms were almost unheard of; magical, remarkable even seen in light of today’s turbulent darkness looming over the rest of majoritarian Muslim nations in the Umma, nearly 100 years on.

He revolutionized and updated the Turkish algorithm, and Turkey prospered decidedly more than the balance of Middle Eastern crowd who, of course, did not have the benefit of a Kemal A to bring up the rear, put the men in suits and the women in dresses, and let business flourish. The Turkish army, traditionally since the era of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [1923-1938 ] is constituted to take over in cases of unconstitutional behavior on the part of the chief executive. It is one of the region’s strongest. But the immovable object met the irresistible force. Erdoğan did not cotton to the Army’s chidings or efforts to stifle the overreaching impositions of religious strictures that had been banned decades ago.

Erdo wanted for the past lifetime to be the hegemon of the region, a sensibility at odds with the other wannabe imperial moguls of the Middle East. Though not an Arab nation, Turkey vies with Iran, also not Arab, in asserting its right to dominance.

During the fraught incident of the Maavi Marmara, in May 2010,  where the fault was entirely that of the  insidious Gaza flotilla raid’s doing, a clear violation of Israel’s territorial waters to gun-run and support Gazan violence against Israelis, Israel rightly defended its domain by boarding the well-armed soldiers and kill-committed illegal invading force. Erdoğan later demanded a ransom for Israel having defended itself, in all ways a legal maneuver that resulted in several deaths and injuries, as well as a bruised self-esteem on the part of the vanquished Turkic boat-runners.

Most observers, neutral and sane, would have called that demand on Israel the Yiddish word "chutzpah," but the ploy to extract an unwarranted ransom without any justification at all was not alone in the Erdoğan bag ‘o’ dodgy tricks. Israel, interested more in soothing relations even if she were in the right, paid off the soiled demand.

One of the few downsides of a successful coup win would have been – likely -- the ceding of a recent agreement between Israel and Turkey, something that had been elusive to nonexistent for years, since the cooling of relations occasioned by the Marmara deplorableness.

The loss of life, and the unsporting heli attacks from the air on civilians and normal people are all shocking and a tell of his brutality.

Women are demeaned there, as I can tell you personally from many experiences with ugly street and  commercial interactions with men who have never deemed a woman worthy of a polite gesture.

We mention “men” throughout since in the month I spent in Turkey, I seldom saw or spoke with a woman, as they seemed not to be apparent except skittering out of the corner of your eye, doing some household task. Most of the day, and especially at night, men ruled. Men drooled. Men smoked kief. Men lolled at tables in cafes and eyeballed the unigender passing scene.

But horrible as are Turkish Muslim men to their women (and all women) and each other, Erdoğan's unenlightened return to regressive primitivism and old-style sharia-islamism does not help.

Though it is by all accounts too early to determine what precisely the upshot of the 300 dead, the 1,000+ men wounded, and the carnage still apparent on the roads and cobblestones, Erdoğan is not the man our country ought to be backing. Even with a significant air base signal in our countering the activist terrorists known as ISIS.

He has consolidated power, killed off oppositional strongmen, instituted even more rigorous and oppressive legal constructs to set himself up as leader-for-a lifetime. The populace of Turkey will not be better off than it was a month ago; worse, in fact.

An unusually complex situation is made more problematic by our officials jumping in prematurely with their foolish assertions of support for a “democratically elected leader.” That is so only in the most tenuous sense. And as Erdoğan’s governance has become ever more tsarist or caliph-like, it ill serves the jittery US to be servicing the galactic dreams of a despot who has proven unsavory, unreliable and unhelpful in the long-ago and quite-recent past.

Northern Cyprus, invaded by Turkey in 1974, is a prime example of the destructive and insular arrogance of this war-drum-beating country. The northern half of Cyprus -- the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus -- controlled and managed in a grip of steel by faraway Turkey is a wreck, hulks of once-thriving  high-rises  standing forlorn and battered by weather, untenanted by their owners, now living on the Greek side of the Island. N Turkey is dependent on Turkey for economic, military and political sustenance. All attempts to rectify this situation of foreign occupying force have fallen in the UN chambers, unsuccessful.   

When I asked repeatedly, in Cyprus, why the Cypriots did not take back their island and heal itself, I was informed, by grieving officials, that Turkey is “too powerful,” that their “Army is too overwhelming,” and that little Defenseless Cyprus has absolutely no chance against the Turks. The Turks maintain a large garrison military force even today in this captive territory. It raises not an eyebrow.

So endlessly, it molders, a relic of once-prosperous wholeness. Erdoğan’s megalith to feckless grabbiness and total control.

We will see in days oncoming the result of this attempt at overthrowing a force for antediluvian Islamism. Our hopes reside on the side of the burdened and profoundly unhappy Turkish people, and against the forces of Obama-supported steamroller corruptocrat, Recep T. Erdoğan, occasional enemy, unreliable “friend.”

 

Dictator of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's solitary fiefdom by unpopular and oppressive diktat is intolerable to the descendants of Kemal Ataturk, and is turning Turkey's progress backwards by a century.

I hope the truth is stronger than the “Wag the Dog” Hollywood-style spin we are being shoveled, both sides being to some extent culpable, and both sides being enough misrepresented that we need to couch everything we have stated in the freshet of weasel words to modify any suggestion of a solid affirmative  anywhere within the  hype we have been fed for hours.

Not that it makes a huge difference what I deem Turkey’s ratchet backwards to pre-reformation Turkey; in fact, I disliked Turkey more than any other of the 100-plus countries I have been to, lived or spent time in.

