History is replete with examples of US-backed world leaders oppressing their people with Washington’s implicit blessing and despite the fact that the eyes of the world are trained squarely on Syria and, by extension, on any neighboring country that has a role to play in determining the outcome of the Syrian civil war, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan has managed to orchestrate a political coup of epic proportions in plain sight by plunging his people into civil war as NATO looks the other way.
What Erdogan has done, in the space of just three months, is nullify a democratic election outcome by first obstructing efforts to form a coalition government on the way to calling for new elections, then launching a military campaign against the PKK, knowing full well that if enough people are killed between now and the time Turks return to the ballot box in November, the public’s negative perception of the PKK will likely translate to diminished support for the pro-Kurdish HDP, which was in part responsible for AKP losing its absolute parliamentary majority in June.
This is all possible because Erdogan was effectively allowed to trade access to Incirlik (which gives the US army a forward operating base for what will eventually be a ground incursion in Syria) for NATO’s acquiescence to the extermination of the Kurdish opposition in Turkey.
As of Tuesday, this deal had resulted in: 1) hundreds of people killed, 2) the arrest of journalists, 3) the collapse of the lira, 4) a Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq (the fifth in two decades), and 5) no perceptible progress in the “fight” against ISIS which was the pretext for the entire effort.
For anyone who needed further proof that Erdogan won’t stop until his pro-Kurdish political opposition is wiped out entirely, consider the following from FT who reports that “a mob of several thousand people” set HDP’s Ankara headquarters on fire, sending party officials fleeing “across rooftops.” Here’s the story:
A mob of several thousand set fire to the offices of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party in the wake of terror attacks in which more than 100 soldiers and police officers have died.
Officials from the Peoples Democratic party, or HDP, fled for safety across rooftops after the mob shouting nationalist slogans torched the party’s headquarters in Ankara.
HDP branches in many other cities, including the southern tourist resort of Alanya and Kirsehir in the west, were also attacked and set alight.
In Istanbul about 100 people hurled stones at the main offices of Hurriyet, the secularist newspaper that has been critical of the Islamist-rooted government. They shouted slogans accusing the newspaper of supporting terrorism in the second such assault in 48 hours.
Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP’s joint leader, said: “Over the past two days more than 400 party offices, workplaces and businesses have been attacked.
“People have been pulled off buses and beaten, people walking in the street have been attacked. This is a lynch campaign, gangs are being paid to conduct these attacks and the state is behind it.”
And it wasn't just HDP offices and press outlets that were attacked, Hurriyet (which, as noted above, has been besieged by protesters for two consecutive days) reports that Kurdish businesses were torched as well:
A number of anti-terror marches in Turkey turned violent late Sept. 8, with ultranationalist protesters attacking the headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara, as well as its office in another Central Anatolian province.
In the neighboring province of K?r?ehir, the HDP’s local office was attacked by another group as its flag was lowered and replaced by a Turkish flag during a march by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters entitled “Damn Terrorism.”
The march turned violent when around 150 people in the crowd set fire to four shops owned by Kurdish businessmen, according to Turkish media.
The fire, which destroyed the four shops, was put out by fire brigades without causing casualties.
Then there's this rather disconcerting account of protests in Beypazar?:
Meanwhile, a public anti-terror protest in the Beypazar? district of Ankara late on Sept. 7 turned into a lynch attempt against Kurdish seasonal workers, leaving 27 people injured.
Police arrested nine protestors in relation to the attack in Beypazar?, which is less than a one-hour drive to Ankara and is seen as one of the capital’s most popular touristic spots.
Around 500 people had gathered in the center of Beypazar? in order to protest the killing of 16 troops by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Da?l?ca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari. The group marched through the town against the recent attacks, chanting slogans against the PKK. The route of the march took the group through the Zafer neighborhood of the district, which is mostly populated by Kurdish seasonal workers.
After some protestors said some locals in the Zafer neighborhood threw stones at the protest, the crowd started to attack houses where Kurdish citizens live. Some of them also tried to set alight houses and cars in the area.
Here are some visuals from the chaos:
* * *
So all in all, just another day in a democratic paradise run by a US-backed despot.
We'll close with the following excerpt from WSJ's summary of Europe's new plan to cope with the flow of asylum seekers from the Mid-East:
The European Commission is proposing to put Turkey on a list of “safe countries of origin,”which would fast-track repatriation for people denied asylum.