Turkey’s Sensible Détente with Russia

Official Washington is so set on making Russia the new boogeyman that Turkish President Erdogan’s visit there is setting off alarms, but the easing of Moscow-Ankara tensions is really a positive sign, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

By Graham E. Fuller

Barely more than a few weeks after the failed coup in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan surprised the world by turning up for a meeting in St. Petersburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many observers in the West view the event darkly, as a sign that perhaps Erdogan is now making a strategic about-face to embrace Russia.

This meeting, while coming fast on the heels of the coup, does not really represent a great surprise and should not be viewed as some sinister new departure in Turkey’s strategic posture.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Turkey on Dec. 1, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Turkey on Dec. 1, 2014. (Russian government photo)

It’s important to remember that the foreign policy introduced in 2003 by Erdogan’s party, the AKP, already represented a major new departure in Turkey’s foreign policy orientation. Erdogan’s foreign policy guru, and later foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, proclaimed a new policy of “zero problems” with neighbors.

Suddenly, and for the first time in the history of modern Turkey, Ankara decided to dramatically reverse its previously bad relations over 50 years with virtually all of its neighbors, and declared a desire to reach accommodation and resolve long-standing tensions with states where cold relations had previously existed. The new vision opened a huge new chapter for Turkey in international relations.

Washington, of course, was not pleased with these shifts since they entailed Turkey’s improving ties with countries and organizations which Washington had sought to weaken and isolate: Iran, Russia, Iraq, Syria, China, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Turkey further determined that U.S. policies in the region were failing, unproductive, unrealistic, dangerous, and against the interests of Turkey — and perhaps of the region as a whole as Washington plunged into war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and military incursions into Pakistan and Somalia.

In my view as well Turkish assessments of U.S. strategic errors and miscalculations were not far off the mark. Ankara famously denied the U.S. military the right to invade Iraq from Turkish soil at the last minute in 2003.

Thus a decade ago we had already heard much discussion in the U.S. press about whether Turkey had “gone off the reservation,” or had ceased to be a reliable ally of the U.S. Indeed, Ankara was no longer a “reliable ally,” which historically had meant that Ankara would follow the U.S. lead in Middle East policy. No longer.

Ankara had truly set out on an independent path in keeping with its perceptions of its own interests, and those generally ran counter to what Washington wanted. That particularly included burgeoning strategic and economic ties with Russia.

Indeed, Turkey no longer considered itself to be uniquely a “Western power” but also a Middle Eastern one, and went on to declare its historical, cultural, economic and strategic interests in the Caucasus, Eurasia, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and even newly expanding interests into Latin America.

These initiatives were accompanied at the time by an expansion of the Gülenist network of schools and commercial ties in all these areas as well, with the full blessing of the Turkish foreign ministry as representing a new source of Turkish soft power. At that time, overall Turkish relations with Washington were cool and Erdogan was disliked.

Creating Problems

But Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbors” had represented a fresh and productive policy as Turkey became the 16th developing nation in the world with spreading interests. In 2013, Turkish airlines served more countries than any other airline in the world. Turkey entered the process of globalization and its economy boomed.

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

But Turkish foreign policy successes were to bite the dust with the onset of the Arab Spring, a phenomenon which no one foresaw and which no country handled well, including Washington or Ankara. Erdogan, long a mentor to Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, soon became obsessed with overthrowing him — the signal foreign policy error that Turkey committed.

Turkish involvement in the Syrian conflict led eventually to the unraveling of its good ties with virtually every neighbor, undoing the foreign policy gains of a decade.

So looking at the present situation we need to see it in the perspective of the events of the last decade. Turkey is not “drifting away from Washington” as such — it had long since already done so. It is not now suddenly cozying up to Russia — it had already long done so. It was only the toxic character of the Syrian mess that had severely damaged Turkish relations with Moscow, culminating in the Turkish shoot-down of a Russian fighter aircraft on the Syrian-Turkish border. That is now being righted.

Following the failed putsch attempt against him on July 15, Erdogan has indeed found little warmth or support from the West. Indeed, there has long been little love for him in the West, even though all countries appropriately condemned the coup attempt as an unwelcome blow to the Turkish democratic order.

