Erdogan Resisting American Moves to Remove him from Power and Federalise Turkey

Turkish officials and public circles have in the past few days been rattled by a series of video clips that went viral after they had been broadcast by Sedat Peker who has fled to the Emirates and has been dubbed by Turkish authorities as “a mafia boss”. In the videos, Peker claims the presence of links between icons of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the mafia.

This prompted interior minister, Süleyman Soylu to respond, as the video recordings broadcast by Sedat Peker in the past two weeks turned into a matter of public concern for the supporters of the ruling party and the opposition led by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and for other parties opposing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

The accusations are designed to demonise Erdoğan and the AKP by attacking its men and toppling Süleyman Soylu and the police force that stood by President Erdoğan during the events of the failed coup attempt of 2016. Süleyman Soylu is tipped to succeed Erdoğan should the opposition fail in dissuading his party from continuing to bank on him following the defamation against him which has united all the opposition forces in calling for his resignation, especially as he has been the spearhead in confronting domestic conspiracies, and dealing with  the CIA-affiliated movement of Fethullah Gülen a heavy blow, and being instrumental in curbing the deep state represented by the business community and the  political parties.

These actions paved the way for Erdoğan to forge ahead with consolidating the powers of the police force and intelligence services while downsizing the influence of the judiciary and the army, which represent a linchpin of the Turkish deep state, through constitutional amendments and the wide-ranging powers he has acquired by turning the parliamentarian system into a republican one, which explains the opposition’s calls for a return to the parliamentarian system. 

The Emirates, which has previously meddled in Turkey’s presidential and mayoral elections, has thrown a fireball inside Turkey through Sedat Peker within the context of the American campaign against the Turkish regime, which aims at recapturing Turkey from the AKP and bringing her back to the club of US-affiliated states after Erdoğan had broken free from the shackles of America’s volition, scuppered the rise of the Kurdish entity, and concluded the S400 missiles deal with Russia.

The point at issue is the fate of Turkey rather than merely the fate of Erdoğan. This was expressed by some Senators in the US when they debated the method of dealing with the Turkish file in light of the estrangement between Erdoğan and America and the rapprochement of Erdogan with Russia. They stated that Turkey was “bigger than Erdoğan”; in other words, America considers it imperative to exert pressure and impose sanctions on Turkey to recapture her and include her in the project aimed at weakening the states of the Middle East together with their centralised regimes through federalisation and continuing to dominate them, plunder their resources, and prevent them from achieving progress, revival and liberation.  

Hence, the US aims to divide Turkey on federal grounds by establishing a unified Kurdish entity stretching from northern Iraq to the Mediterranean via northern Syria, and thus, imploding Turkey’s territory from within and isolating Turkey from her Islamic character whilst weakening her and keeping her dependent on the US to secure her economic interests. The Kurdish entity would act as a military base overlooking Central Asia through the Kurdish pocket which would not come into effect except by breaking the land-lock siege imposed on it by the geopolitics of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran by granting it an opening to the Mediterranean Sea in northern Syria.

Erdoğan realised this manoeuvre and worked towards thwarting it by impeding the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan with the help of Iran and by launching Operation Peace Spring which split East Euphrates from its west and prevented the expansion of the Kurdish pocket towards the Mediterranean Sea.  In fact, tension in Turco-American relations erupted because of America’s persistence in backing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its surrogates in Syria and Iraq. The American backing reached the level of supplying Syrian Democratic Forces with tens of thousands of weapon-laden trucks, not to mention the political backing. 

Erdoğan detected the American strategy early when America embraced the aspirations of the masses in the region through its Greater Middle East Initiative, aka the “Arab Spring”, through which she reproduced the regimes to the benefit of the deep state and the remnants of the regimes in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, and Algeria while exploiting the protests in Lebanon and Iraq to restructure the two regimes in line with the requirements of kick-starting the peace process and regulating Iran and its influence in the region.

Erdoğan also perceived America’s approach when she decided to: topple Mohammed Morsi, discard the “Turkish Islamic Model”, sponsor the failed coup attempt of 2016, exert economic pressure on Ankara, and give the Emirates free rein in backing the Turkish opposition forces. Subsequently, America succeeded in driving a wedge within the ranks of the AKP via Ahmet Davutoglu and Ali Babacan, who was viewed by America as a reserve to Davutoglu, especially since he was the engineer of the economic successes achieved by the AKP. 

The new development on the Turkish scene is the escalation in the domestic threats aimed at inciting public opinion against Erdoğan and the AKP by maintaining the economic pressure and introducing new tools to defame Erdoğan, his party, and his ministers. This has been evident with the current issue of Sedat Peker who fled to the Emirates and launched a smear campaign against Erdoğan and his party which impacted Turkish public opinion, and generated support for Ahmet Davutoglu who demanded from Süleyman Soylu to respond to the allegations of Sedat Peker. This compelled Turkey’s interior minister to come out and respond to the campaign of Sedat Peker and those behind him, and expose the political game and its aims, which are not detached from what has been planned for the Middle East, namely weakening Turkey and its central government further through federalisation. 

Süleyman Soylu claimed during a programme aired by TRT that Ahmet Davutoglu stated in 2015, when he was prime minister and AKP deputy leader, during a meeting of the executive committee of the party, that the authorities could draft the constitution with the help of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party. Soylu also mentioned the agreements concluded between Davutoglu and CHP leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, to redraft the constitution based on federalising Turkey. Davutoglu briefed Erdoğan on the proposal but Erdogan rejected it and expelled Davutoglu from the party, according to leaked reports. Subsequently, Erdoğan called a snap election in which the AKP won 50% of the votes.

During a televised interview, Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu attempted to marginalise the UAE-sponsored mobster Sedat Peker and shift the confrontation towards Ahmet Davutoglu to destroy his political career and prevent him from entering an alliance with the CHP in future. He also attempted to dispel the rumours and suspicions that were raised against him and against the AKP to bulwark the party against the campaign targeting its unity and popularity, and even Turkey and her societal fabric. Erdoğan, for his part, endeavoured to corroborate his alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party by meeting its leader, Devlet Bahçeli.

The US pressure on Erdoğan and the AKP is set to continue unabated through various means such as the media campaign by Sedat Peker, and the Libyan foreign minister’s calls for expelling Turkish forces from Libya, despite Erdoğan’s attempts to deal with America’s policies with extreme flexibility, to the point where he muzzled the Turkish-based Egyptian opposition, sought to bury the hatchet with the Egyptian regime at least for the time being, and decided during the recent war on Gaza to proceed with the project of internationalising the holy sites in Al-Quds al-Sharif by establishing a tripartite committee consisting of the three religions to administer the holy sites.

Copyright © LCIR 2021

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