"All terror organizations are attacking our nation and our people for the same goal."Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party has now submitted a bill to further the party leader's ambition to transform Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system, one that coincidentally will alter its long-standing constitution to permit Mr. Erdogan not only sweeping powers, but to effectively become leader-for-life, beyond the limited two-year presidential terms the constitution currently permits. After all, if Russian President Vladimir Putin could do it, why not Erdogan?
"Whenever Turkey takes a positive step with regards to its future, a response comes immediately before us in the form of blood, lives, savagery and chaos at the hands of terrorist organizations."
"Nobody should doubt that with God's will, we as a country and a nation will overcome terror, terrorist organizations . . . and the forces behind them."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
"Have you [Kurdistan Freedom Falcons -- TAK] accomplished anything beyond being the servants, pawns and hit men of certain dark forces, of your dark Western partners?"
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu
|Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses inside the new Ak Saray presidential palace (White Palace) on the outskirts of Ankara on October 29, 2014|
He has already emulated many of the Russian President's right royal traits. As well as having looted his country's treasury to have a proper thousand-room-plus edifice reflecting his empowered elevation as the saviour of modern Turkey, entitled to live in a palace, as the reigning caliph of an Ataturkian-expunged nation. His autocracy has grown in lock-step with that of Vladimir Putin's, his personal ambitions and extended ambition for Turkey rivalling that of Mr. Putin's. One pining for the restoration of the Soviet Union, the other of the Ottoman Empire.
Both fully engaged in actions to further those imperialist ambitions.
Mr. Erdogan's nomenclature, designating 20 percent of the Turkish population as 'terrorists', closely reflects his neighbour, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's designation of his Syrian Sunni opponents as 'terrorists'. And just as the Syrian regime has chosen to target the Sunni Syrian civilian population in a vast blood-letting exercise that has given the world its most pressing refugee crisis, so too does Mr. Erdogan and his "Justice and Development" party feel entitled to targeting the Turkish Kurdish civilian enclaves in the country's southeast.
To Mr. Erdogan his critics are all terrorists, whether they are the Kurdistan Workers Party, the followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, or Islamic State jihadis. Mr. Erdogan seems to forget the inconvenient reality that while the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targeted Syrians he found it expedient to support them, to offer haven, to act as middleman on their black market for looted archaeological treasures and fossil fuels. Under pressure from NATO, as one of its members, he suddenly recalled that membership required him to stop supporting the true terrorists.
And of course, President Erdogan's failure to address the real problems besetting his country, his limitless inability and unwillingness to negotiate with Turkish Kurds, to contemplate reasonably acceding to their yearning for a homeland of their own, or at the very least, regional autonomy, rather than to continue forcing this largest of the world's ethnic groups lacking recognition of their traditional heritage and homeland to fit into the national, linguistic, cultural mould he has decreed they cram themselves into, represents the real problem.
Erdogan is livid with rage at the overdue recognition Syrian and Turkish and Iraqi Kurds have been given by his NATO partners for their fighting skills, their equanimity in the face of duress, their graciousness extended to refugees. He accommodates himself to the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, but views the Syrian and Turkish Kurds as his sworn enemies, for he has ensured that his actions have made that a reality. Saturday's bombing meant to target Turkish soldiers in retaliation for the targeting of Turkish Kurds succeeded in more needless deaths and injuries to Turks.
It is not the malevolence of the West that has encouraged the Kurds to continue fighting for their long-awaited homeland recognition. It is Erdogan's chickens coming home to roost. He has taken his toll in blood, lives, savagery and chaos, ordering his military to behave no differently than the terrorists he so admires. He is a staunch supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and greatly admires their junior branch, Hamas. To him they are not terrorists, but upholders of the Muslim faith.
Playing with fire, and interpreting terrorism as it suits his ulterior motives, is a certain way to be singed time and again. For home consumption the myth that the West is to blame in its malign manoeuvres to victimize Turkey and Turks, shelters his own mis-named Justice and Development party and its arrogant leader from scrutiny and blame.
Turkish police officers stand guard next to Turkish flag draped coffins of victims during a memorial in Istanbul, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, for police officers killed outside the Besiktas football club stadium Vodafone Arena late Saturday. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Istanbul explosions within Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)