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The Failed Coup Attempt – or the Dawning of Sharia Law in Turkey?

The defeat of the coup in Turkey threatens Turkey’s conversion from a secular national state into a Muslim Sunni federation.

Can Erimtan

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Elton John’s song proclaims that “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” but a certain section of Turkey’s Armed Forces did not heed these words and prematurely staged a coup attempt on Friday Night . . . and quite predictably, these soldiers failed and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (aka the Prez) and his ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP, led by the hapless PM Binali Yıldırım) have now emerged stronger than ever.

On Friday, 15 July 2016, a number of soldiers in Turkey apparently decided that the time was ripe for staging an armed insurrection to bring a halt to the increasing power wielded by the Prez and his AKP, bent on turning the country into a pious Muslim nation inhabited by docile believers ready to act in accordance with the wishes of their political and religious leaders. Around 11 PM, heavily armed soldiers closed down access to the two main bridges across the Bosphorus in Istanbul. All the while, low-flying military jets were hovering overhead. About an hour later, the state broadcaster TRT was seized by members of the junta and proceeded to have a written statement read on air by the newscaster Tijen Karakaş: the “Turkish Armed Force have taken over the control in order to restore constitutional order, democracy, maintain human rights and freedom again.”

Karakaş declared that the country had been taken over by the ‘Council for Peace in the Country’ (or the “Yurtta Sulh Konseyi,” a clear reference to one of Atatürk’s many well-known phrases). The statement read by Karakaş made clear that the coup plotters regard the AKP-led government as having eroded the democratic and secular rule of law in the country: the ‘Council for Peace in the Country’ has “completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged.”

The statement also added that the ‘Council for Peace in the Country’ would respect the freedom of Turkey’s citizens, irrespective of religion, race or language. But the Prez and his AKP henchmen were not going to take this lying down, and as the coup plotters neglected to shut down other media outlets or even the internet, the hapless PM and his boss proceeded to communicate directly with their base, urging their supporters to ignore a curfew and take to the streets. In addition, the AKP-led government also mobilized the network of mosques throughout the country to spread the word via their sound systems. While these events were taking place, the Prez himself was in the south-west holiday resort of Marmaris. And, using the latest technology available, he made a televised address, via his mobile phone. Next, Tayyip Erdoğan flew on to Istanbul, saying that his residence in Marmaris had been bombed after he left.

The Prez Strikes Back

In response to these words of encouragement, AKP supporters started flooding the streets, imbued with a religious zeal and unperturbed in their love for Tayyip Erdoğan. The conscripts manning the tanks patrolling the streets and guarding strategic points were hesitant and unwilling to shoot their fellow citizens. One such soldier, manning a tank on the Bosphorus Bridge surrendered only to have his throat slit by zealous AKP supporters, shouting “God is great” (or ‘Allahu Akbar’), as reported by the independent media outlet Odatv.

At the same time, on social media messages displaying pictures of captured soldiers allegedly being subjected to torture in mosques were also doing the rounds. Meanwhile in Ankara, the nation’s capitals, various MP’s, including members of the opposition, congregated in the TBMM (or Parliament). In response, F-16 jets proceeded to bomb the structure on three separate occasions, with the politicians inside seeking refuge in the underground shelter. This unprecedented action left the public-at-large speechless, as Turkey’s parliament building had never before been subject to a military strike. When his plane got to the airport in Istanbul, the Prez declared the following: “What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price.”

On Saturday, 16 July, the BBC stated that the Commander of the First Army now appointed acting Chief of General Staff “Ümit Dundar said [that] 104 coup plotters had been killed and 1,563 arrested in a night of gunfire and explosions in Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere. A further 90 people died and 1,154 people were injured as thousands of Turks heeded President Erdogan’s call to rise up against the coup-plotters. It is not known who was behind the attempted putsch.” The hapless PM Yıldırım then went on to announce the establishment of a no-fly zone above Ankara, adding that army commanders, including Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, are on duty working to stop the “illegal military action.”

