Is AKP in Bed With Fringe Extremists?

First Deniz Baykal caught in bed with a female member of his CHP party, with bad blowback for his career. Is AKP in bed with unsavory characters in order to get a rise in the polls? The blowback might be more than the country can bear.

I located my November 30, 2009, post on the right-wing Islamist extremists in the east (click here). Note in the photos, the similarity of the headbands worn in those demonstrations and the ones over the past few days.

That post was about the following shadowy (pro-Kurdish Hizbullah, anti-secularist and anti-Ankara) organizations that are apparently linked with a number of similarly named Islamic organizations under the website of vuslatgroup:

Sura-Der, or Adana Social Solidarity Association (Der is short for dernek, or association) and Mustazaf-Der, with supposed links to Iran. There is also a Kurdish connection, with non-Islamic PKK supporters allegedly attacking these far-right Kurdish Islamists (see the post). Here’s more information from Wladimir van Wilgenburg’s website:

In the beginning of January [2009] Mustazaf-Der joined a protest against Israel in Diyarbakir. Mustazaf-Der is supported by Iran and the Kurdish Hizbullah which was used against the PKK by the ‘deep state’ in the past. Hizbullah also organized rallies for Palestine in February 2008 and in April against the prophet Mohammed cartoons. Mustazaf-Der was attacked before by PKK-supporters which is also shown in a video on Youtube.

Here’s the question: Are these groups connected to IKRA Association, ILKAD Association, Teneffus Associaton For Culture And Education, Sosyal Doku Association and Kuyulu Mosque Association For Solidarity? These are the groups involved in IHH and the Mavi Marmara expedition to Gaza.

If they’re NOT connected, does this mean that there are several umbrella organizations operating independently in Turkey (some with Kurdish connections, others not) that support Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, and are radically anti-Ankara? If they ARE connected, where are the links? Has anyone looked into this?

Are IHH and its affiliates anti-Ankara, anti-state? With all the flash reporting about the flotilla, the Turkish press seems to have abdicated its responsibility to dig deeper. Indeed, questions asked about IHH would likely get a response like “It’s the Israelis fault. What more do you have to know?”

Another question: Why is Ankara in bed with them? Certainly, the anti-Israel demonstrations allows the AKP (and its radical Islamist cats’ paws) to “own” the issue, taking legitimacy away from the CHP and secularists who appear ineffectual (secularist friends have told me they’d like to demonstrate, but don’t want to go out into crowds of Hezbollah-headband wearing Islamist fanatics). It worked after Davos (see my post on the Israeli raid on Mavi Marmara from two days ago). Then as now, an election was looming. The anti-Israel demonstrations boosted AKP (AND more radical Islamists like Saadet Partisi, but not enough to affect the election) and denied CHP some votes. Call me cynical…

The effect of the AKP using fringe Islamists like this to boost their ratings gives these far-right groups credibility and normalizes their extremism, which otherwise has little foothold in Turkish society.  It’s a very dangerous game, with possibilities for unpredictable blowback. That happened after Davos when anti-Israel sentiments unleashed by the Turkish government turned rapidly into invective against Turkey’s Jews.

Update: Fethullah Gulen has distanced himself from the flotilla (“they should have asked Israel’s permission first”) and from IHH (he says he didn’t know about them until recently). Click here. (Thanks, Bulent and Spine.)

14 Responses to “Is AKP in Bed With Fringe Extremists?”

  1. Is AKP in Bed With Fringe Extremists?

    Before nosing into other peoples’ bedroom practices, people living in the glass houses should –I believe– attempt to answer other –more important– questions first.
     
    Such as: How Do You Say “Frenemy” in Turkish?

  2. AKP is clearly an anti-Semitic party, and Erdogan is a cynical anti-Semite. He and his party are a disgrace for Turkey. Why, I ask, none of the AKP lackeys uttered a word when Omar al-Bashir visited Turkey, a tyrant who committed crimes much worse that Israel’s? Where was Erdogan’s self-righteous anger when his buddy Ahmadinejad and his friends killed, tortured and raped people in Iran? Oh, Muslims don’t commit genocide! Erdogan is a shame and disgrace of Turkey! A third-world demagogue, a street tug and a half-illiterate bully with an acute inferiority complex!

  3. Parviz,

    AKP is clearly an anti-Semitic party, and Erdogan is a cynical anti-Semite.

    OK. I get it. You don’t like him/them very much –nor do you have to.
     
    But, it would be nice if you knew that Arabs are Semites too. [See here.]
     
    So.. now, are you saying he is (they are –the AKP, that is) anti-Arab?
     
    Or, is this another case of your keyboard rushing ahead of you?

  4. Oh my, that piece clearly lacks any info on Turkish Islamism.

    The first time I met IHH people was in 1999, during Russia’s ruthless war over Chechnya. They were ‘smuggling’ some injured people to Turkey to be taken care of in some Turkish hospitals. I have to admit that the people that I met -one with his leg chopped off, other with a severe head trauma, etc.- was young males in their 20s, so it’s natural to have some doubts on their ‘civilian’ identity. But then, let’s remember that the real support to Chechnyan fighters was coming from the government itself -started during Ciller’s ill reign-. Remember the ship abduction?