Whatever sympathy Erdogan might have won even then was largely weakened by his subsequent sweeping purges in the military, the judiciary, police, educational and financial system against any and all potential opposition to Erdogan from any quarter — not just Gülen, now reaching well over 60,000 people cashiered or arrested.

Erdogan is thus somewhat isolated in the West where he is viewed as mercurial, erratic, and seeking authoritarian powers at home. But his efforts to restore his damaged ties with Russia and the East does not represent a bold new break or a slap to the West, so much as a return to his original foreign policies of a decade ago.

Indeed, Erdogan is now moving to again mend the damage to nearly all Ankara’s foreign ties so heavily inflicted during Ankara’s Syrian adventure. This is not surprising, and from Erdogan’s point of view, eminently sensible. He seeks to shore up his basis of foreign support to the maximum degree on all fronts. But he is also highly unlikely to abandon NATO since it represents his key institutionalized relationship with the West.

After the disastrous state of Turkish-Russian relations over the past year or so, they had nowhere to go but up. Turkish ties with Russia are not unnatural, especially after the breakup of the Soviet Union. These ties center on energy, trade and tourism.

Russia is of major importance to Ankara. The two share many common interests from the Balkans, across the Middle East to the Caucasus and Central Asia. They may be partial rivals in the region, but stability benefits both.

Thus these developments do not represent a genuine new setback to the U.S. in the region — unless one views America’s number-one interest in the region to be the exclusion of Russian influence at all cost. That is really old think — and quite unrealistic.

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official, author of numerous books on the Muslim World; his latest book is Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an American’s crisis of conscience in Pakistan. (Amazon, Kindle) grahamefuller.com


18 comments for “Turkey’s Sensible Détente with Russia

  1. John the Ba'thist
    August 20, 2016 at 12:50

    The Sultan is not to be trusted. He has now consolidated his power in Turkey through the post-fake-coup crackdown and his detente with Russia is a wedging and stalling tactic even as he continues to pour weapons and thousands of psychopathic troops to his Ikhwan proxy army in Syria.

    The Gullenist plot narrative is a smokescreen intended to stoke the easily- stoked fires of anti- Americanism among most segments of Turkish society and hide the fact that he and the US are still full partners in the plot to destroy Syria. That plot dates back to the 1970s, at least in the US case, and in Turkey’s case it has reappeared in varied forms ever since Ottoman imperialism ceded to the Franco-British-American variety.

  2. Peter Loeb
    August 18, 2016 at 07:37


    Many nations (EU-NATO) have problems with vassalage to
    the US. In different ways each must give up something and
    one suspects that within the councils of various governments
    these conflicts are more openly discussed than is apparent
    in the US. If subservience is continued, the doubts are
    hushed if not totally censured. Does X really want
    to add risks to income and aid from a U base? Or
    any financial pressures from the US?

    In this respect Fuller’s assessment represents what
    discussions which take place elsewhere. Some of the details
    are smoothed over, some are left out, some (as Joe Tedesky
    points out above) are questionnable.

    Edogan may not be a “nice guy”, may not be “warm and
    fuzzy”. Few are. With its many crimes and its support of
    “warm and fuzzy” (??) Israel, the US is in no position to
    claim any moral ground.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 18, 2016 at 10:17

      Peter, everything is questionable when everything you read or hear is a possible lie, and often it is. Read this link I am leaving here for a good description of how our NGO’s are out there causing much more confusion which eventually leads to unrest and violence, under the cover of spreading democracy.


  3. August 18, 2016 at 02:25

    Erdogan is a criminal with some fairly prominent psychopatholgy. Gulen is a cult leader whose dark inner aims belie the positive things accomplished by some of his followers. Certainly Turkey can do better than either of these two sorry old men.

    In just the past few weeks, Erdogan has approached the Russians with hat in hand and shows a willingness to do a 180 degree reversal on the Syria policy.

    The core motivation of the sociopath who would be Sultan is always the same – retain power to avoid prosecution and jail (or worse). That’s what the Russian opening is about and that’s why he’ll stop supporting ISIS and its Salafist cousins in Syria.

