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January 28, 2008

Turkey moves against ultranationalists

Thirteen people have been arrested in Turkey for alleged ties to a violent ultranationalist group within the Turkish government.

This is a big deal. Turkish government has finally acknowledged that an organized faction of high ranking officials is orchestrating terrorist attacks from within the government:

The arrests have riveted Turks, many of whom have long suspected underground links between political violence, such as the killings of members of ethnic and religious minority groups, and illegal groups within official state institutions like the military and the judiciary. But the connections have proved elusive, often because of insufficient evidence and suspiciously sloppy prosecutions.

“Everyone suspected something fishy was happening,” said Ilter Turan, a professor of political science at Istanbul Bilgi University. “But the evidence was imperfect.”

“Then suddenly this thing got uncovered.” [NYT]


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Good on 'em.

I wonder how that compares to the ex-congressman who was recently arrested for supporting terrorists.

Sadly, we have been ignoring a lot of the folks in the states who have ties to violent groups, mostly because we call those who have ultra-Christianists, "lone wolves" and ignore patterns.

The "wanted assassin" from 1996, left unnamed by the Times for some reason, was Abdullah Catli.

Turkey is an interesting country, hard to understand. There's definitely some sort of Islamic revival happening there; they have the leading Islamic creationist (Harun Yahya), some of the more organized hackers for Islam (attacking mirrors of the Danish cartoons, for example)... Then there's this conspiratorial "deep state", which seems to be a Cold War morph of what Ataturk built. I get the sense of major political and cultural novelty building up, like an entente with Russian Eurasianists, but I have no idea what.

Well, I read the NYT front to back daily. and every so often Dr. B lifts an article, adds some inane and irrelevant commentary, and I wonder, what is the point of this blog? And then I see the rest of you add your own inane glosses to the original inanity. Highly entertaining. Is this a "big deal"? Oh, the Turkish security forces number in the tens of thousands. And Turkey is not Norway, corruption is a fact of life, and hard nationalism runs deep. So a few dozen or maybe a hundred people in the security forces cross the line, and 13 get arrested. Hardly big news. And wtf is "a major political and cultural novelty building up" mean?? as for entente with Russian Eurasianists, there are massive trade and investment flows between Russia and Turkey, that's the real story, not some nonsense about "novelties."

And I wonder, what does Dr. B do for a day job? As a hard hitting freelance journalist exposing the truth, I think a little disclosure about what her real day job is would be in order. Ass't manager at Starbucks?

Xenophobic ultranationalists, paramilitary thugs - these guys are all alike as fittingly described in Umberto Eco’s piece on ur-fascism.

It occurs to me, reading Majikthise’s least pleasant troll’s comment above, that Eco overlooked one of ur-fascists’ diagnostic characteristics: insufferable, cocksure arrogance.

Oh what non-sense. Eco's essay is way too long winded, but he identifies what I would agree are essential elements of fascism, or ur-fascism as his proto-category. I prefer to to identify actual fascism, as the levers of state power are just as interesting as the cultural and social context. But to apply this analysis to Turkey is ridiculous. Oh, sure, there are hints of a few of Eco's elements present in modern Turkey, but many key elements are absent. Turkey is a developing country with developing and modernizing institutions and mores, and some background nationalism and repression. Far from a fascist state. Or ur-fascist, if you prefer. But even more ridiculous are you dumb bunnies who read Naomi Wolf and hyperventiilate about fascist Amerika or that other dumb bint, Naomi Whatshername, who wrote that idiotic tome The Shock Economy. Jeepers, what morons.

and I wonder, what is the point of this blog?

To drive you insane, milo. And all available evidence suggests that it's going exactly according to plan.

oh no, this is a source of cheap laughs for me : )

one of Dr. B's colleagues from TMW is even more hilarious though. Professor Harris back in 1999 argued that NATO went to war with Yugoslavia in order to get control over... Kosovo's precious lead mines. (I recall this even now because I am quite expert on Balkan matters, as well as many other subjects, and this truly was the dumbest thing anyone has ever written about Yugoslavia. But it fits with the whole conspiracy view of many of you people, coupled with utter ignorance of econ or history or culture, or anyhting, except womyn's studies or some such nonsense....)

