Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Angry Mobs Torch Kurdish Businesses As Turkey Descends Into Chaos

History is full of examples of national leaders (local tyrants who got lucky with the backing of western leaders) turning on minorities in their own country with the west's tacit approval. Nothing about the way the Syrian tragedy has played out should surprise us then except that when the leaders of NATO's main military powers, the The FUKUS axis war in Syria, the Syrian leader Assad found new best friends in Russia, China and Iran. The opposition of the three eastern powers was enough to make France and the UK think twice about deposing Assad by force after the FUKUS axis sponsored rebellion had failed and without allies, the USA chickened out of a military confrontation with Russia.

Media attention has been focused on Syria and neighbours in the region for two years now and due to the rise of ISIS most middle eastern nations have been dragged into the conflict in some way. Unreported by mainstream media however, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan has managed to orchestrate a political coup by plunging his people into civil war as NATO looks the other way.

In the three summer months, Edrogan has nullified a democratic election result (shades of the CIA engineered coup in Ukraine) and obstructed efforts to form a coalition government so that he could call new elections and ensure the result he wanted. Next, launching a military campaign was launched against the Kurdish PKK movement, knowing that if enough people are killed between now and the November elections, the public’s negative perception of the Kurds will lead to diminished support for the Kurdish HDP party, which was responsible for Edrogan's AKP losing its absolute parliamentary majority in June.

Erdogan has been able to do all this because he made a deal with the Obama administration, allowing the USA access to Incirlik (which gives the US army an operations base for the ground incursion into Syria that Obama has craved for so long in return for NATO’s acquiescence to the extermination of the Kurdish opposition in Turkey (and presumably Kurdish ethnicity) in Turkey.

This deal has so far (on 9 September, 2015,) resulted in hundreds of people killed; the arrest of journalists; the collapse of the Turkish lira; a Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq (the fifth in two decades), and no perceptible progress in the “fight” against ISIS which was the pretext for the entire effort.

For anyone who needed further proof that Erdogan won’t stop until his pro-Kurdish political opposition is wiped out entirely, consider the following from FT who reports that “a mob of several thousand people” set HDP’s Ankara headquarters on fire, sending party officials fleeing “across rooftops.” Here’s the full story
from my source,

The Financial Times:

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The fighting between security forces and Kurdish militants in Turkey’s mountainous south-east is increasingly reverberating in the country’s biggest cities, raising fears of a broader sectarian conflict.

The latest clashes came on Tuesday night, when thousands of people chanting nationalist slogans torched the Ankara headquarters of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic party (HDP).

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HDP branches in other cities, including the southern resort of Alanya and Kirsehir in the west, were also attacked and set alight. The attacks appeared to be in response to the killing of 30 police and soldiers earlier in the week.

The tumult, which is intensifying against the backdrop of chaos in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, is leading many Turks to question whether the country is returning to the war-torn 1990s. That decade marked the height of the 30-year battle with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party (PKK), in which some 40,000 have died.

“There is a big risk of widespread ethnic conflict and violence continuing in the cities,” said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a security analyst at the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation. “It is a very sensitive situation.”

Tens of thousands of supporters of the rightwing National Action party (MHP) also took to the streets on Tuesday night in protest at the string of PKK attacks in the country’s largely Kurdish eastern provinces.

Meanwhile, about 100 people hurled stones at the main Istanbul offices of Hurriyet, a secularist newspaper critical of the Islamist-rooted government, in the second such assault in 48 hours. The newspaper’s Ankara printing press also came under attack.

In a tweet, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister, condemned the violence, while authorities said 93 had been arrested in Istanbul over Tuesday night’s unrest.

But despite repeated official denials, Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP’s joint leader, accused the state of being behind what he described as a “lynch campaign” against the country’s Kurds, who account for about a fifth of the 77m population.

The HDP is part of the broader Kurdish movement long spearheaded by the PKK, but is now a political force in its own right as the third biggest party in parliament.

“Over the past two days more than 400 party offices, workplaces and businesses have been attacked,” Mr Demirtas said. “People have been pulled off buses and beaten, people walking in the street have been attacked.”

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The mood now is in stark contrast to that which followed June’s general election, when many Turks expressed hope that the failure of any party to secure a parliamentary majority would push the country towards coalition government and reduce social polarisation.

Instead, coalition talks ended in failure, fresh elections are scheduled for November 1 and the war in the south-east has reached an intensity not seen for years.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, has sought to quash accusations that he is escalating the conflict in order to seek electoral gain.

In July the PKK ended a two-year ceasefire after a peace process with Ankara had run into the sand. Since then the banned group has killed more than 100 members of the security forces, including 16 soldiers on Sunday and 14 policemen on Tuesday.

At the same time, the government has carried out scores of air strikes against the militants, both within Turkey and in the group’s stronghold of northern Iraq, where the Turkish state deployed ground troops this week.

Many of the cities in the east and south-east of Turkey are now under martial law, with the town of Cizre part-controlled by PKK militias who are engaged in near-continuous clashes that have seen eight civilians killed.

Aaron Stein, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, said the Kurdish conflict is now occurring on two fronts: mountain areas, where the PKK is attacking security forces with bombs that cause mass casualties, and within towns and cities, where young Kurdish fighters are regularly shooting and killing police and gendarmes.

Mr Stein said the conflict could escalate if the military moved in forces to urban centres throughout the east and south-east, as it is seeking to do in Cizre.

If tensions reached that point, he argued, there would be regional consequences, making it more difficult for the US to co-operate with the PKK’s Syrian sister organisation, widely regarded as one of the most effective fighting forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis.


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