    N.B. If Gulen is having any moments of comfort lately, he should use these three words to bring him back to reality — Shah of Iran

  4. Bart Gruzalski
    August 18, 2016 at 01:24

    Putin is an excellent diplomat and creates alliances wherever he can. That’s the bottom line. Unfortunately the US is terrible at that, even when it has the best information and knows as well as any nation that Putin is dancing circles around us. Hillary would rather us be the global cop while Donald Trump wants us to pull back our military from all over the world, including Ukraine, and just have a big enough military that no one will attack us. Hillary: global cop. Trump: peace maker and builder of alliances, and we don’t go anywhere militarily where we are not directly threatened. No troops anywhere in the Middle East.

    I do hope you are wrong about WWIII commencing within sixty days because if it does, those of us like Trump who would prefer to live and let live will be nucleated toast.

    Isn’t there someway we can pull the plug?

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 18, 2016 at 10:12

      On her CNN Townhall Jill Stein threw out a great idea, close down most of America’s many foreign bases (700 to 800 of them) and follow….ready for this, follow International Law. Imagine that, following the law, why in these days and times that’s almost unAmerican, but I’m all for it, how about you?

  5. elmerfudzie
    August 17, 2016 at 22:37

    Erdogan does not need or require warmth or for that matter, support from the western Occident nations. He, much like several other peoples in that region of the world, continue to maintain a politically contentious relationship with the NATO alliance. The historical origins of the Turkish people are from the House of Steppenwolf, (Huns) and I might add, Iran, who’s people are mostly descendants of the Persians. I needn’t remind CONSORTIUMNEWS readers that the Persians were the inventors of human Crucifixion. Yep, when it comes to picking stupid fights, the Neo-Con element within the U.S. government can really pick-em. Long before the Western Occident set a single foot into this region, the Russians, over the course of centuries, have at one time or another, occupied, fought wars and or made their peace with the peoples of the Caucasus. Orientalism is a long held Russian specialty (scholarship)..And now, to top off all their follies, the western Neo Cons have decided to pick a fight with Russia. Russia, a people famous, not for starting wars, but finishing them (bringing conflicts to a conclusion) . Now to my point; it comes as no surprise that forty thousand Russian troops with tanks and air support units, have just been deployed along Ukraine’s eastern (Russian border). It didn’t take Putin very long to figure out that NATO’s stationing of ABM systems near it’s homeland, are in fact, the beginning of the end. As I see it, if Putin and Xi become convinced that Clinton will be elected, a concerted surprise attack by Russia and China against the US mainland will be launched. If our readers can’t comprehend a thing I’ve said so far, try to understand this: World War Three is ABOUT TO COMMENCE WITHIN THE NEXT SIXTY DAYS, probably a lot sooner. Visit http://www.1913intel.com/2016/08/17/russian-military-forces-staging-near-ukraine/, I dare say, I hope to be completely wrong about all this.

    • Sam F
      August 18, 2016 at 09:21

      Don’t worry, your apocalyptic declaration by an “elmerfudzie” is as “completely wrong” as you wish. Statements that various peoples’ historical origins determines modern behavior do not constitute evidence or argument among the educated. People may agree with your thesis but need an argument to value the comment.

    • Secret Agent
      August 20, 2016 at 03:34

      I think the Russians out the troops on the border because they anticipate an attack by Ukraine on the Donbass region. This deployment was first reported by Fort Russ blog spot in English, translating Colonel Cassad, a Russian who is always right.

      The NATO members have ruffled their feathers but don’t seem to have any apitite for a fight, except of course Ash Carter who has been strangely quiet these last days.

      America has a long history of launching vile sneak attacks when everyone is distracted. Like in Krijina and Osettia. Looks like they were gearing up for an assault but Putin called their bluff.

      WW3? The war party would love it, but the feckless hack Obama would have to order it, and in spite of his lies and duplicity regarding Russia, he doesn’t want a big war to tarnish his otherwise puny legacy.

      Hillary? Who knows.

