by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Yesterday, (May 7, 2023), there was a rally of reportedly 1.7 million people at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport showing support for Turkey’s current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ahead of national elections this coming Sunday, May 14th.
On Saturday, (May 6, 2023), Erdoğan’s opponent for president in the national elections, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, also held a rally in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, but I have been unable to find any published reports about how large the crowds were, although some of the foreign English media have reported that the crowds were in “the thousands” or “tens of thousands.”
The media here in the U.S., however, in both the corporate media and the alternative media, are reporting that President Erdoğan is either losing or in a close race with Kiliçdaroglu, as they characterize Erdoğan as losing support in an election that “really matters.”
Why do they say that this election “really matters”?
They use the same old excuse they always use when the U.S. has an interest in interfering with elections in other countries where they do not like the outcome: “democracy is at stake.”
As someone who has lived for many years in Turkey in the past, and was at one time fluent in Turkish and worked as a translator in Turkey, I am going to report the “other side” of this Turkish election that you are not likely going to read in Western English news reports.
To sum up the “other side” of why the United States does not want Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to be re-elected as President of Turkey, it is because Turkey is clearly choosing sides in the conflict between the U.S. and Russia in Ukraine, and they are choosing their neighbor, Russia, who is helping Turkey become energy and military independent from the U.S., and part of a larger coalition of Middle Eastern Countries who are banding together to fight years of U.S. military dominance in their region over oil.
Some have even suggested that the deadly earthquake in Turkey earlier this year was not natural, but caused by an HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program) weapon used by the U.S. to punish Turkey for working together with Russia.
Let’s start with today’s news where it is being reported that Turkey has rejected a US request for Ankara to provide Ukraine with Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, as Turkey is basically giving the Biden Administration the middle finger in trying to interfere with Turkey’s national sovereignty.
Turkey Angrily Rejects US Request To Give Ukraine S-400 Air Defense System
Turkey over the weekend announced that it has rejected a US request for Ankara to provide Ukraine with Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, which it controversially acquired from Moscow in 2017, and which resulted in strained relations with the United States.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed the request, and said it would be a violation of Turkey’s sovereignty, and strongly suggested the request was insulting in the first place. “They made proposals that directly affect our sovereignty, for example, give us control over it, give it to another place. Where is our independence and sovereignty?” Cavusoglu said.
Turkish Defense Ministry/AFP
“The U.S. has made various offers regarding the delivery of the Russian S-400s missile defense systems in Türkiye to third parties, Çavuşoğlu also said,” according to Turkish media sources.
He stressed that Turkey’s answer is a firm ‘no’:
The minister said one of the proposals made to Türkiye was to send the S-400s to Ukraine. “They told us ‘Will you send to Ukraine?’ We said ‘no,’” he stated.
Not only was Turkey hit with limited US sanctions in 2020 as a result of getting the S-400 systems, but the Pentagon also kicked Turkish pilots out of the F-35 training program, and halted delivery of the advanced Lockheed-made fighters.
Addressing this, Cavusoglu emphasized his government is demanding the money back which was spent on training.
“We are not saying ‘Let’s go back to the F-35 [program] right now.’ We are saying ‘Give us our money back.’ Because we produce our own national combat aircraft,” he said. (Full article.)
Turkey, which is the only Muslim nation that is part of NATO, and has the largest army in NATO, second only to the U.S., clearly sees that their national interests for the future are more closely aligned with Russia, a bordering country and neighbor, than with the U.S., as they have resisted economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.
They have also aligned with other Middle Eastern Countries to join BRICS, which is a coalition of countries that originally was formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS countries have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 (15,346,100 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion, or about 26.7% of the world’s land surface and 41.5% of the global population. (Source.)
As we previously reported, it was announced a couple of weeks ago that Turkey has now reached “nuclear status” with the help of Russia.
Türkiye gained the status of a country boasting nuclear energy, as its first plant, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), received the initial batch of nuclear fuel with a ceremony held Thursday.
The ceremony, which granted Akkuyu a “nuclear” plant status, the first for Türkiye, was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin via videoconference.
With the delivery of nuclear fuels via air and sea (from Russia), the Akkuyu power plant has become a nuclear facility, Erdoğan said at the ceremony.
“Türkiye has risen to the league of countries with nuclear power in the world, albeit after a 60-year delay,” the president said. (Full article.)
During the Turkish presidency of Erdoğan, Turkey has even begun to normalize relationships with another one of their neighboring border countries, and archenemy, Greece.
