Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 26, 2020

Erdogan Is Again Under Pressure And Therefore Likely To Escalate

Over the last years the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has managed to alienate so many of his countries international partners that it is hard to keep count. He at times did so on purpose to distract his voters from a sinking economy and other local calamities. But there are signs that he has now exceeded the patience of the adversaries he has created. He is now finally receiving the rebukes he has seemed to be seeking.

While Russia has emphasized friendly relations with Turkey, it is in conflict with it in Syria, Libya and most recently in the war over Nagorny-Karabakh.

Russia at times has a not-so-subtle way to communicate that its patience has run out. Last Thursday Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean fired missiles on a oil smuggling center near Jarablus, Syria:

More than 15 militants from the Turkish-controlled Syrian armed opposition were killed and injured in a missile strike by an unknown military aircraft on a smuggling market for oil products in the city of Jerablus, bordering Turkey, in northern Syria, local sources reported.

It is noted that the rockets were also fired at two fuel tankers, which were moving along the highway near the village of Kus in the direction of the market. Eyewitnesses reported that at the time of the strikes, several powerful explosions occurred in the border area.

The oil was smuggled from eastern Syria and was on its way to Turkey.

Today a Russian air attack on a graduation ceremony of Turkish financed 'Syrian rebels' killed or wounded more than 200 of them.



Erdogan's fanboys took note:

Ömer Özkizilcik @OmerOzkizilcik - 9:31 UTC · Oct 26, 2020

Russia has attacked the HQ of Faylaq al-Sham, Turkey's favorite armed group in Idlib, and the leading faction of the NLF of the SNA.
Faylaq al-Sham is also present in the Astana process and the constitutional committee.
Claims that up to 50 Faylaq members died in the attack.

After the recent airstrike on the Jarablus oil refinery, this strike is just another demonstration of the growing rift between Russia and Turkey.
It seems that many in Moscow are angry about the humiliation of the Russian defense industry by Turkey.

Well, Russia has a real defense industry while the Turkish weapon 'producers' are just assembly lines for parts bought from abroad:

301 @301_AD - 10:19 UTC · Oct 26, 2020

The "indigenous" Turkish drone which Turks boast about day and night as the flagship of their military industry is a not so indigenous after all. It's assembled by top notch western components.


Turkey has successfully used the drones to destroy old Russian made air defenses in Nagorny-Karabakh. But as Canada and Austria have now stopped to supply the necessary components the availability of such drones will soon diminish.

The U.S.also increased the pressure on Turkish proxy forces in Syria:

The U.S. Army said Thursday it carried out a drone strike against Al-Qaeda leaders in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border, killing 17 jihadists, according to a war monitor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five civilians were also among those killed.

"U.S. Forces conducted a strike against a group of Al-Qaeda in Syria (AQ-S) senior leaders meeting near Idlib, Syria," said Maj. Beth Riordan, the spokeswoman for United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

It is now likely that Turkey will order its 'Syrian rebel' mercenaries to escalate the war in Idleb. Russia and Syria have been waiting for this and are well prepared.

Turkish relations with Greece have always been hostile but Turkey currently does its best to increase them:

Greece said Monday that Turkey plans to carry out a maritime military exercise on Oct. 28, a Greek national holiday, just hours after NATO’s secretary general said both Greece and Turkey had called off wargames on each other’s national holidays.

Erdogan has also been busy to add other EU countries to the list of Turkey's enemies:

France has recalled its ambassador to Turkey after the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan questioned the mental health of French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Erdoğan questioned Macron's mental condition while criticising the French President's attitude toward Islam and Muslims.

His remarks at a local party congress were an apparent response to statements Macron made earlier this month about problems created by radical Muslims in France who practice what the French leader termed "Islamist separatism".

Macron's remarks had come after a Chechen terrorist with connections to militants in the Turkish occupied Idleb had beheaded a French teacher in Paris. Erdogan's remarks were followed by anti-French protests in Turkish occupied areas of Syria during which flags of the Islamic State were raised.

Despite Russian, French and U.S. attempts to set up a ceasefire in Nagarno-Karabakh Turkey is pressing Azerbaijan to continue the war:

[I]n the last year, Turkey has violated Israeli, Libyan, Iraqi, Syrian, and Greek sovereignty. The international community has condemned Turkey’s territorial encroachments on numerous occasions. A similar scenario is playing out in Nagorno-Karabakh today.

On October 21, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay pledged to provide full military support for Azerbaijan if necessary. Oktay has also denounced international efforts to quell the conflict’s escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The OSCE Minsk Group, comprised of the United States, France, and Russia, formed to help mediate the conflict. Turkish officials, however, claim this group is actively supporting Armenia. In a rebuke of Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement highlighting Ankara’s malign involvement in the conflict. He noted Turkish-backed fighters are “providing resources to Azerbaijan, increasing the risk and firepower” that is only fleshing out the fighting.

A new Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire, negotiated on Friday in Washington DC, was immediately breached by new attacks from Azerbaijani forces.

In Libya a new ceasefire agreement between the Turkish supported Muslim Brotherhood forces who hold the western part of the country and the eastern forces of General Hafter, supported by the UAE and Russia, stipulates that all foreign forces will have to leave the country within three months. The UN and every involved country but one welcomed the deal:

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which backs the Tripoli government with military support, questioned the viability of the ceasefire.

"Today's ceasefire agreement was actually not made at the highest level, it was at a lower level. Time will tell whether it will last," Erdogan said. "So it seems to me that it lacks credibility."

Turkey had attempted to gain control of the eastern oil fields of Libya but failed to do so after Russia countered it. Oil production in Libya has been restarted without any of the profits flowing to Turkey. It will now have to leave the new bases it created or re-escalate that war.

Pissing off the U.S., the EU and Russia while waging wars against several countries has significant economic costs:

Since reaching a peak of $951 billion in 2013, Turkey’s gross domestic product has reversed its growth trend, falling to $754 billion in 2019 in nominal terms—a drop of $200 billion, nearly the size of the GDP of Greece, in six years. The lackluster performance of the economy has had a political impact on the AKP’s popularity at home. According to the pollster Metropoll, support for the AKP had fallen to 31 percent in August 2020—a significant drop from the 43 percent of votes the party received in the 2018 parliamentary elections.
A foreign policy that gives priority to combative rhetoric, hard power, and maligning the West can be politically useful in the short term, but remains incompatible with the long-term requirement of stabilizing the economy. And yet it is the country’s economic performance that will ultimately determine the fate of the next national political contest when the time comes.

A year ago 5.75 Turkish Lira were the equivalent of 1 U.S. dollar. Today one needs more than 8 Turkish Lira to buy a dollar.


Turkish companies have taken up lots of loans in foreign currencies. They will have to pay the loans back with 40% more Lira than they had planned to do. Many of them will not survive the drain.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched a boycott of Turkish products. Turkish made pots and pans and Turkish vegetables have been removed from Saudi supermarkets.

Over the years Turkey had managed to play off the U.S. against Russia and Russia against the EU. But now its relations with all of those parties deteriorate at the very same time. This while its economy has serious problems.

