The Madness of Sultan Tayyip


1 – He has gutted much of the educated middle class of Turkey in his frantic persecution of all those he thinks might not be loyal to him.

2 – He has sent the Turkish Army into Syria in what was first described as border defense against IS (a group he has long supported) and is now revealed (by him) to be an effort to reach central Syria and depose Bashar Assad.  It appears that Russia (and perhaps the US as well) have made it clear to him that this will not be permitted.

3. Through his relentless leadership purges he has so weakened the Turkish armed forces that the country is no longer a credible military partner in the NATO alliance.

4.  He has so provoked the EU that its weakling leaders have suspended negotiations for Turkish membership.  They did this after first having given Sultan Tayyip a 6.6 billion Euro bribe to stop sending refugees into the EU. 

5.  As a response to suspension of the process of Turkish accession to EU membership, Sultan Tayyip has now threatened to re-open the faucet of volkervanderung into the EU. 

6. He has positioned Turkish forces in the Mosul area in such a way as to be seen by the Iraqi government as having irredentist claims in northern Iraq.

Anything else?  pl

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105 Responses to The Madness of Sultan Tayyip

  1. Tyler says:

    Onwards to Constantinople!

  2. r whitman says:

    What is important is what the Trump’s Administration attitude or response will be. My take is that they will do nothing and just ignore it.

  3. Will says:

    Turkey is NATO and NATO IS Turkey…. NATO and Israel are up to their necks throughout the Takfiri Jihadi theaters… Hiding the forest with a tree won’t help

  4. TV says:

    Isn’t he Obama’s buddy?

  5. Lemur says:

    General Flynn has extensive contacts with Turkey, and he bizarrely believes the sultan is threatened by militant Islam (instead of channeling it). On the other hand he also seems to accept Russia’s POV on Syria. Let’s hope his desire to knock out terrorists is greater than his desire to give Turkey carte blanche

  6. Lemur says:

    Seems Turkey’s diminishing military and diplomatic power is in inverse proportion to the boastfulness of various Turkish trolls I run into elsewhere.
    Their current claim is Turkey has developed and deployed advanced cruise missiles and radar jamming equipment that could stimey Russian efforts in Syria if necessary. Does anybody with technical knowledge have an objective assessment of these new Turk weapons systems?

  7. All,
    I am far too ignorant of the Middle East to venture a confident judgement.
    But my suspicion has long been that very many people in the West, without realising it, encouraged him to go crazy.
    The ‘end of history’ nonsense made it compulsory to believe in ‘moderate Islamists’ – people who, supposedly, would pioneer a reconciliation between Islam and ‘modernity’ (whatever precisely that means.)
    As the Sultan appeared to fit the bill, people fooled themselves, so they did not grasp that what he wanted to be was just that – a Sultan.
    In a somewhat different but related way, people have made the same mistake with Netanyahu.
    So all the ‘liberal Zionists’ have refused to face the fact that he is in the end only very partly a product of Jewish history and culture, and in large measure a product of the kind of ethnonationalism that emerged in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Eastern Europe at something close to its worst.
    There some fleeting signs that it has even began to occur to Jeffrey Goldberg – who cannot be accused of having much in the way of grey matter, as we say in England – that tying Jewish identity to the ‘revisionist Zionist’ project as exemplified by the Netanyahus is liable to be a recipe for a catastrophe.
    But – I am not raising my hopes.

  8. elev8 says:

    And he is quite successful in his attempt to ruin the Turkish economy.

  9. Anna says:

    “Media Silent as Lame-Duck Congress Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia”
    Sponsor: Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] (Introduced 07/12/2016)
    Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Judiciary; Financial Services | Senate – Foreign Relations

  10. Peter in Toronto says:

    This latest announcement – to depose Assad – with a Syrian army on the precipice of victory in Aleppo, and no likely support from Washington, strikes me as particularly bizarre and irrational.
    I can’t fathom what is going on. Has Turkey gone entirely rogue from Washington after the coup attempt?
    What could they possibly gain by having an armed showdown with Russia, especially now?

  11. charly says:

    3. Any Nato country that claims to have an army is a credible military partner in the NATO alliance.
    4. EU leadership isn’t weak but acts weak. That is something completely different. And those 6 billion were not for Syrian refugees but to make it political possible to say no (in stead of wait) to Turkeys EU membership. If you don’t want Turkeys membership i would say that it is cheap (or more to the fact a trivial amount of money)
    5. So? Problem is easily solved with having an internal border 100 KM from the Turkish boarder and sending the refugees back to Syria. It also allows us to get a peace treaty with Syria without loosing face.

  12. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang;
    re: “Anything else?”
    tayyip and his cronies have sponsored ISIS, enabled the passage of jihadis to Iraq and Syria, provided them with logistics, materiel and staging support, transported and sold ISIS oil, provided funds laundering, intelligence…all with the knowledge of the Borg.
    I remind the pilgrims that this SOB was the darling of the Borg, and other assorted useful cretins, a decade or so ago. For all I know he is still a Borg operative fighting for his life.
    Ishmael Zechariah
    P.s: Tyler, It is Istanbul, get used to it.

  13. Laura says:

    I think that Trump will approve of the “Sultan’s” moves as being “very strong.” He likes strong. He also doesn’t like NATO and will be quite thrilled that it is weakened. We are in for a hell of a ride with our national interest playing second fiddle to Trump’s ego and need to be told how strong he is. “Strong men” leaders will say anything to stay strong. I think Trump will not ignore…he will approve and promote and emulate.

  14. Fred says:

    R whitman,
    He’s only President Elect and his command authority extends no further than his Twitter account. January 20th is a long way off.

  15. Thomas says:

    Madman and an effin’ moron, because the next time Recep’s head is selected for the spinal-cranial slicer no one is going send his cellphone a text tip to duck.
    Interesting times indeed.

  16. eakens says:

    That is difficult to do if your forces are still in the region/country. I think you throw them to the wolves and see what Israel does.

  17. Liza says:

    Col. Lang:
    Erdogan has just announced that Turkish forces have entered Syria to “remove the tyrant Assad.” Hurriyet reported that Erdogan declared that Turkey has no territorial claims on Syria but is seeking “justice.”
    What’s the method behind the Sultan’s madness ? The answer may lie with this op-ed by Michael Flynn, the incoming National Security adviser, published on election day in “The Hill.”
    Flynn characterizes Fethullah Gulen as a “shady character” and “Islamic radical.” Flynn writes that the US should not provide safe haven for Gulen.
    Flynn compares Gulen to the Aytollah Khomeini. He accuses “the brutal Quds Force” of slaughtering “innocent Syrian civilians.”
    Will the Trump administration cooperate with Russia in ending the conflict in Syria ? Flynn’s op-ed certainly raises doubts.
    Has Erdogan thought this through ? Turkey is almost entirely dependent on Russia and Iran for oil and natural gas. They could simply turn out his lights.
    I have a question for you, Col Lang. Could Gulen actually be turned over to Gulen without causing severe damage to our intelligence services? Would any intelligence assets have confidence that the US government under Trump’s leadership could be trusted ?

