Alternative title: So, we may be about to see a constitutional crisis in Turkey.
Short version: the ruling government in Turkey didn’t have that great an election night.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has suffered his biggest setback in 13 years of amassing power as voters denied his ruling party a parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002 and gave the country’s large Kurdish minority its biggest voice ever in national politics.
Ross Douthat makes a decent case for formalizing the Kurds’ status as an American client state* – basically, he’s arguing that the combination of supporting an existing relationship dovetails neatly with our instinctive dislike of seeing people being eaten by monsters** – but there’s a practical reason for doing so as well. Basically, if we don’t do it, somebody else will. Most likely, Turkey.
And Turkey is… a special situation right now. The guy running it is a bit… well. Erm. He’s the kind of guy that, if he was running the place back when I was a kid, the best that we*** could have said about him would have been Well, at least Edrogan’s not a Commie. I don’t think that we want him to be the Kurds’ quartermaster. It would be… contraindicated. Continue reading Best to grab the Kurds as our client-state *now*, what-what?
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Kurds of Iraq have the right to decide the future of their land, said Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday.
“The Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in,” Celik told Rudaw in an interview to be published soon.
The AKP is the party of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under whom Ankara and Erbil have built strong economic and diplomatic relations.
In case Iraq gets partitioned, said Celik, “the Kurds, like any other nation, will have the right to decide their fate.”
To answer Ace of Spades’s question of why Turkey is doing this now: it’s because the Kurds are happy to sell things to Turks, like access to vacation facilities… and more importantly, oil. Lots and lots of oil. Under circumstances like that, arrangements can, as they say, be made.
Years ago, the Kurds turned away from Baghdad to Ankara, in the hopes of finding a new regional champion. And, surprise surprise, in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they found such a partner. In a striking turnaround from 2007, when the Turks were so afraid of Kurdish secession they positioned 200,000 troops on the Kurdish border, Turkey has more recently embraced Kurdistan as a moderate partner and an important steady source of oil, as Turkey seeks to cement itself as the oil gateway from the Middle East to Europe.
Turkey doesn’t yet support Kurdish independence, but Erdogan has been making progress to normalize relations with his own Kurdish population in the south, freeing the head of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) resistance group and recognizing Kurdish as a language. The border, once lined with troops, is now open and flowing with goods and tourist traffic that moves both ways.
Translation: the Turks don’t care if the Kurds keep Kirkuk. And they very well might not care if the Kurds take Mosul, either. Or any other parts of Kurd-populated territories that aren’t in Turkey itself.
I know, I know: it vaguely looks like a crow, but it’s a turkey buzzard. I mean, why would I lie about it?
PS: Well, I wasn’t going to get out of the dang car and get a closeup. Turkey buzzards are scavengers; I’m sure that they’re harmless, but I fully expect them to smell bad, and probably use vomit as a weapon*. So I don’t hassle it, it doesn’t hassle me, it’s all good.
*Hold on, let me check that… HA! They do. Well, I knew that condors do that, so it only stands to reason.
This came up yesterday at the debate – and a bit earlier, when Hot Air’s Allahpundit noted Perry’s original comments, and I responded – so I thought I’d give an update of what… is being said about the concept of a Syrian no-fly zone being established. Note: not what is being done; what is being said. Lots more things get said than done.
Executive summary: last year, Israeli blockade enforcers stopped the so-called Gaza ‘peace flotilla’ (which is what ordinary, decent people call ‘a pro-terrorist blockade running fleet’). In the process of said stopping, the peaceful members of the peace flotilla did their level best to peacefully murder the blockade enforcers; to give you some idea of the double standards involved here, Israeli forces felt forced by international pressure to try to secure the blockade-runner using nothing more lethal than paintball guns. Fourteen attackers died; nine were apparently Turks, which has the current Turkish government – led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hates Israel anyway – to demand an apology. The Obama administration, using Secretary of State Clinton as a proxy, has duly ‘backed up’ this demand; and the Israelis have politely told both the Obama administration and Turkey where they can head in. Continue reading Obama to Israel: apologize to Turkey…
Ben Smith covers the Standard Washingtonian Weasel Statement by President Obama here, the comparable reactions to said SWWS here, and – best of all – Samantha “Monster” Power’s earnest explanation to the Armenian community back in the day about how straight a shooter that Barack Obama is*