Friday, 14 June 2013

Just who is Erdogan claiming are behind the protests?

What began as a peaceful environmental protest against the redevelopment of Gezi Park has turned into a struggle between the secularists and the growing authoritarian rule of just one man, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His attempts to crush the demonstrators has been met with fierce resistance from those who are concerned about the stealthy intrusion of "Islamist values" into the secular state established by Kemel Attaturk after the first world war.

In previous days Erdogan has made some bizarre claims about the nature of the protests. The BBC reports about his apparent "back down" today:

Mr Erdogan has previously taken a tough line on the protests, branding the demonstrators "extremists" and "looters". He said the unrest was being encouraged by foreign forces to undermine Turkey and its economy.
So just who are these "foreign forces" one might ask? An article by Professor Droor Zeevi in todays edition of suggests the following:

According to him, these want to hamper Turkey's economy for short-term profits. Though the specific guilty partners were not explicitly named, it appears Erdogan is hinting at investors such as Jewish-American tycoon George Soros and other Jewish and Western businessmen.

Also unexplained is why should these investors want to see Turkey's dynamic economy fail, and in what way do they influence protesters across the country.

But Erdogan is not interested in answering these questions. The enemy has been identified, and the fight is on.

In Israel, and in the West in general, Erdogan's story sounds like a zany conspiracy theory, the sort of which abounds in the Middle East. But Erdogan's version was carefully crafted.

Long before the present protest, a significant decrease in the Turkish economy's growth has been marked. The country's bane is its large foreign debt: Turkey owes tens of billions of dollars to debtors, especially in Europe and the US, and the interest it is required to pay is debilitating its economic base thus hampering its growth.

The large – some would say megalomaniac – investments in state projects are also emptying the state's coffers.

Erdogan and his team are naturally aware of the imminent economic setbacks, and therefore the choice of financial speculators as the evil behind the protests is not random.

This of course fits in with the general outlook "Islamist" doctrines promoted by organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and others across the Middle East.

Need a scapegoat? Blame the Jews. Same old, same old.

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