Monday, April 10, 2017

Turkey's Referendum: Is The Sky Really Falling?

 Of course, it isn’t. Though one could excuse the powers that shouldn’t be from being concerned or having us believe that this is worrisome. 

I've gathered up a bunch of information regarding Turkey's referendum which will take place April 16/17. I omitted spin and manipulative language in order to keep the emotional reaction down to a dull roar. This was the intro post: Giant "Evet" Referendum Rally In Turkey

Some background

Turkey’s induction into NATO was covered in this post -West Unhinged Over Turkish Referendum As was the rarely mentioned roll of the US placement of missiles in Turkey aimed at Russia which actually instigated the Cuban missile crisis. It seems to me it is the Atlantacist establishment and media that are making the most noise about Turkey’s referendum. The Atlantacist, are described most accurately as the clique that comprises of the 5 Eyes Nations The five eyes are the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Edward Snowden  accurately described these nations and their combined intelligence gathering capabilites cooperation as “supranational”.  Operating as an entity above the individual nation states that make up the group. What  Snowden  was saying was neither startling or bold, it was just a statement of the obvious and what one would expect from a ‘limited hangout’  I would take it further and suggest these nations work together to exercise control over many other nations states, with an eye to global manipulation. Turkey is a nation, occupied/integrated and definitely manipulated, but not well tolerated, by the  5 eyes/ NATO/Atlantacist establishment.

What is it about Turkey that necessitates such heavy control through external manipulations?

What’s that saying in real estate? Location. Location, Location. Turkey's location on the planet is  equal to prime real estate in some desired locale.
*Turkey is the land bridge between Asia and the Middle East
*Turkey is also nation state that ties Europe to the Middle East
 *An ability to traverse or an ability to deny travel in the Turkish Straits is extremely geo-strategically significant- To say the least.

*Particularly if one has an eye to marginalizing Russia!

The Turkish Straits? 
The Turkish Straits are compromised of the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles

The Turkish Straits (Turkish: Türk Bogazlari) are a series of internationally-significant waterways in northwestern Turkey that connect the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the Black Sea.

They consist of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus, all part of the sovereign sea territory of Turkey and subject to the regime of internal waters. 
They are conventionally considered the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia, as well as the dividing line between European Turkey and Asian Turkey.
Owing to their strategic importance in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits have played a significant role in European and world history

The modern treaty controlling relations is the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, which is still in force. It gives the Republic of Turkey control over warships entering the straits but guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime.

Let's repeat that and let it sink in, ok? "It gives the Republic of Turkey control over warships entering the strait"

If you are so inclined you can read more about this waterway and the agreements for use etc.,

I'm sure that certain parties (unnamed)  believe they'd be better served if controlling the access to or denial of these straits was more amenable to their specific interests.

 Some warship related stipulations in the Montreux Convention:
-The treaty limits the access of warships from non-Black Sea nations, but allows Russia and other Black Sea states to move warships through the Turkish Straits to the Mediterranean Sea with few restrictions;
-The convention also restricts outside navies’ access to the Turkish Straits and Black Sea to 21 straight days per warship, and to a maximum aggregate tonnage of 45,000 tons, with any one vessel no heavier than 15,000 tons. Non-Black Sea states must also give Turkey a 15-day notice before sending warships through the straits;
Turkey is the custodian of the straits;
-In case of a war “belligerent powers” would be banned from the Straits. That’s what happened during World War II, when Turkey remained neutral and neither Germany nor the USSR could use the Bosporus and the Dardanelles;
-Aircraft carriers of any flag are banned from the Turkish Straits, both in times of peace and of war.
And all of a sudden the overthrow of the legitimate Ukraine government makes even more sense!
Flashback : Turkey Seeks To End NATO Patrols In Aegean Sea

Back to the Turkish referendum

 Is it a threat to certain vested interests? External parties and organizations?  Perhaps it is. However since Turkey is a sovereign nation state ...  It's entirely realistic that the Turkish populace can elect to change their own constitution. Perhaps a a globalist, like David Rockefeller, a one world government kind of believer would disagree? See: James Corbett: The Unauthorized Biography of David Rockefeller. But, I'm not one of those.

