Turkey could put EU talks to a referendum next year: Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, October 26, 2016. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, October 26, 2016. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters

Turkey could hold a referendum on whether to continue membership talks with the European Union next year, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, and repeated his warning to Brussels that it needed to “make up its mind” on Turkish accession.

European Union foreign ministers were meeting on Monday to consider shelving membership talks with Turkey over what they see as its lurch away from democracy after a failed coup in July, although there is no consensus for such a move.

In a speech in Ankara broadcast live on television, Erdogan urged Turks to be patient until the end of the year and then said a vote could be held on EU membership.

“Let’s wait until the end of the year and then go to the people. Let’s go to the people since they will make the final call. Even Britain went to the people. Britain said ‘let’s exit’, and they left,” Erdogan said.

He lambasted European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who said this month the detention of opposition politicians and the extent of post-coup purges “call into question the basis for the sustainable relationship between the EU and Turkey”.

“What are you? Since when do you have the authority to decide for Turkey? How can you, who have not taken Turkey into the EU for 53 years, find the authority to make such a decision?” Erdogan said.

“These people makes its own decisions, cuts its own umbilical cord,” he said.

Erdogan also said he would approve reinstating the death penalty – a move that would likely end any hope of Turkish membership in the EU – if parliament passed a law on it, and said that too could be part of a referendum.

Turkey is expected to hold a national vote on constitutional changes next spring, including boosting the powers of Erdogan’s office to create a Turkish version of the presidential system in the United States or France.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk and David Dolan)

Armenian “Settled History Syndrome”: An affliction that runs deep in the media

By Ferruh Demirmen

Anyone who tries to see or instill a measure of balance or open mindedness in the Western media on the question of Armenian “genocide” will soon discover he/she is out of luck. For the phenomenon, which I call the “Settled History Syndrome,” is not only palpable, but also widespread. It runs deep in the media across Europe and America. It is not new, but deserves special recognition under a name of its own – hence the term coined here. It is the product of year-in, year-out incessant propaganda perpetrated by the Armenian lobby on the so-called “Armenian genocide.”

The syndrome explains how a group of certain historians or scholars, supposedly open minded, gather to discuss Armenian “genocide,” but colleagues who disagree are kept away as misguided renegades.

It explains why anyone who challenges the Armenian version of history is labeled “Genocide denier,” often citing a self-appointed group called ”The International Association of Genocide Scholars“ as the infallible arbiter.

It explains how minds are frozen, debate is stifled, and freedom of opinion is trampled upon – truth being the ultimate casualty.

It explains how money and influence, fed by prejudice, create a cadre of ill-informed politicians and general public. The media, itself thrown into deep freeze, commonly plays the role of the facilitator.

Turks who want to fight unfounded accusations from the Armenian side must first deal with this mindset affecting the media.

Examples are myriad. I will first relay an anecdote, then continue with a recent example, both from America. No doubt, what goes on in America also goes on in Europe, with some mutations.

The PBS Episode

Time is early 2006. PBS, the national Public Broadcasting Service in America, is planning to air on April 17 a supposed TV documentary called “Armenian Genocide.” The film, directed by Andrew Goldberg and bankrolled by more than 30 largely Armenian foundations in America, will surely be an anti-Turkish diatribe based on distorted history. I and a small group of Turks and Turkish Americans contact the PBS headquarters in Alexandria , Virginia, to protest the screening of a one-sided story. (As it turned out, the film shamelessly started with a macabre scene of human skulls taken from a 1871 painting by a Russian artist. For a fuller account, see F. Demirmen, Turkish Daily News, April 24, 2006). We argued that, if PBS decides to go ahead with the screening, it should also show, as a balancing act, “The Armenian Revolt,” a newly released documentary directed by Marty Callaghan.

The PBS headquarters did not change its mind. And the screening of “The Armenian Revolt” was out of consideration.

I then took my case to the affiliate of PBS in Houston Texas, which was also planning to air “Armenian genocide.” Commenting on the film, the channel’s website carried the statement: “The International Association of Genocide Scholars affirms that the number of Armenian deaths at the hands of Ottoman Turks …” It was a reminder to the viewers that the “genocide” was a shut case.

