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  #81  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:09
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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Well I am not expert but I believe I can give some insight. I am from Turkey( born and raised) and out of the country for a very short while.

First Syria; what Erdogan does needs to be seen in two parts. The Government provides shelter and health services the people who wants to run away from Syria. This is supported by 95% of the Turkish people if not all. However, then Erdogan and his government provides weapons to those people and sends them back to the other side of the border every morning and takes them back in the evening. This is certainly not acceptable.One note, this is fully supported by the EU as well.

Second point is about the existing resistance.Yes, the park and idea of cutting down the trees was the ignitor. It was a peace ful protest of approximately 20 people. The reaction they received from the police can be seen below.


after this the protests has been directed towards the police and also the government who directs the police force.

You should see this a tipping point after all the changes happened in Turkey in the last 10 years.

Regarding the comments on the economy, the complete picture is alittle different than how it looks. In the first 5 years the Erdogan government has applied the politics of the former government, namely the politics of Kemal Dervis. But today they have failed to address the necessary innovation and technology steps to proceed further. The main reason behind is that Erdogan heavily relies on the votes of the uneducated people, hence he has little to no motivation towards improving the education level of the people. In fact, the least so called educational reform has enabled the government to open over 1000 of Islamic schools. They introduced the life of Mohammed as a mandatory selective class. To sum, the real picture is not as good as it seems and the direction is not going towards any good.

Turkey has a very untidemocratic constitution and everybody agrees that it needs ot be changed;however, what Erdogan wants is a presidential system without a senate and some other control mechanism. This shall never happen and people are very concerned with the this idea.


However, I believe it is way too early to say that the current protests will ignite something big. The "good" this is Erdogan shows no signs of regret on what is happening and he keeps on threatening people.

So, go on "RESISTANBUL"!!!

Hope i could help.

Blue.
P.S: sorry have to leave to the airport, so have no time for proof reading

About "the least so called educational reform has enabled the government to open over 1000 of Islamic schools".

So far as I know Erdogan is a clever guy & has a cunning plan but for me there seems to be conflicting threads.
I can understand that he wants to keep people uneducated to gain votes.
But on the other side the economy is looking like it could be in a down slide & I do not see that uneducated people are what Erdogan needs to support the economy.
He has a difficult balancing act??
How can he keep his voting support while at the same time building a pool of skilled people who will drive the economy?
At the same time the educated people will become the future business leaders & senior bureaucrats who could make make life difficult for Erdogan in the future.
Somehow a similar situation to Iran but Iran controls this potential conflict by using violence & brutality.

My impression from the newspapers is that Erdogan is reacting to these protests like a typical Middle East dictator which is a pity for all parties.
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  #82  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:32
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Re: Turkish Spring?

All very tragic but I can't but help feel it was only a matter of time. I have worked and partied with some wonderful Turkish people in the last 10 years. I had been left wondering if they were a true reflection of there people. Istanbul has been on my bucket list for a long time now and so I was there for 3 days this weekend. I know Istanbul can not be taken as a reflection of Turkey in general, so I still really want to see more of the country.

However, as an outsider, I could not help but feel that what we hear of Erdogan view of the future for Turkey and of what it's people should be, was so strongly at odds with the actual people of the City. Istanbul is not a city of a 3rd world country, which some people mistakenly think it is. In fact, it is the opposite, with an engaging, educated, proud and philosophical people.

Listening to the interviews on the news today, the spokesmen and elected officials are starting to sound like many other dictatorial regimes that have been on our airwaves in the last few years, defending their oppression of the people they are supposed to serve.

Who's right/wrong etc.. I guess that depends on what side of the fence you are on. For myself, all I can say is that I can't help but feel that Turkey could end up going through many years of turmoil while there is a regime in power that is so at odds with the people in it's main cities and yet continues to enforce it's ideological roadmap for the country and it's people.
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  #83  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:36
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Re: Turkish Spring?

I just watched the Channel 4 news report for the protests. I found it telling that none of the protestors could come up with a coherent response to the question, why don't you just vote him out, despite being repeatedly pressed to answer.

One guy threw his hands up in the air saying "C'mon! C'mon!" before running off into the night. And another lady gave a wishy-washy answer that was neither here or there and ended with an accusation that he is a dictator. Ermm no, he came to power through free and fair elections.

