With the return of terrorist explosions to the streets of Turkey and the targeting of security officers and innocent civilians alike in Istanbul, there are suggestions that that someone is taking aim at the country’s security. The next target will be the Turkish economy via politic means. In short, the goal is clearly not just to kill security personnel and civilians, but the implementation of a plan targeting Turkey as a whole. The parties behind this plan make no distinction between the state and the government. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may be in charge but it is not really accepted by democratic states, and it is, after all, the people who elected the parliament, government and prime minister.
Why is Turkey being targeted in this way? It has been facing many challenges over the course of the past three years or so, beginning with the environmental protests in Taksim Square, which were transformed into political protests that attempted to bring down the ruling AKP, unsuccessfully. Soon after, the AKP was targeted in both presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013, 2014 and 2015, in which the people stood by the party despite the best efforts of those who are against democracy in Turkey. The voters backed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against many opposition parties in coalition with the Gülenist movement and in spite of all the US and European voices trying to discredit the AKP.
None of the failures to hijack the elections prevented Turkey’s enemies from trying to change the political course of the country through a military coup in July. The failure of the takeover attempt has not deterred them from trying to impose regime change. Now, though, the efforts are focused on trying to damage the economy. The US and Europe have scared off foreign investors making it difficult for Turkey to recover, even as an attack on the Turkish Lira saw its value plummet. Nevertheless, the attempts to bring the country down through an economic coup have also failed. Erdogan encouraged the people to buy more liras and gold and not to invest in other currencies. He pointed out that the targets are the Turkish people themselves and they responded in an uncompromising and admirable way.
Such a popular and government response shows that the majority of the people are aware that the battle is with Western states which would like Turkey to remain at the mercy of their decisions both economically and politically, rather than be valued military partners within NATO. This sort of situation was accepted by previous Turkish governments throughout the 20th century, when the country was in need of the West for economic, military and political support. Although its predecessors in government may have agreed for Turkey to be a tool in the hands of the West, the AKP does not share this political philosophy, hence the Western response to induce a power shift in Turkey. The evidence for this includes the numerous attempts to bring Erdogan down.
The main struggle now is for Turkey to retain its right to make its own independent political decisions. The fight is not Erdogan’s, despite the role that America is playing in Turkey, or whether the interference comes from political parties, the Gülen movement, Daesh or terrorists affiliated with the PKK, all of whom have some connection to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The cooperation between these groups helps America and European countries which have targeted Turkey without exposing themselves as blatant enemies of the state. Documents from Wikileaks, however, showed that in 2014 Hillary Clinton met with four former US ambassadors to Ankara and allegedly stated her concerns over Turkey’s slow but sure adoption of Islamist principles and the need for several steps to be taken in order to protect US national interests. In another set of US deliberations, Clinton also said that the problem with Turkey is the way in which Erdogan is seen within the Turkey-US relationship, as well as the manner in which he himself views the same relationship. Clinton allegedly stated that, “America needs Turkey more than Turkey needs America.” American analysts apparently believe that work must be done to foster sentiments that oppose those promoted by Erdogan. Among the steps suggested are internal operations such as the military coup, carried out by allies of the US within Turkey, including domestic organisations, even if this threatens the stability of Turkey and leads to its division.
Suspicions about Western sincerity when condemning the Istanbul bombings on 10 December, which killed 38 innocent civilians and wounded dozens of others, arose because the West condemned the attacks but not the organisations which carried them out. White House spokesperson Ned Price said that the US stands in complete solidarity with Turkey, its NATO ally, and condemns terrorist action that threatens the stability of Ankara or Washington. However, he did not condemn the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is believed to have carried out the attacks. In the past, Turkey has condemned those who have attacked the US and placed them on the terrorist watch list. Why has the US not done the same for Turkey? It is perhaps more pertinent is to ask why the US is still arming and funding these terrorist groups. If they claim to represent the Kurdish people in Turkey, they are also guilty of exploiting wars in the region.
An analysis of such aggression against Turkey, including the latest military coup attempt, could prove that the US is implementing its plan for the dissolution and division of the Republic of Turkey. The US is using these terrorist political organisations and the pro-coup groups to achieve its objective. Washington has done the same thing in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and other places, and believes that its plan for Turkey will also succeed. It has found allies in Turkish groups that have the same aims, but do they not see that they are merely playing the role of traitors and US stooges? Do their members and supporters know that they are acting on behalf of the enemies of Turkey? The US-led invasion in 2003 did not lead to peace, stability and freedom for Iraq, so why would America’s efforts give the Turks anything other than death and destruction?
Translated from Alkhaleejonline, 13 December 2016
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.