I would have pre­ferred writ­ing an exit tick­et for this fall re-entry. An exit tick­et for all the hostages in Turkey.

Cem Özdemir, leader of the Ger­man Green Par­ty and of Turk­ish ori­gin declared to Bild : “Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not a pres­i­dent, he’s a hostage taker. »

This dec­la­ra­tion fol­lowed two new arrests of Ger­man nation­als in the region of Antalya, for motives qual­i­fied as « polit­i­cal ». Twelve Ger­man nation­als, includ­ing four bi-nation­als, are present­ly detained in Turkey on sim­i­lar charges. This is lit­tle, com­pared to the pop­u­la­tion of pris­on­ers in Turkey await­ing improb­a­ble sen­tences linked to the anti-ter­ror­ist and state of emer­gency law, and the thou­sands already sentenced.

Nonethe­less it is real­ly and tru­ly a case of hostage tak­ing.

Hostages… Like those whose por­traits news chan­nels used to show along with the end­less days of their deten­tion. Hostages… Of whom it wasn’t said in those days that the coun­tries or regions of their deten­tion belonged to « part­ners » or « reg­u­lar phone con­tacts ». But that was « before »…

Turkey has Europe by its pri­vate parts, and its pres­i­dent takes the full mea­sure of its politi­cians, while hold­ing in his right hand an « agree­ment on migrants » and in his left a promise of div­i­dends for the « cor­po­ra­tions ».

Such an easy and sim­plis­tic com­ment… Geopol­i­tics is much more com­plex than that…

On these two spe­cif­ic points, I would say not… The com­plex­i­ties are in the con­tract terms and the counter mea­sures, delays, the shar­ing of prof­its. Mean­while, the terms of the black­mail are right under our noses.

And Dame Merkel knows the terms as well as does young Macron. The rest is noth­ing but communication.

When we real­ize that Aslı Erdoğan’s edi­tor, now France’s Min­is­ter of Cul­ture, can offer the Legion of Hon­or to her author, who is still under pros­e­cu­tion and deprived of the right to leave her coun­try, and that she can­not even slip her the medal in the qui­et antecham­ber of a Con­sulate, one mea­sures the thick­ness of the knot in the rope. But shhh…not a word, we hear nego­ti­a­tions are unfold­ing in the wings.

Loup Bureau will prob­a­bly nev­er know the first thing about those nego­ti­a­tions. « This is none of your busi­ness. » You know the phrase. And, of course the « you » is aimed at us, the « bleach­er experts ».

But when Aslı Erdoğan, in a let­ter she wrote from jail, said that the Erdoğan regime, “would inevitably shake all of Europe », she spoke evi­dent truth although she is not a polit­i­cal strate­gist, noth­ing but a plain and sim­ple author.

Behind this evi­dence lies both the tan­gle of finan­cial and polit­i­cal com­plic­i­ties that, in the West, have accom­pa­nied both Erdoğan’s rise to pow­er and estab­lish­ment of a polit­i­cal caste in Turkey, and the per­ma­nent torch it rep­re­sents for all the ongo­ing wars in the Mid­dle East, includ­ing the one on Turk­ish soil. There­in lies the geo-pol­i­tics of dis­as­ter.

Just as Euro­pean gov­ern­ments have rein­forced domes­tic feel­ings of inse­cu­ri­ty that favor xeno­pho­bia and the shriv­el­ling into iden­ti­tar­i­an cocoons, they have prac­ticed a Munich on the Turk­ish ques­tion, and in so doing, shunt­ed them­selves to the sides of the region­al and inter­na­tion­al pow­er plays.

In the case of France, for instance, the « rapid-fire » pol­i­cy of belat­ed sup­port to Kur­dish fight­ers won’t suf­fice to wedge in between the wish­es of the impe­ri­al­is­tic pow­ers and the more region­al ones. Europe and Turkey are squab­bling at the low end of the table… And, it must be said, the inter­ests of tri­umphant Euro­pean lib­er­al­ism still hes­i­tate between inter­ven­tion­ism and a step­ping back for « recov­ery ». But…how to inter­vene after lay­ing out the land­mines on the road that must be followed ?

And the Turk­ish pres­i­dent holds the keys to the landmines.

Oh, and just in pass­ing… Since Kedis­tan hasn’t spared its efforts late­ly to pub­li­cize Loup Bureau’s impris­on­ment and demand his lib­er­a­tion, there fol­lows here a mere reflec­tion from the patent­ed jour­nal­ist I hap­pen to be, one with an inter­na­tion­al press card and every­thing… Frankly, to believe even for a moment that keep­ing a low pro­file in front of the Turk­ish regime, by avoid­ing to name it for what it is, will help with the back-room schem­ing for his release, is to do noth­ing but delay that out­come. At that rate, why not sul­ly his name, while they’re at it ? And repeat over and over again that he’s a begin­ner who made mis­takes, the main one being hav­ing a con­science ? You know, once he’s been « lib­er­at­ed », he won’t under­stand those small intel­lec­tu­al cow­ardices that were sup­posed to defend him. He will be busy enough thank­ing the politi­cians who will have « spo­ken up » for him. As was the case for so many oth­er hostages that were kept silent fol­low­ing their release.

So, why this need for addi­tion­al hostages for the Turk­ish Reis ? Any chess play­er who ever chal­lenged a « big name » has asked him­self the same ques­tion. And lost.

The Turk­ish regime con­sol­i­dates itself on the weak­ness­es, the cow­ardice, com­pro­mis­es and con­nivance of the Euro­pean gov­ern­ments it despis­es. Its intel­li­gence con­sists in know­ing the inter­ests, polit­i­cal and finan­cial spine­less­ness (as in the Greek exam­ple), and the so-called iden­ti­tar­i­an supe­ri­or­i­ty (with a dash of attrac­tive ori­en­tal­ism) of the States he black­mails. The Sul­tan exults and has no trou­ble depict­ing in glow­ing terms before the daz­zled crowds the pow­er of the Ottoman’s revenge over the fall of the Empire. Atatürk and Mehmed, rolled in one.

While over here we weep over the « lost democ­ra­cy », as if Turkey had once been an exam­ple of such — this Repub­li­can State born on the pro­gres­sive nega­tion of a geno­cide — the AKP regime has sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly crossed all the bar­ri­ers toward an oli­garchi­cal and author­i­tar­i­an pow­er­hold, rul­ing as a big­ot­ed and policed qua­si-dic­ta­tor­ship. And this regime can both allow its bureau­cra­cy to do any old thing, even to the point of weak­en­ing the cogs of its own func­tion­ing – call it Ubu or Kaf­ka, as you wish – and accu­mu­late prof­its and sat­is­fy the cor­rupt, in the ser­vice of liberalism.

So the « hostages » are there more as a means of ter­ror­iz­ing the domes­tic « labor force », silenc­ing dis­sent and obtain­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions (the Kemal­ists find their prof­it in it all), and on the out­side, rene­go­ti­at­ing pow­er holds, with extra cards up its sleeve.

Did France con­demn the recur­ring encroach­ments and mil­i­tary actions against Roja­va in North­ern Syr­ia recent­ly ? I didn’t see any­thing of the kind, for my part…

But of course, Macron must have talked about it over the phone…

Trans­la­tion by Renée Lucie Bourges
En français : Turquie • Un point sur les pris­es d’otages

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Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…