This post has been updated TWICE.
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  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 2: 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.)