Thoughts on Turkey

In my youth, military coups and revolutions were not common, but they were not unheard of either. Real countries like France or Canada did not have coups, but banana republics in South America had them with some frequency. Then you had the intrigues in the Soviet Bloc. A leader would suddenly stop showing up at public events and that meant he was sick or he had fallen out of favor. Africa would have revolutions with some frequency. We called them revolutions, even though nothing ever changed, but that’s Africa.

The general assumption was that a real country did not have military coups or revolutions because they had democracy of some sort. If the people were unhappy, they could vote in people they liked. If elements of the ruling elite were unhappy, they could appeal to the public for change. The military, instead of being an instrument of the ruling class, was subordinate to the civilian government and excluded from politics. That’s not a bad place to start when defining a modern country. Real countries have elections, not revolts.

I think this is why the western news services were having so much trouble fitting the attempted coup in Turkey into their standard narrative. Turkey is supposed to be different from the rest of the Muslim world. Turkey is a real country with elections and globalism. Sure, the political leaderships sounds a lot like the lunatics from the Arab world, but that’s just an act. It’s their version of boob bait for the bubbas. Instead of guns and abortion, their rednecks want to hear about Allah and the Jews. Turkey is a real country, not a banana republic.

Following along via SkyNews, the BBC and CNN, I had to laugh at the confusion of the news people covering this thing. They did not know which side they were supposed to support. Initially, they were just baffled, as they don’t know anything about the world that is not fed to them through their earpieces. They were reduced to stuttering through live images of people walking around the streets waving flags. Then Obama came out in defense of the Islamists and the rest of NATO followed suit. Instantly, the new media was anti-coup.

Another thing I thought was humorous about the news coverage was the repetition of the claim this coup was not a “21st century coup.” I first heard this said on SkyNews and then all of the news services were saying it. Whether this was “monkey see-monkey do” or the official word from the party is hard to know. What I found amusing about it is Turkey is not a 21st century country, but it is in the middle of a 21st century civil war, of which this was a part. The fact that this is not obvious to the alleged experts, who rule over us, does not bode well for our future.

In this civil war, Erdogan is the Oliver Cromwell of Turkey and this attempted coup was something analogous to Penruddock’s Uprising. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it helps explain what’s happening in Turkey. The army is the defender of the secular legacy of Ataturk and the defender of the old order. Erdogan is the leader of the new order, the Islamists that believe they can have a modern technological society, under medieval Islamic moral codes.

Everyone seems to agree that this event makes Erdogan stronger, but Turkish politics are so opaque that outsiders can never really know what’s going on in the country. This could have been an operation run by the secular military to get the Gülen cult removed from their own ranks. The Gülen Cult is thought to have a stronger presence in the police than the military so this could be something more complex. In other words, this may not have been a revolt against the AKP but a revolt within the AKP.

There’s also the fact that ethnic Turks are a majority in Turkey for now. Kurds are the future, demographically. That’s a big part of what has put the AKP in power. The Turks view secularism as the cause of the demographic decline. The organization of the Kurds into a single political party, denying AKP a majority in the last election is a glimpse of the future and the Turks know it. That’s why the AKP sent in the army after the election to persecute the Kurds. It’s a part of what is driving the Turkish involvement in Syria.

The civil war among the Turks is about what to do about the future, a future that will have more Kurds than Turks if something is not done to arrest the low TFR of young Turks. Turkey has the Western disease, but it is still an Eastern culture. In the West, civilizational death is celebrated in the form of open borders and multiculturalism. In the East, it is met with religious revivals and bloodbaths. David Goldman makes the argument that the Iranian revolution was driven by similar forces.

The Turks are faced with a choice. They can be fully Western and go quietly into that good night. Or, they can be Eastern and fight against the dying of the light. The former means modern technology and prosperity, for a little while at least. The latter means men in robes ordering homosexuals thrown off buildings. That’s what’s happening inside Turkey today. It’s a version of what’s happening in the West, but only in a country that culturally is closer to Byzantium than Brussels.

36 thoughts on “Thoughts on Turkey

  1. Saudi Arabia has a TFR about the same as Turkey’s, these days; so does Morocco. It isn’t secularism that’s doing it.

    The Kurds don’t have a higher fertility rate because they’re Kurds, it’s just because they’re concentrated in the more backward parts of the country.