From a Parliamentary System to a Presidential System
Turkey's system right now is more like Canada's

If the "Evet" Vote wins Turkey's system of government will be more like the US

 Below are the 18 proposed constitutional changes

Wall Street Journal - I've edited the spin to just deal with the facts of the matter

1- What is the referendum about 

Turkish voters will approve or decline a group of 18 constitutional reforms that passed through parliament in December. The changes envisions creating an executive presidency like those in the U.S. and Russia, which would turn Mr. Erdogan’s mostly ceremonial office into the seat of government
As of stated on multiple, multiple, multiple occasions here the office of President, which is presently held by Erdogan is mostly ceremonial. The executive power has, to date, been in the office of the Prime Minister-- That fact has always been ignored
 It would reduce parliament, which currently houses the cabinet, into a purely legislative body. The draft also increases the number of lawmakers to 600 from 550, while reducing the age to run for office to 18 from 25. Another controversial shift is the president’s ability to directly and indirectly appoint constitutional court judges and other judges. (WSJ doesn't explain the mechanism between directly appointing and indirectly appointing court judges- to what courts etc)
Doesn't President Trump appoint judges to the supreme and other courts? Directly or indirectly? Yes, he and all other US Presidents do exactly that, as stated by the constitution!
*Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, as stated in the Constitution.

2 - Why do the government and Mr. Erdogan want to amend the constitution? 

 Such a move would reduce instability and regime crisis stemming from competing centers of power, according to Mr. Erdogan and his deputies.

3- Why is the proposal controversial?

It is claimed by those that oppose this constitutional amendment that " The proposal would also weaken existing incentives for political compromise by guaranteeing one-party rule, destroy minority parties and undermine checks-and-balances, they say"
Of course, we can't know if what "they say" is accurate

4  What is the campaign like?

The “Yes” vote is being spearheaded by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and President Erdogan. They are promising to campaign in each province–and their campaign rallies are carried live on all television channels, giving them a huge reach. The “No” side doesn’t have a unified leadership, but leaders of multiple opposition parties are speaking in daily rallies to their own voters. Community activists and civil society groups are canvassing neighborhoods with their message against the reforms. Social media is also a big platform used by both side

5 What will it take for the referendum to pass

Turkey has 58 million registered voters–55 million at home and 3 million expatriates–who will be eligible to cast ballots on April 16. Turnout is very important in this tight race: the referendum will pass or fail by the majority of votes cast on that day.

Interestingly DW found plenty of Kurds willing to vote "Yvet" in the referendum- 
No tension, but, lots of anticipation of the outcome. Thanks DW for the spin.. regarding Turkish oppression and contingency plans (manipulative) no one is saying their going to flee the nation. Being on stand by is not a surprise because I can recall that same thing happening when the last referendum took place in Quebec- Kurds are not a black and white case in Turkey- unsurprising to me. Many blame the PKK for the violence that they live through! Yes, that is the Kurds that blame the PKK- which is not a surprise, again! A Kurdish man, who loves President Erdogan? Something we'd never hear of in the west, I mean, 5 eyes media. It's an interesting 10 minutes. Give it a listen and share some thoughts.



  1. Hi Penny:

    Read through your post and you've done some good research. As a Canadian who's lived through two constitutional referendums...the Quebec Referendum and the Meech Lake Accord...both of which failed...I think Erdogan is taking a real risk with this referendum...which will give him more power. When I was in Turkey in 2015 the Turks I spoke to were not too fond of him...calling him "corrupt". I don't know if they want to give him even more powers. Also, the Turks seeing how the US system with its powerful presidency is driving that country to ruin...why would they want such a system? The Parliamentary system makes it easier to get rid of a bad leader (theoretically...the parliamentarians can just vote "no confidence") although in Canada this parliamentary right/responsibility has just about been shoved under the rug.

