It seems plausible that genuine resentment in Turkey was brought to the boiling point to pressure the Turkish government. That type of tactic cannot be ruled out. I spent last night mulling this over.
Here is the latest: Erdogan is visiting Africa. His Deputy PM offered something resembling a olive branch, after a meeting with President Abdullah Gul who has been taking an opposing position to Erdogan
Speaking Tuesday, Arinc said that, "in that first (protest) action, the excessive violence exerted on people who were acting out of environmental concerns was wrong and unjust." He added, "I apologize to those citizens."
Arinc said the government was "sensitive" to the demands of the largely urban, pro-secular section of society that had not voted for Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party.
"I would like to express this in all sincerity: everyone's lifestyle is important to us and we are sensitive to them."
Arinc was speaking after a meeting with President Abdullah Gul who contrary to Erdogan, has praised the mostly peaceful protesters as expressing their democratic rights.
Gul and Erdogan could face off next year in Turkey's presidential electionThis seems to feed into the concept that we have some serious political shenanigans going on. I broached that subject in the post from yesterday. Protests in Turkey: Simmering Anger at Erdogan? Or just another coup?
"Not everyone in the AKP is behind the plan and speculation of an internal power struggle is rife."
Were going to take a brief trip down memory lane.... Some links but first let's read a pdf.
The AKP won the 2002 national election by a wide margin and the 2007 election by a wider one, but its victories have not ended the secular- religious tensions in the country.
Today, the Turkish domestic political scene is in turmoil, with two coincidental,perhaps related, dramas unfolding simultaneously. The public prosecutor initiateda lawsuit to have the ruling Justice and Development Party ( AKP) banned for beinga “focal point of anti-secular activities.”1Prior to this action and after it, in stages, the authorities arrested prominent secularists/ultranationalists (ulusalcilar ) on suspicion of plotting and instigating actions to create chaos in the country and provoke the military to overthrow the government. Both dramas highlight a severely polarized political climate and a continuing crisis over power and identity in Turkey. The AKP and the secularists each have champions and opponents who disseminateconflicting narratives and interpretations of events. In some instances, the schism isblurred, as some secularists argue for AKP’s survival in the name of democracy, andsome AKP members and followers question their leaders’ actions. Nonetheless, thenational rift is real and as yet unhealed.
On June 12, 2007, police raided an apartment in Istanbul and seized a cache of hand grenades, explosives, and fuses. The investigatory trail led to the arrests in January 2008 of prominent ultranationalists ( ulusalcilar) and secularists, including a retired major general and other retired military officers, the head of a fringe political party, a university rector, the head of a non-governmental organization, businessmen, and journalists. On July 1, two retired four-star generals, additional retired military officers, the head of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce. One of them, Gen. Sener Eruygur, is the former commander of thegendarmerie and now heads the non-governmental Ataturkist Thought Association,which organized peaceful mass demonstrations against President Gul’s election in 2007. The other, Gen. Hursit Tolon, is the former commander of the First Army. The indictment proposed on July 14,2008, requests that 86 individuals be charged with being members of an armed terrorist organization, attempting tooverthrow the government by force, inciting people to armed insurgency, instigating the killing of a judge during a 2006 attack on the Council of State (the highest administrative court),and bombing of the Cumhurriyet newspaper in 2007, among other crimes.
13The perpetrator of the 2006 attack on the court previously had been thought to be religiously motivated. The final indictment is about 2,500 pages and includes almost all sensational political crimes committed in Turkey over the past few years. An additional indictment isexpected to be requested against Gens. Eruygur and Tolon, perhaps for attemptingcoups during the AKP’s first term. The High Criminal Court has accepted the indictment, and the case will be heard beginning October 20, 2008. Arrests of individuals related toErgenekon continue. The alleged members of the criminal organization are said to have referred to themselves as Ergenekon.14Ergenekon means “steep mountain pass” and refers to the Turkish national myth: it was the route via which Turkish ancestors, following a gray wolf, escaped from Central Asia to freedom in Turkey to exact revenge on their enemies. All of the accused are known to have openly opposed the AKP, their “enemy.”According to the prosecutor, Ergenekon is notconnected to the armed forces or the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
Is Ergenekon Gladio?
[http://www.ozturkler.com]. It has been suggested that the Ergenekon are remnants of Turkey’s gladio, forces NATO established during the Cold War to set up resistence in case of a communist invasion. Those forces were (allegedly)dismantled in many NATO countries, but not in Turkey, where they were military Special Warfare Units whose mission was to catalyze sabotage, assassinations, and the like. The Units recruited people from different walks of life, such as journalists, businessmen, mafioso, and judges.Gladio are multiple groups, not a single organization. Gareth Jenkins of the Jamestown Foundation at International Institute of Strategic Studies’ event in Washington, D. C., July 15, 2008. Jenkins’ ideas echo thoseof some Turks expressed in interviews with CRS during a visit to Turkey in March 2008.
The overall U.S. policy toward Turkey is largely determined by the UnitedStates’ need and appreciation for Turkey as a strategic partner and NATO ally. Inaddition, the Bush Administration values Turkey as a predominantly Muslim seculardemocracy that might provide political inspiration for other Muslim countries.Therefore, it has a vested interest in the continuation of Turkey’s democracy andpolitical stability and does not want military coup there. The Administration adopted
Which could tell us that the US policy, being determined by the US's need for Turkey as a strategic partner and ally, can change depending on whatever 'need' the US determines is strategic at the time it is setting policy.
Additional relevant links