"I predict hot developments in the region. In such a case, Turkey will suffer greatly. " ~ Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The latest news is that four people have been charged in the judge-shooting incident, and the earlier bombing attempts of the Cumhuriyet office. In addition, the Financial Times reports a widening rift between the AK government and the pashas.
I kind of wonder myself if Ozkok's calls for more protests isn't the start of a soft coup. More about all the players can be read in this TDN article, including the case of the missing, mysterious leader of the "gang." I wonder how convenient that will turn out to be.
There was something from the other day, on The New Anatolian about the ultra-nationalist connection in the judge shooting. Since those charged are also being charged with the Cumhuriyet bombings, we can assume there's an ultra-nationalist connection with that, too. Pay attention to this quote:
Claims that Arslan is connected with nationalist circles, above all with Nizam-i Alem -- an ultra-religious-nationalist organization affiliated to the Grand Unity Party (BBP) -- were denied both by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu.
There was something about the mention of these groups (Nizanm-i Alem, BBP, MHP) that reminded me of something. They had been involved with sending fighters to Chechnya a while back. You can find our Gray Wolf-Islamists referenced in a couple of old CNN reports on Russia, Istanbul: Gateway to a holy war and A Mujahedeen speaks: "Why I fought at Grozny". In that second one, you can get a pretty good idea of the opinion of these types for Kurds and PKK.
If we do a little free association exercise with all this, the truck accident in Turkey this weekend might come to mind. The LATimes carried an AP report, which mentions that the truck was carrying illegal Afghani and Bangladeshi immigrants. There is a more complete AP report carried on TDN, but the odd thing about it is that it doesn't mention the origin of the immigrants. Other news agencies seem to agree that the immigrants were, in fact, Afghanis and Bangladeshis. The AP report on TDN did, however, mention that the immigrants came through Iran. Heroin, jihadis and terrorism--Iran's three main exports.
So I wonder, were these immigrants simply illegal immigrants, on their way to Europe for a chance at work. Or were they jihadis?
Finally, let's remember what EU accession is really all about. Turkey's exploitation of the Central Asian and Caucasian oil fields in order to bring fuel to Western markets is certainly a good enough reason to overlook continuing human rights violations.
Remember that the next time you think about Kerkuk.