Erdogan exploits terror wave —of course

The mounting terror campaign in Turkey just scored its latest entry with a suicide attack in a busy shopping area of Istanbul that killed at least four and injured some 35. It was probably just a happy coincidence for the perpetrators that the dead include two Israelis with dual US nationality and an Iranian. (BBC News, March 19) This comes five days after a deadly terror blast in Ankara—that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on Kurdish militants, despite no claim of responsibility and a modus operandi that points instead to the jihadists that he is conniving with in Syria. Just a day before the new Istanbul blast, Erdogan raised the stakes by warning that Europe could be targeted next…

Speaking at ceremony to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli in the coastal town of Canakkale, Erdogan said: "There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara cannot explode in Brussels, in any other European city." He added: "The snakes you are sleeping with can bite you any time." This is an obvious reference to Western support for the Syrian Kurds in their fight against ISIS. (AP, March 18)

Two days before that Erdogan spoke as almost 50 people, including activists and academics, were detained in a wave of police raids—the latest targets of his ongoing crackdown on the media. The president vowed to unleash an "iron fist" against "terrorism"—openly dismissing calls for "democracy, freedom and rule of law." He flatly stated in the televised address: "For us, these phrases have absolutely no value any longer. Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism are our friend. Those on the opposite side, are our enemy." (DPA, The Independent, March 18)

This comes days after he called for expanding the definition of "terrorism" to include anyone supporting "terrorism"—including legislators, academics, journalists or activists.

What is especially Orwellian about all this is that it comes as Erdogan still seeks to join the EU. And Brussels won't give him a flat no, because the Euro-elites seek to groom his burgeoning dictatorship as a buffer state to hold back the swarthy hordes of Syrian refugees.

Even some courageous Turkish dissidents are now calling for an end to the West's "blank check" to what is obviously a consolidating dictatorship. But Erdogan is to useful. One wonders at what point the contradictions will become to blatant for this farce to continue… If there is such a point.

  1. AKP functionary cheers on ISIS

    This time Turkey's Interior Ministry is saying the Istanbul attack was carried out by an ISIS militant of Turkish origin. (NYT) The evidence must be pretty damn compelling in order to have derailed the kneejerk response of blaming Kurdish militants. Meanwhile, Irem Aktas, head of the media department of the AKP women's branch, had her Twitter account suspended after she tweeted: "I wish that the wounded #Israeli tourists were dead." (JTA)

    Charming, eh? More evidence of the convergence of interest and ideology between the AKP and ISIS. Of course, she must have tweeted from outside the country, as Twitter is blocked in Turkey. Or are AKP officials granted access?

  2. Terror in Istanbul —again

    Four people have been detained in connection with a car bomb attack targeting a police bus that killed seven police officers and four civilians in Beyazit neighborhood of Istanbul's historic Fatih district. (CNN) Will it be blamed on Kurdish militants or ISIS?