Perhaps these protestors are just a very vocal and destructive minority.

Perhaps they just don't get what democracy is.

Or is it the good old attitude of "democracy is great as long as our guy gets in"??? I can't believe that the protestors are actually appealing to the army to step in and disband the government, as if that is what normally happens in functioning civil societies??
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  #84  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:39
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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I just watched the Channel 4 news report for the protests. I found it telling that none of the protestors could come up with a coherent response to the question, why don't you just vote him out, despite being repeatedly pressed to answer.

One guy threw his hands up in the air saying "C'mon! C'mon!" before running off into the night. And another lady gave a wishy-washy answer that was neither here or there and ended with an accusation that he is a dictator. Ermm no, he came to power through free and fair elections.

Perhaps these protestors are just a very vocal and destructive minority.

Perhaps they just don't get what democracy is.

Or is it the good old attitude of "democracy is great as long as our guy gets in"??? I can't believe that the protestors are actually appealing to the army to step in and disband the government, as if that is what normally happens in functioning civil societies??
Kash,

Did you look at all the links I provided on this thread? It will answer your questions.
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  #85  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:43
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Re: Turkish Spring?

Very powerful pictures of solidarity and unity.

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  #86  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:44
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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I'm not an expert at all, but from what I understand Turkey has been used as an entrance point for rebel fighters going to Syria. People who want to join the rebels take a plane to Turkey and get escorted by the police to the Syrian border where they get trained in camps.

Firstly, I doubt the Turkish public approves of this. Secondly, some of these same people may have been behind the bombings that were mentioned in previous posts, therefore making them even less popular with the Turkish people.
About " I doubt the Turkish public approves of this"

I did not see anywhere that the protestors were raising this point as an issue but if you have a link then I am happy to look at it?
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  #87  
Old 03.06.2013, 22:58
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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I just watched the Channel 4 news report for the protests. I found it telling that none of the protestors could come up with a coherent response to the question, why don't you just vote him out, despite being repeatedly pressed to answer.

One guy threw his hands up in the air saying "C'mon! C'mon!" before running off into the night. And another lady gave a wishy-washy answer that was neither here or there and ended with an accusation that he is a dictator. Ermm no, he came to power through free and fair elections.

Perhaps these protestors are just a very vocal and destructive minority.

Perhaps they just don't get what democracy is.

Or is it the good old attitude of "democracy is great as long as our guy gets in"??? I can't believe that the protestors are actually appealing to the army to step in and disband the government, as if that is what normally happens in functioning civil societies??
About "and ended with an accusation that he is a dictator. Ermm no, he came to power through free and fair elections."

True but being voted in does not prevent him from being a dictator. There are plenty of examples around the world of people who were voted in & then became dictators.

One definition of a dictator is;
  • Rules by decree, via an Enabling Act or similar laws passed by a legislature allowing him to do so;
  • governs outside the otherwise accepted rule of law;
  • may develop a cult of personality;
  • may be autocratic, oppressive, despotic or tyrannical.
I would estimate Erdogan scores 2 out of 4; it will be interesting to see if he succeeds to become President & then increases his score.
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Old 03.06.2013, 23:36
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Re: Turkish Spring?

The demonstrations are great and sends a powerful signal, but it should not go as far as to destabilize the country. It would only give hardliners rationale to crack down hard on dissenters. Turning a park into a mall is a small trivial matter. The bigger danger is in altering the structure of the constitution to entrench those already in power indefinitely. I hope the Turkish people can shift their tactics to legal and legitimate political actions, and build a formidable and legitimate political front. Those wonderful people in Istanbul and Ankara deserve to live in a better country with a better government.
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Old 03.06.2013, 23:40
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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About "and ended with an accusation that he is a dictator. Ermm no, he came to power through free and fair elections."

True but being voted in does not prevent him from being a dictator. There are plenty of examples around the world of people who were voted in & then became dictators.

