Beyond the Cusp

December 27, 2014

Is Erdogan Talking as for Turkey or More for Self?


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked to the media reacting to European expressed concerns about the future of a free press in Turkey siting the raid on media outlets close to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who resides in the United States, earlier this month. Erdogan accused Fethullah Gulen of forming a ‘shadow government which he kept in order to undermine the rule of President Erdogan while also orchestrating the graft scandal which has been targeting the inner circle of the Erdogan run government. President Erdogan and many of his closest advisors as well as potentially one son have been embroiled in an investigation of bribery, graft and other malfeasances over the past couple of years and this is just the latest version by Erdogan to place blame off of his front door and inside his inner circle to any outside group in order to catch a break. Back in June of 2013, Erdogan threatened to shut off Turkey from Facebook and Twitter as he blamed social media for his and his closest advisor’s social media difficulties stating, “There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.” Expressing his anger at the European moralizing and accusatory comments Erdogan scolded, “We are not Europe’s scapegoat. We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia.” Having President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan go off on a defamatory rant at something, anything, and preferably making that thing an entity which is incapable of defending itself or answering back with an official statement, such as blaming social media, has been somewhat predictable event as it is often timed to coincide with some investigatory pronouncement of findings, court dates for the very closest of Erdogan’s advisors or some pressing and notable media article giving backing from high places into the rumored misdeeds of people close to the Turkish President. This time it was the European Union but previously it has been the United States and sometimes he has blamed Israel or the Jewish backed institutions, these last two having been used often in speeches to large crowds of required cheering supporters as Israel and the evil Jewish institutions, which are rumored to be powerful and legendary though Erdogan has been loathed to name one such institution, because they both draw the loudest and most desired approvals cheering Erdogan for bravely weathering the storm from the Israel-Jewish-Zionist masters who are suspect of all crimes against leaders in the Middle East, including Turkey despite their efforts to align militarily with Europe through the European Union and the west through NATO of which Turkey is still included and accepted as an ally despite actions proving to counter such claims.


No matter how deep the graft and embezzlement is discovered to have permeated the Erdogan administration and no matter how much can be linked directly to Erdogan or his son or other family members, these criminal acts are inconsequential when compared to the damage Erdogan has intentionally wreaked upon the nation and peoples of Turkey. One visiting Ankara or Constantinople (sorry, I just am unable to refer to it as Istanbul) would mostly miss the changes brought about by Erdogan since he first took office as Prime Minister in 2002 and now as the President, a new political office which is no longer merely a ceremonial office but one vested with almost every power which previously were vested in the Prime Minister, but some extraordinary and unopposable powers vested in the Presidency by Erdogan over the past eighteen months becoming official coinciding with this election to the office of President. What a coincidence. How can one man be so fortunate as to be in one office, Prime Minister, when it was the virtually all-powerful political office in the Turkish government and just as the powers are stripped away and vested into a formerly ceremonial office with even more exclusive powers making the holder of said office even more invulnerable to outside influences or challenges of authorities just as Erdogan won election to be President. It boggles the mind to even try and conceive of such happening simply by happenstance, there must have been a guiding hand that arranged everything so perfectly for Erdogan to continue as the sole arbiter of power and molder of the future of Turkey. President Erdogan has been using his powers and the support of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to fairly rapidly undo the changes which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk instituted after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire when he left his military post and plucked up a sleeping nation and put Turkey on the road to industrialization, modernization, and most important, secularization moving Turkey closer to Europe and away from the binding restriction and innate refusal to Western values shown from the nations around the Middle East and North Africa, the area which had been the remnants of the Ottoman Empire before World War I and also been stuck, lodged in the fifteenth century, the first beginnings of the rise of the Ottoman Turks to the status of Empire and the last Caliphate making it into modern times before falling in World War I. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk viewed the two sides in World War I and saw the advancement held by the Western powers which were far ahead of anything the average Muslim army could muster to field to a modern battlefield. Seeing the choice before him, Ataturk made the fateful choice and threw off the binding dictates which had become attached to Islam and separated Mosque and state allowing for a competitive Turkey in the years after World War I. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has almost completely erased those changes and returned much of Turkey outside the main cities back to their tribal origins, though forcing the religious restriction on the women in the major cities who have tasted the respect and freedoms the secular state removed from the influences of Islam has allowed them.


Yes, some Turkish women welcomed the return to Sharia but mostly the urbanites have retained much of their modern lives even if only in the privacy of their home and in the workplace if such is acceptable. These reforms by Erdogan will eventually have Turkey simply sinking to the same level as the rest of the Arab world but with a modern equipped military. The difficulties could not be any greater for those wishing to impose Quranic compliance in major metropolises which have already reached and lived in late twentieth century settings and force them to accept the stringent definition of Sharia, especially the restrictions against social interactions, such will not be popular with much of the young adults. Still, Erdogan has had a severely retrograde effect as he has stripped Turkey of all the safeguards put in place by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk with his directly challenging the military early in his time as Prime Minister and with the assistance of then United States President George W. Bush and the leadership of the European Union demanding that the Turkish military stand down as democratic governments must not be overturned by militaries as that leads to dictatorial leadership by the military. This mistaken pressure was gleefully accepted by Erdogan as it removed any worry of the military preventing the plans to return Turkey to being ruled under Sharia and strict Islamic codes. After using misguided pressures from the United states and Europe, Erdogan proceeded with purging the military of any opposition either through forced early retirement or through charges and incarceration after a show trial where the rules of jurisprudence were not strictly observed and these military tribunals were simply window dressing for the purging of the military removing any threat or possible opposition to Erdogan ruling Turkey and transforming the nation from western advanced industrial society to Islamic compliant Sharia rule with Erdogan as the ruling modern day sultan using the more acceptable title of President, we will need to watch to see if Erdogan will become President for life. Meanwhile, Turkey will continue her inexorable slide from the late twentieth century to the fifteenth century while the world whistles simply ignoring the evidence before them. We can expect emigration from Turkey will only increase as the nation becomes more and more unfriendly to modernity as Sharia cuts Turkey off from the rest of the urbanized and secular worlds, the inevitable result of this trend. Alas my friends, peering at the smoldering remains of a once technically advanced civilization now unable to repair its own electrical infrastructure and other devices, Turkey, I knew them once when, but we dare not speak of such times in her presence, she can no longer couch such ideas as to do so is heretical. It can be so sad.


Beyond the Cusp


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