Talking Turkey 362


To simply say “protestors good, government bad” in Turkey is a symptom of the Blair delusion, that in civil conflicts there are guys with white hats and guys with black hats, and that the West’s role is to ride into town and kill the guys in the black hats. That is what “liberal intervention” means. The main aim of my second autobiographical book, “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo”, was to explain through the truth of the Sierra Leone experience how very, very wrong this is.

In fact civil conflicts are usually horribly complex, anent a variety of very bad people all trying to gain or retain power, none of them from an altruistic desire to make the world a better place. There may be ordinary people on the streets with that altruistic desire, being used and manipulated by these men; but it is not the ordinary altruistic people on the streets who ever come to power. Ever.

In Turkey the heavy crushing of a rainbow of protests in Istanbul has been going on for at least a month now. A week ago I was discussing it with my publisher, whose son lives in the city. A fortnight ago I was in Istanbul myself.

The Turkish people I was with were natural Erdogan supporters, and what struck me very forcibly was the fact that he has sickened many of his own natural allies by the rampant corruption in Turkey at present. Almost everyone I met spoke to me about corruption, and Turkey being Turkey, everyone seemed to know a very great deal of detail about how corruption was organised in various building and development projects and who was getting what. It therefore is hardly surprising that the spark which caused this conflict to flare to a new level was ignited by a corrupt deal to build a shopping centre on a park. The desecration of something lovely for money could be a metaphor for late Erdogan government.

The park is very small beer compared to the massive corruption involved in the appalling and megalomaniac Bosphorus canal project. Everyone talked to me about that one. The mainstream media, who never seem to know what is happening anywhere, seem to have missed that a major cause of the underlying unrest in Istanbul was the government’s announcement eight weeks ago that the Bosphorus canal is going ahead.

People are also incensed by the new proposal that would ban the sale of alcohol within 100 metres of any mosque or holy site, ie anywhere within central Istanbul. That would throw thousands of people out of work, damage the crucial tourist trade and is rightly seen as a symptom of reprehensible mounting religious intolerance that endangers Turkish society.

So there are plenty of legitimate reasons to protest, and the appalling crushing of protest is the best of them

But – and this is what it is never in the interest of Western politicians to understand – Government bad does not equal protestors good. A very high proportion – more than the British public realise by a very long way – of those protesting in the streets are off the scale far right nationalists of a kind that make the BNP look cuddly and Nigel Farage look like Tony Benn. Kemalism – the worship of Ataturk and a very unpleasant form of military dominated nationalism – remains very strong indeed in Istanbul. Ataturk has a very strong claim, ahead of Mussolini, to be viewed as the inventor of modern fascism

For every secular liberal in Istanbul there are two secular ultra-nationalist militarists. To westerners they stress the secular bit and try to hide the rest, and this works on the uncurious (being uncurious is a required attribute to get employed by the mainstream media). Of course there are decent, liberal, environmentalist protestors and the media will have no difficulty, now they have finally noticed something is happening, in filling our screens with beautiful young women who fit that description, to interview. But that is not all of what is going on here.

There certainly was no more freedom in Turkey before the AKP came to power. Government for decades had been either by the Kemalist military in dictatorship or occasionally by civilian governments they tolerated and controlled. People suddenly have short memories if they think protest was generally tolerated pre-Erdogan, and policy towards the Kurds was massively more vicious.

The military elite dominated society and through corruption they dominated commerce and the economy. The interests of a protected and generally fascist urban upper middle class were the only interests that counted at all. The slightest threat to those interests brought a military coup – again, and again, and again. Religion was barely tolerated, and they allied closely with Israel and the United States.

When Erdogan first came to power it was the best thing that had happened to Turkey for decades. The forgotten people of the Anatolian villages, and the lower middle class of the cities, had a voice and a position in the state for the first time. In individual towns and villages, the military and their clients who had exercised absolute authority had their power suddenly diminished. I witnessed this and it was a new dawn, and it felt joyous.

