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Archive for the ‘istanbul’ Category

The Coup-that-was-no-Coup according to Ahmet Şık

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Recently, the co-editor of Muftah’s Iran, Iraq, and Turkey pages Claire Sadar published an “interesting” piece on the Coup-that-was-no-Coup. Sadar starts off as follows: “On September 30, Turkish journalist Ahmet [Şık] spoke to a packed seminar room at Harvard University as part of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs’ annual iTurkey in the Modern Worldi seminar. [Şık] is a longtime critic of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party, the AKP, and has been arrested and tried multiple because of his work. [Şık] was jailed for a year in 2011 as a result of his then unpublished book The Imam’s Army [in Turkish, İmamın Ordusu], which examined the Gulen movement’s penetration into the Turkish government and security forces. At the time, the Turkish government used the book to connect [Şık] to an alleged secret, anti-government organization known as Ergenekon”.[1]

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Sadar continues that Ahmet Şık’s “conclusions are based on his own observations, as well as his sources in Turkish political circles. [Şık] believes the roots of the coup attempt lie in the break between the Turkish government and the Gulen Movement. He does not, however, agree with the Turkish government’s description of the coup attempt as a purely Gulenist plot. [Şık] believes those involved have a much more complex set of backgrounds and motives, and likely include ultra-nationalists, Kemalists, and Gulenists united in their shared opposition to Erdogan and his government, as well as their overtures to the Kurdish PKK guerrilla organization”.[2]

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Claire Sadar explains that according to Şık “the Turkish government was likely alerted to the imminent coup attempt about 4 or 5 pm local time on July 15. Once the alarm was sounded, the head of the Turkish intelligence services, Hakan Findan, paid a visit to the general in charge of Turkey’s land forces. Together, these two men decides to suppress the coup attempt by relaying orders down the ranks (Şık did not specify what kind of orders these might have been). Şık believes that between the time the coup plot was uncovered and the rebellious officers began to move on Istanbul and Ankara, that is between approximately 4 and 10 pm, there were ongoing negotiations between the Turkish intelligence services and civilian government and nationalist officers who were part of the coup alliance. The coup failed not because it was poorly planned, or civilians took to the streets to oppose it, but, rather, because the Turkish government successfully broke the alliance between the non-Gulenist officers and those affiliated with the Movement. One of the crucial pieces of evidence, or lack thereof, is the fact that no organizational chart or plan for the planned military junta has surfaced since the coup was foiled. Such a chart has been a crucial part of every other coup plot in Turkish history. Şık believes this is evidence the Turkish government is trying to cover up the extent of the coup and the specific officers involved. The picture Şık paints of Erdogan and the AKP is very different from their portrayal in the Turkish and international media, since the coup attempt. In Şık’s version of events, Erdogan is still in power only because a compromise was reached with the Turkish military’s nationalist and secularist elements. According to Şık, between the time when the coup was uncovered and when it was crushed, Erdogan’s government likely secured its survival by agreeing to give the military more influence in government decision-making”.[3]

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And in a surprising twist, Sadar argues that rather that “the military’s remaining independence, the failed coup, in fact, has brought the Turkish military back into the political system”.[4]

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[1] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey” Muftah (s,d,). http://muftah.org/turkish-journalist-ahmet-sik-proposed-fascinating-theory-really-happened-recent-coup-attempt-turkey/#.WAPGmT7_o3z.

[2] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

[3] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

[4] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

Eren Erdemin Meclis Konuşması: AKP-IŞİD İlişkisi

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‘CHP İstanbul Milletvekili Eren Erdem, İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı dış hatlar terminalinde gerçekleşen saldırının ardından IŞİD’in Türkiye yapılanması hakkında konuşması, TBMM Genel Kurulu’nu karıştırdı (30 Haziran 2016)’.

 

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Cihangir Vakası

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‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 1. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 2. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

Cihangir’de dünyaca ünlü müzik grubu Radiohead için ‘Velvet Underground Records’ isimli mekanda düzenlenen etkinliğe “Ramazan’da alkol tüketiliyor” gerekçesiyle saldırıan gruptan üç kişi gözaltına alındı.

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TRT World on the World Humanitarian Summit

‘This special edition is hosted from the first World Humanitarian Summit. The Newsmakers’ Imran Garda talks about disaster management and the global security challenge, and how it impacts what’s being described as the worst humanitarian situation in history.  DISASTER AID: The Newsmakers’ Francis Collings reports on how the international community responds to disasters. EU-TURKEY DEAL: The Newsmakers’ Yvette McCullough reports on the deal that critics say is on the brink of collapse. Published on May 24, 2016.

 

Agenda for Humanity

Joe Biden ziyareti – Barış Doster, Mehmet Ali Güller ve Gürkan Hacır ile Şimdiki Zaman

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 30.01.2016 – Gürkan Hacır ile Şimdiki Zaman – Konuklar: Doç. Dr. Barış Doster / Araştırmacı – Yazar Mehmet Ali Güller / Araştırmacı – Yazar.

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May Day 2014: Workers’ Solidarity or Terrorist Mayhem???

