This is completely unrelated to the theme of my blog and my website, but after the horrific events in Turkey today, I have to speak out. The West needs to have a greater awareness of the drama unfolding in Turkey presently. It will have far-reaching consequences. (And if you didn't know this about me already, I am a total geopolitical nut. I spend as much time if not more reading news headlines from foreign papers than I do reading domestic news. We live in very critical times.)
Today's tragedy in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is shocking and deeply saddening. If you haven't heard, two bombs went off this morning during a Pro-Kurdish peace rally in the nation's capital. It killed 86 people and wounded 186. The MIT (Turkey's version of Homeland Security and the CIA, and very loyal to President Erdogan) has, shockingly, said that is has no intelligence on what is the deadliest act of terrorism in Turkey's history. The Turkish people are outraged at the MIT, to put it mildly. Why does the MIT even exist? they're asking. And there are signs of something very fishy because the timing of the attacks and the nature of the attacks stand to greatly benefit President Erdogan's AK Party in the November 1 elections. (And these Nov. 1 snap elections themselves are historically unprecedented for Turkey because President Erdogan and the AK Party refused to broker a unified parliament government after the June elections, which were not in his favor).
In fact, a very detailed article came out today showing how many of Turkey's intellectuals suspect that there is something extremely devious behind these deplorable attacks.
If you pay attention to geopolitics, you really don't have to be a prophet to know what's coming in Turkey. You just have to read the news -- or at least what's left of it in Turkey. Their government just arrested another editor-in-chief of one of the few remaining free papers. Why? Because he Tweeted something critical of the president.
The fact that President Erdogan of Turkey is rounding up all dissenting voices and throwing them in prison is just the tip of the iceberg of what his party (the AK Party) has been up to in recent years. (And when I say ALL dissenting voices, I mean ALL dissenting voices. His government arrested a 16-year-old for criticizing Erdogan on Facebook.)
Tragically, Turkey is headed straight toward a dictatorship.
And a Turkey dictatorship under Erdogan -- a man who was known to carry a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf with him and who has a very Anti-Semitic history -- would be horrifying on many levels. Turkey's impossible-to-get-rid-of but extremely charismatic and eloquent president, whose power becomes more entrenched every year, is the strongest candidate for becoming the 21st Century's Most Charismatic Dictator -- which, as history has shown, is usually a deadly combination for that dictator's country and for the world.
As the Wall Street Journal reported:
Mr. Erdogan and the AKP are hollowing out the institutions of Turkish democracy. The Turkish government has in recent months attempted to ban YouTube and Twitter ; dealt brutally with peaceful protesters; fired or reassigned thousands of judges, prosecutors and law enforcers deemed insufficiently loyal; and earned the dubious honor of being the world's top jailor of journalists in 2012 and 2013, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
And that was back in 2012. Things are much worse now. Erdogan has fired thousands of police chiefs across Turkey and likely replacing them with local law enforcement officials who are loyal to him. In the WSJ above it countered its criticisms of the AK Party by citing Erdogan's then-much-publicized attempts to bring a peace deal with the Kurds in Turkey. Well, now someone has bombed a pro-Kurdish peace rally and the government mysteriously has no leads on who or why. In addition, since Erdogan's party lost the June election, a mysterious spike in violence and conflict with the Kurds has been erupting.
Many of Turkey's journalists are connecting the dots and wondering aloud if Erdogan is trying to create chaos before the Nov. 1 election. Those journalists, unfortunately, are going to prison.
So what is Erdogan's intentions behind all of this? Many believe he wants to revive the Islamist Ottoman Empire in all its glory, and that, ultimately, he wants to become the Sultan over the Middle East and the Sultan of Islam itself. As wild as it sounds, I believe that Erdogan sees himself as the Mahdi, the prophesied unifier and "messiah" of Islam. There is indeed a dangerous Cult of Erdogan in Turkey. Erdogan has been depicted healing the sick, and those who adore him describe the simple act of touching Erdogan as a form of worship, as chronicled in this extensive news report on the Cult of Erdogan. Based on the evidence, I think that all of these claims are not as far-fetched as you might think.
And Erdogan's apparent ambitions to revive an Islamist Ottoman Empire have been noted and analyzed by many mainstream publications, such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The World Post -- just to name a few.
The bottom-line is this: more difficult days are likely ahead of Turkey. The West needs to pay closer attention to what's happening in Turkey because it could have massive ripple effects in the world. And we need to keep the Turkish people in prayer.