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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current EventsThe off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.
Tanks are rolling into the city, bridges out of city are closed, helicopters and jets low flying over the city. Reportedly not an exercise and the Turkish PM has already condemned the branch of military attempting to seize power.
EDIT: The reddit feed that Oshiguru posted seems to be faster/up to date than the Telegraph feed.
If Friday marks the end of Erdogan’s leadership, it will complete a stunning arc over the course of two decades: from political disgrace to the leadership of the nation; from the toast of the globe and the beacon of hope for Western leaders to pariah and avatar of repression and autocracy.
Erdogan served as mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s as part of an Islamist party, but was barred from politics and imprisoned in 1998, a victim of the periodic crackdowns on religious parties that have characterized the Turkish state since its founding. He returned to politics with the AKP, or Freedom and Justice Party, a more moderate party that melded Islamism with modernizing impulses. Erdogan became prime minister in 2003. The rise of the AKP initially fed speculation that the military, a staunchly secular institution loyal to the precepts of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, might launch a coup, as it had done many times in the past.
But Erdogan managed to strike a middle path, drawing in some liberals who applauded his modernizing steps, as well as more conservative and religious voters. He kept the military at bay, in some cases prosecuting generals for alleged coups. His “Turkish model” was highly lauded abroad, with Western leaders and analysts hoping it might represent a successful fusion of Islamist politics with liberal democratic principles—a fusion that came to be seen as ever more necessary as Islamism became entrenched across the Middle East. President Obama in particular grew close to Erdogan, holding up him as a model.
But Erdogan’s liberalism only went so far. As his tenure lengthened, he broke with the enigmatic religious leader Fethullah Gülen, a longstanding ally who is now exiled in Pennsylvania. It soon became apparent that his goal was not a liberal democracy but a sort of revival of Ottomanism. Erdogan grew increasingly autocratic, cracking down on the media and drawing power to himself, working to transform the Turkish presidency—traditionally a relatively weak position, compared to the prime ministership—into a strong one. He became president in 2014, but the civil war in neighboring Syria and increasing tensions with Kurds encouraged him to grab even more power. By earlier this year, reporters were referring to Erdogan as being “on a march to dictatorship.” Even if Erdogan is able to survive the coup and reassert control, the Turkish model is dead—and so are any hopes that Erdogan might be a liberalizer or a democrat.
How to escape the hackneyed song, sung off-key by so many, "I did it my way"?
Try the new, political version: "You go your way, we'll go ours."
Today's geopolitical songwriter is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.
He stands at the centre of several crises, a couple of his own making and a couple more that he is using for his own ends. He's a powerful man, and he revels in his power to divide and conquer.
The international crisis that centres on Turkey is that of refugees, principally Syrians. There are more than three million refugees in Turkey, 2.75 million of them Syrians, fleeing from the bloody dismemberment of their country.
Turkey's opening of its borders to so many fleeing war and persecution is an extraordinary act of humanitarian generosity. It's also a monumental reproach to the countries of Europe, which have dragged their feet on accepting refugees.
But the burden is great, as wars in Syria and Iraq stretch on. Some refugees have been camped in Turkey for years. In the coastal city of Izmir alone, where I was working recently with refugees, there are an estimated 200,000.
The strain is enormous, first on the almost 90 per cent of refugees not living in camps.
For years they were legally barred from working. But they must live, which means many, including children, work illegally, or at jobs that barely pay.
We met Firaz in the street. He lost a forearm and three fingers on his other hand in industrial accidents as a boy. Then war and bombs flattened his house in Aleppo and he and his family fled to Turkey and Izmir.
Now this disabled man, sometimes helped by his seven-year-old son, drags a trolley through the streets collecting cartons, plastic and aluminum cans. By the end of the day his load may weigh 100 kilograms as he drags it to the collection centre.
He's paid a few dollars for his haul. It's all he can do to feed his large family of seven children.