  18. turcopolier says:

    Am I right in thinking that Istanbul is a Turkish version of Constantinople? BTW, my favorite Turkish dish is anything that comes out of the sea and then grilled simply in a small seaside restaurant. Of course, there is also good Doner Kebab. pl

  19. Haralambos says:

    My reads today regarding Turkey and our US wars:
    Prof. Emeritus and Col. Andrew Bacevich’s thoughts:
    I would be interested in thoughts on Bacevich’s asessment of Trump and our wars. A British friend who has lived and worked in the Gulf for the past 30 years (the last 20 in Saudi Arabia) sent this:
    With Trump as C-in-C we can look forward to Operation Incoherent Resolve. The greater Middle East is a cesspit of overpopulation, unemployment, inequality, repression and a place where Islam is at war with itself. I think we have to pull out, do our best to contain it, and wait till the combatants come up with their own version of the Treaty of Westphalia.
    Best wishes all.

  20. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    Did they ever change the name from Constantinople? It might just be a nickname. “Istanbul” simply means “to the city.” What city? Constantinople.

  21. Haralambos says:

    My Greek friends tell me the Greeks referred to Constantinople as Η Πόλη. Those going there said they were going to meet friends and kin στην Πόλη. I have always had a healthy skepticism regarding folk etymology.

  22. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia: “The modern Turkish name İstanbul (pronounced [isˈtanbuɫ]) (Ottoman Turkish: استانبول‎) is attested (in a range of variants) since the 10th century, at first in Armenian and Arabic (without the initial İ-) and then in Turkish sources. It derives from the Greek phrase “στην Πόλη” ” [stimˈboli], meaning “in the city” or “to the city”, reinterpreted as a single word;[11][12] a similar case is Stimboli, Crete.[13] It is thus based on the common Greek usage of referring to Constantinople simply as The City …” ( )
    Here is an excellent song from when I was younger:
    Ishmael Zechariah

  23. Tyler says:

    We’ll see, won’t we?

  24. Thirdeye says:

    “So all the ‘liberal Zionists’ have refused to face the fact that he is…. in large measure a product of the kind of ethnonationalism that emerged in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Eastern Europe at something close to its worst.”
    True for the Zionist movement in general and for National Socialism (via Russia and Austria-Hungary).

  25. Henshaw says:

    On a related matter, we now have the (heavily redacted) report on the Coalition’s ‘erroneous’ airstrike at Deir Ezzor.
    Most of the report concerns deficiencies in procedure; the mis-identification that led to the strike gets only a single paragraph. I’m still puzzled – if the quality of your vision feed is high enough to enable you to identify clothing details, wouldn’t you be able to pick up other distinguishing information, like which areas the ‘defensive fighting positions’ were covering?
    Is Brigadier General Coe’s arse adequately covered?

  26. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iranian government had high hopes in him. He and a few of others in his circle had read the recent books of Iranian thinkers on Islam, Modernity, Islamic Government etc.
    They knew that he was a Muslim Brotherhood in orientation, which was “closest to us” as an advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei – Dr. Velayati – used to observe on many occasions.
    And he and President Silva did try to mediate between Iran and NATO states on the matter of Iranian Nuclear File.
    I think what caused the change in him was the onset of Arab Spring. Like the Iranian leaders, he interpreted that event as an Islamic Awakening, for which the most advanced part of the World-Wide Muslim Brotherhood thinkers, e.g. those in Turkey were to be supply political leadership.
    The AKP were also encouraged in this by NATO states, hoping to use Turkey to push Iran out of Iraq. Likely, he expected a quick victory in Syria, followed by further ones in Iraq against Iran and the Shia Iraqis.
    What he accomplished, in my opinion, was dashing the hopes and beliefs of the Iranian leaders and likely a very large number of Iranians as well, that there is a thing called Islamic Unity; that the differences between Shia and Sunni are not important or substantive.
    That belief was informing the minds of Muslim Revolutionaries in 1979 and later; to be smashed by the Iran-Iraq War and now, yet again by the Syrian War.
    I personally never entertained it as anything but an ideal; knowing full well the history of wars waged by Sunni dynasties against Shia Iranians over the past centuries; always the theft and rapine excused as Jihad against the Infidels.
    People have to be disabused of their quaint notions; in the West or in the East. That seems to be a common human experience; people must suffer for them to get some sense into their heads.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There is not much Christian presence left in Istanbul; there are a few Armenian churches here and there – but that is all.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Zionist Judaism is the dominant form of Judaism in the world today. Being against it is like being against Freedom and Democracy in US. As far as I know.

  29. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    OK. Want to bet? State premise, time frame and cover.
    P.S: The very best way, in fact the only way, to keep tayyip-the-effing-moron in power is to attack Turkey.

  30. Laguerre says:

    ” It derives from the Greek phrase “στην Πόλη” ”
    Yes, I’ve often seen that, but it sounds like an over-fussily precise derivative from a Greek expression, explanation invented by a Greek. Greeks (or Europeans) would want that to be the case, in order to demonstrate how dependent Turkish culture is on Europeans. I’d more go with the colonel: it’s just a sloppy adaptation of Constantinople.

  31. Kooshy says:

    IZ, I. Case you haven’t heard, here is the song “Istanbul” by 60′ French Armenian singer Marc Aryan from time I was youngster.

  32. Kooshy says:

    Babak you got to consider that for Iranian leaders, and Shia in General is easy to distant/separate (at least in the eye of muslims) themselves from practices, politics and vision of sunnies for him and AKP It is not so, they cannot disown Sunni practices and politics and not to iligimate themselves from part of thier constituencies. You don’t have this disunification in Shia.