One definition of a dictator is;
  • Rules by decree, via an Enabling Act or similar laws passed by a legislature allowing him to do so;
  • governs outside the otherwise accepted rule of law;
  • may develop a cult of personality;
  • may be autocratic, oppressive, despotic or tyrannical.
I would estimate Erdogan scores 2 out of 4; it will be interesting to see if he succeeds to become President & then increases his score.
Marton I don't rule that out at all, but Erdogan seems of a completely different mould to the average dictator, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad, etc. both in the way he assumed power and how he has acted in power. He doesn't seem to be holed up amassing his personal fortunes (though we only find out about these things afterwards don't we?), he seems to have been heading around the world striking deals with foreign governments for Turkey. Just last week he was in the US standing right next to Obama talking about new deals to extend trade and investment ties between the two countries. Doesn't sound very Islamist if you ask me.

Of course no leader is going to do exactly what you want in every issue, but if he covers the most important bases, then in my books that is what counts. And the facts say that Turkish GDP is 4 times what it was when he was first elected, exports are hugely up, more universities, etc. etc.

We can only watch and hope that the government and the protestors come to some sort of agreement, because the country doesn't deserve to go down the same path as places like Libya and Syria.

Nil, yes i did, but I've seen pictures from both sides of the conflict and they are as compelling as each other. I think it's hard to make a judgment based on a collage of 10 second clips, because you can't react in anyway to the footage except in the way the guy who compiled it wanted you to.

I think its fair to say that there are idiots both in the police and amongst the protestors (e.g. if you want I can put up pictures of the protestors who are having a beer party inside of a mosque in Istanbul. Or perhaps I should send you the link to the protestor who tweeted he wanted at least one hijabi dead by the end of the day).

I don't doubt that there are sincere people on both sides of the conflict, and one can only hope that it is these who can sit down and bring this chaos to an end.

But I will also say that I have noticed that across the different media organisations, the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, Turkish reporters on al-Arabiya, they are all picking up on the fact that the protestors don't have any leadership, nor do they even have a list of specific demands that they could take to the government and say we want x, y and z issues addressed.
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Old 04.06.2013, 00:04
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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Of course no leader is going to do exactly what you want in every issue, but if he covers the most important bases, then in my books that is what counts. And the facts say that Turkish GDP is 4 times what it was when he was first elected, exports are hugely up, more universities, etc. etc.
I would not be too eager to give Erdogan credit for the country's GDP. He role is merely as a figurehead to represent the Turkish people, not to take credit and ownership for all the things the people accomplish. He really ought to be considered as an employee and servant of the Turkish people, not as its slavemaster. They need to fire him in the same way they hired him, through elections.
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Old 04.06.2013, 00:07
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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The demonstrations are great and sends a powerful signal, but it should not go as far as to destabilize the country. It would only give hardliners rationale to crack down hard on dissenters. Turning a park into a mall is a small trivial matter. The bigger danger is in altering the structure of the constitution to entrench those already in power indefinitely. I hope the Turkish people can shift their tactics to legal and legitimate political actions, and build a formidable and legitimate political front. Those wonderful people in Istanbul and Ankara deserve to live in a better country with a better government.
This park has a huge meaning (related to Armenian, which is in my lasts posts) and parks are very rare in this city of 20 millions of people. There are already tons of shops and over 98 shopping mall across the city.

The protest was hold at first by ecological activist in a peaceful manner. Police have been attacking people, hurting them and have been act like total nut cases. This is what created the angers.

It was meant to happen with all the recent events and laws.

Last edited by Nil; 04.06.2013 at 00:23. Reason: Typo
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Old 04.06.2013, 00:24
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Re: Turkish Spring?

The wise people over here have posted a very valid question; why don't people just vote him out?

There are several reasons,

1. I believe you can categorize the voting decision into two classes, one votes on the ideology and this will seldom change. the other is that you vote based on the information you have at the time. if ideology counts 20% of the votes Erdogan receives the remaining 30% is based on the information shared with the people. Since Erdogan already controls 90% of the media, people do not get the real information they need for their voting process. Erdogan made it very clear in the last referandum by saying to the business men and media either pick a side or you will be neutralized.link

2. Turkey's democracy is still under development. in the last elections there were still alot of dogy areas including the capital,Ankara. link

3. I believe this is the most important reason why people can not vote him out easily; the poor and uneducated people. Don't take me wrong, I do not mean to patronized them. however, as long as they keep selling votes for a bag of pasta,coal or in some cases for couches and laundry machines,the true democracy and the sound of concerned people will ever be heard. link
But i do not blame them much as well, since it is hard to think about sovereignty when you are hungry and there is somebody providing you free food.

