Category Archives: Russian plane crash

Turkish election of June 24, 2018

On June 24, 2018, Turkey will hold elections which will change the political structure of the country. The presidential system will replace the parliamentary one. Executive power will be dominant. The individual behind the change is president Recep Erdogan.

Erdogan has been active in Turkish politics since 1994 when he was elected mayor of Istanbul  1994-98. Since about 2000 to 2014 he was prime minister. In 2014, he was elected president for five years. This June election of 2018 is a year early, because he wants to change the political structure of the country with a strong president as head of state. He is the leader of the Justice and Development Party. He is a conservative Islamic nationalist which the Turkish people love.

Turkey is geo-strategically a very significant country. It controls the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. It is part of Europe and the Middle East. A nation of more than 80,000,000 people, about 20% are Kurds. The country is fairly large, 302,500 square miles; it encompasses all of the Anatolian Peninsula.

Turkey fought in the Korean War,1950-53, on the US side. It has been faithful and subservient to US interests. It has tried to be a member of the EU without success. Now Erdogan no longer cares about the EU. Under Erdogan for over three decades, Turkey has developed into a modern industrial state. Turkey has had an insincere policy towards Syria, with no problems with neighbours, to outright support of ISIS; it had a strategic partnership with Israel. That changed because of the Palestinians which Turkey strongly supports. Turkey still supplies almost 50% or more of Israeli fresh water needs. Until 2016, Turkey had an antagonistic relationship with Russia. It shot a Russian jet over Syria claiming it was over Turkey. The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Istanbul in 2015. Possibility of war existed, but Russia as usual played calmly.

The coup d’etat of 2016 changed everything; it failed badly. Turkey claims that the coup was organized by religious leader Gulen who lives in the US. Turkey accused the US of being involved, which the US denies. The US refuses to release Gulen to Turkish authorities. Russia helped Erdogan during the coup. A policy of friendship developed between Russia and Turkey. Erdogan apologized to Putin for shooting down the Russian jet and the assassination of the Russian ambassador; Russian tourists and trade returned to Turkey.

Iran, Russia, and Turkey are coordinating their policy on Syria.  The policy includes no partition of Syria and that Assad’s fate is to be decided by Syrian people. This is anathema to the US and Israel. The US is in direct confrontation with Turkey over Kurdish areas of Syria. Turkey will not allow a Kurdish enclave in N.E. Syria. The US wants an independent Kurdistan in Syria which would be allied with Israel. Turkey is vehemently opposed to any Kurdish state. Syria, Iran, and Iraq are also opposed to a possible Kurdish state. Erdogan is opposed to any idea of a Kurdish state.

June 24, 2018 elections are absolutely crucial for Turkey and the West. It seems Turkey is orienting itself to Russia and Eurasia. Turkey is buying the Russian S-400. The US threatens sanctions on Turkey and may not sell Turkey its F-35; Turkey doesn’t care. If Erdogan gets strong support in this election it will indicate that the Turkish people support his policies. Turkey will embrace Russia,  and NATO will become irrelevant as two major members clash.

The future relationship between Turkey and the US will be very interesting; it will affect the entire world. Watch the Turkish elections this coming Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Turkey vs the US

In one of my previous posts, I stated that Turkey was one of the most geostrategic pivots in the world. That is true. This geostrategic pivot gives Turkey immense power and advantages vis a vis any power outside the region of the Balkans, Bosporus, Black Sea, and the Middle East.
In the year 2018, it is asserting its power to impose its will on the Kurdish enclave of North Syria to the Iraqi border; this means Turkish confrontation with the US.

Turkey is totally opposed to the US policy in Syria. The US wants to partition Syria, not because it is a threat to the US, which it is not, but because it would enable Israel to expand into both Lebanon and Syria. It would thereby obtain the waters of Lebanon.

Turkey considers the US presence in Syria and Iraq a threat to Turkish security and independence. Turkey has a large Kurdish population, up to 30,000,000 people in its South East Region. There are about 3,000,000 in Syria and Iraq respectively; approximately 3,000,000 in Iran. ( Actually, Kurds are scattered all over the Middle East. ) Kemal Ataturk was a Kurd. He defeated the British at the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, in the 1st World War. Churchill was eager to conquer Constantinople for the British, and not to help the Russians as claimed by the British. Kemal Ataturk developed very close relations between Turkey and the new country of the USSR.

A large Kurdish State in the Fertile Crescent would mean the end of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. A Kurdish state allied to Israel would dominate the Middle East. Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon want to prevent this scenario; most of the Islamic world is against such a scheme.

