10.03.2014 Author: Tony Cartalucci

US-Turkish Relations: In Search of a Comfortable Footstool

c_1371020270_540x540It began in Istanbul’s Gezi Park where we are excepted to believe protests over 2.5 million strong (.pdf) stemmed from opposition to a development project. AFP would report in its article, “Turkish protesters have long list of complaints,” that: 

What started as a small group opposed to a development project in Istanbul has become an outpouring of national anger over how the Islamist-rooted government treats its citizens, testing Ankara’s quest to be a model country in its neighborhood. 

Turks are increasingly frustrated about what they see as restrictions on their freedom after a series of last-minute reforms were rushed through parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which enjoys an overwhelming majority. 

“This is a movement which is a result of growing frustration and disappointment among secular segments of society who could not influence politics over the last decade,” said Sinan Ulgen, visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe. 

“This is an unprecedented, abrupt and unplanned public movement that has not been manipulated by any political party. It is a big surprise,” he told AFP. 

A small park and its 600 trees at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square was the spark for the protests that snowballed into one of the biggest nationwide campaigns against the ruling party’s 10-year rule.

However, as with all engineered destabilizations, given enough time, the organizers lurking behind these “Arab Spring-esque” narratives are surely revealed. Today, protests across Turkey are openly led by Turkey’s opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), contrary to the initial narratives peddled by the Western media.

While current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has served as one of several chief regional collaborators with the West in the destruction of neighboring Syria, it appears that his utility was temporary, and the payoff for his servile obedience shall be being toppled from power.
More recently, the opposition CHP was cited by name in Al Jazeera’s article “Turkish opposition holds protest rallies.” And not only has CHP been revealed as driving the protests, but the initial pretext has shifted from “saving a park,” to demanding the current Turkish government resign, leaving CHP in a prime position to take power. Al Jazeera reported:

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Turkey after the president signed a controversial bill tightening controls on the judiciary, deepening opposition resentment towards a government already struggling with a corruption scandal. 

Police used tear-gas to disperse protesters in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, while in Istanbul demonstrators gathered on central Taksim Square, the scene of protests that have dogged the government for months. 

Protests that swept six Turkish cities on Tuesday continued on Wednesday as demonstrators chanted “Thieves!” and “Government resign!” 

Mustafa Sarigul, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for Istanbul mayor – the biggest prize in the country’s March 30 elections – called on the government to resign, as party officials handed out fake money amounting to 30m euros. 

CHP’s leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was in the United States on December 2, 2013, to give a talk (full transcript .pdf here) before the corporate-funded policy think tank, the Brookings Institution. Not only was Kılıçdaroğlu warmly welcomed as the first CHP member to ever visit Washington, he was happy to announce the opening of a CHP chapter right there in the United States.

The talk covered many issues, and just like a politician, Kılıçdaroğlu attempted to give the diverse audience a little of what each wanted to hear. However, several themes repeated themselves throughout the talk, including CHP’s dedication to “Westernizing” Turkey, integrating it with the European Union, and devolving state-controlled institutions into “autonomous” organizations.

While Kılıçdaroğlu  claims that creating autonomous financial and educational institutions will promote “freedom and democracy,” in reality, just as has happened in the West, the influence on these institutions will shift from elected representatives to unelected corporate-financier interests. And while Kılıçdaroğlu  claims that CHP condemns the use of Turkish territory for the proxy invasion of Syria, his intentions on integrating with the EU and strengthening Turkey’s role in NATO of which it has been a member of for decades, will simply hand over Turkey’s resources and foreign policy to the very Western interests that have been driving the chaos in Syria to begin with.

Western servitude appears to be the common denominator between Erdogan and Kılıçdaroğlu’s political agendas, with the difference being Erdogan assuming a “strongman” political machine, while Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP advocates the creation of an ineffective Western-style democracy easily commandeered and controlled by corporate-financier interests which after integration with the EU will constitute Wall Street and London.

For the Turkish people themselves, there is no easy choice – Erdogan and Kılıçdaroğlu represent two sides of the same coin which the West seems intent to flip whenever it suits their agenda. For the proxy invasion of Syria, a strongman like Erdogan with ties to sectarian terrorists suited the West. Expanding the EU and augmenting NATO’s influence beyond the borders of its member states may require someone more like Kılıçdaroğlu. Ultimately, the flaccid “Western-style democracy” advocated by Kılıçdaroğlu appeals the most to the West, as it will then be able to manipulate at will Turkey’s destiny from election to election, just as it does throughout the nations currently residing under its global holdings.

Already Turkey has suffered for Erdogan’s willingness to assist NATO in the destabilization and destruction of neighboring Syria with refugees flowing across the border and entire regions becoming sanctuaries for hardcore terrorists and mercenaries. Under Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP, integration with the EU will lead to the same economic woes that have plagued the supranational consolidation as international bankers loot the collective economies of the region.  Either way, taking to the streets for either Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP or Erdogan’s AKP is an exercise in futility, as no matter who wins, the agenda of foreign interests, not those of the Turkish people, will be advanced – not to the benefit of the Turks, but more than likely at their expense.

For Turks who have the energy and desire to fight for their future, they must step back from picking the lesser of two equally unpalatable evils, and formulate an agenda that truly serves their own collective interests – abandoning and replacing institutions that do not truly serve them within Turkey, and particularly rejecting international institutions that have time and time again proven they do not serve the interests of the people or the mission statements they claim to uphold.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”