I recall this even now because I am quite expert on Balkan matters, as well as many other subjects

You may get cheap laughs here, milo, but I assure you that you return the favor many, many times over. I realize that making fun of the delusional isn't exactly cricket, but in your case I'll make an exception: Please do go on. Tell us more about your areas of expertise. Tell us more about your rich and varied (and so very very manly world experiences). And above all, tell us how this blog is such an utterly vacuous waste of everyone's time that you feel compelled to keep coming back and writing the same comment again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

A troll is just a troll, but every once in awhile one chances across that rare specimen who brings enough inadvertent humor to transcend trolldom and reach the level of performance art. You are one such troll, milo. Whatever you do, don't stop bringing the fun.

Performance artist. Yes, in a sort of
Annie Sprinkle way, revealing rather more than one really wants to see.

Milo reminds me of Scott Barak Abraham. He would make random accusation on groups involving subjects from alpine skiing to psychaitry. He always talked about how everyone else was delusional, sociopathic, lying, and mentally ill.

I must be starved for feedback, I'm pleased by milo's comment even though I'm being flamed for inanity. milo, you ask what the hell I was on about. My point is just that, despite what Ecclesiastes says, new things do happen in the world, and I get that sense about Turkey, but I remain unable to turn that intuition into a concrete prediction; except that I do not see it being essentially about violence and disorder (which is what a lot of the last decade's novelty has been about), thus the waffle about "political and cultural" change. It should have something to do with Turkey's proximity to the EU, its particular place in the Islamic world, and its cultural and institutional legacy, but I can't put my finger on it.

>He always talked about how everyone else was delusional, sociopathic, lying, and mentally ill.

Yeah, and the stuff's incredibly mechanical, too. That's what keeps it from being anywhere close to funny. But if some people are entertained and respond it will go on and on and on and on and ... yeeesh, ignore the knob already.

well, I am accused of posting again, again, etc etc. Well, as do most of you, so what's your point. And MP, I appreciate your polite reply, but I guess I'd say that it adds up to what passes for informed commentary in America blogerland: I think something is going on, but I have no real clue whatsoever, so let me write about it. I am not particularly expert on modern Turkey, although I do know Ottoman history quite well, but one fact to ponder. In 1975, Turkey, Greece and Portugal all had approx the same GDP per capita. After the 1986 EU accession, the latter two have pulled up to around 85-90% of the EU average, Turkey must be around 25%. You can draw some potential conclusions from this.

well, I rarely if ever care what ayone thinks of me, but I'll address one issue: my expertise on Balkan matters. I speak Serb-croatian and Slovene, have lived in Ljubljana, have been to practically every town in former FSRJ, and know the history and the culture intimately. and I was the first US portfolio investor in Slovenia. Believe me, when i say expert, I mean expert.

I speak Serb-croatian and Slovene, have lived in Ljubljana, have been to practically every town in former FSRJ, and know the history and the culture intimately. and I was the first US portfolio investor in Slovenia.


You're letting me down, milo. You want to talk about your expertise on the Balkans in a thread that has absolutely fuck-all to do with the Balkans? Fine--as a troll, that's your prerogative. But at least make it worth our while. "Portfolio investor"? Zzzzzzzz. I want to hear about your Soldier of Fortune days in Bosnia. I want to hear about how you drank Radko Mladic under the table and personally decked Milosevic with your black-belt judo skills and scored with every hot young babe from Belgrade to Srebrenica. I want to hear about how you killed you a b'ar when you were only 3, and shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

"Portfolio investor"? Keep it up and I'll be ready to side with Dock Miles.

Guess what Milo - I don't believe you.

eh, the comment wsa made re my being expert in Balkan affairs, and I chose to respond. I could care less if you believe me or not. But spending a decade in the former Yugoslavia has been anything but boring, and I've had my adventures there, just not the lurid caricature posted above. And yes, I had the foresight to buy companies like Gorenje, Lasko, Lek etc long before anyone in NYC fund circles.

I still don't believe you, Milo.

And now you're saying you're also a bottom feeder...a war profiteer/"investor."

People who do what you say you do, don't brag about it on internet sites.

Rubbing elbows doesn't count, Milo.

"I could care less"

Properly it's: "couldn't" care less. Think about it. Just a pet peeve.

eh, good point, I'll amend my use of this expression, which I employ often

Oh, it's very clear, Milo, that you're whole persona is based on your not being able to care at all. More or less, doesn't even apply to you.

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