As a reader wrote to me from Turkey, what is going on in the wake of the runoff election is very complicated, and I have little time for it, but it is newsworthy. I suggest you try to read up on what is happening, especially between the lines: Bianet in English, Duvar, Ahwaz, etc. You should be able you will find all the information you need for background on Turkey and the Elections.
I had asked him, or made a loaded statement in passing, “I am sure you are surprised as me with the election outcome, but “What Changes with Elections Results in Turkey, IF ANYTHING?” We already knew who would win, and [if he had not], it would have been earth-shaking!
The response was also a bit tongue in cheek, “The important thing is that you avoid the use of stereotypes such as the Sultan (Erdogan is not a Sultan in any way) or ‘Turkish Gandhi’ (Kilicdaroglu is no Gandhi at all) ….”
Already, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who portrays himself as a defender of traditional Islamic values, has once again taken a stand in the post-election period against ‘LGBT’, and its supporters, and insists that liberal Western ideology will never infiltrate his ruling party or its nationalist allies, he says.
This is but only the starting, as he has a memory like an elephant, and so do the Turkish People. Now Germany and other alleged allies will go into damage control too over their petty statement and efforts to bring about régime change in Turkey, a NATO ally – and is the largest standing army of any European NATO member.
Of course, Biden and his peers only wanted régime change by “fair, free and open elections (like in the US), but it is obvious that when NED (is banned in Russia) goes about supporting democracy around the world, things go in another direction, NED (is banned in Russia) and Biden have many travelers in EU countries– as my enemy’s enemy is my friend, now too they are reaping what they sowed.
Harvest for the EU too
It should come as no surprise that those who loathed him the most, Joe Biden, and many vocal ones in the EU, “liebe Uschi,” are amongst the first in line to congratulate him in what can be described as an upset victory. Ursula von de Leyen claims on her Twitter page that she looks forward to building the EU-Türkiye relationship. It is of strategic importance for both the EU and Türkiye to work on advancing this relationship, for the benefit of our people”, she wrote.
What she fails to consider is that what is of strategic important is Türkiye’s sovereignty as a mediator between west and east (Russia) – and the same should apply to Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine … (!!)
It should be “No “Either – Or,” and “No blackmail liebe Uschi (you are not NATO’s secretary general) … let us all laugh that now EU leaders are congratulating Erdogan for his surprised and his comeback from behind runoff victory.”
Obviously, with this in mind, in terms of a consistent foreign policy, and such EU support, nice words, Erdogan will continue to try to become a regional power independent of NATO, the European Union, and especially the woke and finger-pointing US-administration.
Payback for Joe Biden
What will especially worrying for the US is that Erdogan will likely continue to strengthen Turkey’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has been worrying for Turkey’s Western allies, as they know that NATO without Turkey being on board is nothing but a paper tiger.
The conversation is already started, not only as to how he won the election, which is now a moot point as the deck was stacked against him in so many different ways, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake, and economic turmoil, high inflation, and what all has not gone well in Turkey in recent years.
This is the realization that many will have a hard time grasping, “Recep Tayyib Erdogan will remain president of Turkey for another five years after winning the run-off election over his long-time rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
If he serves the full five-year term, he will have held power for 26 years – almost the entire history of Turkey in the 21st century. And now the main issue, “What is likely to happen in the country in the foreseeable future?”
From the closed ranks, think tankers, and those in the opposition, it is more a statement – “A vital NATO power, with an economy in trouble, just gave its strongman president five more years. Does that mean we are to hold our breath until something bad happens, or is staged to transpire, as a false flag or worse?
As the typical opposition will claim, “he is moving the country into a more authoritarian state, through his influence over most of the media and the imprisonment of leading opposition and civil society figures.” And that is just for starters!
The most discerning issue for those against him, which is the consensus amongst the Collective West, is that Turkey has become a crucial actor and a “defiant ally” on many vital issues, not least Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Even they admit that now the election is over, Erdoğan is more powerful than ever. Turkey’s NATO allies will be watching anxiously to see whether he delivers on his promises or on his threats and added, [on both].
Ankara refused to join sanctions on Russia following Vladimir Putin’s special operations in Ukraine, which is described as an invasion in the Western press. They want to point out how the action has complicated matters, and Turkey as a NATO member is playing two ends against the middle, i.e., “Turkey has approved Finland’s entry into the alliance but is still blocking the membership of Sweden.”
Even before the elections Turkey had a “special” and growing relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite mounting pressure on Ankara to help bolster Western sanctions against Moscow, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an exclusive interview ahead of the recent presidential election runoff, he said to CNN.