Then of course Erdogan gradually got sucked in to power, to money, to NATO, to the corruption of his Black Sea mafia and to arrogance. It all went very wrong, as it always seems to. That is where we are now.

Yes of course I want those pretty, genuinely liberal environmentalist girls in the park to take power. But they won’t. Look at the hard-eyed fascists behind them. Look at the western politicians licking their lips thinking about the chance to get a nice very right wing, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel government into power.

We should all be concerned at what is happening in Turkey. We should all call for an end to violent repression. But to wish the overthrow of a democratically elected government, and its replacement – by what exactly? – is a very, very foolish reaction.


362 thoughts on “Talking Turkey

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  • Macky

    @Oske, “We get your point.”

    Well I’m not so sure you do; I do appreciate that English is not your first language, so forgive me if you feel the following recap is unnecessary:

    Craig Post’s essentially comes down to this; “Yes of course I want those pretty, genuinely liberal environmentalist girls in the park to take power. But they won’t.” He highlights his concern that wishing the overthrow of a democratically elected government, is very risky & very naïve, especially as this is the same government that is being constantly plotted against & undermined by the Kemalist inspired nationalist military Deep State, who are always seeking to impose a “civilian government” they can tolerated and control. People have very short memories of how Turkey was ruled just a decade or two ago, and although the protestors like to compare Taksim Square to Tahrir Square, and yes Erdogan is in many ways bad, but he is nowhere even near in the same league as Mubarak.

    When the historical record is deliberately swept under the carpet or dishonestly distorted, history tends to repeat itself; these two front pages are from periods of military approved “secular governments”;

    http://hevalo.wordpress.com/2007/06/27/the-turkish-army-are-offering-rewards-for-beheaded-pkk-guerillas/

    http://www.google.fr/imgres?um=1&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&hl=fr&biw=1467&bih=646&tbm=isch&tbnid=DD9R_d0YTIjNUM:&imgrefurl=http://cyprusactionnetwork.org/dear_ms_jennifer_lopez&docid=AhCedfq4V6gwdM&imgurl=http://cyprusactionnetwork.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/sun.179135359_std.jpg&w=600&h=900&ei=RkWzUYj-OqaK0AXH1ICYBA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=113&vpy=191&dur=507&hovh=275&hovw=183&tx=78&ty=123&page=1&tbnh=156&tbnw=104&start=0&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:84

    will respectively remind those acquainted with the historical record, of old photos of Turkish soldiers posing with the decapitated heads of Armenians, and of the horrific accounts of the massacres committed in Smyrna.

    So my point is this, if those now calling for a more secular government, are not prepared to acknowledge the past crimes of previous Kemalist approved versions of “secular government”, then the Deep State will certainly use them to get rid of Erdogan, and will then be able to reinstalled another puppet “secular government” run on the same nationalist racist ideology of Kemalism, which many rightly consider as another version of fascism.

  • Komodo

    As to Komodo, who is a regular here that I respect, but his rather odd assumption that I was “conflating”, and then not followed by the courtesy of an acknowledgment when I explained the assumption, but instead a school-yard type sniggering “LOL” post in Turkish to Oske, is such rude forum etiquette & bad manners, that I find my respect for him somewhat diminished now.

    Actually I was responding to Oske’s wit, not yours. Nothing to do with you. As to conflation, I remain suspicious of people who (repeatedly) juxtapose unrelated events in order to make a slanted point. I will not revisit the early history of modern Turkey. As Oske, Anony and I agree, I think, nothing is to be gained for the present politics of Turkey by harping on about its extremely eventful and often tragic past.

  • Macky

    “juxtapose unrelated events”

    ??!!!

    Even after I explained what really didn’t need explaining, ie Ataturk’s own responsibility for the mass murder of Armenians ?!

    You should really stay away from Turkey related items as your comprehension & debating ability seems to go to pot everytime !

    “nothing is to be gained for the present politics of Turkey by harping on about its extremely eventful and often tragic past”

    The Kemalist legacy is still alive & kicking, Erdogan is figthing a desperate battle trying to keep it in check.

