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Odysseus
05-14-2012, 10:10 AM
One in Five Turkish Generals Now in Prison (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/05/14/one-in-five-turkish-generals-now-in-prison/)Michael Rubin (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/author/michael-rubin/) | @mrubin1971 (http://twitter.com/mrubin1971) 05.14.2012 - 8:30 AM







The Turkish press is reporting that, with the latest round of arrests of former military officers for allegedly forcing the resignation of Necmettin Erbakan’s Islamist government in 1997, one-in-five Turkish generals is now in prison (http://haber.gazetevatan.com/bes-generalden-biri-cezaevinde/449559/1/Gundem).

Even those who see the end of military influence in Turkey as the litmus test for democracy should worry. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now targets political opponents, real or imagined, without restraint. Under the Turkish system, an accusation is enough to jail an opponent, sometimes for years without trial. There is no mechanism for bail. On its surface, the targeting of the generals is ridiculous: The Turkish Supreme Court affirmed the illegality of the Erbakan and disbanded his party for violating Turkey’s constitution. The European Court of Human Rights upheld (http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=698813&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649) the Turkish court’s actions. Turkish generals might have pursued unsavory actions—especially toward Turkey’s Kurdish minority—but the sheer number of those now in prison suggests a separate motivation.

By turning a blind eye or even cheerleading Erdoğan’s repression, self-described human rights activists and diplomats enable him to target broader arrays of Turks. After all, while the arrests of Turkish generals make headlines, Erdoğan’s forces also target journalists, academics, politicians, and civil society activists.

Inconsistency also highlights the political agenda behind the arrests. In July 1993, a mob of Sunni Islamists—an important Erdoğan constituency—burned down a hotel in which Turkish Alevi intellectuals were holding a conference (Alevis are a Shi’ite offshoot). The arson killed 37 people. As Erdoğan changed the law to prosecute those he accused of oppressing Sunni Islamists, he chose not to pursue (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/trial-on-sivas-massacre-dropped-despite-protests.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15939&NewsCatID=338) justice against those alleged to have murdered Alevis who, for sectarian reasons, he holds in contempt.

Turkey does not belong in Europe. Increasingly, Erdoğan shows that when it comes to issues relating to democracy, justice, and abuse-of-power, Turkey is more akin to Russia, Venezuela, and Pakistan.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/05/14/one-in-five-turkish-generals-now-in-prison/

Turkey, as Arroyo is fond of reminding us, is a NATO ally. The current government is suppressing secular dissent and imposing Islamist rule. Turkey's refusal to support the US effort in Iraq, their attacks on US allies in Iraq (the Kurds almost ended up in a shooting war a couple of years ago) and their support for terrorist groups such as Hamas make their ally status, at best, suspect.

Rockntractor
05-14-2012, 10:16 AM
Any guesses as to which side of this Obama is on?

Gina
05-14-2012, 12:46 PM
Turkey has been screwed up for quite awhile. I first really realized it when they wouldn't help in Iraq. It wasn't for any other reason than they were cowards imo. They hate Kurds so much they were probably hoping either we or the insurgency would just kill them off.

jediab
05-14-2012, 01:22 PM
When I read the thread title, I heard Captain Oveur's voice, "Joey, have you ever been in a... in a Turkish prison?"

Odysseus
05-14-2012, 01:27 PM
Turkey has been screwed up for quite awhile. I first really realized it when they wouldn't help in Iraq. It wasn't for any other reason than they were cowards imo. They hate Kurds so much they were probably hoping either we or the insurgency would just kill them off.

If there is one thing that the Turks are not, it's cowards. The real issue was that the US State Department made absolutely no effort to reach out to them, and the fact that it was a war of infidel vs. Sunni. The Turks needed to be cajoled into supporting the invasion, and State not only sat on its hands, it actually snubbed some major players in Ankara, which guaranteed that they would be an even tougher sell.

Turkey's secularization was accomplished in the major cities, through an extremely bloody campaign of suppression of the veil and fez. However, the countryside was never successfully secularized, and as the urban elites' birth rates have dropped, those in the hinterlands have risen. The major demographic shift over the last few decades has been increased movement from the countryside to the city, with the movement of more traditional (e.g., Islamist) attitudes going along. As a result, the voting patterns of the public have shifted to Islamist candidates and parties.

Gina
05-15-2012, 10:24 AM
If there is one thing that the Turks are not, it's cowards. The real issue was that the US State Department made absolutely no effort to reach out to them, and the fact that it was a war of infidel vs. Sunni. The Turks needed to be cajoled into supporting the invasion, and State not only sat on its hands, it actually snubbed some major players in Ankara, which guaranteed that they would be an even tougher sell.

Turkey's secularization was accomplished in the major cities, through an extremely bloody campaign of suppression of the veil and fez. However, the countryside was never successfully secularized, and as the urban elites' birth rates have dropped, those in the hinterlands have risen. The major demographic shift over the last few decades has been increased movement from the countryside to the city, with the movement of more traditional (e.g., Islamist) attitudes going along. As a result, the voting patterns of the public have shifted to Islamist candidates and parties.
You have a point about Turks not being cowards. I guess I was throwing them in with the other Middle Eastern countries that didn't want to get involved out of fear of repercussions from terrorists. I can't blame them I suppose but 'the only way for evil to triumph...' and all that. :lemo:

txradioguy
05-15-2012, 11:05 AM
One of those Generals that's been tossed in prison was the head of the U.N. force in Somalia when I was there. General (then Lt. General) Cevik Bir.

My U.N. certificate of achievement has his signature.

Odysseus
05-15-2012, 12:33 PM
You have a point about Turks not being cowards. I guess I was throwing them in with the other Middle Eastern countries that didn't want to get involved out of fear of repercussions from terrorists. I can't blame them I suppose but 'the only way for evil to triumph...' and all that. :lemo:

They weren't afraid of al Qaeda, they had serious internal issues about going to war against another Muslim state. Turkey was willing to go along with Desert Storm because Saddam had initiated an attack against another Sunni state, Kuwait, and was a threat to them and the Saudis were on board. It was basically an intra-Sunni fight and we were backing the side that had the most money, and they had something to gain. They didn't go along with OIF because the Islamists were in power in Turkey, the US had just been attacked on 9/11 and most Muslims saw that as a victory for their side and didn't want to ally themselves with the infidels again and our State Department didn't make any attempt to win them over. Fear had nothing to do with it.


One of those Generals that's been tossed in prison was the head of the U.N. force in Somalia when I was there. General (then Lt. General) Cevik Bir.

My U.N. certificate of achievement has his signature.

I don't know much about him, other than that the regime has jailed him.

txradioguy
05-16-2012, 02:18 AM
I don't know much about him, other than that the regime has jailed him.

Well he was the first one they nabbed from what I've been reading. And it would seem from what I'm able to gather he was the head of the 1997 coup. He's been involved with NATO and attended our staff and war college. Served at SHAPE too if I recall. Then headed to Somalia as a 3 Star to run that operation. IIRC he retired as the director of their General Staff.