Recep Erdogan And The Geopolitical Box Of Pandora

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Recep Erdogan And The Geopolitical Box Of Pandora

Photo: AP

Written by Boyan Chukov; Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront

Famous French experts on Turkey, in analysis compared Recep Erdogan with Charles de Gaulle some 4-5 years ago. Incredible! Yes, that is how it was then! But certain events that took place led not only the French analysts but most of their Western colleagues to begin calling the Turkish President “Islamist”, a “Sultan” and a “dictator”. The Western press and the press in our country began to talk about the “regime of Erdogan” while before it was not so. Generally, the western propaganda opened all its “gateways” and began to wash Recep Erdogan with sloppy media. Good or bad, the Turkish President was in the same situation as Vladimir Putin since he started to recover the geopolitical subjectivity of the Russian Federation.

Lately, Turkey has been hit by an unprecedented wave of terrorism. Over time, more and more of the terrorist acts are being associated with DAESH. The Kurdistan “trace” is no longer number one in such cases. The jihadists increasingly wreak bloody chaos in major Turkish cities and they are becoming more violent and bloodier. Victims among the civilian population are numerous. Another bloody act in Istanbul took place in Istanbul on 1 January, 2017. Terrorism is causing severe impacts on the authorities in Ankara and personally, on Recep Erdogan. The blow is on one of the most profitable sectors in the Turkish economy – tourism. Turkish people are traumatized not only politically and psychologically, but economically too. It is natural for the ordinary Turks to increasingly ask questions and look for answers. After all, it becomes clear that terrorist acts in Turkey are aimed at shaking and weakening the power position of Recep Tayyip ErdoganAnd it will not be particularly surprising if one of the uncaptured supporters of Fethullah Gülen, who is “left” in the personal security of the Turkish President, shoots him someday. Maybe, like in the case of Charles de Gaulle, someone will organize for him the next bloody Maidan on the tenets of “color revolutions”. Generally, Recep Erdogan finds himself in the position of the bandits in the Wild West, pursued by the sheriff. The avalanche of terrorist attacks on Turkish territory speaks of one thing only: far away from Turkey, certain sensitive and discrete structures have his poster with a photo that says WANTED.

Recep Erdogan And The Geopolitical Box Of Pandora

Boyan Chukov. Photo: Antoaneta Kiselincheva

One of the world leaders, who first reacted to the bloody act in discotheque “Reina” in Istanbul, was Vladimir Putin. He sent his condolences to Ankara. The Russian President wrote: “I can hardly imagine a more cynical crime of murdering peaceful people in the midst of New Year’s celebration. The concepts of human morality are totally foreign to the terrorists. Our common duty is to give a decisive response to the terrorist aggression”. Vladimir Putin made it clear that Russia upholds the decision to fight against terrorism, partnering with Ankara. A significant nuance appeared after the shooting in the “Reina” disco-club on 1January. For several months, Russia and Turkey have been partners in the fight against terrorism in Syria. And the results were not late. First, the fighting in Aleppo died down; then just before the New Year, the city was finally liberated from the jihadists. Information has crept in the Turkish press that these days the Russian Military Space Force bombed DAESH positions around the Syrian town of Al Bab, providing air support to the Turkish army. Russian aviation has synchronized their actions with the Turkish troops on Syrian territory. But apart from this, it becomes obvious that the move towards closer Russian-Turkish cooperation in the fight against terrorism also applies in Turkey, which raises to an even higher level the military-political interaction between the two countries.

Bulgarian media was silent about two mysterious killings that occurred around December 19, 2016, when the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Ankara was shot dead. In his home, in the presence of his wife, an employee of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Petr Polshtikov, was shot dead. In Belgium, the “corpse shot in the head” of Auditor General of NATO, Yves Shanderlon, was found. According to media reports, he was investigating firms that have financed terrorism and were involved in money laundering. The first is always associated with the second. Some analysts believe that these mysterious murders are interconnected with each other and have a symbolic meaning. Something like a signal directed at Moscow. The terrorist act at the disco-club “Reina” also has a symbolic meaning. This time, as a signal directed at Turkey.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said publicly something outrageous at a press conference in Ankara a couple of days ago. Not that it’s a secret. He stated that there is evidence that the coalition led by the United States provides assistance to terrorists in Syria, including DAESH. Recep Tayyip Erdogan literally said: “They accused us for supporting DAESH. But it turned out that they themselves supported terrorists, including DAESH. To us, that is clear. We have evidence, including photos and videos”. The representative of the US State Department, Mark Toner, called the accusations of Recep Erdogan “ridiculous” and said that they did not contain “a single drop of truth”.

