Every­thing is hap­pen­ing in Turkey as if, from a per­ma­nent state of emer­gency, the sit­u­a­tion was slid­ing into a state of domes­tic war, made pos­si­ble by the con­sti­tu­tion­al changes of 2017.

The bud­get vot­ed for 2018 sets aside a huge amount for defense and arma­ment. Accord­ing to offi­cial min­is­te­r­i­al sources, invest­ments in the defense indus­try sec­tor have reached close to 35 bil­lion dol­lars in four­teen years.

The army’s super­pow­ers and those of its Kemal­ist lead­ers were sup­pressed dur­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al change-over in 2010, fol­low­ing also on a dis­man­tling via affairs and tri­als involv­ing the gen­er­al staff. The 2017 con­sti­tu­tion­al reform which estab­lished the absolute pres­i­den­tial­iza­tion def­i­nite­ly land­ed the army in the Pres­i­den­t’s sole purview. The Erdo­gan fam­i­ly itself has become finan­cial­ly involved in the devel­op­ment of the arms indus­try in var­i­ous ways.

The Turk­ish defense indus­try’s capa­bil­i­ties are increas­ing. 26 projects will be devel­oped in this con­text. A Prime Min­is­ter declared as ear­ly as 2016 : “Turkey intends to equip its army with Turk­ish-pro­duced weapons by 2023”. 2023 being, as we recall, the cen­te­nial of the Turk­ish Repub­lic. So the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment is pro­ceed­ing to the test­ing of mate­r­i­al in Afrin, so to speak.

The devel­op­ment of a war indus­try in a coun­try such as Turkey, a mem­ber of NATO and already “aid­ed” in this capac­i­ty, was scrupu­lous­ly ana­lyzed in a com­plete report done for an insti­tute by a French researcher, which you will find here (in French), even though she does not ana­lyze the mat­ter from a polit­i­cal view­point, of course.

The relay tak­en by this indus­try from the sec­tor of “major con­struc­tion” soon com­ing to an end will be most wel­come for an over­heat­ed Turk­ish econ­o­my. Cor­rup­tion will also fol­low the move­ment, there can be no doubt about it.

Con­cern­ing these major projects to which France boast­ful­ly con­tributed in 2017 in the form of devel­op­ment funds for Istan­bul, we note the charm­ing way Erdo­gan writes off the 400 vic­tims of work-relat­ed acci­dents on the new air­port as prof­its and loss­es for the Nation. Close to 400 “fell mar­tyrs” to the new Turkey of 2023. Erdo­gan must not have spent too much time think­ing about these mar­tyrs to progress dur­ing his inau­gur­al flight last Monday.

The Sul­tan looks toward the future of 2023, cen­te­nial of the “nation­al rev­o­lu­tion”.   He pic­tures his Turkey as lib­er­al, Ottoman in his way of dom­i­nat­ing the world, big­ot­ed and very nation­al­is­tic. “We could draw him in pro­file, with a cres­cent behind him, look­ing toward the Mec­ca of Swiss banks…”   (A quote from Mamie Eyan).

Strug­gles against these var­i­ous destruc­tive projects were smoth­ered, lit­tle by lit­tle, by the state of emer­gency and the cli­mate of fear it established.

Decrees fol­lowed upon decrees, purges fol­lowed purges, fol­low­ing the putsch “blessed by heav­en” in 2016 which allowed the pres­i­den­tial clique to con­sol­i­date its pow­er. The trick now being to hold on and draw full ben­e­fits from it. This is the corol­lary to any absolute pow­er, espe­cial­ly in a coun­try of close to 83 mil­lion people.

Erdoğan would cer­tain­ly be hap­py to do with­out the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly man­dat­ed elec­tions between now and his wished for con­se­cra­tion in 2023. Erdoğan will sur­pass the num­ber of years the founder of the Repub­lic and first Pres­i­dent Mustafa Kemal Pacha (Atatürk) was in pow­er. He has suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en on the nation­al­is­tic mil­i­tarism of this repub­lic, and also instru­men­tal­ized the Mus­lim com­po­nent at its origin.

The build­ing of “eth­nic”, social, cul­tur­al and reli­gious ten­sions in soci­ety and in the entire coun­try that Erdoğan has applied in the con­sti­tu­tion­al frame­work of elec­tions, each time his hold on pow­er and the achieve­ment of his goals were at stake, cul­mi­nat­ed in the peri­od fol­low­ing the failed putsch of July 2016.

The per­ma­nent state of emer­gency, gov­ern­ment by decree above even the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Coun­cil, accom­pa­nied by gifts to the finan­cial sec­tor and cor­rup­tion  aren’t enough to sat­is­fy the appetites and crit­i­cism of the ultra-nation­al­ists, vis­i­bly. Here then is Erdoğan who by words and actions top­ples Turkey into a “state of per­ma­nent mobi­liza­tion”.

What bet­ter means are there for that, includ­ing threats against a few islands of yes­ter­day’s ene­my, Greece ?

It may seem grotesque but if the infor­ma­tion was­n’t fil­tered through “the good rela­tions that must nec­es­sar­i­ly be main­tained with an essen­tial part­ner” (Euro­pean words), we would be beyond deplor­ing “Turkey’s slid­ing toward a strong regime that could tram­ple democracy “.

Those are indeed the sound of boots replac­ing the cries of agony of ISIS’ vic­tims. They are orches­trat­ed by Turkey tak­ing shots at the diplo­mat­ic game for the moment, with its pop­u­la­tion held hostage, more than half of which is already suf­fer­ing from the Stock­holm syndrome.

This Islamo-fas­cism, to use the words of a for­mer French Prime Min­is­ter who also liked war, is one of Erdoğan’s domes­tic call­ing cards, in order to stay syn­chro­nized with the social bases and the polit­i­cal forces sup­port­ing him.

The olive branch” Erdoğan is bran­dish­ing against Afrin, with inter­na­tion­al com­plic­i­ties, will only rein­force the state of war, even if this is con­ve­nient for the time being for the said “great pow­ers, as it allows them a breath­ing space in their dis­agree­ments over the great shar­ing of the spoils of these wars.

All anti-fas­cists would be well inspired to become aware of the transna­tion­al effects of this Munich in the face of Erdoğan, while the Euro­pean extreme right-wings are still prac­tic­ing an anti-Turk­ish racism a bit every­where. Polit­i­cal alliances of inter­est are quick to come togeth­er, and often flow through lib­er­al gov­ern­ments more inter­est­ed by busi­ness than by human rights and Peace.

 Once chlo­ri­nat­ed, the corpses will stay clean, don’t worry.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges

Turquie • Aux armes citoyens ! Cliquez pour lire

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