Archive for Turkey

Amateur Hour

Have you heard the good news?

Turkey has agreed to allow the U.S.-led coalition to use its military bases for the fight against the Islamic State and to use Turkish territory as part of a training program for Syrian opposition fighters, Obama administration officials said Sunday.

“That’s a new commitment and one that we very much welcome,” Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Or we would…if it were true:

Turkey denied Monday that it has reached any “new agreement” with the United States to allow the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on the Islamic State militant group, despite suggestions from the Obama administration that a deal had been reached.

A statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said talks are continuing between Ankara and Washington over whether to permit U.S. forces to use Incirlik in the fight against the Islamic State, a radical al-Qaeda offshoot that has captured parts of Syria and Iraq. However, “there is no new agreement on the Incirlik issue,” the statement said.

You can understand why the regime would send out Susan Rice of a Sunday morning to spread a false narrative. It worked so well last time.

I was just culling the list of categories we link to our posts. Who cares about Mohamed Morsi anymore? Gone. Same with Barney Frank, even Ted Kennedy. But I stumbled a category we created called Amateur Hour. I debated keeping it, but we use it so rarely…I deleted it. I am so sad now.

The rest of the world must be looking at us and thinking this administrated is peopled by humiliated rejects from American Idol. Is the “She Bangs” guy free for Secretary of State?

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Istanbull

Aggie linked yesterday to Bret Stephens’s brilliant column on what Obama got wrong (world’s longest book), which I read on my phone in the pre-dawn hours from the road, trying not to shout “[bleep] yeah!” at every irrefutable point.

I want to highlight one of them:

Next example: Turkey. In 2009 Mr. Obama decided to elevate Turkey and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as his core partner in the Middle East. “On issue after issue we share common goals,” he told the Turkish parliament in April 2009. In 2012 he said that he and Mr. Erdogan had developed “bonds of trust.”

Yet in 2009 it was already clear that Mr. Erdogan was orchestrating huge show trials against his political opponents based on outlandish charges. By 2010 it was clear that he was an avowed supporter of Hamas, not to mention a vocal anti-Semite. In 2012 the Committee to Protect Journalists noted that Turkey had more journalists in prison than China and Iran put together.

Bet you didn’t know that.

And I bet you didn’t know this:

Three leading free speech groups have today sent an open letter to President Erdogan on the eve of his first address to the UN General Assembly as head of state, raising their concerns about the protection of freedom of expression in Turkey.

English PEN, ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders have called on President Erdogan to promote a culture that is favourable to freedom of expression.

23 September 2014

Dear President Erdo?an

We are writing to express our concerns about the threats and intimidation towards the journalist Ceylan Ye?insu. As you will be aware, Ms Ye?insu is a reporter for the New York Times based in Turkey and wrote an article about the recruitment of Turkish citizens by the Islamic State (ISIS) on 15 September. This was an important article in the public interest, an example of high quality and responsible investigative journalism that offers insight into ISIS at a critical time.

We were therefore dismayed to learn that following the article’s publication, Ceylan Ye?insu has been personally targeted by elements of the media sympathetic to the ruling AKP and on social media, with threats that pose a serious risk to her own safety. We were also gravely concerned to read reports that you yourself denounced the article as ‘shameless, immoral, treason’.

This is not an isolated incident. There is now a worrying trend of publicly smearing the reputation of journalists in Turkey, including threats to their lives.

Is this one of the “common goals” Obama says we share? Considering the way Obama treats any journalist with an independent mind (or how he would if there were such a creature), perhaps so. We’re hardly more supportive of Israel than Islamist Turkey.

More on those “bonds of trust”:

After years of publicly restraining himself regarding Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry that the words of the leader of Washington’s close NATO ally were anti-Semitic.

According to the paper, the crowd frequently interrupted Erdogan’s speech by chanting “Down with Israel.”

“They always curse at Hitler, but they now even exceed him in barbarism. Some Americans ask why Mr. Prime Minister [Erdogan] makes such comparisons with Hitler. What’s that to you? You’re America, what’s Hitler got to do with you,” he said.

We killed his mother[bleeping] ass, Dogorgan, that’s what. Ignorant sheisskopf. More on the subject if you have the stomach.

Back to the human rights crowd:

The right to freedom of expression is enshrined in the 1982 Turkish Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in a number of international treaties to which Turkey is a state party, including Article 19 of the ICCPR and Article 10 of the ECHR.