Nonetheless, I thought I should still try to educate the Houston channel, that what they would be airing was a prejudiced and distorted story. To that end, I contacted the programming director and sent him some archival material. After back-and-forth correspondence, I had my fingers crossed. At the end, the channel didn’t change its plans, but the programming director made an admission, which was revealing. He remarked that until I contacted him, they had assumed that “genocide” was a “settled history.”

It was a Lilliputian victory. But it showed what the Turkish side is against: a mindset more or less frozen on its track.

Pasadena Star Episode

Fast forward 9 years. On January 15, 2015, the Pasadena Star in California published a news article titled: “Ground broken on Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial.” It was an announcement that the monument would be completed on April 18, ahead of the “100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.” Pasadena happens to be next door to Los Angeles, a hotbed of Diaspora activism.

As the Star put it, the monument would take “the form of a 16-foot-tall tripod … with water drops dripping … to represent each of the 1.5 million lives cut short by the Ottoman Turks in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923.” The droplets would “fall every 21 seconds, so that 1.5 million drops will fall annually.” The tripod would represent “similarly shaped structures which Armenian leaders were hanged from during the Armenian Genocide.” Surrounding the tripod and stonework would be “12 pomegranate trees, representing each of the 12 lost provinces of Armenia.”

Pictures of Armenian clerics solemnly praying at the ground breaking ceremony and an artist’s rendition of the tripod-shaped monument were included in the news.

The description and symbolism were chilling; but infused in all was a prejudiced and distorted history. Particularly notable in the article was the absolutist tone in the language. “Genocide” was treated as a fact, with no hint as to its disputable character.

Considering their mindset, I hesitated contacting the Star to express my disagreement that Armenian “genocide” is a fact. But the invitation at the end of the article, for readers to engage in “insightful conversations,“ was too good to resist. I also thought that, instead of sending a short blog, I should lay out my arguments in a full article so as to enlighten them. I informed the Star of my intention to submit a dissenting view, and proposed that they publish it as a stand-alone contribution by a guest writer. Their initial reaction was encouraging. They asked me to send in my article.

In the article I took special care to acknowledge Armenian sufferings and losses, but also mentioned sufferings and losses on the Muslim side. I pointed to certain facts, and made corrections to some of the allegations in the article. I also tried to strike a conciliatory note, referring to the calls of Armenian religious leaders in Turkey, and pointed to the poisoning effect such a monument would have on the Armenian-Turkish relations in America. It was an appeal for “peace.” While I did not expect they would agree with my views, my expectations were high that the Star would publish my article – if for no reason than journalistic curiosity and respect for dissenting views.

The response from the Star was an eye opener:

“Yes. We don’t print op-eds by Holocaust deniers, nor articles denying the settled history of the Armenian genocide, recognized now by 23 countries and by the vast majority of scholars and historians not in the pay of the Turkish government.”

So, I was a “Genocide denier,” and Armenian “genocide” was a settled history, the arbiter presumably being the all-knowing International Association of Genocide Scholars. Case shut. Opinions and facts brought forward by others will not change anything.

The response was the embodiment of a frozen mind. Frozen in time, frozen in space. Here was another example of the “Settled History Syndrome.”

PARIS IS SEETHING, TURKEY IS STINKING

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Istanbul
7 January 2015

Enough! No more Turkish experts. No more lying politicians. No more cheating and stealing. No more talk of the obscene palace wherein resides the source of all of it. No more rancid, pompous rhetoric from the president of this stinking country. No more television discussion panels. No more Turkish language for it has died from murderous abuse. Shame covers Turkey like gas from a swamp. Breathe! Breathe! Breathe, you Turks!

You, the Turkish people, have so diligently supported your terrorist government. What didn’t you understand? What clouded your minds? Islam? Please be serious. What clouded your minds was money. Bribes. Jobs. Big construction contracts. Unnecessary bridges. Irrelevant airports. Polluting power plants. Coal in bags. You were cheated there, too. Coal and stones. Can you tell coal from stone? Shit from shoe polish? The government couldn’t even give you a “pure” bribe. Such is its cheating, thieving nature. Thefts. Nothing could prevent you from supporting a criminal for prime minister who grew to become a criminal as president. And nothing could prevent you from supporting the treasonous opposition parties who collaborate with the terrorist government and foreign powers intent on your destruction. Bow down, Turks! Stoop and bathe in the blood of innocents! Let it run up to the elbows! Stoop! Stoop! Bow to your boss!