To better his position Erdogan could retreat from some of the many conflicts he created. But given his previous behavior under pressure he is more likely to go into the opposite direction.  I expect him to soon escalate on one or more fronts with Syria being the most likely one.

Over the last year a lot of Turkish equipment and many Turkish soldiers have been moved to Idelb. But would they be able to withstand an onslaught of Russian air and missile attacks? Would Russia launch those provocative strikes on Turkish proxies forces if it thought so?

Turkey has in my view overextended itself. It will have to retreat on several of its current fronts and concentrate on its economy. It is otherwise likely to suffer a significant military defeat while its economy will further deteriorate.  It would be the end of Erdogan's Neo-Ottoman dreams.

Posted by b on October 26, 2020 at 16:03 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Looks to me like Turkey is a pawn, or to be more generous a knight, in the political battle Anglo-Americans are waging against part of continental Europe and Russia. Because of this I do not believe it will escalate into any full fledged hot war between Turkey, which no need to emphasize remains part of NATO Central Command structure, and any other opponents. It will remain the proxy war it has been since 10 years or so ago.

Posted by: ATH | Oct 26 2020 16:27 utc | 1

While everything b says is true, it is difficult to see how Erdogan will be able to reverse his course. That's the big problem with military adventurism. If he tries to quit some or all of those extra-territorial games, and return his troops and mercenaries home to Turkey, he will still have a bad economy, but will have a large contingent of unhappy military and terrorists to deal with, too. The odds of a new coup attempt, but this time a much more serious and widely supported one, would escalate greatly.

It's similar to the problem the US faces. Decades of screwing with every other country in the world are coming home to roost, and as much as Trump and a few others have at least talked about the wisdom of ceasing overseas meddling, the deep state knows that bringing all those highly trained and pissed-off soldiers home would be a powder keg, even more so that we're already seeing.

Posted by: J Swift | Oct 26 2020 16:29 utc | 2

The way I understand it here, Erdogan and Trump are big buddies.

Posted by: ATH | Oct 26 2020 16:33 utc | 3

Poor old Turdogan has been left holding the bag of takfiris. The last thing he wants is them to be used against him, so he has been shipping them out to Libya and now Azerbaijan. However, his megalomania seems to have gained the upper hand, trying to exploit the opportunity for multiple purposes, possibly failing in all.

Armenia is just starting to produce so-called 'suicide' drones. They are looking to purchase others (Iranian?) The Azerjaibanis seem to be rather over-extended along the border with Iran, with a cauldron in the making, especially as their drone supply may be drying up.

Posted by: Ken Garoo | Oct 26 2020 16:44 utc | 4

Great piece 'b'.
When it is all set out so plainly you have to wonder what the hell Erdogan is thinking ... except about his own future and 2023.

One point though, there is no mention of the changing attitude of Arab countries towards Turkey. Egypt - supported by Russia - and the UAE especially seem to be taking forward roles in opposing Turkey.
I posted this article earlier today in the open thread, but here it is again. Far more relevant here.

UAE vs Turkey: the regional rivalries pitting MBZ against Erdogan FT really impresses at times, I have to say.

“Where you find Emirati activity you often find Turkish activity directly countering it in a way Iran doesn’t,” says Michael Stephens, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank. “They believe they are up against a Turkey that is very hostile in terms of its nationalism, its power projection and a determination to make sure the UAE doesn’t get its own way.”

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 26 2020 16:44 utc | 5

While no doubt directed at Turkey, that airstrike indirectly also gives the US forces 'guarding the oil' a pretty significant middle finger. Good on Russia on that count.

Let us hope that prick Erdogan gets the lesson he finally deserves and not too many of his countrymen have to pay with their lives for their stupidity in following his corrupt ambitions. Fingers crossed Putin holds his nerve and at the same time doesn't get trapped into a lose-lose scenario either.

No country that has shown such callous aggression deserves to get away with it. Turkey would be a good place to start on a long list.

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 26 2020 16:45 utc | 6

Yes, Erdoğan really has never had any sense of foreign policy. Most of this, however, is not really neo-Ottomanism, but trying to deflect attention from his self inflicted economic woes.

As to France, it isn't just Erdoğan railing at France's gratuitous support of a cartoon slandering Islam, pretending it is "freedom of speech". Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar and others have done the same, Pakistan even calling in the French ambassador for an explanation. Yes, there really is an Islamophobia promoted by Western politicians as a part of foreign policy.

So, try not tarring Erdoğan with every little "negative" news item. Sometimes he does take a justified position, even if he handles it poorly

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 26 2020 17:15 utc | 7

Erdogan is a player and is being played. He attacked syria for the saudies en israeli interest, and defended LNA against the uae and israeli interest. He works well with iran and russia and the people defend him against the gulen/cia coup but only after the downing of the russian jet by gulen forces and the nato backing.
Playing both sides is very risky but he is a fighting for his survival. And he is breaking loose from the dark side, its take time and a lot of money. Give him some slack and watch your back.
As long as he is democratically elected he must be supported. Turkey doesn't deserve another fascist western dictator.

Posted by: gary | Oct 26 2020 17:16 utc | 8

It should also be noted that it is France, Britain, the US and, well, the West, that have created and even financed most of these terrorist groups to begin with over the past 40 years. The Chechen's were financed by who, against who? why? Go back to the late 70s for your history lesson.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 26 2020 17:24 utc | 9

One put together several big political events since 10-15 years ago and a trend emerge in the "Western Camp". The promotors of the plan being the Anglo-Americans and the passive-reactive followers being Continental Europe and proxies in the "middle-east". And it looks like we are in the tail-end of such a trend with some ups and down and likely the whole plan being in a shamble now:

(*) Anglo-Americans destroy the foundation of the "two-state plan" through their proxies, Israel and Saudi

(*) Continental Europe's main powers sensing trouble prefer having Turkey as an external buffer state and oppose her entry in the EU. They start putting huge administrative hurdles which signal the strategic partnership Turkey is seeking is not for the foreseeable future

(*) Turkey gradually opts for the burgeoning "Neo-Ottoman" strategic direction (mainly translated into the leadership of the Sunni Muslims) and turns it's ambitions towards East

(*) Anglo-Americans politically undermine EU, going as far for UK as leaving the strategic partnership

(*) Continental Europe digs into its "fundamental values" of "secularism" although in a plain hypocritical way

(*) Proxy powers, including Turkey fall into internal competitions between each other.

Posted by: ATH | Oct 26 2020 17:36 utc | 10

I interpret the fall of Turkey as a serious blow to the American Empire, as it is NATO'S second most prized possession (Germany being the first). What a sad end to the "Capitalist counterpart to Cuba" during the Cold War.

Turkey is suffering from a typical neoliberal crisis: rising debt to keep trade balance afloat, which devalues the currency, which worsens the trade balance again, which balloons the debt even more (from a greater base) and so on, in a vicious cycle that ends in default and "shock therapy" by the IMF. We've already seen this movie in Latin America during the 1990s, Greece in 2011 (against Germany, the EZ) and the Asian Tigers in 1997-1998 (those countries only escaped the fate of Latin America and Greece because China bailed them out of the crisis) and post-USSR in the 1992-1998. The most likely scenario is Erdogan to be murdered in another CIA-backed color revolution and the Turkish people to receive the "Haiti treatment" and put to its knees by an IMF shock doctrine.