I am not even adding the illegal phone tapping against everybody in the opposition, or the hundreds of journalists in the prisons,etc. This became very normal in Turkey already.

But thanks to those wonderful people on the streets, I still have hope for the country.

As bonus here is the last rhetoric of Erdogan: "Anybody who drinks alcohol is called alcholic" link ..except the one voting for him! ( this part is omitted in the article but he said it in the same interview)
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  #93  
Old 04.06.2013, 00:33
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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About "the least so called educational reform has enabled the government to open over 1000 of Islamic schools".

So far as I know Erdogan is a clever guy & has a cunning plan but for me there seems to be conflicting threads.
I can understand that he wants to keep people uneducated to gain votes.
But on the other side the economy is looking like it could be in a down slide & I do not see that uneducated people are what Erdogan needs to support the economy.
He has a difficult balancing act??
How can he keep his voting support while at the same time building a pool of skilled people who will drive the economy?
At the same time the educated people will become the future business leaders & senior bureaucrats who could make make life difficult for Erdogan in the future.
Somehow a similar situation to Iran but Iran controls this potential conflict by using violence & brutality.

My impression from the newspapers is that Erdogan is reacting to these protests like a typical Middle East dictator which is a pity for all parties.
This is big dilemma he is facing today.

On one hand he needs to keep people obeyant to him, on the other he needs to keep the economy in good shape. The earlier structure worked well because Turkey had big room till it hits the limits of its existing capabilities. however, today Turkish economy can no longer be based on low cost and compete only on the price level. It needs to differentiate itself through innovation and technological offerings and this can only happen though educational reforms.

In 5-7 years time it is unavoidable that Turkey will face another big crisis because the government today is not taking the necessary steps.

I believe you will find the the scenario planning exercise in the linked study from NYU very beneficial

Education ratings in OECD countries: link . Turkey needs a government whose first concern shall be this rating and not the shopping malls, or the alcohol people drink,etc.

Last edited by Dark Blue; 04.06.2013 at 00:45. Reason: additional link
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  #94  
Old 04.06.2013, 00:57
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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Marton I don't rule that out at all, but Erdogan seems of a completely different mould to the average dictator, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad, etc. both in the way he assumed power and how he has acted in power. He doesn't seem to be holed up amassing his personal fortunes (though we only find out about these things afterwards don't we?), he seems to have been heading around the world striking deals with foreign governments for Turkey. Just last week he was in the US standing right next to Obama talking about new deals to extend trade and investment ties between the two countries. Doesn't sound very Islamist if you ask me.

Of course no leader is going to do exactly what you want in every issue, but if he covers the most important bases, then in my books that is what counts. And the facts say that Turkish GDP is 4 times what it was when he was first elected, exports are hugely up, more universities, etc. etc.

We can only watch and hope that the government and the protestors come to some sort of agreement, because the country doesn't deserve to go down the same path as places like Libya and Syria.

Nil, yes i did, but I've seen pictures from both sides of the conflict and they are as compelling as each other. I think it's hard to make a judgment based on a collage of 10 second clips, because you can't react in anyway to the footage except in the way the guy who compiled it wanted you to.

I think its fair to say that there are idiots both in the police and amongst the protestors (e.g. if you want I can put up pictures of the protestors who are having a beer party inside of a mosque in Istanbul. Or perhaps I should send you the link to the protestor who tweeted he wanted at least one hijabi dead by the end of the day).

I don't doubt that there are sincere people on both sides of the conflict, and one can only hope that it is these who can sit down and bring this chaos to an end.

But I will also say that I have noticed that across the different media organisations, the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, Turkish reporters on al-Arabiya, they are all picking up on the fact that the protestors don't have any leadership, nor do they even have a list of specific demands that they could take to the government and say we want x, y and z issues addressed.
About "to the average dictator, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Assad, etc. both in the way he assumed power" Actually Assad was voted in - he did take the precaution of banning the opposition first!

About "and how he has acted in power." Yes, so far so good.

The questions are
    • Can he gracefully step aside from power after his present stint as PM ends or will he try keep power in some way; people are saying he will copy Putin's approach.
    • Can he adopt a more graceful approach to the protests; as an example, in an interview today he stated these protests were being driven by external enemies of the country.
About "they are all picking up on the fact that the protestors don't have any leadership, nor do they even have a list of specific demands...."