It was all in front of your noses, this stink. This rotten game played with Syria. This disgusting, double-faced game known as being-a-friend-of-Erdogan. And so the weapons and bestial volunteers flowed through Turkey. And so rose ISIS! And Hatay was destroyed. Erdogan, the big shot friend of America. Erdogan, the expert on the Middle East. Erdogan, a man whose venality defies description, indeed a scowling metaphor of venality. And the corruption continued to flow. Arms to terrorists under the cover name of Free Syrian Army. Moderate Islamic “folks” trying to overthrow a duly constituted, sovereign nation—Syria! He is the source of the evil, of the beheadings, the slaughters, the rapes, the genocide of the Syrian Diaspora. And all the thefts from the moderate Islamic killers flowed back into Turkey. How eager were these Turks to buy cheap gasoline, stolen whisky, stolen cars. Isn’t god great? What a bargain! Cheap gas for the lives of innocent Syrians. Good job!  Eat! Eat! Eat, you Turks!

The blood of the innocents in Paris is on the Turkish government’s hands. Erdogan, this most unnatural creature, has already destroyed his own country. And 53% of the Turks think that this is a good idea, if they are thinking at all. This Erdogan was America’s main man. A hard guy who could make it all happen. America loves guys like this. They make movies about them. But this hard guy had another agenda, and it wasn’t moderate. His ego was as big as all outdoors. Look at his house. Can you understand, you 53% of the Turks who are the equivalent of war criminals?  You aiders and abettors of terrorism and murder! And you of the remainder, the 47% who think your ideas are the only important ideas and delay and discuss while the fascists prepare the end of Turkey as a nation. Talk! Talk! Talk! And then the back of your skull suddenly splinters like all the others.

The weapons in Paris arose in Syria through Turkish hospitality. The road to hell leads through Turkey. And so does the road to Paris. And so do these others, these big shots who think they know something. These are the ones who have helped Erdogan’s Turkey become a terrorist state. Their guilt is vast. And is no mystery to normal, ordinary people. And a complaint was filed with the International Criminal Court on 6 October 2014.

I have the honor to file with you and the International Criminal Court (ICC) this Criminal Complaint against

U.S. citizens Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Forbes Kerry,John Owen Brennan, Michael Joseph Morell, David Howell Petraeus, and Leon Edward Panetta;

Turkish citizens Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Hakan Fidan;

Saudi Arabian citizens King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Prince Saud al-Faisal; 

Qatari citizens Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa and Al Thani Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani;

Jordanian citizens Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein and Abdullah Ensour;

Croatian citizens Ivo Josipović and Zoran Milanović;

Belgian citizen Elio Di Rupo;

Bulgarian citizens Boyko Borisov, Marin Raykov Nikolov and Plamen Vasilev Oresharski;

French citizen François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande;

Great Britain citizen David William Donald Cameron;

Romanian citizens Traian Băsescu and Victor-Viorel Ponta; 

for their criminal policy planning, subsequent crimes against humanity and ongoing crime of aggression in Syria.

I accuse the above listed individuals of planning, preparing, initiating and executing an act of criminal aggression resulting in the commission of grievous crimes against humanity. These crimes are both “widespread” and “systematic” within the meaning of Rome Statute article 7(1). Therefore the Accused have committed the “Crime of Aggression” by supporting and arming brutal and bestial mercenaries in violation of Rome Statute articles 8(2)(a), 8(2)(b), 8(2)(d), 8(2)f) and 8(2)(g). Furthermore, the Accused have committed numerous “Crimes against Humanity” in flagrant, repeated and longstanding violation of Rome Statute articles 5(1)(b), 7(1)(a), 7(1)(b), 7(1)(d), 7(1)(e), 7(1)(f), 7(1)(g), 7(1)(h), 7(1)(i), and 7(1)(k). Finally, the Accused’s Rome Statute Crimes Against Humanity as specified above constitutes ongoing criminal activity that continues today. 

