The fall of the Turkish lira, inflation, the hyper-President, the purges come and go. One piece of news gives you the jeebies, chased by another. Today, there is a smell of gas.

A piece of the big pipe with the pretty name of Turkish Stream was inaugurated by Vladimir Putin and the Reis himself in Istanbul. A section of the gas pipeline scheduled to open in 2020 appeared just in time for the tying of a ribbon and the demonstration of the good relations between Russia and Turkey.

No, Turkey hasn’t discovered gas supplies, the opposite is closer to the truth. The great pipe will cross under the Black Sea and will cover a distance of a bit more than 1000 km. It will travel from Southern Russia in order keep relations warm and cozy.

Once again, the media under the Reis’ orders state that Turkey will become “a strategic base for energy supplies.”Perhaps the President thinks he will be able to resell the gas behind Putin’s back, just as he boasted this summer concerning nuclear power plants. In short, we will be eyeing Syrian gas a bit less apparently… Although… It seems the pipeline will be running through Turkey in order to avoid the Ukrainian frost and in order to supply Europe. The pipeline is supposed to allow the flow of 31,1 billion cubic meters of Russian gas. There’s another faucet for you, allowing for various blackmailing gambits in the future. Nonetheless, I don’t think Putin will accept payment in rubles or Turkish liras. Did I hear you mention Turkey is not a part of Europe?

In any case, the face of Bachar’s best supporter was in full display on our pro-Presidential rags and the handshake had every appearance of a contract.

The Reis was so pleased he forgot the European Human Rights Tribunal had an item on the stove for him. Two, even. Our lovely Republic “considered Ottoman” is decidedly receiving contradictory signals. On the one hand, French and German European leaders show up with Putin to remind Erdoğan he can do what he wants in Northern Syria, as long as he keeps a low profile and doesn’t release any migrants, Trump both agrees with the Reis about the PKK but doesn’t miss a chance to spit on him, and the European Tribunal delivers two judgments declaring that the Kurdish struggle for recognition is “grounded in law.”

I’m at a loss to understand anything, or this is part of the great haggling that blows both hot and cold. The wind could come from Syria. From a table in the North, notably.

As usual, of course, I didn’t read all this in the rag wrapped around the potatoes.

“Selahattin Demirtaş must be released”. Thus speaks the Court. “We’ll put an end to that, you’ll see”, Erdoğan responded. “The PKK had no business appearing on the lists of terrorist organizations in 2017” says the Court. “This is 2018”, Erdoğan answered. And your Macron and your Merkel, barely recovered from the ayran at the reception, do not move an inch. The first is preoccupied by yellow non-identified objects and the other with the fascists who no longer bother disguising themselves. As our favorite Kemalists over here aren’t in much of a hurry to budge either, the Court will probably need to send more smoke signals before anything happens, unfortunately.

But, hey, we will have gas.

It’s mind-boggling to see the speed at which one soldier replaces a new purge in the universities, gas pushes aside inflation, one speech by the Reis replaces another, news of the opening of a new Saudi halal butcher shop replaces the trial of a Gulenist. We have never had so few media and from one day to the next, the handful we have manage to make us dizzy with disinformation.

Come to think of it, the arrival of gas may be nothing else but a wind.

Dans l’hiver de la Turquie, ça sent le gaz… Cliquez pour lire

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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