    So, for the above reasons, I don't think the referendum will pass. But, then, there's always the possibility of fraud.


    1. @gc, you should keep in mind that Turks in general do not understand the color gray, they only see black or white and the bad thing which they add is taking it to the extreme. Both sides are talking to each other with heavy accusations.

      The US system is not necessarily bad thing, the issue mainly resides that there is a democracy by birthright while we actually need an intellectual democracy, but to decide that can again lead to new problems.

    2. Turks aren't the only ones that see only black vs white- that's not unique to them at all- It occurs here, Canada, all the time-

      Which was why I tried to make this about the changes and not a judgement regarding one specific individual- the changes if made will be permanent.

    3. I agree that black and whiteness is everywhere, but the level which is in Turkey is fascinating. The language they use is most of the time taking an aggressive stance to each other.

      But maybe we are also referring to different black and whiteness subjects. The point I am trying to make is that they expect that the leaders are saints without question, because they all compare them to their supreme leader which has been bashed into their skulls from a young age. All the positive aspects of Ataturk.....

      I like to see the day when Law 5816 is removed so I can actually read full biographies of people who were close to Ataturk. So that I don't have see key sentences or words replaced with '*************'. And hopefully stop using Ataturk as some cheap banner to bash other peoples skull in.

    4. Law 5816? I'd never heard of that one?
      But then I'm not Turkish either?

      went to look it up.....

      Turkish Law 5816 ("The Law Concerning Crimes Committed Against Atatürk")[10] was passed 13 years after Atatürk's death on July 25, 1951 by Prime Minister Adnan Menderes's government,[11] and protects "Atatürk's memory" from being offended by any Turkish citizen.

      That is just bizarre. Wow! I had no idea.

    5. It's eerily reminiscent of the holocaust laws where one dare not question to truth as told by the powers that should not be- Truth needs no law to protect it, but lies need laws to protect them!

    6. IIRC, its original intent was to protect statues of Ataturk, which were getting destroyed and vandalized. But there is rhetoric saying that this was done to put Menderes in a tight spot and thus brought out that law to protect Ataturks Legacy because his position in government was threatened, but If I recall correctly it was never meant to block historical entries which put him in a bad light but it did happen.

      The problem which he represents currently is that people are using him as some codex on how to be Turkish and a govern. Everything outside that is looked as backwards and uneducated traitors, who would like to sell their nation to the enemy and would prefer to talk Greek because if it wasn't for Ataturk turkey would be a colony etc. Or to be as backwards as the Arabs who have betrayed us and stabbed us in the back etc. *sigh* Life is more complicated than that.

      This rhetoric is a very tiresome set of words, which every time I hear, I write that person off.

      Personally my stance is, I acknowledge he happened and there is no point in thinking, but if he didn't happen this or that would happen. We simple do not have the full information to say that. This dream of what'ifs stupid. Things happened live with it.

      World changes, Nations Change and information unknown before is now known. Act on Skill and knowledge instead of the remnants of a dead man.

  2. It will give the presidental office more power, which is held presently by Erdogan- The presidential office will not always be held by Erdogan. Because he could die. No longer lead the AKP or another party could win.

    thinking of this in terms of giving "erdogan more power" is the way the msm is hoping to manipulate people.

    It's the office of president, via constitutional changes that will be in place beyond Erdogan- those are the terms this referendum should be framed in- non emotive, fact based

    AS for out system- when have we ever gotten rid of a bad leader? Never- There are problems with both systems-
    why should we have to wait for our parliamentarians to vote "no confidence"? It's absurd.