As we previously reported, Greece is now inviting Turkey to become part of the recently formed East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which began in November of 2019. This East Mediterranean Gas Forum is not only uniting Turkey and Greece over the issue of energy independence in the area, but its members also include archenemies Israel and Palestine! See:
Russia Helps NATO Member Turkey Reach Nuclear Status
“Democracy is at Stake” Only if the U.S. Interferes With Turkish Elections
The western media is correct when they state that “democracy is at stake” with the Turkish elections this week, but not in the way their propaganda pieces state.
Democracy is at stake if the U.S., as they have so often done in the past, uses their CIA criminal network to interfere with the Turkish election results to favor the U.S. and their worldwide dominance in oil and energy, rather than reflect the will of the Turkish people.
One of these propaganda pieces was published last week on TownHall.com, and even picked up by other Right Wing Christian media sources, such as The Epoch Times, and was written by Austin Bay, a former U.S. Army commander.
He starts with the typical “democracy is at stake” B.S.
Why Turkey’s May 14 Election Really Matters
Turkey’s May 14, 2023, national elections are critical, foremost for Turkish citizens. Their democracy is at stake.
After that, he gives the real reason why the U.S. and European NATO countries oppose Erdoğan.
But that isn’t the only reason Turkish and European media call next week’s vote the most important in 100 years. The election, which pits the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the much more moderate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, also affects NATO solidarity, political stability in Eastern Europe and the West’s ability to counter Iran, Russia and China in the Middle East. (Source.)
Yes, this is the real reason.
Turkey is pro-peace and pro-energy independence, and sees their path forward as not bowing down to the U.S. military industrial complex that will destroy anything and everyone who gets in their way to hang on to their empire of dominating the world’s energy supplies.
And you cannot find a more zealous support of America’s criminal military endeavors than the Conservative Christian Right.
I find it comical that these “conservative” publications like TownHall and Epoch Times will print this view of Erdoğan’s opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, as “much more moderate.”
That is just propaganda for saying “progressive liberal.” If we were to compare Erdoğan with Kiliçdaroglu on their social positions, it would be very similar to comparing former U.S. President Donald Trump to current U.S. President Joe Biden.
One side is allegedly pro-traditional family and “family values”, and the other side is pro-LGBT and non-traditional gender roles.
Erdoğan has even campaigned on these social issues, pointing out the fact that Kiliçdaroglu is pro-LGBT, while most Muslims clearly are not.
At his rally in Istanbul, the president was appealing to his conservative Muslim voter base.
“AK Party and other parties in our alliance would never be pro-LGBT, because family is sacred to us. We will bury those pro-LGBT in the ballot box,” he told the crowd.
“My nation will make the necessary response on May 14. We will not allow Kilicdaroglu, who is hand in hand with terrorists, to divide our homeland,” Erdogan said. (Source.)
Of course to the Conservative Christian Right in the U.S., “conservative” is only conservative if it applies to Christians, but not other religions.
Watch this slight-of-hand way that Austin Bay attacks Islam in the TownHall piece, without actually criticizing Islam directly, since 99% of the population in Turkey are Muslims.
Erdogan, who leads the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), advocates the “executive presidency” (authoritarian power and control vested in the president). Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican Peoples Party (CHP), is a moderate pro-parliamentary process candidate. He is backed by a six-party coalition committed to ending Erdogan’s reign of economic error, police intimidation and, in the wake of the February earthquakes, destructive corruption.
For Turks, the 100-year mark has genuine significance. A century ago, in 1923, from the WWI ruins of the Ottoman Turk empire, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established the secular Turkish Republic — a nonsectarian republic in an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
Ataturk was a true revolutionary. To state the grand historical case, he is the only man to successfully create a political system to modernize a culturally Islamic nation. Ataturk pursued economic modernization. He emancipated women and ended the Islamic Caliphate — both acts horrifying radical Islamists then and now. In 2001, Osama bin Laden was still condemning him.
Turkey’s 21st-century democracy is Ataturk’s legacy. (Source.)
Bay is obviously writing to a Western audience, and not Turks, because I can assure you that every Turk I have ever known would find what Bay wrote here incredibly offensive, particularly the statement that Ataturk “emancipated women.”
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is a national hero in Turkey, the “father of the Turks.”
He was educated in Europe, and he was the general in the Turkish military who rescued Turkey from being carved up and being assimilated into Europe at the end of WW I.