We ask you to use your influence as President of Turkey to foster a culture where freedom of expression can flourish and where Turkey’s talented community of writers, journalists and publishers can exercise their right to freedom of expression freely and without fear of intimidation.

Blah, blah, blah. Shut up. Appealing to fascists like Dogorgan and Putin (and I could go on) is a waste of time. Waste yours if you like. Include me out.

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Bad News, Good News

First, the bad news (lots of it, unfortunately):

Anti-Semitic attacks have become regular events in Turkey. In December, after leaving an anti-corruption rally in Istanbul, a young woman was attacked by 10 to 15 supporters of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan who had just left a support rally for the premier.

They accused her of being a Jew, as they beat her up.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Turkish opposition MP Ayken Kerdemir said that Erdogan has cultivated Turkish anti-Semitism. “He is not only capitalizing on the existing sentiments, Kerdemir explained. Erdogan is “fueling some of that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic feeling… with his rhetoric, conspiracy theories, campaign slogans and actions.”

Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is not opportunistic. He isn’t simply exploiting a popular prejudice for his own benefit. He is an anti-Semite. And his anti-Semitism informs his behavior toward Israel.

In May 2010, Erdogan sponsored the pro-Hamas flotilla to Gaza whose aim was to undermine Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of the terrorist-controlled Gaza coast. The flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, was controlled by the al-Qaida-aligned IHH organization. Its passengers included terrorists who, armed with iron bars, knives and other weaponry tried to kill IDF naval commandos when they boarded the Gaza-bound ship to enforce the blockade. In the ensuing battle, the commandos killed nine IHH terrorists.

That would be a good day, in my book. But no, in upside-down town, Israel’s enforcement of international law, and their ridding the world of human filth (my description) earned them time in the world’s penalty box. After application of American muscle, Netanyahu agreed to apologize and to compensate the families of the “victims”.

Now, the good news:

Talks eventually did start. And according to Israeli sources, they were about to conclude this week. Netanyahu was beginning to build political support for his decision to agree to Turkey’s demand for a massive $20 million settlement of claims against Israel by the dead terrorists’ families.

But then Erdogan walked away.

Whew! Twenty million dollars nearly flushed down the toilet! Close call. You can desalinate a lot of seawater for 20 mill; plant a lot of trees; settle a lot of homesteaders. Get busy being Israel, Israel. [Bleep] Turkey. [Bleep] Obama and Kerry too.

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Talking Turkey

If Turkey is our ally, we don’t need enemies:


Hold your own damn umbrella, Manuel

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of orchestrating the Egyptian military’s overthrow of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

“Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence,” Erdogan was quoted as saying in the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman on Tuesday.

The Turkish premier cited a conversation he had with a “French Jewish intellectual” who predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood would not be permitted to rule even if it won an election “because democracy is not the ballot box.”

Erdogan, who during his term in office has emerged as a fierce critic of Israel, has generated controversy in the past with remarks considered by some to be anti-Semitic. The premier accused an “interest rate lobby” of masterminding protests by crowds in Istanbul. He has also likened Zionism to fascism, and he has routinely accused Israel of waging a campaign of “genocide” against Palestinians.

Can you believe Israel “apologized” to this skunk over the Flea-bitten Flotilla?

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Birdbrained Turks

Untitled
Moi?

Turkish authorities detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment, newspapers said on Friday.

The kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel”, prompting residents in the village of Altinayva to hand it over to the local governor.

The bird was put in an X-ray machine at a university hospital to check for microchips or bugging devices, according to the Milliyet newspaper, which carried a front-page image of the radiogram with the title “Israeli agent”.

I’ve been to Turkey, and found it lovely. But, man, are they bat-[bleep] crazy over there!

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Old Friends


You said what?!

This comes as no surprise to those of us who’ve followed Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s career — he is a raving anti-Semite who got his start in an Jew-bashing theatrical production and has a long history of making idiotic remarks. At Commentary, our friend Michael Rubin reports:

Criticizing Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, the leader of the center-left and secular Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Erdo?an declared, “Kiliçdaroglu is striving every bit he can to raise himself from the level of a black person to the level of a white man.” The Turkish word—Zenci—Erdogan used is often used in a derogatory way.

