June 12, 2013 1 Comment
The following is from 3 June Daily Mail (UK)
The unrest initially erupted on Friday when trees were torn down at a park in Istanbul’s main Taksim Square under government plans to redevelop the area. But they have widened into a broad show of defiance against the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the main secular opposition party for inciting the crowds, and said the protests were aimed at depriving his ruling AK Party of votes as elections begin next year.
Erdogan said the plans to remake the square, long an iconic rallying point for mass demonstrations, would go ahead, including the construction of a new mosque and the rebuilding of a replica Ottoman-era barracks.
TURKEY: Mangled vehicles on the streets following two nights of…
And he said the protests – which were started by a small group of environmental campaigners but mushroomed when police used force to eject them from the park on Taksim Square – had nothing to do with the plans.
‘It’s entirely ideological,’ he told Turkish television. The demonstrations have since drawn in a wide range of people of all ages from across the political and social spectrum.
Protests yesterday were not as violent as the previous two days but police used tear gas to try to disperse hundreds of people in Ankara’s main Kizilay Square. There were similar clashes in Izmir and Adana, Turkey’s third and fourth-biggest cities.
In Taksim Square, the atmosphere was more festive with some chanting for Erdogan to resign and others singing and dancing. There were later clashes between police and protesters near Erdogan’s office in a former Ottoman palace in the city.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) denied orchestrating the unrest.
‘Today the people on the street across Turkey are not exclusively from the CHP, but from all ideologies and from all parties,’ senior party member Mehmet Akif Hamzacebi said.
And this is from the Telegraph UK last night
The governor of Istanbul went on television to declare that police operations would continue day and night until the square, focus of demonstrations against Prime Minister Erdogan, was cleared.
Police fired volleys of tear gas canisters into a crowd of thousands – people in office clothes as well as youths in masks who had fought skirmishes throughout the day – scattering them into side streets and nearby hotels. Water cannon swept across the square targeting stone-throwers in masks.
The protesters, who accuse Mr Erdogan of overreaching his authority after 10 years in power and three election victories, thronged the steep narrow lanes that lead down to the Bosporus waterway. Gradually, many began drifting back into the square as police withdrew, and gathered around a bonfire of rubbish.
Mr Erdogan had earlier called on protesters to stay out of Taksim, the centre of demonstrations triggered by a heavy-handed police crackdown on a rally against development of the small Gezi Park abutting the square.
Gezi Park has been turned into a ramshackle settlement of tents by leftists, environmentalists, liberals, students and professionals who see the development plan as symptomatic of overbearing government.
It looks like there are several things going on here. I think the most interesting is that the young people thing that Erdogan is becoming increasingly Islamist, and they are not interested in going there. Turkey since the days of Ataturk in the early twentieth century has been a secular society, and has integrated quite well into Europe. In fact, it is a provisional member of the European Community and has been a member of NATO more or less forever. As usual, the unrest is led by the young people, it always is, but in this case you are seeing a fair number of people in business clothing and a lot of women. Who have a lot to lose if Turkey goes Islamist, if you don’t believe that find some pictures of Afghanistan in the 1960s.
Some people are starting to think that Obama and company are midwifing the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire. I think that might be giving them more credit (or blame) than is their due, but intentions don’t count, and that is sort of what is happening.
NEW YORK – Is Obama helping advance a grand plan by Turkey, with the support of Germany, to restore the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic caliphate that controlled much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for more than six centuries?
That is a question posed by historian Robert E. Kaplan in an article titled “The U.S. Helps Reconstruct the Ottoman Empire,” published this week by the international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute.
Kaplan, a historian with a doctorate from Cornell University, specializing in modern Europe, says history suggests a possible partnership between Turkey and Germany, which has seen influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Muslims worldwide for its own interests.
He asks why the U.S. government “would actively promote German aims,” including the destruction of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the re-creation of the Ottoman Empire through the “Arab Spring.”
Kaplan points to Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ultimate victor in the “Arab Spring”; the U.S. backing of radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Libya with ties to al-Qaida; and current support for similarly constituted radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Syria aligned with al-Qaida.
Each of these U.S. military interventions occurred in areas that were under the Ottoman Empire.
Bring back the Ottoman Empire?
Kaplan sees a similarity between the Clinton-era attacks against the Serbs and the Obama administration hostility to well-established regimes in Libya and Syria.
Since the mid-1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Kaplan observes that neither President Clinton nor President Obama ever mentioned the reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire as a justification for U.S. military intervention.
The U.S. offered other reasons for intervening in Serbia, including a desire to gain a strategic foothold in the Balkans, to defeat communism in Yugoslavia, to demonstrate to the world’s Muslims that the U.S. is not anti-Muslim, and to redefine the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era.
At its height in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire stretched from its capital in Turkey, through the Muslim-populated areas of North Africa, Iraq, the costal regions of the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Balkans.
Kaplan points out that since the 1990s, “each European and Middle Eastern country that experienced American military intervention in an internal military conflict or an ‘Arab Spring’ has ended up with a government dominated by Islamists of the Moslem Brotherhood or al-Qaida variety fits nicely with the idea that these events represent a return to Ottoman rule.”
In these conflicts, Kaplan sees recurring patterns employed by Clinton and Obama to justify U.S. military intervention:
Each U. S. military action in Europe and the Middle East since 1990, however, with the exception of Iraq, has followed an overt pattern: First there is an armed conflict within the country where the intervention will take place. American news media heavily report this conflict. The “good guys” in the story are the rebels. The “bad guys,” to be attacked by American military force, are brutally anti-democratic, and committers of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Prestigious public figures, NGOs, judicial and quasi-judicial bodies and international organizations call for supporting the rebels and attacking the regime. Next, the American president orders American logistical support and arms supplies for the rebels. Finally the American president orders military attack under the auspices of NATO in support of the rebels. The attack usually consists of aerial bombing, today’s equivalent of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ gunboat which could attack coastal cities of militarily weak countries without fear of retaliation. The ultimate outcome of each American intervention is the replacement of a secular government with an Islamist regime in an area that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.
Kaplan cites a recent report published by John Rosenthal in the online Asian Times that discloses reports prepared by the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, attributing the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla on May 25, 2012, to the Syrian government.
Continue reading HISTORIAN: OBAMA HELPING RESURRECT OTTOMAN EMPIRE? | 1776 Nation.
Frankly I don’t know enough about this area to even have a valid opinion. But like I said intentions don’t really matter, and this (at least broadly) is about what appears to be happening. I think it
Bad for America and Western Civilization
- Turkey’s protesters proclaimed as true heirs of nation’s founding father (guardian.co.uk)
- turkey protests report (thesun.co.uk)
- Erdogan Threatens to Destroy the Founding Principles of the Turkish State; and with it his reputation (historysshadow.wordpress.com)
- Turkey Protests in Taksim Square Are About Erdogan’s Crackdown on Dissent (usnews.com)
- Protesters flee Istanbul’s Taksim Square as police in riot gear move in (vancouversun.com)
- “We really love Ataturk. He changed our state. He made it into a modern republic. Erdogan wants us to forget him.” (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- “Mildly Islamist” (nationalreview.com)