— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for October, 2012

Vote for Mitt and Welcome the Zombie Apocalypse

Joss Whedon, the man behind Buffy and Serenity, here talks about politics and why voting for Mitt is the only way forward . . . to the Zombie Apocalypse!!!

Turkey: Day of the Republic 2012

‘Turkish police use tear gas and water cannons to try to break up a demonstration by tens of thousands of pro-secular protesters, but the march to mark the founding of the Turkish republic went on in defiance of a government ban. The celebration of the founding of the Turkish republic has in the past few years become a symbol of the divide between Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s elected, Islamic-leaning government and its opponents who fear the country’s secular traditions are in danger. The Ankara governor’s office last week denied authorization for the march, citing security reasons, and declared the gathering illegal. Challenging the ban, tens of thousands of people assembled in the old part of Ankara, near the building housing Turkey’s first parliament, to march to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the secular republic 89 years ago after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (29 Oct 2012)’.

The pro-government daily Today’s Zaman reports that ‘[f]or the first time, Republic Day, which marks the foundation of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923, was celebrated at two separate events in Ankara, clearly indicating the divide between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and opposition groups, including main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as well as some minor leftist parties. Official celebrations went ahead as planned in the Turkish capital, while the rally, organized by the opposition groups but banned by the Ankara Governor’s Office citing security reasons, saw some tense moments between protestors and the riot police. The opposition criticized the government for failing to pay due respect to a national holiday, and not respecting the values of the Republic. The government dismissed those claims, saying that the ban was imposed after intelligence indicated that some provocations might take place during a rally. The government added that everyone is welcome at the official celebration. The official event took place at the Atatürk Cultural Center following a ceremony at Atatürk’s mauseloum (Anıtkabir), and was attended by high-level state officials, military commanders and representatives of some political parties, including Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP. The wife of the President Abdullah Gül, Hayrünnisa Gül, who wears a headscarf, also attended the official celebrations as a member of the official delegation for the first time. The president signed the Anıtkabir Special Register, writing: “Great Atatürk, we are celebrating the 89th anniversary of the republic you founded with great enthusiasm. We stand before you with the pride of a country that is improving its democracy, protecting human rights and freedoms, strengthening its economy and maintaining reforms. We are trying our best to surpass the level of contemporary civilization, to maintain the basic values of our republic . . . We, as a nation, bow before you with respect on this Republic Day and thank you. May you rest in peace.” After the ceremony in Anıtkabir, President Gül received greetings and congratulatory messages at the Çankaya presidential palace, a historic first, since this has traditionally taken place in Parliament’.[1]

The piece in Today’s Zaman continues by indicating that the ‘alternative, unofficial celebration was organized by a group of more than 30 civil society organizations led by the Youth Union of Turkey (TGB), known for their ideological proximity to the Workers’ Party (İP), in Ulus Square. The TGB is also known for its pro-Assad stance in Turkey and was one of the organizers of a conference in August held in the border province of Hatay to show solidarity for the Syrian government in its attempts to crush the 19-month-old uprising in Syria. A group of nearly 20 thousand people gathered at the rally, in defiance of a ban imposed by the Ankara Governor’s Office on the grounds that “some groups may seek to incite anarchy in the country” in front of the first parliament building which served as the base for Parliament during the Turkey’s struggle for independence. Groups arriving in buses from other cities to join the rally were initially stopped by the police at checkpoints around Ankara, but following mediation by some CHP deputies, the buses were allowed into the city. As they had previously announced, the demonstrators, including the CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and some CHP deputies, wanted to march to Atatürk’s mausoleum to pay their respects. Initially, the police didn’t allow the rally participants to march in that direction, and used tear gas and water cannons to try to break up the demonstration. After about half an hour, however, the police removed the barricades and allowed protestors to continue on to Anıtkabir. “We are faced with a government which tries to prevent people from celebrating their holiday,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the Anatolia News Agency. “This is a shame for Turkey” he added, criticizing the government for being disconnected from the people. On Monday evening, President Abdullah Gül will give a reception at the Çankaya Presidential Palace celebrating the foundation of the Republic, but the CHP leader has already announced that he will not attend. Instead, Kılıçdaroğlu will fly to İstanbul to join the Republic Day march to be held in Kadıköy’.[2]

[1] “Republic Day celebrations held amid controversy” Today’s Zaman (29 Oct 2012). http://www.todayszaman.com/news-296479-republic-day-celebrations-held-amid-controversy.html.

[2] “Republic Day celebrations held amid controversy”.

Nuclear Weapons in Turkey: American Bombs Galore

It was a well-known secret, but now Press TV has incontrovertible proof: a ‘report says the United States keeps about 70 B61 nuclear bombs at a military base in southern Turkey. According to a recent report published by the Arabic Nakhel news agency, Turkish sources said the bombs are kept at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in Adana province. The thermonuclear bomb, which is 3.53 meters long and weighs 320 kilograms, is considered as one of the most strategic weapons of the US. Between 10 to 20 of the bombs were stored at Turkey’s Balikesir and Ekinci airbases before they were transferred to Incirlik, the report said. Turkey is also home to a controversial NATO radar base manned by US forces, which is part of a larger US-led missile system. The missile system became operational in Turkey’s eastern province of Malatya in early 2012’.[1]