  • Anony

    Craig Post’s essentially comes down to this; “Yes of course I want those pretty, genuinely liberal environmentalist girls in the park to take power. But they won’t.” He highlights his concern that wishing the overthrow of a democratically elected government, is very risky & very naïve, especially as this is the same government that is being constantly plotted against & undermined by the Kemalist inspired nationalist military Deep State, who are always seeking to impose a “civilian government” they can tolerated and control. People have very short memories of how Turkey was ruled just a decade or two ago, and although the protestors like to compare Taksim Square to Tahrir Square, and yes Erdogan is in many ways bad, but he is nowhere even near in the same league as Mubarak.

    Protesters aren’t for overthrowing the government. gezi parkı protesters are asking for the ministers involved with overuse of police force to resign. And maybe the cabinet of Erdogan to resign. That’s it.

    I never heard for a call to bring down the government through a coup during the protests. You are still twisting the issue.Like Craig did.

    And there is still deep state, instead of Kemalist now Erdogan supporters have filled it. So spare me Craig’s naivety and yours about the government in Turkey. You are so ignorant,it’s not even funny because we are talking about people’s lives here.

    When the historical record is deliberately swept under the carpet or dishonestly distorted, history tends to repeat itself; these two front pages are from periods of military approved “secular governments” ;

    The government before was much more secular. There is no ifs or buts about it. You can’t deny this fact so you bring up the issue of nationalism when you can’t dispute this fact.That’s intellectually dishonest.

    As for your links,I didn’t deny Greeks suffered. I said there was nearly a genocide of Turks in Cyprus, and in that regard, nationalism of Turks isn’t the issue. Greek’s was. And let me point this out. Even with military intervention, Turks died.

    After having said all that, even though turks were dying. That doesn’t excuse the situation we have today in Cyprus. But if we are going to compare suffering,then in Cyprus there was nearly a GENOCIDE of Turks. Is that enough. You really don’t know when to back off,do you? To blame the site which suffered worse during civil war is really not a winning argument for your side of the debate.

    I can freely admit that the government after the first intervention did things not in the interest of all in the island. But if you somehow hope to shame the movement by those witness accounts on the Greek side. We have much more, I can assure you.

    As for the link with beheaded people after they were killed, that’s terrible. But to somehow equate them with what happened in Izmir is wrong. Because In Izmir non-combatant people died.

    I really don’t get your side of the issue here. We were talking about the protests. You brought up history. You are so dead set in your accusations, you don’t even realize that,the last two examples you gave aren’t even relevant.

    In cyprus,Turks were the sufferers due to a foreign government plot. After that,Turkish government handled it with faults.So? And one Turkish soldier killed an enemy combatant and mutilated a corpse. Do you want me to pull up all the links, us and british soldiers’ war crimes? Do you expect me to defend the soldiers? Or the ones who did that in Iraq or Afghanistan somehow were the result of what British or US government did in the ww2? Those govenments did many horrible things during ww2. But they also condemned torture. Now their soldiers today tortured people. Do you see a policy link then?

    will respectively remind those acquainted with the historical record, of old photos of Turkish soldiers posing with the decapitated heads of Armenians, and of the horrific accounts of the massacres committed in Smyrna.

    So my point is this, if those now calling for a more secular government, are not prepared to acknowledge the past crimes of previous Kemalist approved versions of “secular government”, then the Deep State will certainly use them to get rid of Erdogan, and will then be able to reinstalled another puppet “secular government” run on the same nationalist racist ideology of Kemalism, which many rightly consider as another version of fascism.

    And those soldiers aren’t celebrated or well liked. In Smyrna, Turks were also killed in the same manner. We condemn the matter for all sides.

    So my point is this, if those now calling for a more secular government, are not prepared to acknowledge the past crimes of previous Kemalist approved versions of “secular government”, then the Deep State will certainly use them to get rid of Erdogan, and will then be able to reinstalled another puppet “secular government” run on the same nationalist racist ideology of Kemalism, which many rightly consider as another version of fascism.

