I had to repress a smile when reading that Turkey is putting Israelis on 'trial' in their absence for having killed the IHH terrorists on the Mavi Marmara. Of course the verdict is a foregone conclusion in the country which jails more journalists than any other country (around 100 at present) and has thousands of political prisoners languishing in prison. The sentence being asked by the prosecution is 18,000 years for each soldier who defended himself from the violent turks.
I'm sure that with pleading mitigation and time off for good behaviour, Erdogan's judges might be convinced to allow the imposition of a more lenient 6,000 year sentence. The only remaining question is how long before amputations, whippings and stonings are introduced into the Turkish penal system?
Even before the latest turkish farce, there was a feeling that Turkey not only lost all sense of realism but was punching above its weight. To give him credit the turkish islamist PM Erdogan instigated the Gaza flotilla provocation when he felt the time was right. The Turkish economy had seemingly taken off and Turkey appeared to have foreign policy successes across the board. The islamist Erdogan's mantra was zero foreign policy problems other than with Israel. And for one short year it seemed to ring true.
It wasn't long however before the foreign policy goals unravelled with Armenia not seeing any fruits of its appeasment of Turkey. Its border is still blockaded by Turkey. Turkey also woke up to the fact that supporting Iran's regional and nuclear ambitions might clash with its own security goals.
Turkey now has problems with all its neighbours (apart from tiny Georgia) evoking the feeling in europe that the best place for irascible Turkey is not in the EU or in Nato (sighs of relief from EU nations that Turkey never managed to break into the EU club and now it never will).
And Turkey's economy is giving increasing cause for worry (or the opposite depending on your point of view). The economic boom has been predicated on real estate rises in value, 'hot' credit and consumption. There is little capital investment in Turkey and unemployment is booming.
All Turkey needs now is to go to war with Syria. Every time a Syrian shell lands over the border Erdogan huffs and puffs and we wonder if it will finally happen. Just how long will hot tempered Erdogan manage to resist taking his country into a disastrous war with Syria (and Hezbollah and Iran supported by Iraq and Russia). The disaster will of course not just be for Turkey but for a number of Israel's worst foes.
So apart from the above scenario worrying cooler minds in Turkey, there's always that horrible Kurdish problem, a problem of the kurdish birth rate that keeps gnawing away, and will continue to do so until one day Turks wake up some time around 2038 and find out that Kurds outnumber them.
Long before then Turkish soldiers will be dying in ever greater numbers, and the increasing repression against kurds in eastern Turkey will just hasten the progress of turkish collapse in the east.
No wonder Turkey is beside itself with worry over the new kurdish autonomous areas in Syria's north east.
If I was Erdogan i'd forget the Jews for the moment as there are just so many problems looming on the horizon. I would be really worried about the rise of the Kurds as, sad to say if you are an Ottomanist and islamist Turk, there doesn't seem to be any solution other than radically shrinking the borders of Turkey at the very least from Erzurum eastwards. Turkey is going to be forced to drink some of the poison it recommends Israel partake of. Unlike Turkey Israel has legitimate and somewhat long standing claims (admittedly not 18,000 years) to all the lands its people live on.
I'm going to bed soon and will hopefully awaken to drink a lechayim to the american people's good sense in kicking Obama, the Jewish and American Peoples' worst enemy since Hitler (bar maybe a couple of madmen living in Iran) into the long grass. When I open my eyes in the morning the middle east and asia will hopefully be much safer (we mustn't forget how China has flexing its muscles in the South China Sea area since Obama's administration showed how spineless it is in the face of aggression by enemies of the West) .
Turkey may go out of top 20 club: CHP
Turkey will fail to achieve its long-term growth targets as the government is incapable of developing the necessary economic policy, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said.
“This government is incapable of developing the policy to lift Turkey into the top 10 economies in the world by 2023. On the contrary, the country may fall outside of the top 20 economies. Turkey was the 14th largest economy [in the world] in 1987. Now it is the 17th,” he said yesterday at a meeting organized by the Economy Journalists Association (EGD).
The government has set an ambitious target to become one of the largest 10 economies and reach $500 billion in exports volume by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the republic.
However, Kılıçdaroğlu said the Turkish economy was off-track and was missing crucial targets in the government’s much-praised medium-term program. “The government makes a three-year program, however, all the targets are missed,” he said.
CHP Vice President Faik Öztrak, who also made a presentation at the event, said the government had revised down its own targets in the medium-term program regarding the main macroeconomic indicators including gross domestic product growth, and year-end consumer inflation for this year and the following two years. The government has revised its growth target for 2012 from 4 percent down to 3.2 percent and year-end inflation from 5.2 percent up to 7.4 percent.
Noting that domestic demand had contracted sharply, he said the target for demand growth in 2012 was 4.1 percent, but it had plunged to -0.1 percent. Turkey’s economic growth is predominantly based on external resources and debt, he said.
Another soft spot in the Turkish economy, according to Öztrak, is the household debt level, which has shot up 36-fold since 2002, while household financial assets merely increased threefold in the same period.
“There is no soft landing in the economy [as suggested by the government],” he said.
......the actual unemployment rate was higher than the official disclosure.
“Millions of people are jobless. The government claims to have decreased unemployment through tweaks in statistics. Someone who works for only 15 days is also counted as employed [for the full year],” he said.