Only this time it is Turkey, not some random shithole in Latin America. This makes all the difference, because Turkey really has an independent geopolitical project, and a long tradition of independence that the Latin American peoples simply don't have. Turkey may break out of the American sphere of influence as it disintegrates (although, in my opinion, the chances for that really happening are low).

The Americans must be careful with Turkey. Turkey is not Latin America: it really has an option, which is turning East.

Posted by: vk | Oct 26 2020 17:40 utc | 11

Look at what happened whan Turkey shot down the Russian jet in Syria and one of Erdoguan's reptile pets shot the Russian Ambassador. Russia halted trade with Turkey, then the sultan climbed down almost instantly. Don't be surprised to see a repeat if Russia gets ticked of again.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Oct 26 2020 17:59 utc | 12

NOAM CHOMSKY: "I’ve often myself just not bothered to vote when it didn’t matter or voted for a third party if it didn’t matter. This time is unusual. It matters. A lot. In fact, more than anything ever, literally. So, I therefore think it shouldn’t take five seconds for people to recognize we have to vote against Trump. There’s only one way to vote against Trump in our two-party system. That’s to push the lever for the Democrats. That’s voting against Trump. If you decide not to vote against Trump, you’re helping him, you’re helping him win. We can debate lots of things, but not arithmetic. If you withdraw a vote from Biden, that puts Trump one vote ahead. So, you have essentially two choices on November 3rd. Am I going to vote against Trump or am I going to help him win? I can’t imagine how there can be a discussion about that among rational people."

Posted by: pat | Oct 26 2020 18:20 utc | 13

b " Last Thursday Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean fired missiles on a oil smuggling center near Jarablus, Syria:"

Yet your linked source says it was unidentified aircraft

" injured in a missile strike by an unknown military aircraft "

So why would you make the claim you have?

Posted by: R Rose | Oct 26 2020 18:25 utc | 14

For someone who espouses being a Marxist, you sure accommodate reactionary language on the underdeveloped nations of Latin America. Who needs adversaries with 'comrades' such as yourself. One wonders what your thoughts are on the underdeveloped nations in Africa and South East Asia. Does 'shithole' come to mind as well?

Posted by: dimitrov | Oct 26 2020 18:43 utc | 15

I don’t disagree with b’s analysis, except that, IMO, b still does not give sufficient credit to the reality that Turkey can con to nice to fan dance with all sides in order to promote its own interests.
In fact, it is not to Turkeys interest to side too far or permanently with any of the powers around it.
This certainly has reinforced Erdogan’s behavior. Even as he installs S400, he hosts an enormous US base in Incirlik.
Even as Turkey supports Salafists in Syria, Turkey works with Russia to stranglehold the entry of natural gas from Centra Asia and the Middle East to Europe.
Chaos is to Erdogan’s benefit. By not outright allying to anyone and sowing chaos everywhere, it allows him to hold down the Kurds inside Turkey without a peep of protest from anyone.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 26 2020 19:24 utc | 16

Re: Pat #13,

What Chomsky leaves out is how this vote matters? What is the meaningful difference between Trump v Biden. Trump's critics keep calling him a thief, a scam artist and a traitor, well where's the proof they've spent 4 years investigating Trump for everything under the sun, but they didn't find anything they could take to court (and i'm certain they would have leaked anything they found even if it didn't meet the burden to open an investigation). At the end of the day you got to put up or shut up, and Trump's critics never put up anything except a bunch of bland slogans. I perfectly understand why people can dislike or even hate Trump, but if you yourself cant honestly express why you hate Trump while also applying that same moral logic to your preferred candidate then your opinion is just an ideological slogan of no real intellectual value.

As someone who is well aware of both candidates huge flaws, let me express Biden's massive flaws - 1. he has a history of warmongering, in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all of which were illegal wars of aggression under international law. 2 Biden is unwaveringly corrupt, from his support of usurious Credit Card company interest rates, Bankruptcy "reform", to Ukraine, China and Russia, Biden has always cut side deals for himself using his sons, his brother and his friends as intermediaries to ensure he gets his cut. 3 Biden served as VP for the what he called the "most progressive" presidency of the post-WW 2 era, but what are his accomplishments that justify rewarding him with the Presidency - NOTHING! Trump was right when he called Biden out on all of his bland platitudes to the American people during the debate, Biden talks a big game - but at the end it's just empty platitudes, he's not going to fight for anything for the American people because he represents the establishment and the establishment is perfectly happy with the too big to fail status quo, hope and change was just more of the same!

Now many of these things could be said of Trump (just the details change), but that just proves the point, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE between Trump and Biden that justifies voting for Biden over Trump. Well Chomsky is too much of a old man and a coward to tell you the Truth, but I will. The difference is that Trump's election proves that the establishment has utterly utterly failed and has been delegitimatized by these failures to such a monumental level that the "best" and "brightest" that the establishment choses to offer are rejected by the people in favor of a TV game show host! Chomsky, for all of his criticism of the establishment is at the end of the day is, in essence, the "official" gadfly of the establishment, an acceptable outlet for criticism of the establishment but with no power to either change or threaten the establishment. Perhaps in 40 years some hypothetical political leader might cite Chomsky as a reason he cast a decisive vote against a policy. But that is it, Chomsky is not trying to change the establishment or the status quo people live with now, he has never seized the moment and pushed for change because ultimately he serves the current power structure (after all, he became rich and mildly famous under this status quo). Trump's (re)election represents the failure of Chomsky's view of reform, rather than gradually changing the system from within by the base, a radical populist change of the system from the top was an option. An option Chomsky foolishly discounted and discouraged.

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 26 2020 19:25 utc | 17

I don't much agree with anything said so far. OK Erdogan is a megalomaniac, and a bit of a nutter, which he is. But he has substantial support behind him, and I would say, not unlikely to be re-elected. He is a populist. Quite Trumpish.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 19:34 utc | 18

Chomsky was infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

It is so sad. That guy used to have a mind. Now he has lost it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 26 2020 19:39 utc | 19

Erdogan's electorate is Anatolian Turkish pro-Sunni and anti-Kurdish. That explains his policy in Syria. The Kurds are a danger for him, and he can support the jihadis in Idlib. It's a mistake in my view; better to let Asad recover control over Syrian territory, and let him keep Kurdish militias in order.

The Mediterranean conflict with Greece. He's right there. The Greeks have claimed sea areas which aren't theirs, but are defended by the EU, e.g. Macron's statements.

Libya, I can't see one side as better than the other. Supporting one side at least provides employments for Syrian Turkmens, who he otherwise would like to help.