    And I can tell you, your point is irrelevant. The government before was more secular. So Kemalist approval was right in that regard.

    And the last point, is spoken like someone who doesn’t know what’s going on in Turkey. There is no deep state filled with anyone but Erdogan or Gulen supporters.

    “and will then be able to reinstalled another puppet “secular government” run on the same nationalist racist ideology of Kemalism, which many rightly consider as another version of fascism.”

    so this last part, is laughably irrelevant. And we don’t agree on your definition of fascism.

    The deep state propaganda has run its course for the last 5 years. No one in the opposition would even take it seriously even the ones who hate Kemalists.

    That’s why we have been discussing it for so long here with you. You have a bias, which if backed up by facts, wouldn’t show when you come to conclusion about today or the future of Turkey. But your facts or predictions of deep state are simply wrong. Any intellectually honest person would tell you that today in Turkey. Even the ones who hate Kemalists.

    Now that, I have finally shown that your biased account of Turkey isn’t really true.

    We can talk about gezi park:

    Deputy of PM said that the gezi park protesters are like yeniçeris(Janissary) who rise up against the Sultan. Get it? Taksim protest is now called an uprising of ottoman era soldiers. A civil movement is called that.

    The deputy have said that no would resign in the cabinet.He reiterated what capulcu means. Looter.

    They still want to demolish the mall. Now they want to build a museum.

    It is reported that UK has sold tons of pepper spray to Turkish government.

  • Anony

    The government still wants to demolish the park. Now they talk about having space where people can walk and building a museum. They don’t want to give up.

  • Anony

    There are 2 logical traps Craig and Macky are falling into here.

    – The government before was undoubtedly more secular. They had other faults but they were secular.
    – The gezi protesters want democratic rights.They want a process which in no way excludes democracy. We all want a better democracy through democratic solutions.

  • Anony

    There are 2 big rallies planned to inspire fear and awer in the hearts of protesters by the ruling party.

    They really know how to deal with people in a democracy,don’t they 🙂

  • Villager

    Macky:

    “I do appreciate that English is not your first language”

    Good Lord how arrogant and patronising is that!

    And to Komodo: ” You should really stay away from Turkey related items as your comprehension & debating ability seems to go to pot everytime !”

    Again a personal attack!

    I see you’ve ignored my posts which is fine with me for all you seem to be doing is wallowing in (twisted) history and related deep insecurity and fears. Get over it! And your comparisons to Tahrir Sq and Mubarak utterly irrelevant.

  • Anony

    When she played possum to stop the beating, they stopped. She heard them shout “That’s the power of Justice and Development’s party.”

    Then when she opened her eyes, she saw an officer, and asked for help. The officer said “Either get the fuck out of here or play dead.” When she tried to escape, they chased her. She took refuge in a protesters house.

  • Macky

    @Villager

    It seems that it’s not only people for whom English is not their primary language, who have a basic comprehension & interpretation problems; my comment to Oske was meant in good faith, which is quite clear if read in context, and I reckon that he probably took it as intended, unlike yourself, for reasons best known only to you.

    You may have noticed that the majority of my posts recently have been quite late at night; this is because I’m extremely busy during the day, so I can only fire off one or two short posts, and so cannot address everybody & every point that I would like to. I’ve been itching for hours to reply to Anony, especially iro his surreal comments about Cyprus, and if I manage to keep awake long enough, despite an unearthly early start tomorrow morning, I just might get to finally do soon.

    As to Komodo, you can class it as a personal attack as is your peculiar desire, but it was a frank observation, based also on a previous occasion again iro of Turkish matters, where he just seems to lose his sense of rationality; I’m can only assume that he feels so passionate about Turkey, that his emotions effect his logical reasoning to such an extent that his normally lucid debating argumentation, in my humble but honest opinion, does simply goes to pot.

    From your own frequent admission, history is not your strong point, yet you feel able to pass judgment on me as “wallowing in (twisted) history” !

    You also wrote on the Scottish thread the following;

    “Nationalism is just another form of Tribalism. Nothing more and nothing less. Thats how medieval we are”.