    And that’s just a matter of time. When they move to Ankara or Istanbul, Kurds have the same reproductive behavior as ethnic Turks… who now have the same reproductive behavior as Germans.

    Erdogan can no more make Turkish women have or want to have more children than he can scold water into running uphill. Long experience has shown that you can push fertility down, but trying to push it up is like trying to push on a rope.

    There are no exceptions; or rather, they all turn out to be temporary. Albania was the only country in Europe with a TFR above replacement… until it collapsed down to about 1.5, the same as Germany. Muslim birthrates throughout the Balkans did the same thing and now it’s spread throughout the Turkish-majority parts of Turkey, too — the same 1.5. Same with most of Iran. India is down below replacement level too, whole provinces are now down to European or East Asian levels.

    There’s only one country in Asia with a TFR over 5; there isn’t even a country in Africa with a TFR of 7 or higher now, and only 2 with over six.

    It’s the common destiny of the human race.

  2. Channel surfing Saturday morning I was struck by how ignorant most of our media is. Other than Ralph Peters on Fox, nobody seemed to know a thing about Turkish history or the system Ataturk set up. They didn’t even realized the is was the liberals (in the Classical secular free-speech and religion sense) who were trying to take over – and the reactionary religious strong-man being supported by Obama.

  3. The seriousness aside, watching the TV talking heads struggling to understand that the Turkish military has been the traditional guarantor of the constitution and democracy in Turkey was a complete hoot. The average television “journalist” has the IQ of a beetroot.

  4. Re effects on US politics: It will be interesting to see what happens to Erdogan’s public demand to Obama for Gulien’s extradition. In years past when there was at least the illusion of the rule of law at the top, Obama could have let some judge do the refusing. But by by giving Hillary a public pass on such obvious crimes against our security, he has demonstrated that he reserves to himself the right to decide what the law is. So how does he refuse his Muslim Brotherhood Buddy Erdogan_?

    I had thought that because the Clinton’s had no shame and now knew that they had no need to fear the law that we were at least immune from blackmail by Putin. But Obama’s beloved EU is vulnerable to Erdogan’s hand on the refugee spigot and he has made us vulnerable too, an unforced strategic error of the first degree.

    Interesting times_!

  5. From the German newspaper –

    “Several senior military figures, and a top judge have been detained since the coup attempt, and over 2,500 other judges across the country dismissed. EU parliament president Martin Schulz stressing that the Turkish government, “Must not use this occasion to breach democratic rule, restrict freedom of speech and fundamental rights. One-man rule and arbitrary decisions are not acceptable in a country which is not only a strategic ally but also an accession candidate to the European Union.”

    We will see how quickly Turkey goes from democracy to dictatorship, which is always easier without those annoying judges. Turkey is basically a dictatorship now anyway, the only thing missing is Erdogan wearing a Tarbush.

    • What will be worth watching is what happens with the military. This coup attempt was allegedly just one groups of officers. It was not well organized suggesting it was not supported by the top of the military. But, Erdogan has purged the officer ranks and replaced a lot of top generals with his supporters. Either way, the Turkish military is headed for a) a purging that will greatly diminish cohesion, or b) a period of internal conflict as the Erdogan elements assert control. NATO needs to start thinking the unthinkable which is dropping Turkey from the alliance. Having US tactical nukes in a country so unpredictably out of control is a very bad idea. Sharing intelligence with them is madness.

      • Germany made it nearly impossible for them to become EU members when the German parliament officially recognized the Armenian genocide. Many are concerned that if Turkey feels sufficiently distanced by Europe, it would not be unthinkable for them to aline more closely with Russia in a move to further eliminated US and NATO presence in that region. Given the lack of action by the US in Ukraine, the message is clear the USA is unlikely to interfere in Europe disputes. If Turkey unleashes the 2.5 million refugees into Europe, backed by Russia as retaliation for the current EU/Russian embargoes, things here could get ugly very quickly.

      • This part interested me too. They have been in confrontations with Russia recently and on-paper at least, look to be more than a match against the Russians in a regional war. With a major purge going on and officers being replaced on the basis of religious and political affiliations instead of competency – makes me wonder if they could actually fight a real war.