  33. turcopolier says:

    What reason or evidence do you have for thinking Gulen is a US IC asset or under IC protection? pl

  34. Ken Roberts says:

    Re: Anna’s post 1:52 pm 29-Nov:
    Anna said…
    “Media Silent as Lame-Duck Congress Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia”
    “Sponsor: Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] (Introduced 07/12/2016)
    Committees: House – Foreign Affairs; Judiciary; Financial Services | Senate – Foreign Relations”
    The story at the link does not seem to back up the headline — is a relief !
    This manner of behaviour is perhaps going to cause trouble. As a non-expert on constitutional matters, I believe that the US Congress (House?) is the body that can declare war. Usurped nowadays by the executive branch, and as a result, perhaps congress reps have become accustomed to introducing strong (overly strong) resolutions to appease vocal constituencies. However, what is a legal expert of diplomatic service of a “target” country to believe? It may be that such posturing may lead to de-jure declarations of war, which the executive would not desire, and nor would the US people support if there were a debate. How to indicate that Congress was in “just mouthing off” mode? Is it even possible to trash-talk at that level, without consequence?
    This risk will become highlighted if, as Tyler hypothesized, the electoral college process is hung, and the decision on president is then made by the House — thus exemplifying the importance of House debates and resolutions. Or if the House begins to exercise some of its constitutional rights later, as a result of … whatever. Balance of power requires maintaining balance.
    We are indeed living in interesting times. It’s not just about number of media eyeballs.

  35. mike allen says:

    He is General Flynn’s buddy.

  36. Kooshy says:

    IMO, Erdogan never had the vision nor he had he the necessary education ( philosophy) to be able to lead the Sunnies to modernity, it was false hope the west and Sunnies had on him, he was not the man for it, although, admittedly he had lots of suport and opportunity to do so from every one including Shia Islam as Babak mentioned. On the contrary, Ayatollah Khomeini never wore a suit and tie, but against all odds, he was able to lead the Shia to a form of modernity compatible with thier religious practices, there is non similar vision in Sunni world as of yet.

  37. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    also lakeside.
    I recall stopping at a lakeside eating place in eastern Turkey with the wide and ordering fish (no menu). The owners went down to their lake caught the fish and cooked it up exceedingly deliciously, and even asked us how we would like it prepared.
    Could Erdogan be simply improving his negotiating position, or does he have delusions of grandeur? One hopes the former, suspects the latter.

  38. mike allen says:

    “Anything else”
    1] Levelling of Kurdish cities in Eastern Turkey. Sirnak shown here: and many others.
    2] Resettlement of Turkmen into traditionally Kurdish villages, and pushing out current residents.
    3] Arrest of HDP party leadership and many rank and file. Why? Because they dared to win more than 10% of seats in Parliament.

  39. Eric Newhill says:

    I think Erdogan is testing the US – Trump’s US – resolve and NATO alignment. Also, in typical Turkish fashion, seeking opportunities to gain some baksheesh. He’s putting a foot in the water to see if it’s comfortable enough to dive in.
    I do not believe that Trump will fall for this nonsense. Trump has already signaled a desire for an improved relationship, perhaps outright partnership in certain matters of concern to Tayyip, with Russia. Furthermore, Trump has signaled a reluctance to be entangled in NATO affairs, especially if the US has to foot the majority of the bill. Finally, Trump has made big noise about crushing IS, Tayyip’s little buddies.
    Therefore – and I relish the thought, btw – Tayyip is going to find out that the water is not only unpleasantly cold, but that it is also filled with sharks and alligators. If Tayyip is true to his heritage he may just belligerently dive in anyhow and then the Russians will destroy his military (such that it is these days), while the US and NATO stand by watching.
    So he either backs down and shuts up accepts $0 baksheesh and looks the fool or he gets destroyed. This is going to be fun.

  40. Cortes says:

    Oliver Sacks of “Awakenings” and other wonderful books fame, told in his memoir of childhood “Uncle Tungsten” of the bullying by Zionists his parents endured in London and how it coloured his attitudes against them. The unfortunate part of the dominance of Zionist narrative is how badly it represents the spectrum of Jewish opinion, I think (as a non Jew).
    PS I took a tour of the central Synagogue in Buenos Aires about 10 years ago and had to don a ¿yarmulke? After the tour I wandered around outside still wearing it, oblivious of the fact, and don’t recall any animosity during that time other than envy of my natural Irish Catholic good looks haha.

  41. F-35 says:

    Syria will soon have the best, most battle-hardened army in the Middle East, save for Israel. With the airpower it’ll be able to handle the Turks (who won’t be able to fly in Syria).
    Erdogan definitely has some screws lose in his head. It won’t end well for him and his country.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is funny; I was in the Blue Mosque and found it amusing that the young European men in shorts had to wear skirts supplied by Turks to enter that mosque.
    And in the Vatican they have mantles fro all those scantly clad women as well…

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You might be right. On the other hand, Ayatollah Khomeini broke with Islamic Tradition on at least 6 important points that were common among the Shia and the Sunni.
    Many in Iran try to excuse AKP, I am not one of them.
    On the other hand, like the Shah of Iran, the Kemalists also abridged scope of non-religious politics; nurturing, in their own way, the religious parties.

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Do not ignore the role that PKK played in this. I know Kurds are darlings of some commentators here, but they cannot be separated from the massive stupidity of PKK.
    Parti Karegaran Kurdistan – A Persian name – based on a discredited political program, for a population that has almost no industrial proletariat to speak of, leading only more young men and women to their deaths.
    If you were a young Kurdish woman in Diyar Bakr, your aspiration would be to someday attend the Laleli university, interacting freely with your male class mates, going out to dinner with your girl-friends, and enjoy your youth in that cosmopolitan city called Istanbul.
    As is, the program PKK only promises years of bloodshed and hardship, in which your youth will be burnt up in smoke, you would be likely given in marriage to another ignorant young man who has never lived outside of Diyar Bakr but who clearly knows how the world works, and after a number of pregnancies and trying to run a household, your hope and aspiration will be reduced to wishing Lalei attendance for your daughter.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    None of them have any vision. You saw Mursi did not even stay for lunch in Tehran lest he be contaminated by the Shia virus.

  46. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Typical armenian wet dream, but now is your chance. We have an idiot running/ruining the place. Suit up, come down and win your own war. You might be more successful than your great grandfathers.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  47. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to ISL,
    If the lake was Lake Aksehir, it’s gone. If the fish was the Central Anatolian Bleak, which once thrived there, it’s extinct.
    If the lake was Lake Beysehir (28 miles long, twelve miles wide), that one is predicted to be dry by 2040. There are many other endemic lake fish in Turkey that are facing extinction.

  48. Kathy says:

    Wasn’t Gulen connected to Paul Henze and Graham Fuller? In any case, it’s certainly strange that a fairly recent immigrant with a fifth-grade education should run the largest charter school network in the US–funded by our tax dollars, natch. Gotta love this school-choice grift.

