How Russia Should Respond to Erdoğan’s Hate-Mongering?

Joshua Tartakovsky, 5 December 2015 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is one who thrives from exploiting ethnic and religious tensions. For him, the more commotion and incitement, the better. Following the brutal bombing of Kurdish and Turkish protesters in Ankara, a bombing that took place with the police absent from the area and with many indications of the Deep State’s involvement, Erdoğan blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is a Kurdish militant group in Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey, with an anti-centralized state ideology that has been fighting for independence since 1984.  Why would a Kurdish militant group blow up fellow Kurds who share the same desire for independence? But the Turkish masses seemed to believe him. Erdoğan sees enemies everywhere, while the pro- Erdoğan media incites the impoverished public who see in him a hero, a resister and one of their own, wrongly persecuted and always innocent. Erdoğan’s Justice and development Party (AKP) gained power in 2002 after decades of neglect of the Muslim working class by the Turkish elite.  It is a popular, Islamist, pro-US party that seeks to overturn decades of secularism instilled since the founding of the secular republic. Turkey’s professed secularism ran contrary to the wishes of many of the poor living in villages and cities who could not find in the government or army a non-condescending official.  The military, the protector of Turkey’s secularism, did not intervene after AKP won. Erdoğan could finally pursue a process of Islamization of the country and a revival of neo- Ottomanism. Erdoğan’s Turkey feels that it has been oppressed for decades if not centuries. Now it is breaking free....
Russia Should Not Lose its Cool, as Turkey’s Action was Desperation, Not Strength

Russia Should Not Lose its Cool, as Turkey’s Action was Desperation, Not Strength

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 27 November 2015 In many ways, the Russians are more angered by the shooting down of the Russian military jet by Turkey than the bombing of the Russian civilian plane in Sinai by Da’esh. After all, Russians did not expect ISIL to like them, but they did expect fair behavior from Turkey. Russia generally regarded Turkey as a respectable partner, even when it strongly disagreed with its policies of openly support ISIL and buying its oil. Erdogan’s shooting down of a plane flying over Syrian skies has significantly angered Russia. Turkey argued it warned the jet in advance, 10 times in 5 minuets supposedly.  But if the plane flew over Turkish airspace, it did so for seventeen seconds. The surviving pilot denied receiving any warnings.  How did Turkey know in advance that the plane would enter its air space, therefore inevitably issuing warning minutes in advance, when the plane supposedly violated Turkish airspace for seconds? If a warning had indeed been issued, it is likely that the pilots would have known better and would have left at once, since Russia does not want a confrontation with Turkey to begin with but is focused on fighting Western-backed takfiris threatening a secular Syria. Even if Russia violated for several seconds Turkish airspace, Turkey has been violating Greece’s airspace many times. Considering the fact that Turkey has been also violating Syrian sovereignty by supporting ISIL in Syria via its supply lines, it is difficult to take seriously its claim that it shot down the plane following its entry into its airspace and the authenticity of the supposed audio tape...
Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

  (Photo: Press TV). Press TV November 26, 2015 My appearance on Press TV discussing the downed Russian jet SU24 by Turkey in Syria. Key points: -According to various reports, Erdogan’s son Bilal is deeply involved in buying oil from ISIS in hundreds of millions of dollars -Turkey is hoping that its bringing down the plane and continued aggressive acts, it will eventually force a no-fly zone over Syria since it has been at loss following Russia’s successful strikes against the Islamic State -Russia will not fall into the trap set by Erdogan and will not get carried away. Instead it will remain set on the goal of fighting terrorism in Syria. However, Turkish provocations and acts of aggression are likely to...
Russia in Syria: How Will the US Respond?

Russia in Syria: How Will the US Respond?

One should not expect the US to sit back for too long and watch Russia take the lead. It will respond. The question is, how will it respond and what can it do? Written by Joshua Tartakovsky for SouthFront | October 10, 2015 The bombing campaign against ISIS undertaken by the Russian Federation following a formal request by the Government of Syria, has managed to inflict serious damage on ISIL and other rebel groups within several days, causing in at least one case a massive hand-over of weapons, a task the US failed to deliver in an entire year. At the United Nations, President Putin framed the actions undertaken in Syria as part of the war on terror, therefore managing to perhaps temporarily overcome the Western corporate media’s negative portrayal of him and to reach an American audience. He also wisely said that since citizens of Russia were part of the jihadist rebel groups, then it was Russia’s responsibility and burden to tackle them. Few could argue with this logic. For it has become so common to demonize Russia as responsible for nearly all ills of the region, that linking jihadist activity to Russians was a fitting explanation for many while then being forced to accept its logical conclusion. While the West was caught by surprise and shock by Russia taking the lead in Syria, and as a new intelligence sharing center between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia provides an alternative axis to the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar military intelligence center in Amman, one should not expect the US to sit back for too long and watch Russia take...