  6. A look through history amply demonstrates that representative democracies are an anomaly, a pimple on an elephant’s ass.
    Aside from you everyday coup d’etat- the more common method of installing a tyrant – oft times the people vote for a national suicide (which is what happened in Venezuela) and some (many?) folks here in the USA believe Obama has taken on the role (after all, he routinely flouts the law with the full support of all the democrats in congress and with the tacit support of all the republicans via their inaction).

    The USA’s representative democracy totally feel apart in 1860; the onset of the Civil War. If the Confederacy had prevailed (which seemed very likely during the early years of that war), there would today be no USA as we know it.

    In our upcoming election, a proven criminal, a liar and fraud may become President. If this comes to pass, it is because the voters will have elected her. This is no different than the voters of Venezuela voting in Chavez.

    We can smirk all we want about how F’d up things are in Venezuela, Turkey, the Middle East, much of Latin America and Africa, but things can get very ugly here in the USA and in Western Europe very quickly. In the not to distant future, France will have to make a very big decision in regards to their un-assimilated and un-assimilatable North African Muslims; after all, the Muslims there will attain enough voting power to vote into office other Muslims. The ethnic French know this.

    Representative democracy is very difficult. It demands that people compromise (a total impossibility in some cultures), and subordinate their own desires for the benefit of the nation (a total impossibility is some cultures). In a ethnically uniform, coherent society this is not that difficult (e.g., Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, etc., ) and frankly, impossible in a nation composed of various ethnic groups in which each ethnic group holds allegiance to their own group, not to their nation.

    This is where the USA is rapidly heading; assimilation in the USA is now a dirty word, is politically incorrect, and is actively discouraged by our “educators,” the media and the ruling elties. Once again looking at history, the outcomes do not look good for the USA.

    What we are witnessing in Turkey, Western Europe , Venezuela, etc., is not an impossibility here in the USA.

  7. You can twist and turn all you want, but what this came down to is barbarism vs. civilization.

    Naturally, as with the moslum Brotherhood’s takeover in Egypt, Mr. Kenyan Hussein chose barbarism,

    Remember, Erdogan famously said “Democracy is just a streetcar we use to get where we want” or words to that effect.

    He also said (direct quote) “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our swords and the faithful our soldiers.” 

    He used every mosque in Turkey to rouse those “faithful” against the rebels which makes every moslum imam complicit in putting down this movement in order to stay on the road towards re-establishing a new Ottoman Empire (the same empire responsible for the ethnic cleansing of 1.5 million Armenian Christians).

    The rebels made three huge mistakes:

    a) instead of killing Erdogan and his cohorts in the government buildings they waited until he was out of town thereby ensuring his survival,

    b) the failure to take over the media to speed and spread their own message and to stifle any cries to rally against them,  and:

    c) the failure to plot with the other rebels, such as the Kurds, to swell their numbers and enlist many more troops to their cause.

    Now, Erdogan has a green light to put the pedal to the metal and snuff out all further opposition. And you can bet he will with ferocity. 

    The toothless and feckless NATO will shut their eyes and ears and go back to sleep while yet another budding Islamist state is firmly established in the tinderbox of the middle East.

    All the more reason to make sure that Trump is elected and is able to carry out his plan to reform NATO and put them on the path to stand against the savage ideology inherent in Islam.

    Islam delende est.

    • I agree with everything in your post, FF. People should keep in mind that Erdogan has strong ties to the Moslem Brotherhood, allowing MB to use Turkey as its international hub after the removal of Morsi in Egypt. The stated goal of the MB is to undermine Western countries from within.

  8. I lived in Africa when I was a kid and currently own a home in Asia. Went to Istanbul on a cruise a few years back. Never felt so much like a foreigner in my life. Will never go back.

  9. President Bobo and his pack have great faith in calendar magic. Remember what John Kerry said when Russia invaded the Ukraine? “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.” There it is again, that belief that the mere passage of time in itself can abolish things.

    Like “the arc of history” or “the right side of history”, it’s a kind of automatic progress from bad to good, and all we have to do is enjoy the scenery as we passively ride along.