  49. Lemur says:

    The error in that analysis is reducing Trump’s motivations to his ego. It’s reminiscent of the trendy journalist narrative during the campaign ‘he’s only in it for the attention, tehehehe’. Most Great Men think pretty highly of themselves, and hence have firm belief their political endeavours will succeed where others won’t. That may be precisely the attitude we need in the whitehouse.

  50. kooshy says:

    is this the same Israel of 2006 war with Hezbollah

  51. ISL says:

    That is really sad, though it was more of a pond, a roadside lake maybe 1/2 mile across. Probably had a dam though it was getting dark and I dont recall. There was such warm hospitality in the family.

  52. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Ah! Diyarbakr, the city of death and missing, as RT describes it.
    Even Germany, Turkey’s oldest friend in Europe, is slamming Erdogan’s crackdown on Kurdish civilians and politicians. Belgium is slapping Erdogan in the face with a recent court ruling stating that activities of the PKK organization cannot be classed as terrorism but fall under the definition of an “armed campaign”.
    There are claims that Iran is encouraging and funding the PKK. I do not know whether those claims are true or false. I expect much of the funding comes more from the Kurdish diaspora. What are your thoughts on that?
    I have also seen recent reports that an Iraqi Shia PMU is supporting PKK elements inside Iraq.
    And what outside agency would be supporting PDKI and PAK guerillas in Iran?
    The problem with the Kurds is that they have believed the empty promises of the Turks, Iranians, Arabs, Russians, British, and Americans. All have (or will) desert them in the end. Trump claims he likes the Kurdish fighters. But his pick for National Security Advisor appears to be an Erdogan man. Will Trump stick by the PYG in Syria and the Peshmerga in Iraq? What about future administrations?

  53. Tyler says:

    According to my sources from the future, April 9th, 2020.

  54. mike allen says:

    “Anything else”
    Turning Turkish prisons into Abu Ghraib on a mass scale.

  55. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    Whatever symbolic status Istanbul may have, its almost homogenous population makes every attempt at changing its status futile. Militarily the Straits can be controlled without occupying the city.

  56. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    While the Ottoman Empire’s religious tolerance and its multiethnic society is worth mentioning it must not be forgotten that these were the results of the serious military setbacks suffered in the 17th century.
    Since the above were thoroughly destroyed by either turkish nationalism and/or Erdogan’s iron hand, or even other (outside) factors, recreating that very Empire is an impossible task.
    On the other hand you cannot downplay demography. Those countries/cultures where there are not enough children born are doomed to disappear. As simple as that. And this factor is obviously on Erdogan’s side.

  57. b says:

    Two (former) CIA big wigs and a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey were the sponsor of his residency permit which the State Department and FBI originally rejected.
    I don’t think they did this out of private love for the dude …

  58. LeaNder says:

    those 6 billion were not for Syrian refugees but to make it political possible to say no (in stead of wait) to Turkeys EU membership.
    That’s nonsense, sorry. It’s pretty obvious that the pressure on the states around Syria to take in refugees is high. How many do you think fled to Jordan, Lebanon and yes Turkey over the years?
    One sure can discuss, if the deal made sense at all. But the EU agreed to take in a limited number of Syrians while Turkey would take the refugees stranded in Greece back in. Meaning: one hoped to deal with human trafficking too. The ones admitted can then simply board an airplane.
    There has always been a strong resistance against Turkish membership The present context hasn’t exactly made things easier.

  59. LeaNder says:

    I remind the pilgrims that this SOB was the darling of the Borg, and other assorted useful cretins, a decade or so ago.
    Well, I must have been a victim of propaganda too over the years. In any case I found Tayyip at the 2009 Davos annual meeting refreshing. Forgive, if I return to this incident over and over again.
    For all I know he is still a Borg operative fighting for his life.
    that has been more hesitatingly one of my hypotheses. Strong connections between the US, Israel and Turkey over the years, continuity based on NATO membership versus the state’s struggle in a deeper fog of war and politics.
    There seemed to have been some kind of détente between Syria and Turkey before current events unfolded, and Turkey’s parliament resisted to join Bush43’s coalition of the willing before that.

  60. turcopolier says:

    In re Gulen. You don’t understand that “former” is really “former” when you leave something like CIA. The “new guys” don’t want you around. You cramp their style because they and you always remember them sucking up to you. These two men (Henze and Fuller) had served in Turkey. It would have been part of their work there to stay in touch with a wide spectrum of people especially people like Gulen who would have been in a position because of his network to inform of what was going on beneath the surface of society in Turkey. IMO if you want to understand why these men sought residency and sanctuary for Gulen you should look to whatever it is that he did for them personally. pl

  61. Eric Newhill says:

    Actually, my grandfathers. One grandfather was executed in Oorfa for smuggling rifles from Iran (rifles for self defense against the Kurds, who the Turks had unleashed on the Armenians as murderous hired hands). My paternal grandfather, from the Diyarbekir region, survived and came to America. He lived under the same roof I did from the time I was 8 or 9 up until the time I was in high school.
    I gave serious consideration to going to fight in Nagorno Karabakh. However, I was informed that it would be considered some kind of act of terrorism by the State Dept.
    Anyhow, I agree that now may the once every hundred years opportunity.

  62. turcopolier says:

    The media and his political foes are talking out of both sides of their heads on Trump’s transition. They accuse him of not “draining the swamp” of the revolving door K Street lobbyist aristocracy but when he hires people like Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross and others from out of town then he is said to be opting for the status quo. Who should he appoint Treasury Secretary? Should it be a shoe salesman picked by lottery? pl

  63. yoyo says:

    EU did not give turkey 6 billion they signed the contract but they keep delaying the payment appereantly they will never pay so read some news before writing anything

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    As I said, in case of Kurds in Turkey, one has to acknowledge the destructive role that PKK has played in that part of the world.
    I do not care about the politics of the classification of PKK or PYG or any other such groups. Young Kurdish men and women have no future outside of the states they reside; Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.
    They can blame their ancestors for never having attempted to establish and maintain a Kurdish Kingdom – unlike Armenians – but such blame games will not help them to engage with the world as it is and not as a fantasy – when every hamlet, led by a chief, has become independent.
    Go look at Erbil as see for yourself.

  65. turcopolier says:

    “the US plan” You ARE joking aren’t you? There is no plan just a lot of goody goody Borgist group think. pl

  66. Laura says:

    Lemur, you might want to look up NPD or narcissistic personality disorder. I think we are all dealing with
    something a little more problematic than Great Men thinking highly of themselves. I would like to be wrong…but it is worth bearing in mind.