      • elmerfudzie
        August 21, 2016 at 11:46

        Secret agent, again, Putin will never tolerate an ABM system so close to Russian soil. The catalyst for a first strike attack against the U.S. mainland will assume the shape of a Clinton Presidency. Putin realizes that Obama has some “control” over the Neo-Con element, firing a general or two, here and there but Hillary has paraded her lack of restraint, especially in terms of public statements, adding substance to an already, gross military provocation. Example; framing the person-hood of Putin as a modern day Hitler. Her lack of wisdom and even handed diplomacy demonstrates an ignorance of the art of politicking. Putin’s back is now, right to the wall and I have provided references, previous to this comment. Visit, Putin’s FINAL WARNING @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPJi302nCCk. In my opinion, Clinton’s election represents nothing short of a first strike by Russia, unless those ABM batteries in question are immediately removed from the scenario.

  6. Chris Chuba
    August 17, 2016 at 18:38

    “Russia is of major importance to Ankara. The two share many common interests from the Balkans, across the Middle East to the Caucasus and Central Asia. They may be partial rivals in the region, but stability benefits both.

    Thus these developments do not represent a genuine new setback to the U.S. in the region — unless one views America’s number-one interest in the region to be” … to destabilize the Russian border at any cost?

    I would be lying if I said that I don’t believe that this is the goal of many in the foreign policy establishment. They tend to give their intentions away either consciously or unintentionally with their words and actions. I’ve heard numerous times that Russia should be grateful for NATO expansion because it provided stability. Hmm… I see the military build up but I don’t see the added stability for Russia. There is a thriving arms market and terrorists, including those from U.S. supported Georgia, freely traverse EU/NATO. Russia couldn’t even extradite the one that planned the Ankara airport bombing.

  7. Abe
    August 17, 2016 at 18:15

    “over the objections of the FBI, of the US State Department, and of the US Department of Homeland Security, three former CIA operatives intervened and managed to secure a Green Card and permanent US residency for Gülen. In their court argument opposing the Visa, US State Department attorneys had notably argued, ‘Because of the large amount of money that Gülen’s movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects.’

    “The three CIA people supporting Gülen’s Green Card application in 2007 were former US Ambassador to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz, CIA official George Fidas and Graham E. Fuller. George Fidas had worked thirty-one years at the CIA dealing, among other things, with the Balkans. Morton Abramowitz, reportedly also with the CIA, if ‘informally,’ had been named US Ambassador to Turkey in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush. Sibel Edmonds, former FBI Turkish translator and ‘whistleblower,’ named Abramowitz, along with Graham E. Fuller, as part of a dark cabal within the US Government that she discovered were using networks out of Turkey to advance a criminal, ‘deep state’ agenda across the Turkic world, from Istanbul into China. The network reportedly included significant involvement in heroin trafficking out of Afghanistan.

    “On leaving the State Department, Abramowitz served on the board of the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and was a cofounder, along with George Soros, of the International Crisis Group. Both the NED and International Crisis Group were implicated in various US ‘Color Revolutions’ since the 1990s collapse of the Soviet Union.

    “Graham E. Fuller, the third CIA ‘friend’ of Fethullah Gülen, had played a key role in the CIA’s steering Mujahideen and other political Islamic organizations since the 1980s. He spent 20 years as CIA operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Afghanistan and was one of the CIA’s early advocates of using the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist organizations to advance US foreign policy.

    “In 1982, Graham Fuller had been appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at CIA, responsible for Afghanistan, where he had served as CIA Station Chief, for Central Asia, and for Turkey. In 1986 Fuller became Vice-Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

    “Fuller, author of The Future of Political Islam, was also the key CIA figure to convince the Reagan Administration to tip the balance in the eight-year long Iran-Iraq war by using Israel to illegally channel weapons to Iran in what became the Iran-Contra Affair.

    “In 1988, as the Afghan Mujahideen war would down, Fuller ‘retired’ from the CIA with rank as Deputy Director of the CIA’s National Council on Intelligence, to go over to the RAND Corporation, presumably to avoid embarrassment around his role in the Iran-Contra scandal for then Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush, Fuller’s former boss at CIA.