The missile defence system could very well be the beginning of a New Cold War, as I indicated in piece published last year.[2]  The Iranian propaganda broadcaster adds that the ‘stationing of the US-sponsored radar system in Turkey was hailed by American officials as the most significant military cooperation between Washington and Ankara since 2003, when Turkey refused to allow a US armored division to cross Turkish territory to join the military invasion of Iraq from the north’.[3]  In view of the dearth of information on the nuclear bombs stored in Turkey, Press TV presents really rather irrelevant information about the projected NATO Missile Defense Shield to deflect from the fact that more information on the U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey is just not available. On the other hand, the ironically named Voice of Russia radio station adds that the ‘greater part of these bombs is the property of the U.S. army, and Washington reserves the right to use them in case of need. Until 1995 from 10 to 20 B61 bombs were deployed on the two other air bases in the country but later all of them were transferred to the Incirlik Air Base’.[4]

In the end, it now transpires that the U.S. is deploying a number of atomic bombs on NATO ally Turkey’s territory. The Turkish news channel Habertürk adds that the majority of these missiles are under U.S. control, but that Turkey could also deploy some of them. Additionally, the channel indicates that these B-61 missiles can only be fired from high-speed airplanes and that they weigh about 320 kg.[5]  Therefore it seems that the real scoop that has been achieved now is that the presence of nuclear weapons on Turkish soil has been finally confirmed, once and for all.

[1] “US keeps nearly 70 nuclear bombs in southern Turkey: Report” Press TV (28 Oct 2012). http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/28/269141/us-keeps-70-nuclear-bombs-in-turkey/.

[2] C. Erimtan, “The New Cold War: Missile Shield Competition” IRCNL (15 Oct2011). tiny.cc/2gkny .

[3] “US keeps nearly 70 nuclear bombs in southern Turkey: Report”.

[4] “There are nearly 70 American nuclear bombs in Turkey” Voice of Russia (22 Oct 2012). http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_22/There-are-nearly-70-American-nuclear-bombs-in-Turkey/.

[5] “Türkiye’de atom bombası var ama…” Habertürk (21 Oct 2012). http://www.haberturk.com/dunya/haber/787236-turkiyede-atom-bombasi-var-ama.

The War in Syria: Eid Ceasefire???

‘A U.N. brokered ceasefire plan for Syria lasted only a few hours as violence erupted across the country Friday and Saturday (27 Oct 2012)’.

Fukushima on the Loose: Radioactivity All Around

A couple of days ago, the guys at FKN NEWZ uploaded this video, published on Oct 19, 2012 by MsMilkytheclown1. In fact, quite some time ago, Thom Hartmann and also Greg Palast separately reported on the issues raised by the FKN NEWS crew, and I posted these items on my blog.[1]

But, there is more. The Russian propaganda machine that is RT came out with this report: ‘TEPCO, operator of the Fukushima nuclear facility, failed to confirm that radiation leaks at the plant had fully stopped. This came after a US report that irradiated fish are still being caught off the coast of Japan following the 2011 meltdown. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) told journalists Friday [, 24 October] they could not confirm that radiation had stopped leaking from the nuclear power plant struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Still, they said that radiation levels in the seawater and seabed soil around the plant were declining. A recent article in the academic journal Science revealed that 40 percent of bottom-dwelling marine species in the area show cesium-134 and 137 levels that are still higher than normal. “The numbers aren’t going down. Oceans usually cause the concentrations to decrease if the spigot is turned off,” Ken Buesseler, study author and senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution told the Associated Press. “There has to be somewhere they’re picking up the cesium. Option one is the seafloor is the source of the continued contamination. The other source could be the reactors themselves,” Buesseler added. Radioactive cesium is a human-made radioactive isotope produced through nuclear fission of the element cesium. It has a half-life of 30 years, making it extremely toxic. TEPCO confirmed that the radioactive water used to cool the plant’s reactors leaked into the ocean several times, most recently in April. The plant is struggling to find space to store the tens of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors and prevent it from a meltdown. The company managed to collect the water used to cool the spent fuel rods and circulate it back into reactor cores, so the reactors are now being cooled with recycled water. However, groundwater is still seeping through cracks in basement where the reactor and turbine are stored, posing further dangers. With the groundwater seeping in, the volume of decontaminated water collected and stored at the Fukushima Daiichi plant could triple within three years, TEPCO told the AP. The accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant was triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. An enormous tsunami crashed onto the land, resulting in the flash-flooding of four of the plant’s six reactors, shattering the cooling system. This led to a series of oxygen blasts, and a partial meltdown of the reactor core. The incident was the biggest nuclear disaster in 25 years since the tragedy at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Multiple cases of contamination of air and seawater by radioactive material have been reported. Over 140,000 people were forced to leave an evacuation area 40 kilometers in diameter around the plant. Most of those people are still living in shelters. Full management of the disaster, including dismantling the reactors, is expected to take around 40 years’.[2]

[1] “Near Nuclear Disaster in Nebraska, U.S.” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (22 June 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/near-nuclear-disaster-in-nebraska-u-s/; “Fukushima: A Tale of Disasters Expected” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (25 June 2012). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/fukushima-a-tale-of-disasters-expected/.

[2] “Fukushima owner says plant may be leaking radiation into sea” RT (26 Oct 2012). https://rt.com/news/fukushima-leaking-radiation-sea-314/.

Bain Capital, Sensata and Mitt Romney

‘Joanne Penniston, Sensata worker who was arrested yesterday joins Thom Hartmann. As a single mother of two Joanne Penniston & the other workers at Sensata Technologies in Freeport, Illinois don’t want to lose their jobs – just before the holidays – and they’re willing to get arrested to show it. Is there any way to save these jobs before Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital ships them off overseas? (26 Oct 2012)’.

New WikiLeaks Revelations

‘On Thursday, the whistleblower Wikileaks website has released documents that reveal what really goes on in GuantanamoBay. The website claims that the documents that were released are the first of many more documents to come giving details of how detainees are treated at the facility. Colonel Morris Davis, professor at Howard University School of Law, joins us with more on the policies at Gitmo (25 Oct 2012)’.