Erdoğan’s thumbnail history includes: Born in 1954, this pol has been Turkey’s 12th President, since 2014. Before that, he was Prime Minister, from 2003 to his ascendancy to leader in 2014; and prior to that, was mayor of Istanbul from 1994 through 1998.  Erdoğan, it has become clear over the recent past, merits ouster. He ought to have been replaced years ago, as his positions have concretized, his bellicosity has become more evident, and his insistence on outlandish privilege or accommodation were noticed as excessively parochial and leaning toward revanchist adherences to an untenable Islam that Ataturk had been contemptuous of enough to have massively reformulated.  

Kemal’s was a modernist sensibility in the Anatolia he loved. The fez outlawed. Women brought into the current century.   Such reforms were almost unheard of; magical, remarkable even seen in light of today’s turbulent darkness looming over the rest of majoritarian Muslim nations in the Umma, nearly 100 years on.

He revolutionized and updated the Turkish algorithm, and Turkey prospered decidedly more than the balance of Middle Eastern crowd who, of course, did not have the benefit of a Kemal A to bring up the rear, put the men in suits and the women in dresses, and let business flourish. The Turkish army, traditionally since the era of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [1923-1938 ] is constituted to take over in cases of unconstitutional behavior on the part of the chief executive. It is one of the region’s strongest. But the immovable object met the irresistible force. Erdoğan did not cotton to the Army’s chidings or efforts to stifle the overreaching impositions of religious strictures that had been banned decades ago.

Erdo wanted for the past lifetime to be the hegemon of the region, a sensibility at odds with the other wannabe imperial moguls of the Middle East. Though not an Arab nation, Turkey vies with Iran, also not Arab, in asserting its right to dominance.

During the fraught incident of the Maavi Marmara, in May 2010,  where the fault was entirely that of the  insidious Gaza flotilla raid’s doing, a clear violation of Israel’s territorial waters to gun-run and support Gazan violence against Israelis, Israel rightly defended its domain by boarding the well-armed soldiers and kill-committed illegal invading force. Erdoğan later demanded a ransom for Israel having defended itself, in all ways a legal maneuver that resulted in several deaths and injuries, as well as a bruised self-esteem on the part of the vanquished Turkic boat-runners.

Most observers, neutral and sane, would have called that demand on Israel the Yiddish word "chutzpah," but the ploy to extract an unwarranted ransom without any justification at all was not alone in the Erdoğan bag ‘o’ dodgy tricks. Israel, interested more in soothing relations even if she were in the right, paid off the soiled demand.

One of the few downsides of a successful coup win would have been – likely -- the ceding of a recent agreement between Israel and Turkey, something that had been elusive to nonexistent for years, since the cooling of relations occasioned by the Marmara deplorableness.

The loss of life, and the unsporting heli attacks from the air on civilians and normal people are all shocking and a tell of his brutality.

Women are demeaned there, as I can tell you personally from many experiences with ugly street and  commercial interactions with men who have never deemed a woman worthy of a polite gesture.

We mention “men” throughout since in the month I spent in Turkey, I seldom saw or spoke with a woman, as they seemed not to be apparent except skittering out of the corner of your eye, doing some household task. Most of the day, and especially at night, men ruled. Men drooled. Men smoked kief. Men lolled at tables in cafes and eyeballed the unigender passing scene.

But horrible as are Turkish Muslim men to their women (and all women) and each other, Erdoğan's unenlightened return to regressive primitivism and old-style sharia-islamism does not help.

Though it is by all accounts too early to determine what precisely the upshot of the 300 dead, the 1,000+ men wounded, and the carnage still apparent on the roads and cobblestones, Erdoğan is not the man our country ought to be backing. Even with a significant air base signal in our countering the activist terrorists known as ISIS.

He has consolidated power, killed off oppositional strongmen, instituted even more rigorous and oppressive legal constructs to set himself up as leader-for-a lifetime. The populace of Turkey will not be better off than it was a month ago; worse, in fact.

An unusually complex situation is made more problematic by our officials jumping in prematurely with their foolish assertions of support for a “democratically elected leader.” That is so only in the most tenuous sense. And as Erdoğan’s governance has become ever more tsarist or caliph-like, it ill serves the jittery US to be servicing the galactic dreams of a despot who has proven unsavory, unreliable and unhelpful in the long-ago and quite-recent past.

Northern Cyprus, invaded by Turkey in 1974, is a prime example of the destructive and insular arrogance of this war-drum-beating country. The northern half of Cyprus -- the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus -- controlled and managed in a grip of steel by faraway Turkey is a wreck, hulks of once-thriving  high-rises  standing forlorn and battered by weather, untenanted by their owners, now living on the Greek side of the Island. N Turkey is dependent on Turkey for economic, military and political sustenance. All attempts to rectify this situation of foreign occupying force have fallen in the UN chambers, unsuccessful.   

When I asked repeatedly, in Cyprus, why the Cypriots did not take back their island and heal itself, I was informed, by grieving officials, that Turkey is “too powerful,” that their “Army is too overwhelming,” and that little Defenseless Cyprus has absolutely no chance against the Turks. The Turks maintain a large garrison military force even today in this captive territory. It raises not an eyebrow.

So endlessly, it molders, a relic of once-prosperous wholeness. Erdoğan’s megalith to feckless grabbiness and total control.

We will see in days oncoming the result of this attempt at overthrowing a force for antediluvian Islamism. Our hopes reside on the side of the burdened and profoundly unhappy Turkish people, and against the forces of Obama-supported steamroller corruptocrat, Recep T. Erdoğan, occasional enemy, unreliable “friend.”