Nagorno-Karabakh. Unlike others, I don't see this as Turkish led. It might be, but more likely stimulated by Azerbaijani resentment at the Armenian take-over of part of their territory by the Armenians in the 90s. The Azerbaijanis don't seem to be doing too badly, in spite of the Armenian propaganda, supported by b for no good reason.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 20:02 utc | 20

Chomsky is wrong. This is a perfect opportunity for opposition to the duopoly to make its weight and numbers felt by refusing to vote for, their enemy, Biden.
They would not win the election but they could demonstrate the real and growing support for Socialist policies and ideas.
If the price to pay for establishing the base of a real opposition is Trump limping back into office, less harm will be done than mandating Biden et al.
When the Democrats come crawling to request your vote bear in mind that their expectation of the support of the "left" is based upon their vigorous campaigns to keep socialist candidates off the ballot. By supporting them you support your own disenfranchisement and the omnipotence of the tiny anti-social oligarchy which employees Bidens and Trumps alike.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 26 2020 20:04 utc | 21

Gary 8
He attacked syria for the saudies en israeli interest, and defended LNA against the uae and israeli interest

The SA oil money isn't there anymore.
Hard to keep things going when you haven't someone to pay the bills.

Posted by: Jpc | Oct 26 2020 20:12 utc | 22

@R Rose, #14

Yet your linked source says it was unidentified aircraft

" injured in a missile strike by an unknown military aircraft"

So why would you make the claim you have?

I have not yet found any information about the use of Russian ships.
Btw, regarding this incident, RusVesna reports:

According to preliminary information, it was the Americans who attacked the oil storage and fuel depots, guarded by pro-Turkish illegal armed groups on the Turkish-Syrian border near the Jerablus border checkpoint in Aleppo province.


Before that, the US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and strike drones were also spotted here.

Posted by: alaff | Oct 26 2020 20:22 utc | 23

It's funny, in France we have an expression " tête de Turc"( Turk's head) to designate somebody that everybody like to hate. A kind of expiatory victim.

Posted by: Darras | Oct 26 2020 20:23 utc | 24

Kadath @Oct26 19:25 #17

Trump's election proves that the establishment has utterly utterly failed and has been delegitimatized by these failures to such a monumental level that the "best" and "brightest" that the establishment choses to offer are rejected by the people in favor of a TV game show host!

Sorry Kadath, but this is just not right. Here's why:
  1. Hillary won the popular vote.

  2. It's difficult not-to-notice that the election was rigged:

    • Bernie as sheepdog;
    • Trump as the only MAGA! Nationalist and only populist in the Republican Primary

      Eighteen other smart, seasoned politicians didn't adjust their campaign(s) in any way that could effectively stop Trump which the Republican establishment supposedly hated;

    • Hillary's mistakes that no seasoned candidate would make:
      - screwing progressives;

      - ignoring/alienating the black vote;

      - insulting whites (deplorables!)

      - not campaigning (in the closing weeks) in the 3 states SHE KNEW would decide the election.

And why was it rigged? Because the Deep State Empire managers need a populist hero/'Glorious Leader' to lead the charge against Russia & China.

Thucydides Trap!


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 26 2020 20:33 utc | 25

Wouldn't it be sweet if Israel stepped in to keep Azerbaijan supplied with drones, artillery, and cluster bombs to fill any void created by Turkish shortages?

Pompeo / Trump could take one last shot at threatening Iran and adding more life destroying sanctions because of Iran's highly aggressive deployment of security forces on their northern border.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Oct 26 2020 20:39 utc | 26

Somewhere in CHappaqua...Hillary is celebrating her birthday...
Watching Amy Coney Barrett being sworn into the SCOTUS.


Posted by: JoeG | Oct 26 2020 20:40 utc | 27

@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 26 2020 17:24 utc | 9

The irony of a french president condemning "islamist separatism" is certainly quite rich. And following a gruesome beheading no less.

I suppose it's just another example of that regular cognitive miracle. One where, for years on end, a nation's entire narrative war effort is focused entirely on glorifying the image of what can hardly be described as anything but "islamist separatist". A cognitive miracle indeed when one considers that the french were amongst the most enthusiastic imperial participants who turned the one african country with the highest living standard into the sorry mess of rubble and ash it is today.

A few years later, when the same wizards turned their attention to the middle east aiming to separate yet another secular nation into war-torn wastelands, considerable expense and effort were invested in building entire armies of bearded meanies.

The miracle is in the disconnect. The complete absence of empathy for our own victims while we commemorate our relatively tiny national trauma.

Posted by: robin | Oct 26 2020 20:44 utc | 28

"Under pressure and likely to escalate"

Effectively means a just-for-show pissing match with Empire-functionary Macron and military action against Russian interests.

I suspect that we will soon see similar amorphous "under pressure" escalations directed toward enemies of the Empire.

Just a hunch.

<> <> <> <> <>

Occam's razor + Thucydides Trap = every Empire sphincter is now "under pressure and likely to escalate".

The coming shit show will be legendary.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 26 2020 20:56 utc | 29

thanks b... great coverage... i am curious reading the question @ R Rose | Oct 26 2020 18:25 utc | 14 asks as well, if you can answer...

fascinating comments.. thanks everyone... would be good to stay on the topic though.. this thread is not about the usa election, in spite of the odd poster trying to make it yet another conversation on the usa election.. please desist and take it to the open thread.. thanks...

@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 26 2020 17:15 utc | 7.. as b notes, erdogan wasn't having economic woes back in 2013.. but things have gone downhill since.. i get it that turkey is in a critical place with regard to syria, russia and playing a role in nato and etc. etc.... one would have to be an amazing strategist to stay on top of all the potential conflict given turkeys set up... at the same time everyone seems to agree erdogan is a survivor within turkey.. it has more to do with who he is or isn't going to piss off by taking a particular stand, outside of playing to the home base in turkey... i tend to strongly agree with b's projection in the last 3 sentences / paragraphs of his post... read them and tell me if you see it differently.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 20:57 utc | 30

@ atabrit... i can't read your FT links.. they require a password as it is a subscription thing... copy and paste the key parts, as i am curious - if you feel like it...

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 20:58 utc | 31

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 20:02 utc | 20

«The Mediterranean conflict with Greece. He's right there.» Where do you base your argument? Greece’s claims are based on existing treaties (Lausanne) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. You must be either an Turkogan acolyte or a troll to make such a claim. Put up to shut up.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 21:01 utc | 32

Chomsky, a Jew, has a nice cushy job at MIT therefore he can't really go against a system that feeds him and tell the truth. He can only dance around the truth and give you glimpses of it so to speak. Just like everybody else, he is right about some things while omitting others. You can't blame the guy, if he begins to speak the truth, he will be disappeared. That's the problem with human society in a nutshell: Nobody can tell you the complete truth about anything; there are always conditions. Even Russia's TASS Cant tell you the complete truth: for example, when Armenia's S-300 were destroyed, TASS called them "equipment" instead of coming outright and telling us it was S-300 systems. RT has began to actively censor all my comments; when I pointed out that the Biden tapes were "alleged" and therefore cannot be linked to, RT chose to tell my my comment didn't fit the "community standards". haha, poor RT, we hardly knew ye.