  67. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    I like your read. Definitely a lot of miscalculations going on lately in high places. It’s a wonderful thing when the careful elite planning all goes up in smoke, confounded by circumstance and their own blinkered thinking.

  68. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    Luckily, this sort of posturing doesn’t carry any weight at the executive level. I have a lot of bad things to say about Obama, but the guy seems to have a realistic notion of what might happen if the US decides on its own or with some combination of client states like the UK or France to declare a no fly zone in Syria.

  69. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    The Borg has a bad track record when it comes to discarding despots they no longer think useful. I remember Qaddafi’s temporary rehabilitation. And how about Manuel Noriega or Baby Doc Duvalier or Saddam Hussein? Any local strongman who thinks they’re buying some kind of immunity from drone strikes or assassination by taking CIA money or ‘reforming’ their economy for the benefit of Wall Street is a victim of the worst kind of self deception.

  70. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    Maybe the idea was that it was “THEE CITY” – the capitol of the known world. (It used to be a big deal!)

  71. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Tribalism implies strong cultural and ethnic ties. Something that is common to those of Arab, Turkish and Persian blood also. Unfortunately for the Turkish Kurds and Alevis and many others they are being forced into assimilation – else emigration, prison, death or fighting back. Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Arabs and even some Azeri are also being forced into homogenization by the current regime in Tehran as well as in the past by the Pahlavis.

  72. Imagine says:

    What else:
    1) Family brokered sale of ISIS oil to Israel, supporting both ISIS and Israel.
    2) Shooting down a Russian jet.

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are completely misinformed about Iran. Persian tribalism? Hardly, name one Persian tribe extant, please.
    What keeps all those various people together is the Shia Religion. That is the bond forged over centuries of intermittent warfare between the Shia political power based in Qazvin, Isphahan, Mashahd, or later Tehran and the Sunni political powers surrounding her.
    The fight in Iran is not between Persians and others, if you like to look for one. It is between Azeris and Kurds – take your side.
    You have a beef with the current Iranian dispensation; but you guys were in Iran for 25 years, why did you not put anything better in place?
    You have been in Afghanistan for 15 years, and even Najib’s government was better than what is in place there now; in my opinion.

  74. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Blinkered thinking indeed.
    On the eve of the Iraqi invasion of Iran, thee was this officer in the Iranian Army’s Duxieme Bureau who was doing his duty, sending up reports about the doings of the Iraqi Army up the chain, warning about the possibility of war.
    He was arrested by the Revolutionary Government for spreading lies and creating tension between two brotherly Muslim countries.
    I do not know what happened to him.
    Yes, elites miscalculate and ordinary people suffer and die.

  75. Eric Newhill says:

    IZ, Correction; Just saw what I wrote when distracted…The one executed in Oorfa was, indeed, a great grandfather (my grandmother’s father). I did live with my paternal grandfather, who survived the whole mess.

  76. Kooshy says:

    Mike, there is no such thing as Persian blood ( nationalism ) if you knew Iranian Azaries or Kurds you would understand they don’t undersatnd “Persian nationalism based on blood” they don’t even see the Persepolis as a “Persian’ ” only heritage’ they see it as an Iranian heritage, like its thier own which really is.
    Someone, a poet, an Iranian nationalist, named Ferdosi from Khorasan, settled this matter of Persian vs Iranian more than a thousand years ago,in an epic book called shahnameh meaning book of kings, his book is the Iranian national ID card, he was a Shia Iranian and wrote this book for non Persian Sunni, Turkic speaking king of ghaznavids dinesty. He wrote ” If Iran is not to be, my body wouldn’t be” that is, very much a common understanding in greater Iran, including some of neighboring countries, I would think ever since. For some reasons, it is difficult for the westerners to understand that In that part of the world Iran not necessarily means the geography of the country of Iran, IMO, it rather means a common heritage to all nighbours ethnicities and religions that associate themselves to it. IMO that is the reason it is so hard to instigate a meaningful thretaning ethnical uprising there. All Iranians including majority of immediate nighbours enjoy a common IRANIAN heritage before and after Islam which according to iranologists is even more important in art, littuature, caulture medicine, sineces than that of pre-Islamic period.

  77. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Respectively, I have no beef with Iran. You may be confusing me with our President-elect and his new National Security Advisor and many in our Congress. Not that I would ever belong in such august company. I am a just a dumb old armchair chatterer, but I would love to visit Iran. I was told by an American who was there many decades ago how beautiful it was and how friendly the people are.
    But I do not understand your animosity against Kurds. True, only some of them are Shia, others Sunni and many other religions and even some communists. Is that a reason to dislike them when they are fighting against Daesh in Iraq that would love nothing better than to destroy Iran and kill or forcibly convert its citizens. And in Syria the Kurds fight against Daesh, al-Quaeda and many other Takfiri units. Iraqi Kurds, or many of them, aided Iran in the 1980s against Saddam and paid for it deeply in Halabja and elsewhere.
    On your point that the only fight in Iran’s northwest is between Kurds and Azeris: If that is so then why is the IRGC executing and imprisoning so many Kurds there. Why is the IRIA bombing PDKI and PAK?
    Also you appear to be saying that ANRO and Jundallah are not Azeri and Baluchi resistance movements in Iran? They exist. Wishing them away will not make them disappear.

  78. Eric Newhill says:

    Mike Allen,
    Everything my family elders told me about the Kurds – and they had to live amongst them, unfortunately – is that the Kurds are rootless, murdering bandits, lacking in the higher aspects of culture. The prefer to raid and steal, than to build and grow. Furthermore, they cannot seem to agree on anything resembling a coherent “culture”. One chief ties his camel and puts his tent up here and that is a kingdom. Another does the same over there, and that is another kingdom.
    These are low caste people. Useful to us now, yes, because enemy of my enemy is my friend.
    Of course it is entirely possible that things have changed over the last hundred years. Maybe now, the Kurds, given a chance, will evolve into beacons of freedom and democracy in the MENA. Though one wonders why they did not in all the years before.