The Prez himself was also quite buoyant on Saturday, happily disseminating an sms text message to mobile phones all across the nation: “Valuable Children of the Turkish nation. This movement has usurped the state’s armed vehicles and weapons in Ankara and in Istanbul, [executed] by a narrow cadre, acting like in the 70s [and executing] an uprising against the nation. Take hold of your democracy and your well-being noble Turkish nation. I am calling upon you to get out on the streets and take possession of your nation against the action of this narrow cadre, that thinks that the Turkish people will accept [their movement]. Take hold of your state [and] nation.” At the same time, the police has shut down a number of thoroughfares in Istanbul, with a view to thwarting any possible movement by the Armed Forces.

A Coup that was No Coup

The hapless PM declared on television that “[s]ome people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command.” This statement seems to imply that the coup plotters are nothing but a bunch of frustrated officers and their hangers-on, acting outside the bounds of the military system and lacking any serious support. And, as if providing Yıldırım with a helping hand, the White House quickly issued a statement, indicating that “[t]he president and secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey.”

In this way Barack Obama and John Kerry all but underlined the fact that the July, 15 attempted coup had been undertaken with no previous American support, coordination or even knowledge. In direct contrast to the 12 September 1980 coup, which was undertaken by General Evren with the full support and knowledge of the United States. As I wrote some time ago, Fuat Avni tweeted as long ago as Thursday, 23 June 2016, that “[a]ctions will be taken that will bring the country to the edge of a civil war. Explosions, conspiracies, the burning of vehicles will follow one another.” At the time, I brought this tweet in connection with the triple suicide attack on the Istanbul Atatürk Airport . . . But the anonymous whistleblower might very have been tweeting about this military putsch-gone-wrong. Particularly, if one considers the timing.

At the beginning of next month, the High Military Council of Turkey (or YAŞ, in acronymized Turkish) is set to convene, and, it is expected that a large number of officers will be made redundant then. In other words, the Turkish state is set to engage in a cleansing exercise, removing any and all opponents of the AKP-led government. This coup-that-was-no-coup then provides ample ammunition for a thorough culling of the ranks, only to have these replaced by a cadre of officers more amenable to the AKP . . . and, as such, the Prez as well Hapless have been pointing the finger across the Atlantic at the shadowy figure of Fethullah Gülen and his supposed terror organization FETÖ (Fettullahçı Terör Örgütü or Fethullahist Terror Organization), insinuating that the coup plotters are part and parcel of this shadowy, clearly elusive, and possibly even non-existent, organization. Already on Friday night, at 22:46, the AKP MP for Afyon, Ali Özkaya took to twitter to denounce Gülen and his nefarious organization for having brought about this coup attempt to topple the democratically elected AKP-led government.

Still, there are those who regard the whole coup attempt as an orchestrated affair, aimed at benefitting the Prez and his AKP-led government. A most unlikely commentator like the American Neo-Nazi and white supremacist Andrew Anglin put it like this: “In short, the whole thing could [not] have been better arranged for Erdogan himself, who now looks like a hero of the people.” And, is has to be said that in the aftermath of this failed coup attempt the AKP support will undoubtedly surge to previously unknown heights and the polarizing figure that is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will start enjoying even higher approval ratings.

In fact, Erdoğan is now also being referred to as Turkey’s Commander-in-Chief, which would indicate, among other things, that he regards the attempted coup as a personal attack on his figure. One could argue that, whatever the coup plotters’ motives might have been, the end-result of their actions will be an even more wholehearted and enthusiastic acceptance of Tayyip Erdoğan’s policy of Sunnification and possibly a rather swift dismantling of the nation state that is Turkey . . . . to be replaced by an “Anatolian federation of Muslim ethnicities, possibly linked to a revived caliphate,” as well as possible return of Shariah to Turkey. Whether these conditions would be in line with Atatürk’s well-known dictum “Peace at Home, Peace Abroad” is anyone’s guess however . . . 

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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