That is why sites such as mooonofalabama are so important: they are mostly noise free and you can get much better handle on the truth than at any of the corporate owned propaganda outlets.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 26 2020 21:06 utc | 33

Wouldn't it be sweet if Israel stepped in to keep Azerbaijan supplied with drones, artillery, and cluster bombs to fill any void created by Turkish shortages?

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Oct 26 2020 20:39 utc | 25

That might backfire, if Azerbaijan goes for Islamism.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:07 utc | 34

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 21:01 utc | 31

Ah, another Greek partisan! Why should seas hundreds of kilometres southeast of Greece belong to Greece, and not to Turkey, which is much nearer?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:16 utc | 35

Seems my comment went AWOL. It contained a link to an Asia Times article about Russia bringing its #1 drone killing device to Armenia where it's been very successful. IMO, Erdogan's replacement will be of a distinctly different sort which will confirm Russia's Long Game strategy regarding Turkey. Further Turkish economic development can't happen without the infusion of Chinese cash and expertise, and those won't materialize as long as it plays with terrorists and their ideology. Turkey's future lies in Asia, but Erdogan just can't seem to wean himself of his Europeanistic fetish.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 26 2020 21:21 utc | 36

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:16 utc | 34... you are right about proximity of these island to turkey verses greece, but it is my understanding the treaties bill refers to were in exchange for land given up to turkey by the greece.... it sounds like you are in agreement to revoke these treaties... i say this as a neutral player here... do i read you correctly? ps - i have visited some of these islands too..

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 21:23 utc | 37

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 26 2020 21:21 utc | 35

You're quite wrong in thinking that Erdogan is interested in being a member of the EU.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:31 utc | 38

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:16 utc | 34

I told you to “put up or shut up”. You, obviously, have no basis whatsoever to back up your statements and have elected to make “partisanship” statements. So shut up. Claims on the international level are based on either treaties or international law. You seem to be ignorant of that fact or you are an acolyte of the modern day Hitler. So long...

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 21:46 utc | 39

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 21:23 utc | 36

Greece has her miniature islands off the Turkish coast, that's as it is. It shouldn't give Greece rights over hundreds of kilometres of seabed, right up to the junction with Egypt. What happened to Turkey's rights?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:48 utc | 40

@ laguerre... fair point! thanks.. i don't know all the details and i suspect very few do....

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 21:52 utc | 41

Foreign pooicy of Turkey a decade or so ago was one of having friendly relations with its neighbours. Not funny how that has worked out.

ASB News / MILITARYPart alternation mark
Erdogan just called for boycott of French goods.

So Turkey, NATO member, is about to get into another conflict - with ANOTHER NATO member. (2 now)

If Bob has a problem with everyone, bob is the problem.

Turkey is Bob.

Don’t be like Bob.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 26 2020 22:00 utc | 42

@ james | Oct 26 2020 21:23 utc | 36

The proximity of some of the Greek islands to Turkey has nothing to do with ownership, which was established with the treaty of Lausanne. As an example, Saint Pierre and Miquelon are a few miles from Canada and 3K miles from France but they are French! And the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea explicitly states that islands have territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (something that @Laguerre seems to conveniently ignore). So, that’s the framework on which Greece is basing its claims in the SE Mediterranean.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:01 utc | 43

Lest we forget:

Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 26 2020 22:02 utc | 44

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 21:48 utc | 39

Turkey has no rights in those waters based on international law and the treaties she has signed. Plain and simple. We can argue whether that’s fair but life is not always fair.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:08 utc | 45

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 21:46 utc | 38

Personal abuse is typical of current day exchanges on the internet. You interrupted me on a whatsapp call with my correspondent in Samarra (do you know where that is?).

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:17 utc | 46

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:17 utc | 45

OK, we have established beyond reasonable doubt that you are a troll.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:20 utc | 47

would you two cool it?? neither of you are trolls, but you are both acting silly.. get along!

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 22:21 utc | 48

There are a number of disputable 'facts' in b's post, the biggest one being:
"It is now likely that Turkey will order its 'Syrian rebel' mercenaries to escalate the war in Idleb. Russia and Syria have been waiting for this and are well prepared."

Yeah right the Russians are so well prepared that they waited until November to try and make Turkey push back? Winter is setting in, a time when it is impossible for a meaningful engagement by either side. This is just more Moscow posturing an effort to placate the indignation of Syrians towards Russia's nonchalant gift of a chunk of Syria to Turkey.
Syrians are unlikely to fall for this garbage they know that by March/ April 2021 the earliest time when real preparations for an actual conflict could be made, the situation between Russia & Turkey will have moved on and Syria will still be missing a large chunk of its sovereign territory.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 26 2020 22:24 utc | 49

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:01 utc | 42

To regard St Pierre et Miquelon as a good example, off Newfoundland, do those little islands have the rights to hundreds of kilometres of seabed, and prevent Canada from exploiting its rights? James should be able to tell us.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:27 utc | 50

@ Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:01 utc | 42

The problem is that the Treaty of Lausanne is unfair, as it gives disproportional privilege to coastal nations and naval power.

Greece's claims - albeit technically correct - are absurd. If you take into account its islands collection seriously, Turkey is basically a landlocked nation. Do you think it's fair for Turkey - a country that encompasses the whole Asia Minor (Anatolia) the to have only a small strip of the Eastern Mediterranean (Antioch)? That's a disproportional preference for Europe in detriment of Asia.

Posted by: vk | Oct 26 2020 22:28 utc | 51

OK, we have established beyond reasonable doubt that you are a troll.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:20 utc | 46

Ok we have established your ignorance.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:29 utc | 52


On a paywall for FT, try the Bypass Paywalls extension

Works for me.

Posted by: F | Oct 26 2020 22:36 utc | 53

would you two cool it??

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 22:21 utc | 47

Not me who's causing the problem. Only the know-it-all.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:40 utc | 54

The Americans hope Erdogan turns Turkey east or better Turkey gets eaten alive and Erdogan is found in the after scrap. Asia needs Turkey. Trump, in charge at the USA, apparently has obligations that require him to cause the USA to support Turkey?

Posted by: snake | Oct 26 2020 22:44 utc | 55

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 26 2020 22:24 utc | 48

I don't agree. Syria/Russia could take back Idlib any time. It is US threats of intervention which hold them back.

Idlib has become feeble, divided and confused. It is US support which is keeping them going.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 22:49 utc | 56

@ vk | Oct 26 2020 22:28 utc | 50

“The problem is that the Treaty of Lausanne is unfair, as it gives disproportional privilege to coastal nations and naval power. Greece's claims - albeit technically correct - are absurd.”

As I’ve stated before, you don’t make international claims on fairness or absurdness. BTW, are you aware that you cannot unilaterally change/revise a treaty you’ve signed without the consent of the other treaty signatories? The treaty of Lausanne established the borders of modern day Turkey not only with Greece but with all its neighbors (Syria, Iraq, Armenia, etc.). If Greece’s claims are “absurd”, what are Turkey’s claims? Have you seen the map with Turkey’s claims in the Aegean? If that were to be accepted, Greece would need to ask Turkey’s approval to sail or fly commercial (not military) ships to its islands! Isn’t that more “absurd”?