Read the details below. It won’t take long. These are the ones that should be arrested immediately.

But first, Hollande! Then Erdogan!

 

James (Cem) Ryan
Istanbul
7 January 2015
http://www.brighteningglance.org/criminal-complaint-international-criminal-court-6-october-2014.html
 

AMERICAN BOYZ N THE HOOD

Turkish Soldiers Hooded by America Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. 4 July 2003
Turkish Soldiers Hooded by America
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. 4 July 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Istanbul: 13 November 2014

Yesterday, three sailors from the uncontrollably violent neighborhood called America met the true face of Turkey. Poor boys, they don’t even know what they represent. They don’t even know that their so-called leaders have made them punching bags for its criminal enterprise called American imperialism. They don’t even know how America and its treasonous internal agents, in particular the Turkish government, are attempting to destroy the future of the Turkish youth.

Perhaps these American boys got a quick lesson in the true nature of Turkish-American relations yesterday? But, sadly, probably not. The American boys ran back to the false safety of their warship, re-entering their “safe” world of imperialist propaganda, economic excess and hypocrisy. But there is no safety anywhere any longer. That is the gift of America to Turkey, and to the world. As usual, America authorities and its treacherous collaborating Turkish puppets screamed in outrage. And, as usual, the youth of Turkey, the true defenders of the Republic of Turkey, went to jail for exercising their patriotic duty. Nothing has changed, except one thing. Turkish young people, the nation’s true patriotic voice, will not take American crap anymore. And America should understand that. Listen and learn, America. You owe it to your own youth. Think of it this way, think of it as a symbol.

That’s the way the resident American-imposed agent of destruction, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, thought about his hooding of Turkish women into a grotesque series of Middle Age costumes that squeeze feminine brains into numb submission. So what, declared the then prime minister, if the head scarf is a political symbol? So what, indeed! Erdoğan used his compliant covered women to destroy democracy in his own country. He and his collaborators hid behind their women’s headscarves to do America’s dirty work. And now they cannot safely visit any neighborhood in their own land. No “hood” is safe for the hoodlums. And now the new president hides in a billion-dollar illegal palace, his inadvertent monument to treason. So what if he and his ilk cannot appear in public! So what!

So what if in 1980 the American president celebrated the success of his CIA-engineered military coup by proclaiming “Our boys did it!” Yes, then his gangster BOYZ did it. And yesterday, today’s Turkish youth remembered. And yesterday, our Turkish boys did it to America, symbolically, of course, because Turkish youth is civilized. They can be no other way; they are the current-day “soldiers of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.” This is something that the treacherous opposition political polities can neither say nor understand. Yes, Turkish young people are civilized and enlightened by the patriotic principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. That’s why, yesterday, no one, neither American boy nor Turkish boy was hurt. No one was tortured. No one was hung. No one was shot, exploded, beaten, gassed, or otherwise maimed. And that’s a lot more than America can ever say about their overt and covert interventions in Turkey’s affairs.

So what if America and its craven ambassador, Francis Ricciardone, aided and abetted the Turkish government in its beating, gassing, maiming and murdering of democratically assembled Gezi Park protestors. “The Turkish government is having a conversation with its people,” said the deceitful ambassador, as he arranged to have more poisonous gas sold to Erdoğan and his hoodlum police. A “conversation?” So what!

So what if the same ambassador conspired with the main opposition party leader to assure the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the presidency!

So what if yesterday the American boys’ heads momentarily felt the experience of being symbolically hooded! Symbolically hooded, not actually hung like so many patriotic Turkish young people have been. And by their own government! The Turkish people have been strangled and hooded by America, by its CIA meddlers and by its corrupt politicians for decades. And in the past decade of Erdoğan’s treacherous rule, America’s CIA “boys” have done it again. Or tried to.

So what if America has used its youth to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in its deceitful, illegal war of aggression!

So what if America has humiliated the Turkish military by hooding its soldiers in Iraq in July 2003!

So what if America has conspired with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan to kill hundreds of thousands of Syrians in its deceitful pretext of bringing democracy!