A few days ago, DAESH jihadists showed a video of two captured Turkish soldiers who were torched and burned alive. Again it is meant to cause trauma of Turkish public opinion and is directed against Recep Erdogan. Terrorists destroyed Turkish tanks on Syrian territory with the help of modern Western TOW anti-tank systems; the same, which a few weeks ago, Barack Obama enabled to procure a “moderate and armed Syrian opposition”. The number of Turkish military killed on Syrian territory already exceeds 40 people. Only on 22 December 2016 in the area of Al Bab, more than 16 Turkish military personnel were killed.

It is obvious that Turkey in recent weeks is increasingly coordinating actions in the Middle East with RussiaApparently, the fight against terrorism will deepen the interaction of the special services. Recep Erdogan’s statement that the US assists DAESH has a more distant goal. In practice, the Turkish president has invaluable support of Donald Trump, who before taking office, led an uphill battle with the group around Hillary Clinton. The accusation that the United States supports DAESH, in fact, is charged against Hillary Clinton, not against the newly-elected US president. Recep Erdogan placed a “trump card” in the hands of Donald Trump in his battle with Hillary Clinton’s people at the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department who worked actively against himIn practice, the Turkish president stuck the label “supporters of terrorists” to the neocons. And he claims that there is evidence of this. We observe preparations for a large-scale reformation of the relationships between the key players in the Middle East. And since they all have a regional or global geopolitical code, it cannot but affect Bulgaria. Where are we? Unfortunately Sofia continues to behave as if Hillary Clinton has won the US presidential election and US foreign policy will not change. And Daniel Mitov together with his colleague, Nikolai Nenchev, will remain ministers. It looks like the rulers in Bulgaria rely on someone like Lee Harvey Oswald or at least someone like Jack Ruby to shoot Donald Trump before 20 January. It will not happen. The Russian press has raised enough noise that jihadists in Syria are fighting with Bulgarian weapons; it is something like a “yellow card”. In other words, Bulgarian weapons in Syria kill Russian and Turkish military personnel. Bulgarian media’s former senior officials and “experts” defended the policy of the current government of GERB in the trade of weapons in the Bulgarian media. Their arguments are in defense of the GERB government; however, it sounds like a meeting of 1989 of the Bulgarian-Russian bilateral commission on trade and economic cooperation in the “arms licenses”.

Yes, Bulgaria came seventh in the world in the export of weapons last year; it exported military products worth US$780 million. For information, prior to 1989, we had annual exports of Bulgarian MIC worth about US$2 billion. What is the difference? Before 1989, Bulgaria was a member of the Warsaw Treaty which guarantees the territorial integrity of our country and an army that is adequate to the national interests, equipped with modern weapons. Which one of the two guarantees do we have today as a member of NATO? The Bulgarian army is in a catastrophic situation. Donald Trump does not consider NATO as an organization at present, adequate for American national interests. Bulgarian weapons kill Turkish soldiers who are NATO allies. This is bad. The fact that Boyko Borisov pretends to be a friend of Recep Erdogan in this case does not help. Bulgarian weapons killing Russian military; this is bad. The Bulgarian people in their pro-Russian majority remember that the Russians are of the same civilizational family.

So far, we have been saying that Sofia is between two empires: the Russian and the Turkish. Today we, in practice, are against both. Sofia has not yet realized that the new US president is named Donald Trump and the rules of the game are changing. Who can guarantee that after another month “the big ones” will not wash their hands with Sofia, which was supporting terrorism? Borisov, Nenchev, myths or someone else? The government of GERB continues to use the anchor points of Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland. There will be another NATO after 20 January. Things will also change in Germany after that date. Angela Merkel is an avatar or a copy of Hillary Clinton. What happens afterwards? The copy will lose its original. The famous French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard calls a copy without an original – a simulacrum. Angela Merkel will lose her political weight in Europe as she glowed with the reflected light of the US neocons.

What is the conclusion of the foreign policy pursued by Boyko Borisov and his Foreign Minister, Daniel Mitov? On which side of the “barricade” are we? In foreign policy there are written and unwritten rules. Often, the unwritten ones are more important than the written. Someone should know them, though. Bulgaria in the face of the GERB government totally fails to comply with the unwritten rules in foreign policy. If anyone thinks he will get out of the mess which he stirs daily, with local tricks, he is lying to himself. Empires have the memory of an elephant and do not forgive anyone. Most likely, later on, Sofia will conclude that “the magician is sick and his trick did not work out” … but it will be too late. This is bad!