The president could hardly be shocked, shocked to learn that Erdogan is a raving psychopath:

A 7-page report [8] released in late January of this year by the Israeli Foreign Ministry (i.e., its “Center for Political Research”) accurately highlighted Erdogan’s personal role in fomenting Antisemitism among the Turkish populace—particularly, his granting legitimacy to anti-Israeli television programs (“Valley of the Wolves”) and newspapers (“Vakit”) rife with blatant Antisemitic content. The report concluded [8], aptly

For Erdogan, Israel-bashing is a way of bolstering his status with Islamic and Middle Eastern states, which Turkey would like to lead, and against the Turkish opposition, as well as with his own party’s target audience and nationalist elements of the Turkish public…For Erdogan and some of those around him there is no distinction between “Israeli” and “Jewish,” and therefore, [their] anti-Israel fervor and criticism become anti-Jewish.

Although it provides a useful introduction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry report fails to elucidate any of the critical doctrinal and historical context Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s attitudes reflect. Erdogan and his ruling AKP’s posture toward Israel and Jews represents the apotheosis of Islamic Jew hatred manifest in Turkey for a half-millennium, revitalized during the past 50 years by an indigenous Muslim fundamentalist movement eager to exploit both the traditional Antisemitic motifs of Islam [6], and those of European, especially Nazi and Czarist Russian (i.e., “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) origin.

Just over 35 years ago, in 1974, Erdogan, while serving as president of the Istanbul Youth Group of his mentor, former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s National Salvation Party, wrote, directed, and played the leading role in a theatrical play entitled Maskomya [9], staged throughout Turkey during the 1970s. Mas-Kom-Ya was a compound acronym for “Masons-Communists-Yahudi”—the latter of course “Jews”—and the play focused on the evil, conspiratorial nature of these three entities whose common denominator was Judaism.

More recently, when the wildly popular, most expensive film ever made in Turkey Valley of the Wolves [10] (released February, 2006) included a “cinematic motif” which featured an American Jewish doctor dismembering Iraqis supposedly murdered by American soldiers in order to harvest their organs for Jewish markets, Prime Minister Erdogan [11] not only failed to condemn the film, he justified its production and popularity.

Poor Obama. It’s hard to lose good friends.


A Mason, a Communist, and a Jew walk into a bar…

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What the Hell’s Going on in Turkey?

Trust me, I don’t give a [bleep] either, but something’s going on there:

Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have pulled out of a square which has become the focus of the largest anti-government protest in years.

Thousands of people are in Taksim Square after days of unrest sparked by plans to redevelop nearby Gezi Park.

Police have fired tear gas and water cannon several times in recent days to break up the demonstrations.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said police may have used excessive force but that the park development will go ahead.

Earlier on Saturday, he called for an end to the protests, saying Taksim Square “cannot be an area where extremists are running wild”.

In a defiant speech to the exporters’ union, he insisted plans to reconstruct an Ottoman era military barracks on the Gezi Park site would go ahead and that a shopping mall “might be built on the ground floor or a city museum”.

The protesters say the park is one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul, and that the government is ignoring their appeals for it be saved.

Their protests initially began as a sit-in in the park, but erupted in clashes on Friday as police fired tear gas to try to clear them out.

Correspondents say that what was initially a local issue has spiralled into widespread anti-government unrest and anger over the perceived “Islamisation” of Turkey.

One woman told Agence France-Presse: “They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy.”

Another, Oral Goktas, said the protest had brought together people from many different backgrounds.

“This has become a protest against the government, against Erdogan taking decisions like a king,” she told Reuters news agency.

Like a king? Where would he have learned that?

So, this protest isn’t just about protecting “green space”, or not just. Or, given that green is the traditional color of Islam, maybe it is.

Maybe Erdogan also learned from Obama the definition of “a few”, as in “a few” rogue IRS agents (in Cincinnati) or “a few” protesters in Taksim Square.

I wouldn’t shed a tear if Erdogan finished hanging upside-down from a lamppost in Taksim Square. But I’ve also learned not to get my hopes up for enlightened new leadership in Muslim lands. If Moammar Qaddafi were to rise from his crypt, croaking “I’m not dead!”, I’d put him back in charge of Libya before you could say “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

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Hate Speech

We’ve been pretty rough on Hezbollah (Hizb Allah, Party of God), justifiably so.

But even we have to wonder how one Muslim can say this of another:

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Sunday that Hezbollah, or ‘the Party of God’ in Arabic, should change its name to ‘the Party of Satan,’ blaming the Lebanese-Shia movement for killing civilians in next-door Syria.