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:55 utc | 57

I have to say that Bill is correct, that Greece's claims are based on the Treaty of Lausanne and also on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (which incidentally Turkey has not signed), both independently and as a member of the EU.

Barflies can dispute whether the Treaty of Lausanne is fair to both Greece and Turkey with respect to their maritime and airspace claims but until something better replaces the Treaty of Lausanne and the UN Convention of the Sea - and this means the EU, Egypt, Libya and Cyprus among others have to agree to new definitions and to changes in maritime borders - the current maritime borders between Greece, Turkey and other parties in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Sea regions have to be respected. "Competing Maritime Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean"

Greece's maritime zone is in green and Turkey's is in purple.

Greece historically has played a dominant role in the global shipping industry out of all proportion to the nation's size and population. The Greek shipping industry may have had some influence on Greece's insistence on maintaining its current maritime territory, for better and for worse. Perhaps if Greek shipping magnates were to pay their taxes the way other Greeks are expected to do, and didn't launder their money buying up properties in tax havens in Europe, the shipping industry might be a lot smaller and Greece's claims to parts of its south-eastern economic maritime zone might look a bit more fragile.

On the other hand, Turkey is doing itself no favours antagonising its near maritime neighbours to its north as well as to its west and south in order to deflect the TUrkish public's attention away from its declining currency and economy, and other problems.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 26 2020 23:03 utc | 58

@ james | Oct 26 2020 22:21 utc | 47

“would you two cool it??”

Well, James you can see yourself who is presenting fact-based arguments and who is bullshitting, sorry, trolling.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 23:04 utc | 59

And, while Erdogan is so busy intervening in myriad conflicts abroad, how is he doing with the pandemic?

Where are his numbers?

I very doubt he is doing better than Spain...and there you do not see Turkey at the front pages...

BTW, as a side note, some Covid negationists have attacked with Molotov cocktails HQ of German Koch Institute...

Wondering whether this is the "coming shit" Jackrabbit refers to so intriguingly in his, this time, succint post...I would like him to elaborate...

IMHO, that Pompeo calls for a ceasefire anyhwere is quite suspicious, I. like that can not see this man making any effort for peace anywhere...This is probably theater...
His call to Lukashenko past saturday translated into a new intend of storming of presidential residence in Minsk...More shit...

One would say everybody is positioning for when Trump is confirmed after reelection...Then the fat lady will guess..and we will know what al that shit about Navalny meant...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 26 2020 23:09 utc | 60

Posted by: Bill | Oct 26 2020 22:55 utc | 56

Bill is a great troll, well paid by the Greek government I hope.

The area west of Cyprus claimed by the Greeks, and now investigated by the Turks, is far from Greece. You wouldn't think the Greeks had anything to say, but they and their trolls do.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 23:14 utc | 61

The point of view of Blue Dotterel and Laguerre is very extreme. It is not only a debate but something that Turkey (including long before Erdogan) has been and continues to be willing to kill and displace a lot of people for.

The invasion and continued internationally condemned occupation of northern Cyprus being a very clear old example and the case of northern Syria a very clear current example.

Every time Turkey continues on this path it adds weight to any arguments that it was a mistake to accept the creation of modern Turkey. I'm convinced certain parts of the US PTB salivate at such a thought and the possibilities. They failed once and will try again sooner or later.

Because of the Bosporus Russia saved Erdogan and true to his nature he repaid them with deceit and disdain.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 26 2020 23:14 utc | 62

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 26 2020 23:14 utc | 61

I.e. Greece is good, and Turkey is bad, that's all you have to say.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 23:21 utc | 63

Turkey is seizing what the US wants it to seize. Period.

Turkey is the central command of the proxy army.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 26 2020 23:23 utc | 64

Contrary to what vk is claiming, the Lausanne Treaty is not unfair; it is the result of a negotiated settlement. Turkey was a signatory. It is also passing strange to claim that Turkey is a "landlocked" country. It has a claim, and by treaty controls entry through the Bosphorus Strait and thus controls military entry into the Black Sea. For being so landlocked Turkey has still managed to project naval power in the Mediterranean, and to insinuate its way into the affairs of Libya.

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 26 2020 23:32 utc | 65

No Laguerre I say quite a lot more but you don't want to understand it, nor do you understand that you and Blue Dotterel represent the worst enemies of Turkey who will ensure its destruction if you're successful. If I wanted war and misery for Turks I would be supporting you instead of arguing against you.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 27 2020 0:08 utc | 66

@ Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 23:14 utc | 60

“Bill is a great troll, well paid by the Greek government I hope.”

I am not a troll and I am not paid by anyone. I state the facts as they have developed by existing international law and treaties, in this case the Lausanne Treaty. You are the one trying to convince us that Turkey has rights using statements like “too far from this or that”. Unfortunately for you and Turkey, rights cannot be claimed on such a basis. And, BTW, vk’s statement that, under the Lausanne Treaty, Turkey is a “landlocked” country is baseless. Go take a look at a map, Turkey has extensive coastlines in the Black Sea and in the SE Mediterranean (beyond the waters claimed by Greece). Erdogan , like Hitler, is simply greedy and thinks he cam impose his will on his neighbors.

Posted by: Bill | Oct 27 2020 0:11 utc | 67

I would have some sympathy for Turkey if they didn't utterly waste territory such as Famagusta and related areas. Creating a huge ghost town is absurd.

Posted by: Eighthman | Oct 27 2020 0:13 utc | 68

Posted by: Darras | Oct 26 2020 20:23 utc | 23
"It's funny, in France we have an expression 'tête de Turc (Turks head)' to designate somebody that everybody like to hate. A kind of expiatory victim."

In English we would say a scapegoat, which in ancient times, was one of a pair of twin kids, or baby goats. One twin was sacrificed (not the scapegoat), and the living “scapegoat” was pelted with stones until it fled into the wilderness, taking with it all the sins and impurities of the people.

Posted by: groucho | Oct 27 2020 0:43 utc | 69

Let it be the end of Erdoğan and his corrupt conniving band of delusionists.

Posted by: Norogene | Oct 27 2020 1:14 utc | 70

I always believed that Russia can finish the rebels in Adlib along with the Syrian army and liberate the land , the USA has no business of being in Syria.
Putin can finish this issue tomorrow.

Posted by: Bobby | Oct 27 2020 1:34 utc | 71

Just heard that Bombardier has stopped supplying engines for Erdogan's drones, that would end the air supremacy/drone warfare by Erdogan.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 27 2020 2:30 utc | 72

The link to a map of Greece's maritime borders in my comment @ 57 isn't working so try this one instead.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 27 2020 2:32 utc | 73

"Trump's critics keep calling him a thief, a scam artist and a traitor, well where's the proof they've spent 4 years investigating Trump for everything under the sun, but they didn't find anything they could take to court (and i'm certain they would have leaked anything they found even if it didn't meet the burden to open an investigation). At the end of the day you got to put up or shut up, and Trump's critics never put up anything except a bunch of bland slogans."
Posted by: Kadath | Oct 26 2020 19:25 utc | 17

Oh yeah Kadath? How about the murder/assassination of Soleimani admittedly ordered directly by Trump?
This act was both an international crime, and a crime of murder.