    Yet here you here on this thread, either directly or indirectly supporting a fascist form of Nationalism known as Kemalism, and it’s apologists for the Crimes against Humanity, committed in its name.

    All rather strange !

  • Anony

    You may have noticed that the majority of my posts recently have been quite late at night; this is because I’m extremely busy during the day, so I can only fire off one or two short posts, and so cannot address everybody & every point that I would like to. I’ve been itching for hours to reply to Anony, especially iro his surreal comments about Cyprus, and if I manage to keep awake long enough, despite an unearthly early start tomorrow morning, I just might get to finally do soon.

    Notice that, before you explode with anymore hatred towards the subject, I said that Turkish government did many things wrong regarding Cyprus. Unless you are going to deny the massacres done by the Greek side, I don’t see the need for your itch. The separation of the island could even be faulted on Turkey.

    So,no I’m not going to talk Cyprus with you. Unless for all your bravado,you are going to deny the death of many turkish people. And before you answer with some more links,notice that I didn’t deny any deaths on the Southern Cyprus done by the Turkish side government or not, either.

    We don’t agree on Kemalism. Your account of Izmir fire, doesn’t have any proof that It was ordered by higher ups. There were many officers,with ire towards Greek forces and their “collaborators” in Izmir.

    So some of them may have had a part in it. In my original post they were one of the four possibilities for the answer of the question: Who started the fire in Izmir? If the army officers started it, It wouldn’t mean anything because the army consisted of many views at that time.Both Islamist and nationalistic.

    Even if we agreed on kemalism, It wouldn’t mean anything. Because the “Kemalism approved”, as you said, government would still be more secular than today. And gezi parkı protesters doesn’t have to answer for anything to protest.

  • Villager

    Macky:

    “You also wrote on the Scottish thread the following;

    “Nationalism is just another form of Tribalism. Nothing more and nothing less. Thats how medieval we are”.

    Yet here you here on this thread, either directly or indirectly supporting a fascist form of Nationalism known as Kemalism, and it’s apologists for the Crimes against Humanity, committed in its name.

    All rather strange !”

    Every word of mine here is recorded. Show me as a matter of fact, not speculation, where i am ” supporting a fascist form of Nationalism known as Kemalism,”. Quote me directly. I am not interested in your subjective interpretations. You may be confused?

    I am supporting the protestors in Gezi Park who want to preserve the Park as is, who have been brutally attacked by the Police/Government with thousands injured in utterly disproportionate force, and who now want an apology. They also want an apology from Erdogan and a change of his autocratic style. He has ACTUALLY said that the protestors should be hung from the trees. He said it now in real time, 2 days ago, and no comment on that from you. You are just caught-up in the web of history. Of (questionable) knowledge and related psychological fears derived from a repetition of history.

  • Anony

    Macky has quite a case to settle with Turkey,it seems. Even on Cyprus, there is always something to blame or storm about.Even though, I said that Turkish side had done many things wrong and the current separation, was mostly the fault of Turkey.

    S/he probably will deny the coup on the government in Cyprus by Greek nationalists. Which will probably ,like FedUp, make him/her fall beneath my notice. Because I’m not going to talk Turkey with someone who even criticizes nationalism on the pedestal of socialism but has bias born of nationalism on his/her side.

    If s/he doesn’t do that, I will continue to answer to his/her comments.

    Considering the prime minister’s son in law, was going to build the mall and the pm never gives up. I would say that now they are trying to save face while trying to make it acceptable by lies first.

    So, before Macky sized storm hits: Turkish side did many things wrong in Cyprus. Many people died on either side but there was nearly a genocide of Turks. Thousands of dead on Turkish side is proof of that. There were many dead on the southern side. The Turkish side is also to blame. But the original idea was to end the quality between Turks and Greeks in the island by Greek nationalists.

    Even today, southern side on Cyprus don’t want to come together with the northern side, under the old constitution.

    Now that, we have reached a conclusion on the faults and perceived faults Turkey:

    The municipality still wants build something. They are now talking of changing another park to connect to gezi park. It seems they want to have an excuse to have mobilization on that ground.