    The stats I have seen suggest the referendum will pass-
    Who would commit the fraud GC?
    Outsiders or Insiders?
    Because the last election went off without a hitch- outside observers and all and there was no fraudi

    So is this going to be like Crimea- cause it was claimed that was fraudulent too..
    Was it? I don't think so.
    I prefer to be more careful about tossing such terminology about. But that's just me

  3. I brought 2 comments from Elizabeth at Willy Loman's over and my response..

    elizabethharris001, on April 10, 2017 at 10:38 pm said:

    Penny includes an audio interview which explains that, contrary to the Empire’s propaganda, Erdogan has reduced (not increased) the Turkish government’s oppression of Kurds. Kurds can now freely speak their language in public, and freely broadcast Kurdish radio and TV programs (unless they call for violent rebellion). Some Kurds don’t like Erdogan. Some love him. Most fall somewhere in between, as do all Turks. Some Kurds support the PKK. Others oppose the PKK, and blame it for making their lives harder. In short, the Empire’s propaganda is overly simplistic. The April 16 referendum is about making the Turkish government more like the U.S. government in structure. The Empire fears that if the referendum passes, it will reduce the parliamentary deadlock the keeps Turkey crippled and controllable.

    elizabethharris001, on April 10, 2017 at 10:50 pm said:

    Incidentally Penny writes, “In case of a war, ‘belligerent powers’ will be banned from the Bosporus Straits. That’s what happened during World War II, when Turkey remained neutral and neither Germany nor the USSR could use the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.”

    That’s only because the Straights were not important at that time. Meanwhile, even though Iraq and Iran were officially neutral, the British brutally invaded and occupied Iraq (2 May 1941) and (along with the Soviets) Iran (25 Aug 1941) to seize the oil. My point is that during wartime, treaties and international law are often ignored.

    Penny, on April 11, 2017 at 8:01 am said:

    Hi Elizabeth that is the Montreaux agreement I’m quoting from with regard to traversing the Turkish Straits- the real point is the straits are very significant.
    And yes the little audio was interesting- I’ve come across that before and have posted information like that at the blog- but the common perception management- the simplistic perception management still stands
    Turkey bad to Kurds
    Kurds only victim of Turkey
    PKK just wants freedom
    really simplistic thoughts pervail- as if anything in the real world is every that black vs white
    too much hollywood, imo

  4. Hi Penny, thank you so much for being so open-minded. I have been talking to that Christian Turk and he says that the referendum will pass because 60% of the population supports Erdogan. He also says that in his city of only 100,000 people, there are 5,000 Armenian immigrants and they are getting on well with Turks. He has an Armenian friend there who told him that in Armenia, people cannot even afford bread and they are all coming to Turkey. His Armenian friend who speaks 4 languages also supports Erdogan. In Turkey, there are many Georgian and Armenian immigrants that are living and working freely. He says that minorities in Turkey have never been as free as they are today. The Turkish government is doing good things, he says. Erdogan is also not Turkish-his mother was Georgian and father Greek. Hope you are doing well. I am just working for my exams :)

    1. Thanks for all the info Ally

    2. Hey Ally:

      You are welcome, glad you appreciate it.
      It's so weird to read the 5eyes media take on the referendum! It was very difficult to find anything reporting just the facts of the matter and I read and read and bookmarked even more information then what I had used plus went back to find older post where I had mentioned the ins and outs of Turkey's governmental structure previously. It was a fair bit of research to write a no spin post.

      As for this fellow at your school..

      "the referendum will pass because 60% of the population supports Erdogan"

      I have seen numbers like that bandied around regarding the referendum
      60/40 yes/no
      65/35 yes/no
      in the foreign press

      the 5 eyes media keeps saying it's too close to call. That appears to be just more perception management on the part of our western media

      I am doing ok and was in fact wondering how your schooling was going?

    3. Yes, the majority of the population will vote yes. The Turkish students that I know don't come to my university. I met them at a bookstore and we got each other's contact details. They will go back to Turkey soon-just here to learn English. In my city as well, there are a lot of homeless people in the city centre. The Turks were shocked to see this as they say in Turkey, there are no homeless people because everyone helps each other. Everyone in Turkey has a home. The Christian guy tells me that Turkish people want to learn lots of languages and it is true because many of them are coming to the Europe to study. There is also a Zaza girl from Elazig who lives outside Istanbul and her father supports the Grey Wolves so they are definitely not Kurds!
      I am just very stressed at the moment but it's ok.

    4. This was Ally btw^^