    Then the IHH continued growing, probably with some money coming from abroad. Nevertheless, the information that I have shows no proof of them having international connections with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt or Hamas or Hizbollah. Dig the past of Bulent Yildirim, and you’d conclude the same.

    It’s a very long shot saying that AKP government logistically supported IHH. the only proof that people have is the ship bought from the Istanbul Municipality -with a fair price-.

    Regarding the Turkish Hizbullah, anyone who follows the Kurdish politics and Hisbullah’s websites know that they don’t like AKP and they don’t like the Gulen Community, to whom AKP delegated the Kurdish opening, the KCK operations, etc. To the extent that Mustazaf-Der is closed a month ago by the Turkish judiciary, which is an evident effort to clear the field for the Gulen movement.

    Forget about AKP, even Saadet is not in bed with those guys. Nevertheless, it’s only natural for a government to exploit such formations in their carrot-stick combinations. I think this is what AKP is trying to do.

  5. Regarding the Turkish Hizbullah, [skip] they don’t like AKP and they don’t like the Gulen Community,

    .
    Did anyone else notice the deafening silence. I have been expecting some sort of statement from the man himself but nothing so far.
    .
    In fact, I am told, they are rather angry that IHH stole the show from their ‘Turkish Olympics’..

  6. CA, yeah that holy man is probably deliberating what angle to play — no doubt with divine guidence. The other guy who’s often advertised here has evidently sniffed the air, sensed it was safe and risen to the occasion however: http://www.stargazete.com/gazete/yazar/mustafa-akyol/vuruldular-tertemiz-alinlarindan-266585.htm

  7. {final edit. misspelt tags and parameters}

    BM,

    yeah that holy man is probably deliberating what angle to play — no doubt with divine guidence.

    Thank God I am not religious; but others might find it blasphemous and be deeply offended by this reference to greenbacks as divine influence.

    The other guy who’s often advertised here has evidently sniffed the air, sensed it was safe and risen to the occasion however: http://www.stargazete.com/gazete/yazar/mustafa-akyol/vuruldular-tertemiz-alinlarindan-266585.htm

    O dear.. it must be tough to be a concubine to every master..
     
    Unless I read it completely wrong, the guy just fell out of hasbara bed [ooops.. darn.. bad bedroom analogies are contagious]; I bet he will get no more ad space here either.
     
    Speaking of hasbara, have you read this article by Robert Pollock in Wall Street Journal Europe.

  8. CA,
    .
    Unless I read it completely wrong, the guy just fell out of hasbara bed [ooops.. darn.. bad bedroom analogies are contagious]; I bet he will get no more ad space here either.
    .
    I don’t think so, it is likely that he’ll play it differently in English and the crowd of duly credentialed supreme intellects will go gaga. (Why, BTW, are you making me read Pollock? Is this payback for what I made you read?)

  9. Newsflash about a holy man, but not the one you expected: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/04/world/europe/04bishop.html

  10. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284721280274694.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

  11. Hmm. Here it is: Reclusive Turkish Imam Criticizes Gaza Flotilla. I find it hard to believe that he actually said something to the effect that “Mr. Gülen said he had only recently heard of IHH, the Istanbul-based Islamic charity active in more than 100 countries that was a lead flotilla organizer.”

  12. @Parviz: agreed.
    @Ertank: here a clip of Bulent Yildirim on a rally in Gaza earlier this year. This clip is also on youtube but Memritv has the best quality. AKP not in bed with IHH, no doubt, only not openly. And IHH is clearly in bed with Hamas and there were 120 people of the Muslem Brotherhood on the Mavi Marmara from Algeria, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt etc.
    http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/263/0/2495.htm

  13. And here our Imam speaks up:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284721280274694.html

    It was time for him to play into the juxtaposition of potentially dangerous radical Islamists against him.

    Ah, and that he doesn’t know about IHH is a blatant lie.

  14. Hans,

    And IHH is clearly in bed with Hamas and there were 120 people of the Muslem Brotherhood on the Mavi Marmara from Algeria, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt etc.

    First, thank you for the link –powerful stuff indeed.
     
    Secondly, we must not forget that we’re having to deal with the Middle East.
     
    ‘Being in bed’ with someone is not automagically wrong.
     
    Remember, Menachem Begin himself started life as a ‘terrorist’ (according the Birtish records who were ruling that piece of land at the time) and a member of ‘Irgun’, the hard(er)-line splinter guerilla group from Hagannah.
     
    He then went on to become a prime minister of Israel, as well as a joint Nobel Peace Laureate.
     
    IOW, even if you –like the British and everyone else, at the time– think Hamas is a terrorist organization, you shouldn’t expect everyone else to agree with you. indeed, time may turn out to prove you quite wrong –after all, Hamas is the elected autority there.

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