  • Villager

    Anony: “Even though, I said that Turkish side had done many things wrong and the current separation, was mostly the fault of Turkey.”

    That is another fact that i can’t understand why Macky finds difficult to realise, see, and move on.

    Anyway, i find it futile to carry on this conversation with him for whenever i have asked specific pointed questions in order to clear up the misunderstanding generated by Craig, one hasn’t had answers.

    Have a good Sunday!

  • Villager

    Anony, why the turn of events of protests at the US embassy? How do you read its significance? I believe the EU has already condemned the disproportionate reaction by Erdogan’s Polis?

  • Anony

    I didn’t read much about the protests at the US embassy?

    EU and many high ranking official in the European governments condemned the actions of the government and Erdogan.

    But some of them threatened to halt the proceedings of the membership approval of Turkey to Eu. A big joke either way,because for the last 3 years, AKP has given up on EU membership. They care about solidifying their own power and nothing else.

  • Anony

    This talk of Kemalists should be expanded upon. Considering they are the worst of the worst for Craig and Macky.

    Erdogan termed people who were at the Taksim square from all walks of life, chapulcu.Looters.

    It turns out that his chosen ideologue model,Necip Fazıl called the pro democracy army which had ataturk among the officers “capulcu”.

    That army had defeated the coup leaders of the pro Sultanate and anti-democratic faction during the ottoman era before ww1.

    Then the pro democracy army demolished the headquarters of the coup leaders,the artillery barracks in Taksim,Topçu kışlası. To declare that anti democratic,pro sultanate forces wouldn’t prevail in the face of democracy.

    So anyone who opposes the new the artillery barracks built in Taksim,is now a capulcu according to Erdogan. Meaning the people who opposed conservatism,like Ataturk and his comrades in arms did then.

    Kemalists. What a nightmare for Macky and Craig : )

  • Villager

    Anony, calling them looters is one thing, but then going beyond and stating that the protestors, all of them, should be hung by the trees?!!

    Some statesman! I don’t control the future and am deeply suspicious of ALL politicians, but for me i’d say lets go back to the polls. Incredibly poor handling by the megalomaniac.

  • Anony

    He didn’t dwell on that kind of thinking. He hated those guys. So he said that sentence then moved on to just calling the protesters vandalists,capulcu,anarchists. So on.

  • Anony

    Right now, Erdogan has called his base to a meeting. He is addressing them but also telling things that are simply not true.

    For example, he claimed that 2.8 billion trees were planted in his time as the pm. The day before he said 2.5. At the beginning of the week,he had said 2 billion trees. Simply not true.

    He is threatening the protesters, swearing that they would pay. He tries to smear them with lies. Like how protesters went into mosques with alcohol.Even though the one mosque, protesters went into, was the only place they could put their wounded asap at that time.

    Doctors went in there to help with treatment. Not protesters to party with alcohol.

  • Anony

    Erdogan has been threatening the protesters all day long. And throwing insults left and right at both the main opposition party and the protesters.

  • Macky

    @Anony, Well in view of your benign view of the nature of Kemalism, I guess I should not be surprised to read your comments iro Cyprus, but I must admit that I am !

    I do want to discuss Erdogan & some other issues you have raised, but before I do that, your hysterically counter-reality claims of near genocide of Turkish Cypriots, really do need to be addressed. The following is a therefore a very short summary of the historical record, which can be verified even against even the very basic information contained on these Wikipedia links given at the end;

    By the time Cyprus was colonized by the British, Greek & Turkish Cypriots were peacefully co-existing, even uniting & demonstrating together against British rule during 1930’s.

