Comments on Turkey, Russia and Europe

I said a lot on social media today, so I thought I would make a blog post out of it. I’m not sure I will make this a regular feature, but it might be one way of making use of my tendency to say a lot on Twitter and Facebook. Everyone is very welcome to ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ me on Facebook (Barry Stocker), where everything is on ‘public’ settings and I accept any ‘friend’ request which is not obviously for some nefarious purpose; and like most people on Twitter I have an open setting, so everyone can see my tweets, my preferred account is now @barryDstocker, though an older one still contains the same tweets). Anyway go to those places if you want to see a bit more detail.

News from Turkey: the Jewish-Turkish businessman Ishak Alaton is investigated for links with the ‘Parallel Stare’ at the AKP likes to describe the Gülenci religious community with which it used to be a close ally (a coincidence that a Jew is targetted, I think not, this is the government that claimed Gezi Protestors were working for the ‘interest lobby’, and we all know what buttons that was supposed to push) ; one of the biggest media groups (Doğan) is being investigated for ‘supporting terrorism’ (may I suggest the real crime of the Doğan group which represent middle of the road Turkish opinion is to oppose the AKP and criticise Erdoğan); the AKP deputy who led the violent attack on the Hurriyet newspaper (part of the Dogan group) and openly supports the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda has been elected to a national committee of the AKP and has announced that he should have attacked the Hurriyet journalists earlier; a citizen being prosecuted for ‘insulting’ Erdoğan on twitter points out the case refers to something written by someone else as a comment on her tweet. So another normal day in Erdoğan’s Turkey.

Oh yes and one of the most internationally prominent former supporters of AKP, Mustafa Akyol (a bit of an enthusiast for Muslim-Ottoman identity, so let’s not have any nonsense about Islamophobia) says there is no democracy in Turkey outside the bare fact of elections.

Earthquake in European balance of power approaches! Montenegro may join Nato! Go here for linked story from Atlantic Council.

Sweden (as well as Montenegro!) may join Nato (link in English language Swedish newspaper here). Opinion poll shows joining Nato to be more popular than staying out. This is after the Russian foreign office threatened ‘retaliation’ if Sweden joined Nato, anyway support for membership was already rising and defence co-operation with neighbours is increasing. This in a country which has stayed out of European wars since the Napoleonic period, and has been neutralist in identity for a long time. Well done Mr Putin, you are changing the European balance of power, just like the 19th century master statesmen you obviously wish to emulate. Err, don’t think Bismarck, Cavour, Palmerston, or Metternich succeeded in shifting the balance of power against themselves though.

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