  79. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I am suggesting to you that the struggle that Kurds are waging against established states of Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq is a futile one; both within the historical perspective as well as in this moment in time – that all it accomplished is death and destruction for Kurds.
    Furthermore, the excuses for that struggle makes no sense; cultural freedom? Look on the Internet for the number of Kurdish language books that have been published in Iran during the last 35 years; more than during the time of Monarchy. I am not familiar with the scene in Turkey, may be IZ or Kunari can shed some light on that.
    Some people are just fools – individually and collectively and you cannot save them from the effects of their own delusions. However, one must not also indulge them in their fantasies.
    If Kurds are fighting against ISIS or Al Qaeda, the more power to them. But they must be advised that they have no prayer for autonomy or anything else in Syria; that they should not send their young men and women to die against SAR.
    In Iraq, their autonomy is written into the Iraqi Constiitution but someone has to disabuse them that they can become independent; they cannot – Arabs of Iraq will eventually crush them and Iranians will economically blockade them. Fanning those passions will cause more deaths and more destruction, largely borne by Kurds.
    This discussion started by my comments about PKK, I stand by them. What has it wrought in Southwestern Turkey – for Kurd or Turk alike? Does any sane person think that there is not an Army of Mehmets ready to be called to go kill Kurds?
    DAESH or ISIS is not a threat against Iran (or Israel) but it is one against every single Sunni Muslim state – as well as India and the Russian Federation.
    Baluch Resistance Movements? That is laughable. Let’s not kid ourselves who is funding them and who is sheltering them; Sunni Muslims in hostile states to Iran.
    You have never been to Baluchistan; everything that has been built there is due to the Islamic Republic – during the Monarchy period they did not have even drinking water; muddy water from Spring flash floods was their best water all-year-long.
    For the imprisoned Kurds and the convicted and executed ones in Iran, you have to consider it case by case. Not every claim of innocence is credible. You might have a small case there; I do not know. A few weeks a group of young Iranian men entering from Iraqi Kurdistan were surrounded and killed. One has to ask: “For what?” Their political leaders are sitting in Erbil or in London or Paris or Washington DC, sending idealistic young men to their deaths.
    All for nothing.

  80. kooshy says:

    Eric, as far a I know The Iranian Kurds that is not true,like many small tribes they may have some hostility to strangers at first, they are very tribal and many tribes within the Iranian Kurdestan alone likes of Zangneh, Sanjabi, Ardlans, Kakavand, etc. these family’ loyalty is like the mafia’ loyalty, it rests first and foremost with the family and the Khan of the Tribe, like in the families of Talabani’s or Barezanies. Their biggest problem is lack of unity and accepting a leader or a common cause a common guide due to their extreme tribalism. They are mainly mountain people, and best at fighting in mountains of their own region, historically they are not good lowland warriors.

  81. mike allen says:

    Eric –
    Low caste people? Who are the high caste people in your estimation?
    I realize that a hundred years ago some Kurds were accomplices in the mass murder of your grandfather’s people. Tell me, were they considered low caste before 1915? Or only after? The current generation of Kurds have acknowledged the Armenian genocide and apologized for their forefathers crimes. Something the Turks and the Turkish nation has never done. Save your insults for those who better deserve them.
    What do your family elders tell you about the Azeri and Nagorno-Karabakh?

  82. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    You have a powerful argument. And you are correct in many of your statements. They will probably not get a Kurdish State in the near future. They’ll never get autonomy in Iran and Turkey. And even without granting Kurds autonomy, Iran and Turkey will never countenance what the Colonel calls a ‘multi-culti’ society. Still that does not make their struggle foolish, and does not mean it makes no sense.
    I disagree about Kurd aspirations in Syria and Iraq. They have autonomy now and they may getn to keep it if they play their cards right.
    You are right about the Jundallah Baluch group in Iran. They are terrorists led by a headchopper and are probably funded by the Gulfies or perhaps even Israel.
    You do not mention the Azeri National Resistance Organization in Iran. As far as I know they avoid violence and good on them for that if true. But they do struggle for cultural and human rights and fundamental liberties. And their non-violent activists have been imprisoned for speaking of it.
    You mention: ‘A few weeks a group of young Iranian men entering from Iraqi Kurdistan were surrounded and killed.’ It happens all the time, not just last week. And many of the killed and or detained are simple smugglers carrying 50 or 60 kilos of trade goods on their backs, and NOT PDKI or PAK guerrillas

  83. wondook says:

    What else? You could potentially add the charge of personal enrichment under the cover of jingoistic brinkmanship. Some on this forum already pointed to the reckless policies of invading Syria and Iraq. President Erdoğan’s aim here might be to return to Turkey’s orbit some areas long close to the hearts of both Kemalist nationalists and the Islamists.
    These areas (as defined by the Misaq-i Melli) were within the territory that the Mudros armistice agreed on in 1918, but cut off by the treaty of Sèvres, which Turkish nationalists never recognized. Taking in Syrian refugees was also seen by the core AKP as replenishing Turkey with more traditional and religious people, steps are underway to make some of them Turkish citizens. This would mean that he is appealing to two distinct groups in Turkey on a unifying issue. By promising to “make Turkey great again” and deflecting attention from his failure to develop the economy. I think he is not seriously contemplating integrating these areas into Turkey, but it’s likely they are serving as useful foreign policy foils.
    Receiving loud criticism from Europe or Russia serves for the President also as justification for suppressing dissent within. He can conveniently label any critic as a foreign agent.
    On the economy: I think others here are more competent on that, but I observe that many Turkish textile factories long working for European market have outsourced production to Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh. The construction industry has run dry, and manufacturing would need better access to Europe and Russia for high-value products (Beko being one of the few success stories in Europe).
    But the President has understood that a closer integration into the European market could only be had at the price of diversifying the Turkish government, calming tensions with neighbours and a solution over Cyprus. This first request naively pushed by European expansion professionals as a “stabilizing” advice for Turkey is in reality a “deal-braker” as the President would be asked to share his power that he just monpolised after pushing out the Gulen followers from December 2013 on, and the Davutoğlu faction in the AKP in 2016. In his mind this would not lead to more “stability” but to the opposite, and therefore he sees behind the project of a European expansion always the spectre of “regime change”.
    Externally, his calculation was sound until the 2015, as he could cover himself in the region as a NATO and Israel ally. The close relationships with doubtful friends had no consequences. I think I heard that President Obama once got upset with Mr. Fidan at dinner, but there were never any serious repercussions. Europeans kept quiet after they got flooded in 2015 with refugees and are watching when the spigot is turned on again.
    All along the way there are signs that maybe the family of the President profited personally. Back to the Gold for Oil trade with Iran ( when the alliance with the Gulenists broke up over what seems to have been the distribution of the spoils ( This element of personal enrichment extended probably to the sale of Syrian and Iraqi hydrocarbons to the benefit of ISIL. When in a debate at the UN Security Council at the level of Ministers of Finance, both the United States and the Russian Federation chose to talk about financing of ISIL by sales of hydrocarbons (, Turkey reacted with an angry letter against the baseless accusations ( This evolved in an interesting public exchange of letters at the Security Council, one of which brough in Mr. Yildirim’s IHH foundation ( and another shed light on some FTF activities ( Bilal Erdoğan denied the baseless accusations ( already at the start. These letters continued until the relationship with Russia was patched up to terms we don’t know exactly. In the Ermitage there are some magnificent presents by Ottomans, that then served to seal various peace treaties in the 18th and 19th centuries (diamond-encrusted saddles, sabers and the like).