    “RAND was a Pentagon- and CIA-linked neoconservative Washington think tank. Indications are that Fuller’s work at RAND was instrumental in developing the CIA strategy for building the Gülen Movement as a geopolitical force to penetrate former Soviet Central Asia. Among his RAND papers, Fuller wrote studies on Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Algeria, the ‘survivability’ of Iraq, and the ‘New Geopolitics of Central Asia’ after the fall of the USSR, where Fethullah Gülen’s cadre were sent to establish Gülen schools and Madrassas.

    “In 1999, while at RAND, Fuller advocated using Muslim forces to further US interests in Central Asia against both China and Russia. He stated, ‘The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.’ By all evidence, Fuller and his associates intended their man, Fethullah Gülen, to play perhaps the major role, in their operations to ‘destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.’

    “CIA career man Graham E. Fuller was a key backer of Fetullah Gülen and architect of the CIA Islam strategy since Afghanistan’s Mujahideen.”

    What is Fethullah Gülen?
    By F. William Engdahl

    • Sam F
      August 18, 2016 at 09:32

      Thanks, Abe, I was much amused to read this thorough counterpoint.

    • Sam F
      August 18, 2016 at 10:15

      Perhaps “Fethullah Gülen” the CIA “friend” of Graham E. Fuller, is really Gethullah Fülen?

      From the first article: “In 1999, while at RAND, Fuller advocated using Muslim forces to further US interests in Central Asia against both China and Russia. He stated, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.” …CIA career man Graham E. Fuller was a key backer of Fetullah Gülen and architect of the CIA Islam strategy since Afghanistan’s Mujahideen.”

      I would like to hear Mr. Fuller explain Why a project of the CIA or a “cabal within the US Government” seeks to overthrow democracy in Turkey, and to surround and provoke Russia? Why would the CIA have such goals, why would successive US administrations support them or fail to stop them, and did their massive funding actually come from Saudi Arabia or another Islamic state? What is the involvement of Israel?

  8. Abe
    August 17, 2016 at 18:05

    “Much has been written on the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey. The Erdogan government has pointed to the exiled Fethullah Gülen sitting in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, and formally requested his extradition to face charges in Turkish courts. Washington so far refuses. As a massive nationwide investigation by police and security forces continues inside Turkey, new damning details emerge almost daily that point to the key role of the CIA behind their Fethullah Gülen Movement (termed FETÖ for Fethullah Terrorist Organization in Turkish) and the US military. Now the Turkish media reports that none other than Gülen mentor, ‘former’ CIA man Graham E. Fuller, along with another ‘former’ CIA person and close Fuller associate, Henri J. Barkey, were at a luxury hotel on one of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, some twenty minutes from Istanbul, on the night of July 15.

    “While Washington adamantly continues do deny any and all involvement in the failed July 15 Turkish coup attempt, Turkish media is revealing detailed information of the involvement of key US figures as alleged coup organizers. They include the former NATO International Security Assistance Force (Afghanistan) Commander, Army General John F. Campbell. And now new revelations name Henri J. Barkey, a former CIA man, now based as Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, conveniently, a mere 26 miles or 30 minute drive via PA-33 from Saylorsburg, home of the exiled Fethullah Gülen.

    “According to the Istanbul Yeni Safak paper, on the July 15 night of the coup Henri Barkey and a group of seventeen others, mostly foreigners, met for hours in a locked room in the Splendid Palas hotel on the tourist Princes’ Island outside Istanbul and reportedly followed coup developments on TV amid their closed-door talks, according to testimony of hotel personnel. The paper cites a source from Istanbul Police’s Intelligence, Counter Terror, Cyber Crime and Criminal Units, who reported that Barkey was holding a meeting at the hotel with 17 top figures, most of them foreign nationals, on July 15, the day of the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

    “According to the hotel management, Barkey had held a “meeting that lasted hours until the morning on July 16 in a special room. They have been following the coup attempt over TV channels,” the hotel personnel told police.

    “Graham E. Fuller too?

    “Other reports from well-informed Turkish independent journalists say that among the members present with Barkey the night of the coup was former CIA senior officer and mentor of Fethullah Gülen, Graham E. Fuller, former CIA Station Chief in Turkey. That would be no surprise. Fuller and Barkey are both old Langley CIA associates. Both have long involvement with affairs Turkish. They even co-authored a book, Turkey’s Kurdish Question.