What now? Turkey means business. It is prepared to face the US in Syria, possibly in Iraq as well. Confrontation is inevitable. It depends on what scale, but it will be on big scale. Let us analyze.

The US will not leave Syria. It will leave only if forced. Turkey will not back off. All of Turkey is upset with the US. Both countries are members of NATO, but the US runs NATO. What the US says goes. That has been the internal relationship of the organization since its inception in 1949. Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, a faithful US ally in the Korean War,1950-53. Since a failed coup d’état of July 15, 2016, the US/Turkish relationship has been very strained. Turkey has abandoned a policy of subservience to the US and chosen a policy of national interest and independence. National interests of Turkey are in direct conflict with US strategy. The policy of restraints on Turkey that the US is pursuing only irritates Turkey even more.

Before a complete rupture occurs, the US will try another coup d’état. If it succeeds, Turkey will go back to the NATO stable, and the US will again have a subservient Turkey and will be able to create Kurdistan in Syria. However, the coup may not succeed.

What is evident in this struggle is that Turkey is not afraid. Turkey is an advanced economy. It has powerful armed forces. Turkey may be in possession of nuclear weapons which gives it a nuclear back bone to face any opponent, including the US. The West was hoping to start a Russo-Turkish war after the Turks shot down a Russian jet in Syria on November 24, 2015; it did not succeed.

If Turkey goes all the way to conquer Syrian Kurdish region, it will inevitably come in conflict with the US special forces advising the Kurds. If the US sustains casualties, the US will respond and open conflict will occur. The Turks will not back off. Neither will the US. The conflict will enlarge. If no armistice is reached, both sides will pour troops into the conflict. NATO will be in a dilemma. Many NATO members would refuse to join the US vs. Turkey conflagration; NATO would break. The Islamic World would side with Turkey, and the Third World War could break out.

Short of a general nuclear war between the US and Russia, the US-Turkish War would severely damage the world’s economy, let alone cause massive environmental and structural damage to the world. The consequences would be unpredictable; we will see

Cui Bono?

The Russian plane tragedy which happened recently in Sinai, Egypt begs the question: who benefits? The Russian plane crash is a significant event in the Middle East and the world. It will polarize the world, and further divide the West from the Rest. Egypt definitely did not benefit. The plane crash could destroy the tourist industry of Egypt and worsen the already pretty bad economic condition of the country. The position of President El-Sisi could be on the line. Forces unfriendly to the President may organize a coup against him and destabilize the country. Cui Bono? Western strategic interests?

The Islamic State claims it bombed the plane. Quite likely. It boasts about having done it. This is to imply the great reach of the Islamic State. But who are its enablers? Saudi Arabia and Gulf States, but also the US, Britain, and Israel. The latter three are its’ real enablers. By using the Islamic State, the West wants to destroy Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, fragment them into smaller states which would then be subservient to Israel and the West. Created by the West, it is an instrument of power to destroy Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and more importantly, Iran. The Islamic State itself gains very little. It demonstrates to the world that it is very evil. This is a huge plus for President Assad, Russia, and its allies, Iran, Iraq, and Hesballah of Lebanon.

The irony of this all is that the biggest losers out of this will be these very enablers of ISIS. The refugee crises of the Greater Middle East and North Africa are destabilizing the European Union. The Kurdish Rebellion of Iraq and Syria is exciting the Kurds of Turkey, a NATO member and strong ally of Israel and the US. Turkey may end up in civil war. Israel is facing the third Palestinian Intifada, which is now in its early phase. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States face disaster in Yemen. The Middle East war is enlarging and is connecting what is going on in Afghanistan, the Ukraine, North Africa, and the Middle East, This is one war with many fronts. It also has socio-economic components. The socio-economic conditions of the European Union are deteriorating from the Baltics to Portugal,  from Ireland and Britain to Greece. The German economy is standing on one leg, and Mutter, Angela Merkel, is on the way out. Contrary to official propaganda, the US and Canada are not doing well at all. No interest rise this year or 2016. Foreigners will determine the interest rates, the value of the dollar and gold. The boomerang of Russian sanctions are in play.

A big battle is brewing for the ISIS center of El-Raqqua. Syrian Forces are attacking the city. The US has inserted 50 or so Special Forces within the Kurds. If the Kurds take the stronghold, the US will have a chance. If Assad wins, ISIS and the US will have no chance. Only time will tell.