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08.02.2009

January 26, 2009 (the date of publication in Russian)

Maxim Kalashnikov

TURKEY: SYNDROME OF A "SPLIT COUNTRY"

The USA can put Islamists and Kemalists at loggerheads to condemn the EU to energy starving

The defeat of the ultra-nationalist Kemalist Ergenekon organization by the ruling Islamist AKP party goes on. The tension between followers of temporal and Islamic ways of the development of Turkey is slowly, but steadily growing.

We'll remind that now a loud investigation about ultra-nationalist Kemalists, united into one Ergenekon organization, is being unwound. Its aim is to prevent the islamization of the country. Ergenekon mostly consists of military men.

In the beginning of January, 2009 the police found a big underground weaponry storehouse in Golbasi, Ankara. It was marked on the map, which was found during the search in the house of Ibrahim Sahin, Ergenekon member, a retired Turkish Police chief. He's suspected of (plus to planning of "dethronement" of the present government) the intensions to organize an attempt to assassinate 12 Armenian community leaders in Sivas – an ancient capital of Armenian state. Bullets, explosives, mines and two lightweight anti-tank guided weapons were found in the storehouse.

And now the searches for hidden weapons are held in six districts of Ankara and in Hatay city. This case can only be compared with judicial proceedings of 1930s: Ergenekon is incriminated plans of killing Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister; Yasar Buyukanit, 25th Chief of the Turkish General Staff; Ramazan Akyurek, the Police Department's Intelligence Chief; Fehmi Koru, a journalist, and Orhan Pamuk, a famous writer. According to the investigation, the leader of Kurd Social Democratic People's party was also under the threat of annihilation.

As American analysts from non-governmental GlobalReseach organization say, Ergenekon was created already during the "cold war" to withstand probable Soviet invasion. And now the organization is blamed for the longing to prevent the establishment of closer relations between Turkey and the EU, anti-NATO attitudes and even for concluding contracts with Moscow through Alexander Dugin, a well-known "Eurasianist" thinker. They say there are six acting and seven retired generals in Ergenekon. And Bedrettin Dalan, the first mayor of Greater Istanbul, who had supposedly run to the USA, is among them.

The situation is also worsened by the fact that the police couldn't catch Lt. Col. Mustafa Donmez, who could hide from the police after he was let know about the arrest beforehand. At that Turkish gendarmerie said it would find him without involving police. And it hadn't found him. And 22 hand-grenades, eight revolvers, three Kalashnikov machine guns, bullets and two night vision devices were found in general's houses. The tension between Islamist government (the President Gul and the Prime Minister Erdogan) and the army in the person of general Basbug, the head of General Staff, is growing. The general demands to stop arresting suspected military men and begin calling them to prosecutor's office first.

We'll note how clever Islamists' game is. They position themselves as the left of European kind (though with Moslem peculiarity) and as supporters of euro-integration, they wisely create the negative image of Ergenekon (fanatics, who are ready to organize a new butchery with Armenians, like in 1915; Kurd annihilators or even imperialists, ready to the alliance with Russians). Islamists have a strong support among poor lower classes of the country. European governments also sympathize them.

On the other hand, the army, which has always been a guard for Kemalists' project, withstands Islamists. And in spite of Turkey positioning itself as a state of western kind, its army is still keeping up the cult of Mustafa Kemal's, which resembles the cult of Lenin in the USSR and of Mao in China. It isn't clear yet whether the army will interfere in the conflict. Will it try to prevent the country from total triumph of Islamists, who use the support of the majority of Turks?

It's obvious, that both sides of the conflict will try not to lead it to an open stage till the very last moment, even feeling really hostile to each other. But if the USA has established an aim of destabilizing Turkey, it will sequentially cause clashes between Islamists and Kemalists, secretly promising a support to one and then to another. And once this tactics will result into something, after which Turkey risks to drown into the abyss of civil war, and the EU – to get a new "powder keg" on its borders.

Turning Turkey into the same unstable and "sick" country, as Ukraine is now, is really essential for Washington "Politburo". If this happens, the EU could at once be cut off from Russian and other post-Soviet countries' energy resources and will turn to be critically dependent from the US military and political possibilities. The fact, that the new turn in Ergenekon case was unraveled right in the time of the gas crisis can't be a simple coincidence according to this logic.


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