Yes, this could mean they are a disorganised mob who will soon disperse.
Or
It could mean there is widespread but poorly communicated dissatisfaction coming from a broad base which could coalesce into a more meaningful movement.
Either way Erdogan needs to take account of the fact that there is a chunk of the community who are loudly unhappy & he needs to adress the issues; not put it down brutally? He is a gifted politician who should be able to find a win - win solution.
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Old 04.06.2013, 01:07
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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    • Can he gracefully step aside from power after his present stint as PM ends or will he try keep power in some way; people are saying he will copy Putin's approach.
    • Can he adopt a more graceful approach to the protests; as an example, in an interview today he stated these protests were being driven by external enemies of the country.
  • Knowing erdogan's last 10 years, the answer is very simple. Never,cause the guy just can not accept defeat. I believe it was last year when he said he wants a generation who is loyal to their grudge/revenge.
  • The only reason why says is that he wants to keep the people in the remote cites sleeping. In other words, he is playing the underdog as he always did. He is saying that look at us we did something correct and now the external enemies are trying to harm us by using the opposition. This is very typical of him.
  • On the following, after this moment, even if thakes amore peaceful approach we have seend his real face and we will never believe him again.Enough is enough!(but that is just me)
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Old 04.06.2013, 01:26
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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3. I believe this is the most important reason why people can not vote him out easily; the poor and uneducated people. Don't take me wrong, I do not mean to patronized them. however, as long as they keep selling votes for a bag of pasta,coal or in some cases for couches and laundry machines,the true democracy and the sound of concerned people will ever be heard.
If the AKP were to splinter, wouldn't it erode Erdogan's base? I understand President Abdullah Gul is voicing sympathy for the protestors. So Erdogan does not have monopoly on power within his own party. Sounds like some concerted effort to lobby can push Erdogan out.
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Old 04.06.2013, 01:30
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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If the AKP were to splinter, wouldn't it erode Erdogan's base? I understand President Abdullah Gul is voicing sympathy for the protestors. So Erdogan does not have monopoly on power within his own party. Sounds like some concerted effort to lobby can push Erdogan out.
I read that about Gul too;
"Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul, a prominent member of Mr Erdogan’s ruling AK party, defended peaceful protests as part of democracy. In comments to reporters, Mr Gul, also called called for calm, and said the “necessary messages” from the protests had been noted."
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Old 04.06.2013, 08:56
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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I'm not an expert at all, but from what I understand Turkey has been used as an entrance point for rebel fighters going to Syria. People who want to join the rebels take a plane to Turkey and get escorted by the police to the Syrian border where they get trained in camps.

Firstly, I doubt the Turkish public approves of this. Secondly, some of these same people may have been behind the bombings that were mentioned in previous posts, therefore making them even less popular with the Turkish people.
Everyone with a map can see that Turkey is the ONLY possibility to join the Syrian rebels who hold the north west of Syria while Assad controls the south and east. Every supply HAS to go through Turkey... so for once can I not criticize Erdogan lightly: What is he supposed to do? Everyone can complain, but what is he really supposed to do:

Option one: Close the border, let the rebels lose the war and be responsible for the death of tens of thousands getting killed by the Assad regime.

Option two: Move in with the might of the Turkish military. Might sound funny to some, but the Turkish army has absolute top of the line equipment and training - they could end the Assad rule in less than a week. But then what? That's the sort of trap the Americans got themselves into in Iraq... Syria is equally multi-ethnic and on top of that full of Kurds, which is in itself a topic...

Option three: Stay passive - let the rebels pass through, but do not allow them to camp or do anything on Turkish soil. Retribute strongly against any aggression, no matter if it comes from Rebels or Assad's troops...
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Old 04.06.2013, 09:41
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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In the case of Turkey, that would be Allah, and whoever he appoints over the country. The Quran said so. All in all, it means the people get the governments they deserve.
In case of Turkey, ways above God is the General Staff. They possibly will copycat General Gürsel and terminate the Erdogan regime
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Old 04.06.2013, 09:45
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Re: Turkish Spring?

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In case of Turkey, ways above God is the General Staff. They possibly will copycat General Gürsel and terminate the Erdogan regime
Ergenekon has been invented to prevent this to happen.
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