  10. Don’t know about the TFR of Turkey as the line peddled to we weak-kneed, infertile Europeans is that they have kids so, as we need kids, lets bring them on board and try to ignore the muslim bit of it all. English schools can be full (or even more full) if we draft in lots of kids who can only speak Turkish. At least, that was the line that seemed to be attractive to all us wannbe-Europeans before Brexit (though there is much doubt if Brexit will happen before the EU goes pear-shaped)

    The one point I would make however is it struck me that a coup with, from one report, only 750-odd soldiers arrested (though some more may have been killed) suggests it wasn’t a very big deal. To me, if you are going to overthrow a government you need all of the tanks and all the planes on your side. As some reports suggest the soldiers were kids who had no clue what was happening and swiftly abandoned their arms and helmets. The tanks may have blocked roads but they were left there, too. The airport was held, like the bridge over the straits, and then abandoned.

    So I do not buy coup as much as the media would like to say. The military probably are never going to be all one thing or another, but this seemed to quickly evaporate into a few skirmishes and suggests most of the players were either not that convinced or couldn’t convince everyone else to join in.

    More then a falling out between factions, probably. But the funniest thing was Erdogan in a plane being refused asylum in Germany. He was the first Turk ever to be denied entry to Germany.,..

    • I’m starting to agree with those who suspect the whole thing was staged to justify a purge of anyone remotely critical of Erdogan. He just “happened” to have a list of 18,000 people to round up if there was a coup.

      Everything about it stinks of fakery. The tanks stopped by crowds (Leopard tanks are stopped by drivers, not road crunchies), Erdogan landing at the airport with supposedly hostile fighters about, and the immediate crackdown.

  11. Obama came out in favor of the Islamist, eh? Now *there’s* a shocker! In all seriousness, though, it still fascinates me how The Gatekeepers still think gatekeeping is a real thing. It’s easy to stretch this analogy too far, but I can’t help thinking of the Reformation every time I see the media beclowning themselves. Oh please, Your Holiness, keep telling me what the Bible says… as if I can’t look it up for myself and see that precisely none of what you’ve been saying is actually in there. Turkish politics is pretty opaque, but anyone who chooses to can become far more informed than any teevee chattering head with 15 minutes’ googling. The media’ blonde bobbleheads would do well to think on what tended to happen to the clergy during the 16th century wars of religion…. assuming they’re aware there ever was such a thing (which I doubt).

    • Severian – methinks your Reformation analogy is basically sound. The printing of Bibles and the internet are having similar effects.The difference seems to be that the Reformation was about one faith and the political nature of the Roman church. Our situation seems to be two faiths in competition, one entirely political and atheistic, the other traditional and still connected to the faith debated in the Reformation. Does this seem right to you?

      • Terry, while I appreciate your comments, I have one criticism about your use of “methinks,” really, whenever I see it used by anyone. Just my personal bugaboo.

        “methinks” – A really pretentious and annoying way to say “I think.” from Urban Dictionary

  12. Excellent piece regarding wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight. Yet, sadly, for the majority of sheeple in the US, their only concerns regarding this will be how it might affect their Thanksgiving.

  13. A thought experiment: Erdogan’s message is that western secularization is responsible for the demographic decline of the ethnic Turks, as it was for the Persians in Iran under the Shah. So he champions a return to traditional Islam for the sake of rescuing the Turks from minority status and eventual biological extinction. The secularist message is that all particular ethnic identities should be abandoned for the sake of a better universal humanitarian future.

    Question: Is this parallel to our current American conflict? Are traditional Americans somewhat like the ethnic Turks? Does the terror discredit the traditional side to the point where traditional Americans will support the secular side for the sake of defeating radical Islam but acknowledge the threat further secularization (multiculturalism) presents to themselves?

    Are we (the alt-right) sympathetic to the Turk’s cultural and demographic plight because we see the same thing here? Are we any less determined to prevail over Islam in spite of the contradiction?

    I think this site features better minds than mine. What say ye, Zman commentariat?

