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by Stephen Lendman
A personal note. To all my wonderful friends and readers emailing me get well wishes during what thankfully was a short-term hospitalization, my deep and sincere thanks - the best med I received by far, along with some writing I was able to do. It’s wonderful being home again.
Turkey’s aggression against Russia complicit with Washington remains foremost on my mind - two rogue states posing major threats to world peace. Their actions speak for themselves. Ergodan would never attack Russia on his own. Washington likely planned and orchestrated what happened. He was the triggerman, a fascist dictator destabilizing the region along with destroying fundamental freedoms at home. More on his homeland repression below.
Most important is his alliance with US-dominated NATO - a rogue killing machine threatening world peace, waging one war after another, raging in multiple theaters, notably in Iraq and Syria.
Southeastern Turkey borders the Syrian Republic, Iraq and Iran. Erdogan wants part of northern Syria incorporated into Turkey - a hoped for land grab on the pretext of establishing a safe zone for nonexistent “moderate” rebels.
Thousands of heavily armed Turkish troops are massed on Syria’s border. Invasion may follow if Washington OKs it after Erdogan replaced Chief of General Staff General Necdet Ozel with regime-supporting General Hulusi Akar.
Downing Russia’s aircraft ups the stakes for greater war, ruining chances for diplomatic conflict resolution - Washington’s plan all along, Erdogan going along for his own self-interest, a rogue leader running Turkey despotically.
Press freedom is banned. Dozens of journalists languish in its gulag for doing their job. Domestic and foreign ones are at risk.
In January, Ergodan lied, claiming “there is no place in Europe or in the world where the press is more free than in Turkey.” Anyone openly criticizing government policy risks arrest, prosecution, conviction, imprisonment or death.
Wrongfully imprisoned on phony charges of leading a terrorist group, Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca wrote an open “letter to the free world months earlier,” saying in part:
“I’m writing this letter from a jail cell, trying to reach out to the free world.”
“I am the general manager of a leading national TV network called Samanyolu, which has 14 broadcast channels in Turkish, English, Arabic and Kurdish, dozens of radio stations and popular news portals.”
“We have always been strong defenders and promoters of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy and will continue to do so in full compliance with rules, regulations and the law.”
“I am a victim of a witch hunt that has been waged on the free, independent and critical media in Turkey because the increasingly authoritarian government does not like criticism as well as the exposure of major wrongdoings within government agencies.”
“Any journalist who uncovers the dirty laundry of senior government officials is immediately labeled a traitor and subjected to character assassination, harassment, persecution and even prosecution under trumped-up charges with no evidence at all.”
“It is clear that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies in the government have declared a total war on the independent media against the background of massive corruption investigations that incriminated senior government officials between 17-25 December, 2013.”
“Since then, the government has resorted to all sorts of intimidation tactics to muzzle the media and get rid of the corruption scandal.”
Erdogan conspires with Washington against regional peace, stability and security. He’s covertly arming and training ISIS elements on Turkish territory - then smuggles them cross-border to commit terrorist acts in Syria and Iraq.
Stop NATO founder/editor Rick Rozoff earlier said “(i)f confirmation was required that a neo-Ottoman Turkey is determined to reassert (its regional) influence gained 700 years before and lost a century ago and…doing so as part of a campaign by self-christened global NATO to expand into the Arab world, the Turkish head of state's threat to militarily intervene in Syria with the support of its 27 NATO allies should provide it.”
Reporters Without Borders calls Turkey the world's largest prison for journalists for good reason. Press freedom is verboten. It's nonexistent.
No country imprisons more journalists for doing their job. An atmosphere of fear prevails. Widespread arrests are commonplace. Challenging government policy on sensitive issues risks persecution, imprisonment or death.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says Turkish authorities wage “one of the world's biggest anti-press campaigns in recent history.”
“Dozens of writers and editors are in prison, nearly all on terrorism or other anti-state charges. The evidence against them? Their journalism.”
Erdogan imprisons journalists “on a mass scale.” He deplores free expression, tolerating none. Censorship is official state policy. Pro-Kurdish news is called terrorism. Kurdish journalists are especially vulnerable.
Many face charges of participating in anti-government plots - others for belonging to outlawed political groups. Ankara tolerates no dissent. Extrajudicial assassinations are commonplace. Human and civil rights are non-starters. Rogue states operate this way.
Turkish regime assassins murdered Press TV journalist Serena Shim. Intelligence agents hounded her. She reported important truths Erdogan wants suppressed.
She died in a suspicious car accident amounting to cold-blooded murder - during an October 2014 assignment, covering ongoing conflict at the time in Kobani, Syria.
Heading back to her hotel, a heavy vehicle deliberately smashed into her car. She never had a chance. Dead correspondents tell no tales. The attack vehicle driver remains free and unidentified to this day.
Turkish intelligence wrongfully accused her of spying - the same charge other independent journalists face for doing their job.
Shim had photographic evidence of Turkish intelligence involvement in covertly smuggling ISIS terrorists cross-border into Syria - using trucks bearing false NGO markings. Her evidence proved it, saying before her assassination:
“We were some of the first people on the ground - if not the first people - to get that story of…militants going in through the Turkish border…”
“I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks.”
She expressed fear about what Ankara “might use against her” - harassing, arresting or murdering her as things turned out.
Erdogan’s despotic AKP regime has been running Turkey since 2002. Democracy is pure fantasy. His near 50% majority November snap reelectoral victory was dubious at best - a suspect turnaround after losing one-fifth of the electorate in June elections. Polls indicated a much different outcome.
Dirty war on Turkish, northern Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish populations remains ongoing - abroad on the pretext of combating ISIS, Turkey’s ally, not enemy.
Prior to the election, journalists were harassed, attacked and pressured into self-censorship to prevent opposition parties from getting proper coverage. State-controlled media were entirely one-sided - AKP propaganda prominently featured. Fascist dictatorship triumphed - headed by megalomaniac Erdogan.
RT International reported his son Necmettin Bilal’s involvement in black market sales of ISIS stolen Syrian oil, profiting from high crimes along with regime officials, maybe father like son.
After Turkey downed Russia’s aircraft, Vladimir Putin blasted Erdogan, calling him an “accomplice of terrorists,” adding:
“IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling oil. In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation.”
“One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly. Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world…”
Turkey supplied and may continue supplying ISIS with toxic sarin gas to commit terrorist attacks, falsely blamed on Assad - including the notorious August 2013 Ghouta incident, killing and injuring hundreds of Syrian civilians in the Damascus suburb.
Evidence shows ISIS and other takfiri terrorists in Syria used chemical weapons numerous times before. US, Turkish and Saudi Arabian dirty hands were involved - Assad set up to be a fall guy irresponsibility.
No proof of Syrian involvement in chemical weapons use exists since Obama’s war began in March 2011. While ongoing, Assad destroyed his entire chemical weapons stockpile, working cooperatively with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - certified by OPCW. Phony claims about him retaining supplies persist.
Sarin gas enters Syria through Turkey. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said a former senior US intelligence official with current reliable contacts told him “Turkish government (elements) believed they could get Assad’s ’n-ts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria…forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.”
Erdogan is a megalomaniacal threat to global peace and stability, especially after recklessly downing Russia’s aircraft - an act of aggressive war by any standard, Washington’s dirty hands orchestrating things covertly behind the scenes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III".
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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