Speaking at an international symposium in Ankara, Bozdag warned against attempts to incite sectarian strife, claiming that those responsible – particularly in Syria – remained at large throughout the world.

The entire world should confront sectarianism, Bozdag declared, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu.

Racism, he said, is “one of the deadliest diseases the world is facing,” going on to assert that racism contravened Islamic precepts.

Hear-hear, Bekir. Now, can you tell your boss?

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been heavily criticised by the US, Israel and the UN for branding Zionism a “crime against humanity”.

He told a UN forum this week: “As with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crime against humanity.”

His words drew a sharp rebuke from Mr Netanyahu’s office, which called them “a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world”.

New US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Ankara that Washington found Mr Erdogan’s remark “objectionable”.

Erdogan is a nasty piece of work. Which is why I can’t understand why we’re so close to him.

If they were any closer they’d be on the other side of each other.

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Turkish Airlines Ban Lipstick

Might cause sexual frenzy

New Turkish Airlines policy bans stewardesses from wearing red, dark pink make-up that “impairs visual integrity,” could cause a sexual frenzy.

As recently as the mid-1990s, Turkey was a nice place.

– Aggie

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This Was the Moment…

I still get chills when I recall President Obama’s 2008 convention speech. Unless it’s the norovirus I’m feeling.

Anyway, when his Muslim outreach is successfully completed, I look forward to his Tide Reduction Initiative:

Ambulances and fire fighters rushed to Ankara’s central Cankaya neighbourhood where many other institutions and embassies are also located.

Contrary to early reports in the Turkish press, the explosion is understood not to have been caused by a suicide bomber.

“It was not a suicide bomber or car bomb. Someone left a package or threw a package,” the source said.

An Associated Press journalist reported seeing a body in the street at a side entrance.

A witness on the ground has contradicted earlier Turkish media reports that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber. One source at the nearby British Embassy told the Daily Telegraph that the explosion was caused by a bomb.

“It was not a suicide bomber or car bomb. Someone left a package or threw a package,” the source said.

However, witnesses told CNN’s Turkish service that a bomber was seen appraching the building and later entereed a gate at the fortified compound.

Initial reports say the blast occurred near the gates of the visa section of the embassy compound. Security has been tightened around the embassy as there are fears that a second bomb could be detonated.

Oh well, at least there’s Egy—… I mean Lib—… well, Syri—… Iran is… uh… at least Afgh—….

Get to work on those tides, Mr. President!

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How to Get Ahead in Terrorism

First, pose for scene of heartless Israeli brutality:

Check. (Though heartless Israeli seems more listless than heartless.)

Win audience with President (or some other creepy old man):

Check. (Unless President is creepy old man.)

Get picture taken with anonymous lady and two creepy old men:

Check.

Threaten an Israeli soldier with your tiny fists and toothpick arms because he’s harmless to you and you to him:

Check. And check. (Did I say “harmless”? I meant (hilarious”!)

Win Turkish award in front of creepy antisemitic poster.

Check.

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi, a girl who challenged Israeli soldiers as they arrested her brother, was presented with the Handala Courage Award in ?stanbul on Wednesday.

Visiting Turkey as the guest of Istanbul’s Baakehir Municipality, 13-year-old Tamimi attended a series of events ahead of the award ceremony including the opening of an art exhibition titled “Being Children in Palestine.”

And even meet the Prime Minister:

Check.

Israel’s Channel 10 News, reporting about the honoring of the girl on Monday, noted that while she was seen in the video challenging soldiers over her brother’s arrest, there had been no evidence whatsoever that her brother was indeed in an Israeli jail.

The staging of scenes for Israel-baiting is such a common Arab tactic in the Palestinian Authority that the industry has come to be known as “Pallywood.”

Cynics.

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Which Middle Eastern Country Will We Invade Next!?

We at BTL are rolling out a new game, appropriate for the Age of Obama. The game is called: Name That Country!™

The rules are simple. Step 1: Guess which country we are invading next. Today’s answer is simple; just follow the link to Name That Country!™

Step 2: Submit your guesses.

Step 3: Argue about whether or not we are a vicious, colonialist power or the saviors of the whole world.

Step 4: Repeat in a few months when we invade the next country.

Together we will watch the dominos fall, Gentle Readers.

– Aggie

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