    • Terry,

      I think the multiculturalism is a symptom, not a secularist goal. In the 60’s, everyone from the foundations, to the Supreme Court, to the mainline religions was panicked over population growth. So they did everything they could to reduce TFR. Some efforts were out in the open, while others weren’t [I know this places me squarely in the fever swamps, but I can’t help but see a dark design here]. Since complex, biological systems are very hard to regulate and tend to produce all kinds of unexpected effects when you try, Zero Population Growth became Negative Population Growth (NPG) in short order.

      The problem with NPG is that it is inherently deflationary and contractionary. So after a generation or two of NPG, you end up with something like Japan (if your culture includes a strong work ethic) or Greece (if it doesn’t). The “solution” has been to bring in large amounts of immigrants to maintain some sort of a growing economy. In order to bring in large numbers of immigrants, you need to convince Joe Sixpack that that multiculturalism is a very good thing, using, I assume, the same methods you used to convince him that having small or no families was a good thing.

      It’s kind of like the old Porky Pig cartoon. First he gets a cat to get rid of the mouse, then a dog to chase off the cat, etc… until he has to bring back the mouse to scare off the elephant he bought to scare off the lion. What we are looking at is a series of cascading, unsuccessful policies, each trying to “fix” the bad effects of the previous policy and failing to do so. If I continue on with the Porky Pig analogy, the next step in the cascade are the ongoing curtailments in civil rights, which are an attempt to fix the negative side effects of unconstrained immigration.

      I was haranguing my old man over this the other day. He is getting on in years and I need to stop arguing with him, but at least he is of the generation I wrote about in my previous post, and he will argue from facts rather than fantasy. He got to the point in his argument where he was talking about the necessity of large-scale immigration to feed “the economic models.” I stopped him short at that point and asked him that since we have aborted roughly as many babies as we have imported immigrants, if maybe just having let those babies be born would have been the better option. As always, he changed the subject at that point.

      We live in a fantasy world. War is the great realist. This will not end well.

      • El-Baboso -(love that crazy name) “…since we have aborted roughly as many babies as we have imported immigrants, if maybe just having let those babies be born would have been the better option.”

        I’ve thought about that. I’ll bet it’s occurred to a lot of others. That’s the first time I’ve seen it expressed as both an argument against abortion and reckless immigration. It’s a debate stopper.

        • Only problem is that a great number of those abortions (maybe most) are black. Something like 50 million plus. I’d rather have mestizos than blacks, thank you.

    • I don’t think my mind is better than yours, but I’ll take a whack.

      The Turks are very parallel to the current American conflict. At least they’re doing something about their dispowerment, unlike the Amerikaners. To me, terrorism doesn’t discredit any ideology. Terrorism is just a tool, and a very effective one. In service of an ideology that benefits my interests I am prepared to support and possibly cary out acts of terrorism. Amerikaners will have to learn this someday soon.

      As a racial/religious outgroup, the Turks do not have my sympathy, and neither do Islamists. I am watching events from afar with objective curiousity, hoping that we can learn something from the Turks. To that end, I wish them success as an example that can inspire us, but I certainly don’t want them in America or Europe.

    • I think the answer to your question is in your first paragraph. “… he champions a return to traditional Islam”. This does not parallel what is going on in America in the slightest. We currently have a Muslim foreign body that is invading our “body” with no interest in assimilating. Rather it is “you will be assimilated” like the Borg. Conquer or kill. Period. Those of other cultures who are here live as Americans are not the problem. There is a race hustler/Muslim in the WH but he is stirring up the shit to achieve his ends of transforming America. He is a complete failure as an American President but as a face for those who desire to re-establish the Caliphate and those who want to have a one world gummint, he has been a good nigger and doing their bidding just fine.

      So why would anyone be sympathetic to the Turk’s? Who are the alt-right? You got a mouse in your pocket? I don’t belong to any group. If my thoughts and beliefs align with a body of thinking, then so be it. But my thinking is not the result of “belonging” to any particular group.

      To my mind, there is no contradiction when it comes to my way of life and Islam. Islam must die. It must be defeated. There is no live and let live because that is “word” straight from their Koran.

  14. Back in the days of the Establishment, you had a much better chance of getting something close to the truth out of the press. At least the the experiences of WWII and the Cold War had made the Establishment into unapologetic realists. Whatever gloss they might put on the news, you knew that there was going to be a foundation of reality underlying it.

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