  84. Ulenspiegel says:

    “On the other hand you cannot downplay demography. Those countries/cultures where there are not enough children born are doomed to disappear. As simple as that. And this factor is obviously on Erdogan’s side.”
    Debatable. Increasing population without the economic means to sustain it is a recipe for desaster. Look at Pakistan or to a lesser extend India.
    A country with a low domestic birth rate can allow immigration and can spend resources to integrate the new citizens.

  85. Macgupta123 says:

    So there’s no plausible Republican talent other than people like Mnuchin?

  86. LeaNder says:

    “when distracted…The one executed in Oorfa was, indeed, a great grandfather (my grandmother’s father)”
    Yes, caught my attention. Correction increases attention, btw.
    Apart from the fact that your expertise of the ‘baksheesh mentality’ kind of ‘frames’ your earlier comment.

  87. Eric Newhill says:

    Mike Allen,
    I’m really not saying anything different than Kooshy and Babak. Kurds were considered low caste because they are extremely tribal/family oriented (like “mafia”, per Kooshy)mountain people. They’re hillbillies. They failed to establish a unified Kurdish entity and they failed to ever establish anything approximating a high civilization. Armenians did these things. Persians did them. Even the Turks managed a veneer of civilization by copying Europe – however “sickly” – and allowing Armenians and Persians to build for them and be an intellectual trust to get it started and keep it maintained.
    It is a mistake to think that 1915 was an aberration in history. Rather, it was the culmination of a long history. The Kurds were what they are long before 1915. As were the Turks.

  88. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Are Kurds somehow more deserving of autonomy than anyone else on that part of the world?
    In Syria – Alawites, Druze, Armenians, Chechens, Arabs do not have autonomy. Why should Kurds?
    A struggle with zero chance of success, every step of which carries risk to life and limb is foolish, in my opinion.
    Azeri National Resistance? Another laughable name.
    Iran was created by the Azeri Turkish tribes. Who then proceeded to destroy what they themselves had created because they could not agree among the various tribes who should be king. Yet their disproportionate presence and influence in the state has remained to this day.
    Ah yes, Cultural and Human Rights. What would that be in this specific case of Azeris? After all, there is another Azeri country, called Azerbaijan Republic, that is relentlessly suppresses and jails non-Azeris there; among them the ancient Iranian people called Talesh.
    Yes, they are all unarmed smugglers…every last one of them…
    Listening to you, it is evident how successfully the wily Middle Easterners is manipulating the naïve Faranji.

  89. LeaNder says:

    if the quality of your vision feed is high enough …
    not sure. But for what it’s worth. … I have this memory concerning the use of other party’s (military) uniforms. True or fiction?
    But no matter what, that wouldn’t rule out ‘the facts’ about control of the location versus new incoming information … which as you suggest seems to be interpretation of surveillance only:
    BUT: I didn’t get further then this:
    The individuals wore a mix of traditional wear, civilian attire and military style clothing that lacked uniformity.

  90. Babak Makkinejad says:

    No no no.
    You, in Germany, cannot integrate Syrian and other Muslims – you will be creating a permanent and separate ethnicity in Germany that is not German but Muslim. This will cause centuries of trouble for Germany.

  91. mike allen says:

    Eric –
    The small Armenian community in Iraq today is for the most part in the Kurdistan Region. Some there fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga against Daesh, or have Pesh blessing to raise their own militia to protect their own villages. Some also live in Kurdish cities and have schools or churches in Erbil, Dohuk, Zakho and Kirkuk. There is a reserved seat for an Armenian representative in the 111 seat Kurdistan Region Parliament even though their numbers (< 20K out of a KRG population or 5.5M) are too low to elect one of their own to such a spot. Many Armenians have lived there for a hundred years or more. But the Armenians of Baghdad and other areas in the middle or south of Iraq have moved there in the last decade. They moved to the Kurdish Region for safety, because some Armenian institutions and churches in Baghdad and central Iraq were bombed, and some Armenians there kidnapped or killed. Some of that was by Sunnis, but some also likely by Shia in retribution for Iraqi-Armenian support of Saddaam. Iraqi-Armenians regard the Kurdish areas to be much safer to live in. If being family oriented or being a hillbilly means low caste as you seem to think, and if being a Kurd is considered low caste, then count me in as being low caste also. I welcome that epithet.

  92. LeaNder says:

    Deuxieme Bureau, army intelligence at the time?

  93. Eric Newhill says:

    Mike Allen,
    I think that, as a Marine, you appreciate and romanticize a small group of scrappy and courageous fighters. I understand and appreciate that too. I’ll give the Kurds that much.

  94. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Thank you for your response.
    You asked why Kurds should have autonomy in Syria, when Alawites, Druze, Armenians, Chechens, and Arabs do not. Why not is what I ask? The Syrian Kurds have been willing to fight for it and many have been martyred for it. They stood up to Daesh in Kobani and elsewhere and are now standing up to the Turkish Army and the Turkish led headchopper militias. Most of that was without any help at all from the Syrian Government until very recently in the last month or so. And in some cases in the past their struggle against Daesh was confounded by Damascus policies.
    They are not asking for independence, only the right to run their own affairs. And I dispute your contention that there is no autonomy for Druze and Alawite. The Druze in Syria have had autonomy for many decades, although it is unofficial and unrecognized by Damascus. And the Alawites have also had their own brand of self-determination for at least 50 years.
    I was aware of the suppression of non-Azeris in the former Azerbaijan SSR, but was not aware of the Talesh. Are they related to the Gilaki?
    Regarding the wily Middle Easterners manipulation of naïve Faranji: Yes it happens! Arabs, Israelis, and Iranians are much more adept at it than the Kurds. Americans do have some wily, scheming people, but they tend to evolve towards shady businesses and crooked politics. We need to learn the secrets of how it is done internationally.

