The evolution of Turkish politics since Prime Minister Erdoğan disclosed his affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood is comparable to that of Egypt: the unquestionable support he enjoys is only matched by the hatred he arouses. More than ever, the country is divided, with no democratic solution in sight, and a future that – in whatever form - will necessarily be violent.
Political life in Turkey descended into chaos after the anonymous YouTube release, March 27, of the excerpts from recordings of a national security meeting in which the government was contemplating a false flag attack to trigger an open war against Syria .
This is not the first time that illegal recordings have been leaked. On February 24, an audio tape exposed the Prime Minister telling his son to stash 30 million euros in cash before the police arrive to search his home . Despite Erdoğan’s denials, this incident shattered his image of a pious and law-abiding man.
In reality, things have stopped functioning normally since the courts and the police launched a vast crackdown at the end of 2013 against corrupt high-profile figures. The Prime Minister decried a plot hatched by his former erstwhile ally and current rival, Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen . He responded by sacking thousands of public servants accused of being his disciples.
While the Western press has focused on the embezzlement scandal per se, the Turkish people have also opened their eyes to the real policies of Mr. Erdoğan. He funded - at the expense of the Turkish state - Al-Qaeda in Syria going so far as to receive several visits from the banker of the sect, despite his name appearing on the United Nations most wanted list of international terrorists . Last Friday’s tapes throw the spotlight on the Foreign Minister, his deputy, the deputy chief of staff and the chief of intelligence. The four men were planning to stage a covert operation to be executed by Syrian agents and attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in order to justify a Turkish invasion.
As soon as the recordings were out, the government panicked and blocked the access to YouTube. It threatened opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who had alluded to the plot on television before it was revealed, and ordered the arrest of Aytaç, an intellectual close to Fethullah Gülen, for the same reason. Erdoğan’s authoritarian response suggests that he no longer controls the situation.
Whatever the case may be, the disclosure undermines any Turkish attempt to further interfere in Syria. Since the beginning of the war, Ankara has provided logistical support to NATO jihadists in terms of weapons and intelligence as well as humanitarian cover for the military camps on its territory, and has funded itself by stealing machine-tools and plundering the archaeological treasures found in Aleppo. According to two credible witnesses, it is again Ankara that organized the Ghouta chemical weapons attack Ghouta in August 2013 . Finally, the Turkish army infiltrated hundreds of jihadists one week ago into Kassab . When they were shelled by the Syrian Air Force, the Turkish army shot down a Syrian plane to come to their aid .
Turkish involvement has lasted too long to still be denied. Ankara doesn’t just support a political opposition, but Islamist mercenaries who practice terrorism. How much longer will the Turkish people be willing to stand behind a Prime Minister who started out by pledging to have quit the Muslim Brotherhood, who has been given Washington’s support, and has easily achieved good economic results, before finally revealing his true nature? Since the NATO’s aggression against Libya, Erdoğan has returned to the Muslim Brotherhood fold; he applauded the destruction of the Libyan state, and later that of Syria, by NATO and the Brothers and halted economic growth. This turnabout was accompanied by an authoritarian drift that makes Turkey one of the worst countries in the world as regards the freedom of communication, the imprisonment of opponents and journalists.
If the Prime Minister has nothing to fear from the West, because he supports NATO, he should have thought twice before banding his opponents together by subjecting them to the same repression. In addition to his own people, he will now have to face his army, whose unjustly imprisoned generals are being released one after the other.
Sunday, March 30th, the people spoke during the municipal elections: Turkey did not rejected the AKP party of the Prime Minister, but it emerged deeply divided into two implacably opposed camps, on one side Islamists, on the other the secular population. The superiority of the former allows Erdoğan to aspire to the next presidential election, but his country will never be as before and will never be upheld as a regional model.
In short, here as elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood, even with a relative majority of 45% - can not hope to impose their vision of society. The election results were hardly announced when Erdoğan delivered at his party’s headquarters a vengeful speech threatening the "traitors" who attacked him.
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