This is much to the dismay of the US State Department, US Ministry of Defense and NATO, and there are US nuclear weapons stockpiled in Turkey. Erdoğan does not forget when US President Joe Biden for calling him an “autocrat” in his 2020 campaign for the White House.
It is worth noting that Erdoğan is quoted as saying in the CNN interview, “Would a dictator ever enter a runoff election?” He has not forgotten during interview with The New York Times in late 2019, then as one of the US-presidential candidates,” criticized his policy towards the Kurds, and advocated throwing his support behind the Turkish opposition.
I wonder what would have been the reaction if it was Erdoğan who was describing Biden as the same. That would now be considered an accurate and most-fitting description of the US president and his since implemented US policies, or total lack thereof, both at home and abroad.
“He has to pay a price,” Biden said at the time, and these quotes are not forgotten, and by [adding] that Washington should embolden Turkish opposition leaders “to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup but by the electoral process.” It is also an open question just how much did the US actually play in the attempted Turkish coup plot in recent history—and Turks know everything.
Now we can understand why Erdoğan was the last leader of a NATO ally to acknowledge Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. It is good to know that Biden’s comfort level was diminished a “great deal” back then, based on his own admission in the NYTs interview, so much so that now it must be non-existent.
Will Turkey be flying Russian Planes?
Biden should remember his own business dealing, wheeling and dealing words, as he said in the NYTs, “Erdoğan has to pay a price. He has to pay a price for whether or not we’re going to continue to sell certain weapons to him. In fact, if he has the air defense system that they’re flying F-16s through to see how they can try to figure out how to do it.”
Biden should be both concerned and worried!
I am sure Biden would like to eat his words now, especially this part of the NYTs interview, “
Turkey doesn’t want to have to rely on Russia. … So, I am very concerned … am very concerned … about our airfields and access to them as well. And I think it takes an awful lot of work for us to be able to get together with our allies in the region and deal with how we isolate his actions in the region, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean in relation to oil, and a whole range of other things which would take too long to go into.
But the answer is yes, I’m worried.”
I suspect this election may result in the attempted rewriting of history for the US, even more than is the current level of revision; it is like documentary films about Nazi television used to be on YouTube and have apparently been removed. This excerpt is still available: https://youtu.be/vMecO38MZCc
It appears that until recently, Germany had declared they would keep knowledge of history alive, to prevent it from happening again. Now they’re saying “we were wrong… We need to destroy it all because it’s offensive.”
Television Broadcasting in “The Third Reich”
Germany will be doing the same thing Marxist BLMers are doing in the states whereas it can be noted that former African-American groups erected statues celebrating the end of slavery, current groups have responded by tearing down those same statues because they are deemed offensive. I guess Hogan’s Heroes is illegal now. WW2 documentaries are becoming illegal now. BTW, The German entire documentary is here thanks to: Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine https://archive.org/details/television-under-the-swastika-1999 but disappeared from regular YouTube distribution.
But what will Biden and his dream team, those BIG mouths in the EU, and others—and how will they take back or spin about all the statements, recriminations, and having been so judgmental over Turkey and its system of government, old culture, and political realities, especially in how Turkey has to deal with its unreliable foreign partners and strategic allies, etc.
I guess there are not many choices left, other than to try to pretend that it did not happen, and to take back harsh words, overt actions and finish up by ‘eating crow” whole heartily.
Turkey is a strong state and maintains a positive relationship with Russia and many other countries, and much to the dismay of the United States. But Biden just cannot learn, as he said that Turkey’s newly re-elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had again raised the possibility of U.S. selling F16 aircraft to Turkey and that Biden brought up Turkey’s dropping its opposition to Sweden entering NATO.
This goes beyond humor, out of this world: Does this mean that the special military operation in Ukraine will not last long enough to train Ukrainian pilots? It is not as if we did not know what came next when Trump left office. Ankara had benefited from his pragmatism and aversion to international conflicts.
What came next was to be expected with potential sanctions and a war of words coming from a less friendly Biden White House, one which has only damaged the Turkish and regional economy. Joe Biden and team have also made every international prestige and reliability of a NATO ally, and now the US administration, NATO and the EU are riding the horns of a dilemma.
The landing may be hard, should they fall off. It is interesting how now US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now urging Turkey to immediately approve Sweden’s NATO accession—and why no mention of Hungary.
The show is going to get interesting, especially with recent news that Germany has entered a recession. We will also soon learn just how united is NATO and how much of a union is the EU, and there may not be enough F-16 to go around—too bad for Ukraine.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”