  95. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    USMC strength is 220,000. Is that small? pl

  96. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Historically, religious sects had been autonomous in the conduct of their personal affairs in the Muslim lands. But they did not have political autonomy in the sense that you describe: carving out a piece of this country or that country and to set up, in effect, a fiefdom.
    The Muslim populations did not enjoy any autonomy – geographical or otherwise. There has not been any type of self-government in the Levant since the demise of the Greco-Roman cities there. The legal doctrines and structures for it does not exist in Islam. It might be grafted into the existing constitutional frameworks but has not been done except in a few cases, such as in Iran.
    And then there is the whole issue of implementation and substance behind such constitutional arrangements and formulations; will they endure?
    The self-government of Euro-Americans rests on an almost continuous 2500-year old tradition. None of that exists East of the Diocletian Line.
    You also seem to be suggesting that since some Kurds in Syria have fought against ISIS or Al Qaeda and its affiliates, they deserve territorial autonomy from the Syrian State. By the same token, the Syrian State could reject the basis of that claim and send its tanks and infantry to roll up any such pretensions. And I believe they will.
    US herself crushed the CSA which wanted to go her own way.
    And in Israel, why does not US stand for autonomy for Palestinians?
    And in Italy, why does not Italy grant autonomy to the Lombard League?
    And in Spain, when will we see a free Catalonia?
    And in UK, when is the Perfidious Albion going to grant freedom to the 3 occupied counties and make Ireland united and free?

  97. mike allen says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Syrian Kurds have not asked for statehood, only for a federal system, which by the way has also been recommended by Assad’s ally the Russians. Will Syria send its tanks and infantry into Kurdish Rojava to quash such a move and go against the wishes of their benefactor? Or are the Russians just playing mind games with the Kurds? The Syrians may consider it a benefit to have a Kurdish buffer between themselves and their north. I believe the greater danger to Kurdish autonomy is from their neighbor to the north as long as Erdogan reigns.
    The Kurds in Iraq already have a federal system. And they want full independence. Will Iran decide to oppose that militarily?
    The US has stood for Palestinian autonomy since the time of Jimmy Carter. Reagan changed that policy. Clinton brought it back. And I believe Obama and even Bush Junior have continued that policy. They have not however recognized Palestine Statehood, which is a mistake I believe.
    At least we agree that Albion is perfidious. Sly and sneaky Sassenachs according to my Grandmother.

  98. wondook says:

    Mr. Newhill, your ancestors memories of Kurds be honored. But for the present you might want to have a look at the recent apologies issued by Kurds of the BDP ( not only in Diyarbakir, but also in Mardin where the Kurdish MP Ahmet Türk, then the co-mayor of Februniye Akyol made public apologies also in 2013 (Akyol happens to be a Christian woman elected with support of the Kurds).
    While this is not representative of all Kurds in Turkey, I observe a rethink among the Syrian Kurds, too. I did not find anything in the Iraqi and Iranian discussions, but as I remember well from Iran, there was no genocide, and Armenians were very much welcome at their annual pilgrimage to St. Thaddaeus Church a.k.a. Kara Kalisa.
    The PKK debate rests on the realisation by Ocalan that the mono-ethnically-defined nation state (ulus-devlet) does not work, and that rules out a Kurdish copz of the model. This seems to me a parallel development to the Kurds publicly acknowledging their role in the Armenian genocide.
    As to sources, I’d refer you to the 2005 KCK document in Turkish under ( The Arabic, English and Persian versions I knew of in the internet are no longer under their previous links.
    Of course my contribution should not be misunderstood as making any smaller the authoritarian character of the PKK and the almost totalitarian reactions against internal criticism.
    The Kurdish realisation of having committed a genocide is out, I am confident that more conclusions will follow.
    Btw Ahmet Türk is in jail since last week (

  99. LeaNder says:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    this line seems to convey better and better what the presently increasing dynamics feel like to me.
    9/11 woke me up from my self-chosen political slumber, at least concerning superior matters of politics ‘cum’ foreign relations.
    Let’s pick the Iraq War. Iraq Chronology, … Kuwait, Clinton, US: Iraq Liberation Act(1998?), the Iraqi Disarmament Crisis, UNSCOM/Hans Blix, “Mission Accomplished”… ISIS …
    Concerning money and power. A couple of bankers were fired over here recently, I learned yesterday. Without being given a reason in their termination notice. Their not addressed wrongdoing was that they dealt with private Iranian customers.
    Aware of politics, the one interviewed, who had worked for the bank more then 20 years, had asked his superiors if this was OK. They reassured him everything was fine. Then matters developed dramatically. His bank sent him to NY for interrogation. Apparently he was asked to sign some kind of contract. Which would have made him some type of informer. He compared it to Stasi methods. What they wanted to know was everything around the costumers he had dealt with. …
    There are other similar but comparatively minor cases, where US law interferes with European or German law according to which they wouldn’t have done anything wrong, like selling Cuban coffee. Terminates access to your Paypal account. Until you stop selling Cuban Coffee.
    Two random picks – control of banks post 2008:
    All this happened under Obama. Why don’t we simply exchange our laws with American law, would make matters easier for the average European merchant and banker.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Kurds in Iran had nothing to do with the Armenian massacre.

  101. Eric Newhill says:

    Well, not when you put it that way.

  102. Eric Newhill says:

    I only brought the whole thing up to suggest that there is a history in the cultures of the region that, IMO, hasn’t changed much. The history was somewhat interrupted in the post WW1 era, but the current just went underground. It didn’t dry up. Tayyip wants to resurface one of those powerful currents.
    100 years doesn’t mean much in that region – again my humble and not so enlightened opinion. Perhaps the Kurds can become a nation, but I doubt it. I am suspicious of tribes with flags attempting to become anything more than that.

  103. took rat says:

    I think that Russia is making moves to wrest the Bosporus Strait and Istanbul from Turkey and in the process finally give Russia a true, incontestable access to the Mediterranean and a warm-water port. Only the British Empire and then America have prevented this and now America has enabled Turkey to retain Constantinople. All things change and with America needing an ally against an increasingly bellicose China and the realization the Europe is a basket-case may lead America to trade off Turkey for the following reasons:
    1) If you are going to take on China, then Russia is a necessary ally.
    2) If you are serious about destroying ISIS and islamofascism, then Russia is a natural ally with the same goals.
    3) If you want shift troops from Europe and refocus military resources then a friendly allied Russia allows you to do so.
    4) Turkey has betrayed America and actively sabotaged its military efforts in the Middle East so it has proven itself to be a worthless ally and even an enemy.
    Sleep well Erdogan as the world moves around you……..

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