Turkey's descent into authoritarianism


#21

WASHINGTON — Turkey’s state run news agency Anadolu on Wednesday published an infographic showcasing the capabilities of the country’s new Russian-acquired S-400 missile defense system — and its ability to shoot down U.S. aircraft.

The graphic from the NATO ally’s news agency explains that the new S-400 can hit targets at 400 km away at 4.8 km per second. The infographic also says it can eliminate U.S. aircraft such as the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, F-15, F-16, F-22 Raptor, and several other high tech U.S. aircraft.


#22

Turkey is such an amazing place we should give it back to Greece.


#23

Trump will use Kurds in the short term, and then turn his back on them in favor of Turkey when they’re no longer needed.


#24

So, no change in our policy then.


#25

#27

A police official said that the fight appeared to have not been started by Erdogan’s personal security guards, who have previously attacked people protesting the Turkish president.


#28

#29

While I don’t envision the US ever actively supporting Kurdish Zionism/separatism, the US has been somewhat supportive of the Kurds in Iraq. And I could see the current administration turning its back on them completely if Trump one day decides he has developed a fancy for the idea. (E.g. if the Turks kiss sufficient Trump ass, or the Kurds annoy him somehow, or the weather is cloudy that day.)


#30

Turks are not fond of the Kurds’ referendum and their hope for more autonomy. So, what is the worst thing they can call the Kurdish leader Barzani? A Jew of course.
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/09/26/erdogan-to-barzani-israeli-flags-will-not-save-you/


#31

What’s this?


#32

A homeland the Kurds can call their own. Kurdistan. I think it’s a thing. Or maybe should be.


#33

Ummmm… past time to kick someone out of NATO. Too bad our Dear Leader is in love with theirs.


#34

Its a provoking argument, that we should use the power of the state to sanction the corrupt leaders directly, and their cronies and monied intererests. I wonder if other nations are considering the same vs Trump.


#35

Trump will never do anything, he thinks America should be more like Turkey.

But as an idea, I’m in the “why not both” camp. Going after their money is generally pretty effective.


#36

Was going to post a popular altright wallpaper of Trump, Putin and (I think) Assad posed as commandos and say that Erdogan may as well be on there as well. Can’t find the image though.


#37

I was supposed to travel to Gaziantep, Turkey at the beginning of November. Now, all non-immigrant visa programs have been suspended and the office I was supposed to work with (healthcare workers caring for Syrian refugees) was raided and is closed. :(


#38

That’s awful. Antep is pretty conservative compared to Istanbul, but it’s close to a lot of border camps and immigration is a big concern there. And I didn’t have any baklava there that was not amazing! :)

Turkey is carrying quite a heavy burden of Syrians, and they do deserve credit for that.


#39

Typical of the dictator mindset, completely conflating the needs of the nation with your own personal needs.


#40

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the role played by former national security adviser Michael Flynn in an alleged plot to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living legally in the U.S. to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The alleged plot described by the Journal involves a direct quid quo, in which Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn, Jr., would receive up to $15 million for successfully delivering Fetullah Gulen to the Turkish government.

At least four people have been interviewed by the FBI about a December meeting at New York’s 21 Club in which Flynn, who had already been named as Donald Trump’s national security adviser, discussed the plan with representatives of Turkey’s government, according to the report.

This new story about Michael Flynn possibly negotiating to kidnap a legal American resident and exfiltrate him to Turkey is wild and really requires close attention. We had heard some time ago that this idea of kidnapping Fetullah Gulen had been discussed or perhaps hypothesized. But now we are hearing that Michael Flynn and perhaps his son were actively negotiating with Turkish interests about doing this during the transition.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a key meeting happened in December in which Flynn and his son were offered as much as $15 million for successfully exfiltrating Gulen into the hands of the Turkish government where he is seen as a top enemy of the state and accused with being the prime mover behind last year’s failed coup.

It’s important to be clear. What was being discussed here was simple kidnapping, not the government operating outside the rule of law but regular citizens kidnapping a legal resident of the United States and delivering him to a foreign government. This negotiation was happening in December, after Flynn had already been designated as President Trump’s national security advisor. If this was being discussed in December and the inauguration was January 20th, what jumps out to me is that it definitely seems like Flynn was planning on doing this and being paid for it while he was the President’s National Security Advisor working out of the White House. That’s not explicitly stated. But depending on the precise meaning of “mid-December” we’re only talking about 4 to 6 weeks. If it was only being discussed then or just in the early planning stages it’s hard to see how it could be finished up in such a short period of time.

I don’t know the law well enough to know how far along you need to get in discussions, how many overt acts you have to take before criminal conspiracy laws kick in. I suspect it’s pretty early. But there’s a difference between what is technically chargeable and what you’re at all likely to get a conviction on. But what you’re talking about here is a criminal act of far greater gravity than any of the specific potential charges we’ve heard to date, the kind of thing you could spend many years in prison for.


#41

And