Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dani Rodrik — Is Fethullah Gülen behind Turkey's coup?

Dani Rodrik is Turkish and well acquainted with Turkish politics. The origin of the coup is still murky. It is pretty clear that it was not a false flag engineered by Erdogan to seize more power, but unfolding events reveal that he is not letting the crisis go to waste in that regard either.

The aftermath of the coup has seen the rapprochement of Turkey, Russia and Iran, all of whom have an interest in keeping Syria in one piece, where it is in the interest of the US and the Kurds to partition Syria. 

Dani Rodrik's weblog
Is Fethullah Gülen behind Turkey's coup?
Dani Rodrik


The Duran
Alexander Mercouris: Report of a Russian Tip-Off to Erdogan is True


Kaivey said...

Politics is a dirty business. Endrogan is a despot and a tyrant who is completely ruthless, but Putin needs to do a deal with him. Lets hope this brings peace to Syria. I'm not in intelligence but it seems to me that Bashar Al-Assad is an entirely innocent man being pursued by the corrupt and evil West. Neoliberals have no morals or honour.

The West pretends to be capitalist, and it says that it believes in fair competition, but if it can't win outright in the markets it will steal what it wants instead, by plunder and war if need be.

John said...

Kevin, Erdogan may not be a particularly nice chap, but he's hardly a "despot and a tyrant"! He and his party have been democratically elected numerous times. All the liberal, progressive and socialist parties in Turkey have denounced the coup and acknowledge Erdogan's rightful democratic mandate. They may not like him, but they acknowledge his mandate. Rather in the same way that Putin may not be liked by some in Russia, but is acknowledged to be not only democratically elected but also highly popular.

We forget that it was only a few years ago that a conspiracy so wide and deep was discovered in which elites in the military, the traditional political elites, media and business were found to be planning to topple the government. The AK Party has been beset by these ultranationalist coup plotters since day one.

Now, Erdogan has deliberately fanned the flames in Syria, and he should be condemned for that, but we should remember that the Turkish policy of laying waste to Syria was supported by nearly all in Turkey, especially all those liberal humanitarians warmongers who otherwise hate Erdogan. His support for ISIS and other jihadis was not as some claim because of any alleged Islamism, but has been nothing more than a way to break the back of the Kurdish separatists. Forget Erdogan and the AK Party, Turkey is not going to allow a good third of the country secede. It will do all it can to stop that, including using jihadis. And if in a fit of madness Erdogan wished to allow the creation of an independent republic of Kurdistan in a third of what is now Turkey, he and the rest of his party would wake up dead and eighty million Turks would happily welcome the necessary military coup and the bloodbath that halted the breakup of the country. That's the truth.

John said...

By the way, Assad isn't innocent, but of all the players in the hellhole that is now Syria he is probably the least guilty. He was a total bastard before the Saudis unleashed a jihadi on Syria. Like Iraq, the question that's useful is the following: Is Iraq/Syria the way it is because of Saddam/Assad, or is Saddam/Assad the way he was/is because of the way Iraq/Syria is? Unstable and artificially created countries will have enormous problems. That's why the departing western imperial powers fashioned them in that way. It wasn't an accident. It takes a lot of cold calculation and political cynicism. Whatever you may think of it (evil comes to mind), you can't deny that it was also very well thought out.

Tom Hickey said...

For all the bloviating about how horrible Assad is, killing his people and all that, the reality is that under Assad, Syria is a moderately liberal secular state, which is rare in the Middle East. Yes, Assad's people did kill a lot of Syrians but not without reason. It's still a tribal culture over there and without a strong leader, the result is either chaos or being taken over by Salafi or Wahhabi reactionaries. The leaders of cohorts that are not Muslim, like Christians, all support Assad as the best deal they can expect in such a volatile environment.

The US is on the wrong side in Syria because Israel, Iran, the USSR and now Russia, and pipelines. The idea that Syria will become a secular liberal democracy when Assad goes is about as realistic and thinking the same of Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.

John said...


Quite right. In many ways the question I asked has been answered: Assad is the way he is because Syria is the way it was artificially created. Without a strong central government under the control of a strong leader, the country will simply descend into a bloodbath because outside powers just will not allow a secular and relatively liberal and forward looking state to exist. The outside powers being the religious psychopaths of Saudi Arabia and Israel with its never-ending Zionist expansionist aims, no matter what the Arab states offer. There are other players too, but Saudi Arabia and Israel would tear the country apart in no time.

Afghanistan was on the long road to liberal democracy (long because of its tribal culture and agrarian economy) under the communist government until the US flooded the place with jihadis. Syria and Iraq would have got close to something akin to liberal democracy were it not for the US coups and Israeli, US and Saudi wars. Similarly Egypt, but without any US war. Similarly for Libya, but without any Israeli war. Imperialists never change, and imperialist apologists never change either. Tell the truth and shame the devil!