How about you go fuck yourself with an american flag? Better yet- how about the notion of one of your family members being blown apart into little pieces, pieces you can pick up yourself and wrap in that american flag of yours? I love me some american selfish scum- and you are scum, selfish, ignorant scum. Is that a bland enough slogan for you bitch?

Posted by: CitizenX | Oct 27 2020 2:49 utc | 74

@ Jen #72
How about this one.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2020 3:16 utc | 75

@VK As a Latin American, I am insulted by the crude language you use to refer to the region, worthy of a racist character like Trump. It is true, there are differences between Turkey, which was the former Ottoman Empire, and us, who were subjugated by the Spanish and Portuguese empires. However, there are advances as shown by the recent elections in Bolivia and the referendum in Chile, which you probably haven't noticed.
I have visited Turkey as a journalist and tourist, and I have also noticed that their standard of living is very similar to that of Latin America. And our region probably has an advantage, because it is getting rid of warlike dictators who manipulate religion and nationalism in their favor, like Erdogan.

Posted by: Gabriel Moyssen | Oct 27 2020 3:47 utc | 76

@ F | Oct 26 2020 22:36 utc | 52... thanks... i will see if i can work it out.. i am on a brave browser...

@ laguerre and bill... thanks...

@ citzenx .. umm, i think kadath is a canuck.. you might want to consider all they say from a different angle, lol...

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2020 3:49 utc | 77

vk #11

The Americans must be careful with Turkey. Turkey is not Latin America: it really has an option, which is turning East.

Thanks vk but I can't see any logical support for that proposition. Turkey has alienated its eastern 'admirers'? much more than EU USA. The Arab nations barely tolerate them unless where the Muslim Brotherhood is 'in power'. Turkish leadership has taken their brethren into a trap and is unlikely to retreat unscathed. Being 'liked' by shia Azerbaijan is not 'turning east'.

Turkish chauvinism has no concept of defeat, no patience with any other's superiority, no comprehension of backing down. They are very similar to the USAi and they will lose, they will be shown as inferiors, they will be beaten back and downed. Its not just their simpleton leadership, its their simpleton bully attitude. The path of the loser is the path set out by Turkey. The USAi is dumber than the north and south americans, those good people would never be so stupid as to follow the USAi unless their political class were fully owned puppets. The south american nations have many options and many intelligent, resourceful leaders. They are finding ways forward outside of USAi mendacity and totalitarian control.

The USAi is a ruling class of warmongering barnacles on the arse of humanity and the sooner they are totally destroyed the better.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 27 2020 4:12 utc | 78

Quite ignorant rant regarding Latin America indeed. Those you call "shithole" have more "huevos" than your dear Turks. When have Turks dared go against the Empire. In the shithole, countries, regardless of their size or the chances to succeed, did rise against the US: Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile (Allende), Peru (Velasco), Venezuela etc. Besides it's much more dangerous to irk Uncle Sam being in his backyard than a Turkey thousands of kilometers away.

Posted by: Jaime | Oct 27 2020 4:13 utc | 79

Chuba @ 25
Wouldn't it be sweet if Israel stepped in to keep Azerbaijan supplied with drones, artillery, and cluster bombs to fill any void created by Turkish shortages?

Hell, it would not be beyond the Israelis to sell the parts or drones they need to Turkey itself. Money transcends politics and religion. They are already selling drones to Azerbaijan.

It would not surprise me if the Israelis used their political connections in the West to cut the off parts to Turkey so they can sell them and make some cash money. More Chaos in the region works for them quite well. Some cash does not hurt either.

Posted by: circumspect | Oct 27 2020 4:53 utc | 80

"Sultan" Turdogans troll farm seems to be awfully busy with this site and since they're paid in worthless Lira's it'll take a lot of trolling for them to get something other than misguided patriotism and fanaticism out of it. Modern day turkey is built upon the bones of millions of genocided Greeks, Armenians and other people who inhabited these lands thousands of years before the turks got tired of e eating rats and rodents in their native Mongolia and decided to infest westward civilisations with their primitive barbarism and they havn't evolved one iota since. wherever you dig in turkey you'll find evidence of those great civilisations. Russia has made a good effort to bring medieval minded turkey into the 21st century and lead they way east but to no avail...

Posted by: Mia | Oct 27 2020 4:58 utc | 81

Try this link for a good laugh:

Posted by: Mia | Oct 27 2020 5:17 utc | 82

Don Bacon @ 74: Ah, much better - thanks very much! :-)

Posted by: Jen | Oct 27 2020 5:25 utc | 83

Oh goddammit, I came back in the hope that the angry idiots would have crawled back under their rocks yet I see that as quick as one goes another ignorati shows up, complete with its own racist rants, tailor made from its very own carefully cultivated prejudices.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 27 2020 5:40 utc | 84

funny and informative at the same time, thanks

Posted by: Deadcandance | Oct 27 2020 5:52 utc | 85

Turkey can add China to its list of opponents. The terrorism enabled by Turkey in 2014-15 in China was aired out publicly by China but never highlighted so knowledge of it remains low key. Turkey is a danger to China. In 2014-15 Turkey enabled Uighur terrorism in China by supplying thousands of fake Turkish passports to ex-filtrate Uighurs. It was part of a plan to recruit fighters in Syria. The imprint is still there. Currently one of the four main insurgent groups in Idlib is Uighur. The Kunming train station attack in 2014 that killed dozens was done by Uighurs who may have wanted to but were stymied in following the Turkish directed flow to Southeast Asia. A Turkish bomber killed several Chinese tourists in an attack in 2015 in Bangkok in retaliation. If Turkey succeeds against Armenia it will fire up Turkish visions of pan-Turkic grandeur and prove the worth of the model of dropping terrorists from Syria to accomplish foreign policy goals. Xinjiang could one day be a destination for a Turkish organized return of terrorists. It would be foolish of China to not more actively support Armenia. I wonder where Turkey might try to get substitute components now that Austria and Canada have banned exports?

Posted by: China | Oct 27 2020 6:32 utc | 86

You forgot Turkish violations of Cyprus, occupation, further illegal taking of territory just last week Varosha. Also the conflict between Greece and Turkey is not some equal opportunity conflict, Turkey has claimed nearly half of the Aegean this year, which according to intl law is Greek territory. Lastly, Israel was included in the list of countries that Turkey has violated, but I can't seem to recall exactly what they did to Israel beyond some rhetoric. Turkey and Israel remain permanent allies, and whatever criticisms are for domestic consumption and legitimacy in front of the Arabs.

Posted by: David | Oct 27 2020 6:41 utc | 87

Mia #81

Try this link for a good laugh:

Thank you Mia 👬 That was enough to make a turkish brawny male blush. If you post too many b will be up all night fighting off the demons.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 27 2020 6:48 utc | 88

H.Schmatz #63

Turkey is seizing what the US wants it to seize. Period.