His rag-tag military forces, which he rallied from the center of the country in Ankara, drove back the Greek military from taking over Izmir (Smyrna) and much of S.E Turkey, and he also drove the British out of Istanbul, as European forces tried to rename it back to Constantinople.
Modern day Turkey is the last remnants of the Ottoman Empire, which at its zenith was much more expansive and powerful than even the Roman Empire.
Modern day Turkey has never been an occupied nation by Western imperial forces, whether British or U.S.
But Ataturk was most certainly not anti-Islam. He knew that if Turkey was to become economically prosperous as the countries he visited in Europe were at that time, that they had to forsake certain religious obstacles that prevented them from becoming a part of Europe.
That included not only getting rid of the mandatory head scarves on women, but also the male head covering called a “fez“, as well as the Arabic script used for written Turkish, which was replaced by the Latin alphabet the English and European languages use.
None of these reforms instituted by Ataturk were to “emancipate” people in Turkey, but to make them more culturally acceptable to European culture, for economic reasons.
For my American readers who have been deceived by Western propaganda about Islam, let me tell you a story as someone who has lived in Muslim countries for many years.
When our family was forced to leave the Philippines in 2002, we bought some property and settled down for a while in my home state, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee.
I learned of an International Student ministry that was located near the campus of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. This ministry would “adopt” foreign students who had just come to the United States for the first time, and help them with their English and getting adjusted to American culture.
But the leader of this organization told me that very few American families wanted to adopt Muslim students. I told him we would love to adopt one, and so we were assigned a student from Iran.
He was an older student, who was enrolled in a PhD program for medical mathematics. We helped him with simple tasks that most Americans take for granted but which are very difficult for foreigners, such as learn how to buy a car, how to register it at the DMV, and things like that.
We invited him into our home to share meals, and invited him to family gatherings during the holidays.
After about a year, we discovered he had a wife he had left behind in Iran, and that she too had secured a student visa to join him at UWM, and soon he was bringing her to our house to meet us.
She too was a PhD student in Architecture, and she always wore a scarf over her head, along with gloves that covered her hands. While they were both from Tehran, the wife’s family was originally from the northwest part of the country, near Azerbaijan, so her background was Azeri, which is a Turkic people, and their language is similar to the language spoken in Turkey, but with the Cyrillic script.
One day another American family was with us when they visited, and this American family had beliefs that are similar to Mennonites where the women always wear a head covering, and this family, while not Mennonites, also had the wife and daughters wearing head coverings, in response to the Biblical teaching in I Corinthians Chapter 11 on head coverings.
This opened up some very interesting conversation, as during her short stay in the U.S. she had never met another American woman who wore a head covering.
Now it is interesting to point out that while both the husband and wife were from Iran and considered themselves Muslims, they were not religious at all. They didn’t pray 5 times a day, or go to a mosque on Fridays, or anything like that. They were very modern.
The wife explained to us that she wore a head covering for cultural reasons, not religious. She explained that in their culture it was a sign of dignity and respect for womanhood, and how women were treated in her culture. It was completely voluntary for her, and not mandatory, especially since she was now living in the United States.
And her perspective is not unique. I had encountered this attitude many times in other Middle Eastern countries.
When I would tell Middle Eastern women, like this Iranian PhD student, that in American culture their head covering is viewed as oppressive and degrading to women, they were shocked. And they usually replied with something like this:
Well when we turn on the T.V. and see shows produced in America and how they treat their women, those American women look like whores and sluts to us, as they are barely dressed, and to us THAT is degrading of womanhood.
This is NOT About “Democracy”
So let’s stop the propaganda B.S. that the elections in Turkey this weekend are about “their democracy at stake” because of the “evil” Erdoğan.
Their democracy is at stake if the U.S. interferes and thwarts the will of the people of Turkey.
Now I am not standing up for Erdoğan himself, as I don’t know the guy, and there are legitimate concerns about him concerning the way he handled the coup against him in 2016, and the alleged abuses of human rights.
But seriously, is the United States in a position to criticize ANY nation over the issue of “human rights”?
Look at how the protesters in D.C. in January of 2021 who entered the Capital Building have been treated!
Or look at how we treat suspected terrorists from the Middle East by locking them up in our gulags at Guantanamo Bay and torturing them all in the name of “national security.”
Ron DeSantis knows something about that.
Americans, Beware What Belies the Smile of Ron DeSantis
I pray that whoever is elected as the next President of Turkey will be elected by the will of the Turkish people, and not the CIA and the American industrial military complex, which today looks like this:
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Published on May 8, 2023