    Starting in the 1950’s, in order to sabotage the campaign for independence, which would have undoubtedly meant the majority Greek Cypriots (80%) using self-determination to unite with Greece, Britain firstly encouraged Turkey, who had until then not shown any real interest in Cyprus or the Turkish Cypriots, to suddenly start demanding a say over the future of Island on the pretext of safeguarding the interests of the minority Turkish Cypriots (18%); when the Greek Cypriot EOKA military campaign started, solely directed against the British Occupiers, Turkey sent “Grey Wolves” nationalists to help set-up & direct the TMT, an underground Turkish terrorist group, whose objective was to achieve “taksim, ie the partition of the Island, ie the northern part to be annexed to Turkey. Turkey covertly sent ships loaded with arms for the TMT, and also instructed the TMT to blow up the offices of the Turkish press office in Nicosia so as to falsely put the blame onto the Greek Cypriots. In order to neutralize the EOKA campaign, Britain made full use of these types of initial attempts to stir-up communal troubles, deliberately undertaking various measures & policies specifically designed to incite & inflame real sectarian conflict between the two communities; tactics such as employing only right-wing nationalist Turks as Policemen, and the dropping off of eight Greek Cypriot civilians at the TMT stronghold village of Geunyeli in 1958, who were all then murdered. Britain soon got what it wanted, a full blown sectarian bloodbath, with atrocities being committed by both sides; however by the end of the 1950’s it was clear that politically Britain could not hang onto Cyprus as a Crown Colony, so it connived with Turkey in imposing the deliberately unworkable 1960 “Independence Constitution”, in which the 18% Turkish Cypriot minority were to hold 30% of all the Civil Service positions, and that they were always to have the vice-presidency, and that the vice president was to have absolute veto power over all matters. Of course this arrangement couldn’t last very long, the Turkish Cypriots were forcing deadlock over all major legislations, so in 1963 President Makarios proposed several constitutional amendments including adjustments to the ethnic quotas in the government and revoking the vice presidential veto power. This caused the Turkish Cypriots MPs, whose strings were being pulled from Ankara, to withdraw completely from Government. This lead directly to another round of horrendous intercommunal violence, with ghastly atrocities again committed by extremists on both sides. Throughout this 1963-64 crisis, Turkey threatened to invade on the grounds of protecting the Turkish Cypriots, leading to an eventual compromise in which Greece agreed to remove some of its troops from the island.

    Turkey’s importance to the US during the height of the Cold War, contrasted to Cyprus’s decision under President Makarios to join the Non-Aligned Countries, prompts the US to concoct a plan to bring about the long desired Turkish partition plan, both as a reward & punishment respectively. So in 1967, a CIA sponsored coup puts a right wing nationalist military Junta in power in Athens, who are ordered to stage a coup in Cyprus on the naive promise/assumption that the US would allow Cyprus to join with Greece, whereas in fact they were used & double-crossed by the US, who instead gave Turkey the long awaited green light to invade & partition the Island. Although the Junta were naïve, they were not totally stupid, for they knew that Turkey had been itching for years for a pretext to invade Cyprus, so they ensured that no Turkish Cypriots were harmed in their coup against President Makarios, which cost the lives of 91 Greek Cypriots. Nevertheless Turkey still invaded, invoking its power as one of the three signatories of the Treaty of Guarantee from the flawed 1960 Constitution, under the pretext of safeguarding the Turkish Cypriot population & to restoring the “Independence of the Republic of Cyprus”. Both the Cypriot Coup & the Military Junta in Athens immediately fell as a result of the Turkish invasion; Turkey agreed to a ceasefire whilst demanding federal partition plans & forced transfers of population centers; when the Greek side asked for 36 to 48 hours to consider the demands, Turkey launched a second phase of its long pre-plan invasion designs, and proceeded to expand its ethnic cleansing to eventually occupy practically 40% of the whole Island, which it still holds to this day.

    To claim that the Turkish Cypriots were subjected to near genocide is beyond bizarre, as the total number of victims of intercommunal violence throughout all the years of conflict, measure in the low hundreds for each side, from population totals of hundreds of thousands from each side.