Turkey is the central command of the proxy army.

Thank you and absolutely correct. Incirlik air base - nuff said.

Russia just keeps the dance in motion and wins ground sometimes with the Turkish war whore.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 27 2020 6:51 utc | 89

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 26 2020 20:02 utc | 20

I would agree with all your points, except that on Syria, a large number of Turks, disagree with Erdoğan's policy. This includes the opposition which generally supports the other positions.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 27 2020 7:16 utc | 90

Posted by: james | Oct 26 2020 20:57 utc | 29

Yes, I would agree with b generally. However, at this point in time Erdoğan is mostly engaged in keeping his position given the economic crisis.

His Neo-Ottomanism these days is less important than retaining his public support. Syria and the economy are a drag, but supporting Libya, the East Med rights and Azerbaijan are winners, as there are clear injustices to defend. I do not view these as Davutoğlu's Neo-Ottomanism, but Turkey's interests. He doesn't always handle them well, but they are supported even by his opponents, unlike Syria these days.

The insensitivity of the West to Islam is also something that Erdoğan is correct to support, and he agrees with much of the Muslim world on this. This is worse in that most "Islamic" terrorist organizations were set up by the West, including France in the first place. Remember the Taliban, Al Qaeda, even Hamas was apparently set up by Israel.

All this, to create a Green (Islamic) Revolution to offset the appeal of socialism, communism and secular nationalism (the bugbear of Neoliberal Capitalism)in the secular Muslim youth before the fall of the USSR. And, of course, to undermine the USSR in Afghanistan and central Asia. That is where the Gülen movement came in.

The beheading of that teacher is ulimately the responsibility of the West, not Islam.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 27 2020 7:35 utc | 91

Tête de Turc ,as an expression refers in the first place to the contraption on fairs and fêtes de village,where the youngsters would show their strenghth to their friends and the public by hitting hard a big woodblock often carved in the shape of a turbanned head with a large wooden forehammer.When hit hard enough it made go up another piece along a fifteen-foot pole that eventually rung a bell up above.How is that called in english?

Posted by: willie | Oct 27 2020 7:45 utc | 92


One thing that everybody tends to forget about Uyghurs and Chinese is that both are tenants of quite different civilizations for several thousands of years,and they know each other very well,from telltales and folklore,because they have been neighbours for over 2000 years.

Now some german missionary concocts a paper and all MSM says it is the truth.Only Nato affiliated countries take it for true,no muslim countries,not even Turkey.

Posted by: willie | Oct 27 2020 7:58 utc | 93

Posted by: David | Oct 27 2020 6:41 utc | 87

"You forgot Turkish violations of Cyprus". You obviously do not know the history of this issue, or have only seen it through "Western eyes".

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 27 2020 8:01 utc | 94

How about "the sick man of Europe"? Turdogan didn't improve that diagnose for the better did he? Whenever west or Russia calls his bluff he immediately backs off. that happened abackedt an attempt to force a second wave of turkish trained rapefugees and terrorists into the EU.didn't work. Then he tried an offensive with his cutthroat army in idlib but were surrounded by the SAA. Didn't work. Then he went to the eastern med to steal Greece and Cypriot oil and gas resources but was rammed by Greece and ran into the French navy. Didn't work. Erdogan chickened of back to turkey. Then he went to Libya but ran into Egypt and Russia and backed off again and then to the Caucasus to stir up pan turkish shit there and to get some cash from the welthier Az-turks but this won't work either. He's on a constant run trying to deflect the attention from the affairs of the Erdogan clan and turkey's crashed economy. It might work on his illiterate rural electorate but only for so long...

Posted by: Mia | Oct 27 2020 8:22 utc | 95

@ Posted by: pat | Oct 26 2020 18:20 utc | 13

I always knew Chomsky was a psyop. His so-called 'linguistics theory' is trash.

And I should vote against Trump, the only president who didn't start a war?

I actually plan to vote against the Dem Party fascists.

Posted by: blues | Oct 27 2020 8:30 utc | 96

Following on from ‘b’s comments on Turkey's defense industry (loved the ‘Russia has a real defense industry line), a key part of its regional power play, here's an interesting piece, Turkey’s Unpromising Defense Industry, bare in mind that it was written prior to the drone export bans etc.

One very interesting point is the claim that “a $1.5 billion export contract between Turkey and Pakistan for thirty attack choppers, signed in 2018, remains unfulfilled. The contract will likely fall through, because of the US blocking the export license for the engine needed.”

The more we learn about Turkey’s dependence on foreign technologies the more the recent Ukrainian agreement seems logical. The question is whether the Ukraine really is prepared to share its military technologies with Turkey. ‘Support for NATO membership’ from Turkey is hardly an appropriate price!

(p.s. I am aware its Carnegie, but that doesn’t invalidate the factual aspect of the article, hence my linking it here.)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 27 2020 8:45 utc | 97

@Bill / @the ever delightful Laguerre

If Turkey's actual motive is its belief that it has the right to dispute territorial waters why did it refuse point blank to engage in legal resolution at the ICJ as proposed by the EU from the off?
Probably because the rights it claims to occupied Cyprus's territorial waters would also be open for legal resolution!

Turkey's actions are indefensible in terms of 'rights'. In all arenas Turkey pursues its own interests with no regard for any international law or any other nation's rights, and no regard for the human cost involved unless politically expedient.

And @BlueDottrel.
To suggest that the opposition 'support' the Libya, E.Med and Azeri campaigns is disingenuous to say the least. The topics are presented in such a way that not to support them is to be labelled a traitor or a terrorist, and all opposition ministers are mindful of the ongoing witch-hunt being carried out to politically decapitate as many opposition figures as possible.

No, the issue is that the opposition has trod carefully and has made it very clear that Erdogan's actions are indefensible and that he has been too quick to engage militarily. And have accused him on many occasions of u-turning, of trying to 'veil over' economic problems at home, of preparing the ground for early election etc. So, no. Opposition ministers do not defend Erdogan's actions. You are misleading people intentionally.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 27 2020 9:11 utc | 98

Laguerre is not a troll but a self proclaimed keeper of the Truth. When faced with arguments that goes beyond his narrow mind, he becomes violent and automatically despise his oponent. In a good old Leninist fashion, "if you cannot destroy the idea, destroy the man". he lives in a Bush era world were "if you are not with me, you are against me".
Of course he is wrong 100% on the maritime boundaries and treaty of Lausanne. If you open that swiss box, then there is also the questions of all the border land like the Alexandrette region stolen from Syria. It should be returned to Syria as a whole. Also what about the Armenia borders ? much of the Northen border must be return to it. Definitely another no brain move of Erdogan to question this treaty.

Posted by: murgen23 | Oct 27 2020 9:16 utc | 99

"The beheading of that teacher is ulimately the responsibility of the West, not Islam"

One of the most cowardly and deceitful comments I have seen on this site. Straight from the mouths of Muslim Brotherhood AKP.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 27 2020 9:31 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.