    “Indeed, it would seem something recently has stung the 78-year old wily CIA veteran, Fuller. He claims to have retired from the agency years ago, when he went over to the CIA-tied RAND Corporation. Yet he re-emerged from the shadows during the Boston Marathon bombing to try, feeling obviously on the spot, to deny links to the two Chechyn brothers accused of that event. Fuller had then to admit that the Tsarnaev brothers had an Uncle, ‘Uncle Ruslan’, aka Ruslan Tsarnaev, a former employee of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton in Central Asia, who had lived in Fuller’s home for a stint when Uncle Ruslan was married to Fuller’s daughter. Bizarre enough, just ‘coincidence’ for sure… Yet if Fuller had not wanted to draw the spotlight on himself, he would have done better had he just shut up and let it blow over. Not very professional for a veteran CIA spook.

    “Now Fuller again in his personal blog rushes to deny being behind Fethullah Gülen and the Turkish coup. His blog post is a rambling paean of praise for his protégé, Gülen, writing that ‘Gülen comes out of an apolitical, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition. Gülen is interested in slow, deep social change including secular higher education…looking at the dramatically failed coup attempt against Erdogan last week, I believe it is unlikely that Gülen was the mastermind behind it.’ Erdogan, never to my knowledge, called Gülen ‘mastermind behind the coup.’ He said the Gülen networks played the key roles carrying it out. Masterminds, charitably using the word, were elsewhere, sitting in Tampa, Florida Centcom headquarters and in Langley, Virginia.

    “Despite Fuller’s clumsy attempt to sheep-dip Gülen, it’s been documented that the same CIA-backed Gülen organization, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s, rushed to establish Gülen schools across former Soviet Central Asia republics from Turkey into Chechnya and Dagestan in Russia, into Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and on into Xingiang, China.”

    Graham E. Fuller Where Were You on the Night of July 15?
    By F. William Engdahl

  9. Joe Tedesky
    August 17, 2016 at 15:54

    Unless you subtract the CIA, the Muslim Brotherhood, Nicholas Sarkozy, Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, and Netanyahu, well then “yes” no one saw the Arab Spring coming. Multinational coups are always easy to pull off without any notice. The only one who probably wasn’t aware of this pan revolutionary maneuver (& I’m not trying to make any excuses for anyone) was more than likely President Obama.

    My crystal ball is out of order, but here is a link to the current goings on of Erdogan…


    • F. G. Sanford
      August 18, 2016 at 02:37

      Very insightful comment, Joe. I read this article against my better judgement. To me, it smacks of a reverse double-backhand limited hangout. While opining that things with the west aren’t so bad, it reinforces the idea that Erdogan is “all in” with the Russians, and as such, represents an incitement to view him as an even more dangerous and unpredictable threat to the grand plan. The giveaway sentence:

      “Erdogan, long a mentor to Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, soon became obsessed with overthrowing him — the signal foreign policy error that Turkey committed.”

      Now…where in the world does anyone suppose Erdogan might have gotten that brilliant idea? Seems to me, it popped into his head right after the Mavi Marmara incident. But maybe I’ve got my timeline distorted.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 18, 2016 at 10:06

        The Arab Spring was a complete surprise to me, but there were plenty of those who knew at the time. We should follow our American NGO’s, since it is a safe bet that where ever you will find them, there will be civil unrest for sure.

        Here is an article from 2013 by Thierry Meyssan which pretty well describes what was going on at the time.
        Inside my referenced article pay attention to names like Hillary Clinton and Hakan Fidan.


        When it comes to who I will read and comment to, well take Michael Corleone’s advice, ‘keep your friends close, and your enemies closer’. Why hell, I wish Dick Cheney or better yet it were possible to interact with Allan Dulles (if he were alive). It’s no fun always agreeing with everyone who writes for this site. Oh, and I’m not here to argue with everyone either, there’s enough of that on HuffPo, no I’m here to learn and I’m a slow learner at that, but that’s my take on it for what that’s worth.

        Nice to hear from you F.G. Take care my poet friend. JT

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