    In the end it is the facts on the ground which speak the truth; in 1974 200,000 Greek Cypriots were ethnically cleansed from 40% of a country that they inhabited for thousands of years; Turkish Cypriots live & thrived in the free Greek Cypriot side, but no Greek Cypriot refugee is allowed to go back to their occupied homes in the North, and no Greek Cypriot is allowed to live in the illegal, apartheid-like & self-declared “ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_invasion_of_Cyprus

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_dispute

  • Macky

    “Turkish Cypriots live & thrived in the free Greek Cypriot side”

    should read as “Turkish Cypriots now live & thrive in the free Greek Cypriot side”

  • Anony

    Aaaand Macky just exposed his/her beef for what it is,Greek nationalism.

    Congratulations. Now that we have pinpointed the issue. I have to say,for all your bravado about human rights, you are the one denying the death toll. It isn’t even funny…

    I do want to discuss Erdogan & some other issues you have raised, but before I do that, your hysterically counter-reality claims of near genocide of Turkish Cypriots, really do need to be addressed.

    Another sanitized version of the history. I’m sure that shows the Greek side as solely the losing one.

    To claim that the Turkish Cypriots were subjected to near genocide is beyond bizarre, as the total number of victims of intercommunal violence throughout all the years of conflict, measure in the low hundreds for each side, from population totals of hundreds of thousands from each side.

    No. It’s bizarre to your nationalistic view. That’s what happened. There are even mass graves because of that.

    Notice, while you were painting a equal loss for either side. I was also talking about that but as the minority,Turks faced a danger of being cleansed ethnically.

    Of course, that doesn’t fit you own reality based on Greek nationalism, so you conveniently denied what happened while smartly writing a benign history for the Greek side.

    It’s hypocritical to to even paint the Junta as sensible or calling the constitution as unworkable so that you can put all the blame on Turkish side and whitewash(remember that word?) Makarios and his sins.

    In the end it is the facts on the ground which speak the truth; in 1974 200,000 Greek Cypriots were ethnically cleansed from 40% of a country that they inhabited for thousands of years; Turkish Cypriots live & thrived in the free Greek Cypriot side, but no Greek Cypriot refugee is allowed to go back to their occupied homes in the North, and no Greek Cypriot is allowed to live in the illegal, apartheid-like & self-declared “ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”

    It’s hilariously bad that you deny the massacres and continue to use the wording “ethnically cleansed” as political ploy. Turks were also mostly ethnically cleansed from the south. Before that process happened Turks were going to be massacred for real, not face deportation but get killed,period.

    Junta were naïve

    That’s so bad. I can’t even laugh at that. Your depiction of events is one-sided. I’m sure even when you were writing all the 2nd or 3rd paragraphs, you were not entirely sure of yourself. Otherwise, there is really no talking with you.

    Unlike you, I’m not going to deny that the government like any other had plans for Cyprus and TMT aws supported by Turkey and may have done false flag operations while fighting Greek nationalists.I’m even willing to admit that.

    You even tried to excuse the coup, even though you and Craig here were talking about that kind of thinking among the protesters as if it existed and rightly,scorning it.

    And before you continue on with Us supporting Turkey. Let me remind you that we were shunned by the western world and certainly the US. We couldn’t buy weapons from the US,any military aid was cut and Turkish economy went into a slump because of the other restrictions place on economic relations with Turkey. Considering Turkey joined the US lead alliance to be protected against its border neighbor,USSR;It was a heavy blow.

    Us president, specifically told the political leaders at that time; Us provided weapons couldn’t bu used to intervene in Cyprus by Turkey. Otherwise, even the Nato membership would mean nothing and Turkey would be left alone against the USSR. So spare me your logical pitfalls.

    The rest of your post is classical, “Turks are bad, we were oppressed” speech.

    No wonder, you were so irate when even broaching the subject of Cyprus. I’m repeating again, Turkish government is wrong on what happened on Cyprus. And the current separation is mostly the fault of Turkey. Now that we have seen your “account” of the event,time to change to another subject: namely, gezi park.

    Nationalism as a bias source is bad my friend. Let it go.

    Yesterday,Erdogan threatened the protesters and called on people to withdraw their money from private banks. The guy is really playing for keeps.

    Then today, they delayed the opening of the stock market just to stop panic sales. Good play,no?

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