So what if America has supported the treasonous, under-educated, Islamic zealot, CIA-asset, Fethullah Gulen for decades in the Pennsylvania countryside!

So what if Gulen and Erdoğan have collaborated for decades in treacherous union to do America’s bidding in the subversion of the Turkish Republic! So what if the Turkish Army has been destroyed! So what if the independence of the Turkish judiciary has collapsed! So what if rivers have been stopped, farmers’ fields uprooted, forests felled, eternal olive trees murdered, lakes polluted, mountains plundered, the air made poisonous, all in pursuit of private profit, all indicative of massive governmental corruption! So what if the government has looted public funds! So what if the Turkish mass media slithers like a reptile on its overstuffed belly doing the bidding of its governmental master! So what if Turkey stinks from America’s subversion like a rotting corpse in the noonday sun!

Yes, SO WHAT?

Yesterday, clearly, directly, in a street-theater performance, Turkish “boyz” encountered American “boyz” in the Turkish “hood.” The US embassy in Turkey called the incident “appalling.” What is appalling is the embassy’s ignorance and arrogance. What is appalling is the criminal behavior of its criminal boss, the president of the United States. It is he and Erdoğan and all their co-conspirators, all the ones who need protection by regiments of armed-to-the-teeth goons, who deserve to be hooded. And now they can never step foot in our hood, ever again. Not ever! That’s the message from yesterday. Take your warships and your political puppets and go!

James C. Ryan

Istanbul

13 November 2014

http://www.brighteningglance.org/

http://www.aydinlikdaily.com/

EU’s Barroso to Britain – Don’t alienate your friends in Europe

European Commission President Barroso gestures during news conference at  the Europe-Asia summit in MilanAccording to Reuters, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will on Monday issue a plea to Britain not to isolate itself in Europe by picking fights over immigration, saying that European Union membership boosts British international clout.

Britain’s future in the 28-country trading bloc has been thrown into question by Prime Minister David Cameron, who has adopted an increasingly defiant stance on immigration to tackle the threat of the anti-EU UK Independence Party. UKIP’s rising popularity threatens his bid for re-election in 2015.

Barroso, whose 10-year term as head of the EU’s executive body comes to an end next month, issued a warning to Cameron on Sunday against trying to seek changes to the EU’s freedom of movement rules, saying they were essential to the bloc’s internal market.

In a speech due to be delivered on Monday he will go further, saying that by engaging in such rhetoric on immigration, Britain risks isolating itself in Europe and undermining its attempts to achieve wider reforms.

“It would be an historic mistake if on these issues Britain were to continue to alienate its natural allies in central and eastern Europe,” Barroso will say in a speech at London’s Chatham House.

“It is an illusion to believe that space for dialogue can be created if the tone and substance of the arguments you put forward question the very principle at stake and offend fellow Member States.”

Under pressure from UKIP and eurosceptic lawmakers within his own party, Cameron has promised that if he wins the next election he will seek to renegotiate Britain’s European ties and put the new relationship to voters at a referendum by 2017.

Cameron has broadly outlined areas in which he wants to win reform from the EU, such as migration controls, retaining lawmaking powers at a national level, and cutting red-tape for businesses. He has not given specific details however. Other British parties also want reforms, but there is no consensus on a renegotiation strategy.

FRIENDS

Barroso will say that while he understands British voters’ concerns over Europe, the country has benefited from having the backing of other EU states on major geopolitical issues such as climate change negotiations and sanctions against Russia.

“In short, could the UK get by without a little help from your friends? My answer is probably not,” he will say.

Last week Cameron, who has long said he would like Britain to stay in a reformed EU, struck a newly eurosceptic note, warning that his renegotiation attempt would be his last, and acknowledging that it might end in failure.

Barroso will criticise parties across the British establishment for not being straight with voters about the benefits of EU membership, and for not challenging euroscepticism.

He will urge leaders to start making a positive case for remaining in Europe, or risk losing a potential referendum.

“If people read only negative and often false portrayals in their newspapers from Monday to Saturday, you cannot expect them to nail the European flag on their front door on Sunday,” he will say.

(Editing by Abigail Fielding-Smith)