[OS] US/MIL/RUSSIA/TURKEY/UKRAINE/GEORGIA/UK - Turkish commentary
describes military as "major source of anti-Americanism"
Turkish commentary describes military as "major source of
Text of report in English by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman website on
[Commentary by Emre Uslu: "Turkish military: A source of
anti-Americanism in Turkey"]
A Washington-based Turkish expert has argued that the source of
anti-Americanism in Turkey between 2005 and 2009 was the Justice and
Development (AK Party) government's policies. Unlike such arguments, I
counter-argued in my columns and briefs published in the Jamestown
Foundation and Today's Zaman that the original source of
anti-Americanism in Turkey was the neo-nationalist entities affiliated
with the army.
When I reviewed the content of the Internet sites founded and
administered by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), as evidenced by the
admission of the military as well as the Defence Ministry during the "e-memorandum" investigation, I realized that the source of the
anti-Americanism in Turkey was the US's strategic partner, the armed
forces. The following examples were taken from the irtica.org website,
which show that the military serves as the major source of
anti-Americanism in Turkey. The following excerpt from the irtica.org,
an official propaganda site sponsored by the TSK, is the introduction of
a lengthy piece that incites anti-Americanism:
"Global powers use radical Islam in the Caucasus against Russia. Russia,
which seeks a reliable place within the global balance of the 21st
century as the inheritor of the Soviet Union contained by the US during
the Cold War by a 'green belt' [a string of Islamic allies], is
currently facing two Islamist challenges. Even though this seems
contradictory, both radical Islam and its so-called antidote, moderate
Islam, are acting together in the country.
The use of moderate Islam for multiple purposes
Tatarstan President Mintermir Seymiyev is opening religious schools and
universities in an attempt to promote the moderate Islamic model that
they would prefer, whilst the Russian government is seeking to found an
Islamic university in an effort to address the threat of radical Islam.
Islam in the Caucasus
As far as moderate Islam is concerned; ironically, Russia is using its
moderate Islam approach for multiple purposes. Differentiation remains
visible and alive in the post-Soviet period. The Caucasus' model of
Islam is still resisting through radical Islam, whereas the Tatar
approach to Islam is trying to reconcile with moderate Islam.
Post-Soviet Russia pragmatically merges authoritarianism and flexibility
towards Muslim minorities. The US is using moderate Islam for the
instability of Russia, whereas the Moscow administration tries to use
political Islam in the Caucasus against radical Islam. In relation to
this, the Moscow administration has even taken action to use the
moderate Islam threat posed in the Republic of Tatarstan and in
However, even though it gives the impression that Islam has been allowed
in the Tatarstan, the Russian administration still holds the initiative.
The ban imposed on Said Nursi's works because they allegedly contained
extreme statements and spread hatred, is now officially in effect in
Russia. The process was initially started by an investigation against
the Nur movement in Tatarstan in 2005.
In other words, even moderate Islam should be under control of the
Moscow administration. However, the possibility that Russia loses
control over these groups is a strong possibility. In fact, the Moscow
administration views political Islam as an important element because of
its potential to improve ties with the Islamic world. ... Russia has
been seeking to improve its relations with Islamic countries by
emphasizing its efforts in Tatarstan. Seymiyev, who accompanied Russian
President Vladimir Putin on his tour through the Middle East, was given
a reward by the Saudis for his service to the Islamic faith; this is
part of the new policy of Putin vis-a-vis the Islamic world.
The Strategic Vision Meeting between Russia and the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Istanbul in February with the
participation of President Seymiyev and OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin
Ihsanoglu, constituted a strong platform for the joint projects that
Russia and the OIC member states could take up. It is a matter of
curiosity how the improving ties between Russia and the Islamic world,
which started in 2005 when Russia acquired observer status in the OIC,
will be reflected in Russia's policies towards its Muslim population.
Another danger in connection with moderate Islam in Russia is the
activities of the Fethullah Gulen movement. The activities of this
movement have been under scrutiny since the mid-1990s. The Moscow
administration implemented its new security concept in 2001 in an
attempt to make sure that moderate Islam does not take root in the
country. Since then, 18 schools of the movement have been shut down. In
2003, 10 teachers working in Gulen schools were deported from
Baskurdistan. The number of deported teachers has increased to 50 in two
The Russian Secret Service (FSB), which has been closely
following the activities in Gulen movement schools, has concluded that
the training and the curricula in these schools included elements that
undermined Russian national security. The service even found that some
of the teachers working in these schools had been acting as spies on
behalf of the US and Britain, involved in some coup attempts in the
Turkic republics and ! played roles in popular uprisings in these
The Russian authorities, in response to these activities,
have shut down eight schools in Tataristan, four in Baskurdistan and one
each in Karacay-Circassia, Yakut-Saha, Astrahan and Dagestan. Mustafa
Kemal Sirin, head of Tolerans Foundation, who serves as Gulen's
representative in Russia, was banned from entering the Russian
Federation in September 2003. By this operation, Putin gave the message
that he was aware of the threat posed by political Islam for his
country. Whether this message has been received can only be confirmed by
the passage of time.
However, Russia has been reviewing its global energy policies in recent
years. It seeks to use the advantages of being an energy-rich country.
The Moscow administration, which has earned huge amounts of money from
oil exports owing to the increasing energy prices, now feels safe from
the political, diplomatic and military operations of multinational
companies. However, students trained in the educational institutions of
the moderate Islam project are slowly climbing up the ladder of success.
The colour revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia are cases that the Russian
Federation needs to consider as examples."
I will keep presenting examples proving that the military has been
promoting Eurasianism (a political movement regarding political
identity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasianists) in line with the
Ergenekon ideology and relying on anti-American sentiments while
maintaining cooperation with the US.
Source: Zaman website, Istanbul, in English 1 Aug 11
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