In Turkey, ‘[t]he heart of May Day celebrations has always been İstanbul’s busy Taksim Square. On May Day in 1977, also known as Bloody May Day, 37 people were killed when unknown assailants opened fire on the crowd. Since then, May Day in Turkey has always been a source of tension, and the square was officially declared off-limits to May Day demonstrators. In 2009, however, the government decided to make May Day an official holiday and opened up Taksim Square for celebrations, beginning in 2010. But last year, the government announced that it would not allow celebrations in Taksim Square due to construction going on there at the time. It has been prohibited again this year, with government officials simply saying that “Taksim is not a place for celebrations”‘.[1]

The report continues that ‘[m]ore than 60 civil society groups and labor unions intent on defying a government-imposed ban on celebrating May 1, officially known as Labor and Solidarity Day in Turkey, in İstanbul’s iconic Taksim Square have expressed their determination to rally in Taksim on Thursday [, 1 May]. The May Day Committee, made up of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects’ Chambers (TMMOB) and the Turkish Doctors Union (TTB), made a statement on Wednesday in which they reiterated their earlier resolve to be in Taksim on May Day. “We will be in Taksim despite the irrational and illegal ban,” said Kani Beko, head of DİSK, who spoke on behalf of the committee on Wednesday [, 30 April]. Beko accused the government of being inconsistent, as it was the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government which made May Day an official holiday and lifted the Taksim ban in 2010. He said that the committee had tried to keep the lines of communication with the government open, but “the only response we’ve gotten was an army of police being dispatched to Taksim on April 21.” On April 21, May Day Committee members attempted to read out a press statement in Taksim. However, their effort was interrupted by police intervention. Several union leaders were detained. Recalling that last year, the municipality suspended public transport to stop people from getting to Taksim, Beko said that such practices are illogical and unreasonable. He said the May Day Committee had tried to schedule an appointment with President Abdullah Gül, who turned them down saying he was busy. The DİSK chairman said the committee was preparing to celebrate a holiday and accused the police force of preparing for war. Beko reiterated that it is important for the unions to commemorate the victims of Bloody May Day’.[2]

On Wednesday, 30 April, the Istanbul’s governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu issued this statement: “Intelligence units have information showing that illegal terrorist organizations and their offshoot groups will resort to violence against security forces. It is such that not only public order and security in Taksim Square and its surroundings are at risk, but also the rights and freedoms of our citizens might be threatened”.[3]

 

[1] “İstanbul braces for Taksim showdown on May 1” Today’s Zaman (30 April 2014). http://www.todayszaman.com/news-346580-istanbul-braces-for-taksim-showdown-on-may-1.html.

[2] “İstanbul braces for Taksim showdown on May 1”.

[3] “Istanbul Governor’s Office says intel reports show ‘violence’ risk if Taksim allocated for May Day” Hürriyet Daily News (30 April 2014). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-governors-office-says-intel-reports-show-violence-risk-if-taksim-allocated-for-may-day.aspx?pageID=238&nID=65760&NewsCatID=341.

Twitter Censorship and Guilty Tweets: Tayyip Erdoğan Strikes Back

Cenk Uygur and the Young Turks’ team talk about Tayyip Erdoğan’s attempt to throttle the freedom to tweet as you please . . . (20 April 2014).

Already a week ago now, the news agency Reuters reported that “Turkey urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax on Monday [, 14 April] in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The block was lifted 10 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains largely blocked in Turkey. The prime minister on Saturday [, 12 April] accused Twitter of being a ‘tax evader’, repeating his combative stance ahead of the talks between his government and the San Francisco-based company”.[1]

As for the Gezi protesters who got arrested on account of their tweets, late in February Today’s Zaman reported that at “the first hearing of a trial of 29 Gezi protesters over messages they posted on Twitter, a lawyer of several defendants has demanded that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attend the next hearing to testify as he is named as the sole victim in the indictment. According to an indictment completed by an İzmir prosecutor last week, three years’ imprisonment is being sought for 29 Gezi protesters for the Twitter messages. In the indictment, Erdoğan is seen as the sole victim of the tweets that the protesters sent and the plaintiff is written as ‘civil law’ in the indictment. In the first hearing of the trial at the İzmir 1st Criminal Court on Monday, lawyer Can Onur told the court that if Erdoğan is the victim of the case, he should be called to testify. Another lawyer, Eren İlhan Güney, told the judge that Erdoğan is seen as the sole victim in the indictment, but the ‘actual victims are the protesters and their families in the courtroom’. The protesters’ Twitter messages are considered as an organized crime activity by the prosecutor who completed the indictment, Turkish media reported”.[2]

The report explains that “[d]uring [Gezi] protests on May 31, 2013, hundreds of people were detained but later released. Seventy-four protesters faced criminal charges of inciting violence and damaging public property as well as being members of terrorist organizations bent on destroying public order. The investigation started on June 5, 2013, by the İzmir Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit. Thirty-nine people were detained for Twitter messages which were considered offensive and provocative. In the indictment it was stated that 33 banks, 17 ATM machines, 75 shops, 10 houses, 20 police cars and 31 private cars were damaged but that there was no proof that the 29 on trial took part in these incidents”.[3]

 

[1] Orhan Çoşkun, ” Turkey accuses Twitter of ‘tax evasion’, calls for local office” Reuters (14 April 2014). http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-turkey-twitter-idUSBREA3D0TY20140414.

[2] “Gezi protests’ Twitter suspects demand Erdoğan testify as victim” Today’s Zaman (24 February 2014). http://www.todayszaman.com/news-340332-gezi-protests-twitter-suspects-demand-erdogan-testify-as-victim.html.

[3] “Gezi protests’ Twitter suspects demand Erdoğan testify as victim”.