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  • Daniel Martin

    I’m far away from being an Erdogan fan, but this man, has shown a remarkable characteristics, that insofar not a single contemporary western leader has succeeded in doing as of this day, and that is to readjust his geopolitical course, to new realities in a very short time span, from defacto being an enemy in the Syrian conflict to becoming an very important ally in this context, together with Syria, Russia and Iran. Such huge geopolitical shifts usually require decades of hard work to make and that alone is not a guarantee that they will work. Let’s not jump to any conclusion here, Erdogan has a nasty record of erratic foreign policy and coat turning, and he has shown more the once his unreliability as a partner, but I think that after the coup attempt against him in July 2016 I believe he has come to a sincere realization whom his country will have greater interest with West that see Turkey as nothing more then a military base strategically situated for its own geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East and which has nothing more to offer but a very distant theoretical possibility for a Turkish EU membership. Regarding Turkish Nato membership I see it more as a NATO benefit then the other way around, since Turkey is fully capable of defending itself on its own than having to carry around the dead weight of a Nato membership cost and technologically Turkey has a very descent military industrial basis of it’s own. So as I said above let’s not jump to any conclusions, I would like to stress that i am cautiously optimistic about the Russo- Turkish cooperation in settlement of the Syrian conflict that is in it’s sixth year now.

    • John Mason

      Well said Daniel. It comes down to survival. Erdogan needs Russia and he also requires support from Trump, with Syria and Iran he definitely requires both as being partners in his conflict trying to remain in power. Game of cat and mouse.

      • Max

        No one needs a leech a parasitic worm on them, Erdogan is a leech you know what you do to leeches right?

    • Spunkyhunk

      “i am cautiously optimistic about the Russo- Turkish cooperation in settlement of the Syrian conflict…”

      What “cooperation in settlement of the Syrian conflict”??? Erdogan is the main external backer of the jihadis who have been laying waste to Syria, together with the U.S. and Saudi-Qatar. He is/was nursing, protecting and backing all the head-chopping jihadis in Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, etc. He has turned Turkey into Jihadi Central; is destroying secularism in Turkey and oppressing the whole country as a tyrant. He is now invading Northern Syria openly. The ONLY thing he cares about is gobbling whatever chunks of Syria he can; and that the progressive-secular Kurds don’t get too strong in Northern Syria – not any kind of “settlement”. He may temporarily be at odds with some elements of ISIS over control of some tracts of territory in Northern Syria; but even that doesn’t mean much – his regime has been one of the main collaborators and backers of ISIS all along, and he shares with them the same ideology and the same hate of Syrian government, Kurds, Russia, Europe, etc.

      Moreover Erdogan is the head of a regime with a crazed “neo-Ottomanist” ideology and aggressive expansionist designs – to the North and West, as well as to the South. Even his “falling-out” with the U.S. is largely a superficial act – he’s just trying to play Russia and the U.S./NATO off against each other, like a fickle prostitute-in-the-middle, to further his own regime’s nefarious goals. Has he actually LEFT NATO? No! Is he making moves to leave NATO? No! Is he actually DOING ANYTHING SUBSTANTIVE against the U.S., NATO, the Saudi-Qatari-Gulf Arab Wahhabi axis? No! It’s all a ruse. Erdogan and his regime can never be more than a very unreliable, dangerous, and temporary FRENEMY of Russia at BEST. The Putin government should do NOTHING to help strengthen Erdogan and his regime – instead they should cooperate with secular and moderate people and Kurds in Turkey!

      • Trustin Judeau

        I had sympathy for the Kurds until Hasakah situation in August.But I agree with you on Erdogan.He is lunatic with Neo Ottoman ambitions.

        • Max

          NDF are the ones who are casing failures for SAA. Hasakah antagonizing the Kurds, Palyma fleeing like cowards and making military blunders and much more.

      • Daniel Martin

        No offense, but you obviously didn’t understand a single word of my above comment …

        • Spunkyhunk

          “…this man, has shown a remarkable characteristics…from defacto being an enemy in the Syrian conflict to becoming an very important ally in this context, together with Syria, Russia and Iran…I would like to stress that i am cautiously optimistic about the Russo- Turkish cooperation in the settlement of the Syrian conflict…”

          What is it that I “didn’t understand”, genius??? I think the exact opposite is true – YOU didn’t understand what I wrote in MY comment!

          You don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Shibumi

        Erdogan is a delusional, schizophrenic and paranoid dictator with a hard twist of megalomaniac attitude who is taking his country in a downward spiral with unknown and uncertain consequences !

        • Spunkyhunk

          Good summary. Exactly!

    • Ronald

      “Russian – Turkish cooperation” , is only because he has no other choice in the long run . The only optimism I see is that Putin may have taken him under his wing . You are right the EU and NATO are dead ends because America is done with him . If he is smart enough to turn completely to Putin , he will live , and Turkey will be saved from becoming another blood bath . If he tries his old tricks of playing both sides , the Yanks just might move in .

      • Daniel Martin

        Agreed!

  • Rodger

    Erdogan really screwed the pooch with his support of the Uyghurs now one of them has shot up that nightclub. And as a result of Turkey shooting down the Russian plane Turkey has lost much influence in central Asia.