"This is my future, hard work to feed my kids," he says. This reality is my future."
Turkey has spent billions of dollars supporting refugees, principally the more than 300,000 in refugee camps. The others have existed in a sort of limbo.
Then last year the floodgates opened. Flotillas of rubber dinghies started carried refugee from Turkey to Greek islands. More than one million flowed into Europe, and several thousand lost their lives in the dangerous sea crossing.
The old city of Izmir became a staging area, besieged by refugees, many sleeping rough. They streamed into several cafés where smugglers held court. They were ready to pay $1,000 US for the crossing and the smugglers were ready to take their money. Some smugglers were making hundreds of thousands of dollars a week.
The Turkish government did little or nothing.
Billions of euros for Turkey
By the end of 2015 European leaders were panicking. Led by Germany's Angela Merkel, they hammered out a deal with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan's No. 2. The Europeans would pay Turkey billions of euros to block the flow, and they would take one refugee for every economic migrant returned from Europe to Turkey.
But, above all, Europe would waive visa requirements in the so-called Schengen zone (which doesn't include Britain) for Turks wishing to travel to Europe.
After the accord, the smugglers and the dinghy flotilla disappeared. Turkish warships are now seen patrolling the waters where the refugees once crossed.
It seemed like a singular victory for Davutoglu and Turkey. Then Erdogan stepped in.
In early May he abruptly muscled Davutoglu out of his job. One theory was that he was jealous of Davutoglu's success and worried that he was becoming too independent.
The next day, Erdogan announced a congress of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which called itself a moderate Islamic party when it came to power 15 years ago. At that congress on Sunday Erdogan will see a pliant yes-man chosen as prime minister.
Then he and his new yes-man will press ahead with his announced plan to turn Turkey into a French-style presidential republic. Erdogan will take on the mantle of a Muslim Charles de Gaulle.
Having created one crisis, Erdogan then sparked another. He all but tore up the refugee-visa agreement with the EU. That's when he said, "You go your way, we'll go ours."
Then came a real burst of anti-European fury. Erdogan accused European leaders of "hypocrisy" for demanding that Turkey amend its anti-terrorist laws to bring them into line with judgments by the European Court of Human Rights if it wanted visa-free access to Europe.
In Erdogan's legal armoury, the anti-terrorist laws can be and have been used against many who oppose his government's policies. That includes academics and journalists, several dozen of whom languish in prison.
It's a crime to insult Erdogan
There's another potent legal weapon – a law making it a criminal offence to insult the president. More than 1,800 people have been charged under it.
His divisive approach, accompanied by the drumbeat of accusation and angry rhetoric, has left many fearful that he wishes to tear up the foundations of the non-religious republic created in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Erdogan's view, often stated, is that women should be modest and veiled.
Educated women, in particular, are angry. "I fear him and hate him. He acts like a sultan," several said to me.
He also acts like a warrior, unleashing his armed forces against not only ISIS in Syria but also the minority Kurds in Turkey and in Iraq and Syria. There have been murderous bomb attacks in retaliation in several Turkish cities.
The atmosphere is panicky and unsettled. The group I was with, sent to profile refugees in Izmir, was stopped six times in three days and questioned by police, who had been called each time by suspicious residents.
In the midst of this, the refugees appear to be millions of pawns on a geopolitical chessboard.
One of Erdogan's advisers spelled it out in a recent tweet. If Europe doesn't knuckle under and agree to visa-free travel for Turks by the end of the year, if it makes what he called "a bad decision," then, in his words, "we send the refugees."
Makes me wonder why the military are pulling a coup instead of an assassination? If the primary target seems to be Erdogan, wouldn't a pin point attack in the form of an assassination be more effective?
[04-06, 11:34]radiomanI'm doing happy hour with bj#3 today
[07-04, 10:27]radiomani need just the tip
[22-12, 08:51]mellomandidnt think and went in straight..scrapped like a bitch
[17-09, 12:07]FastAnna glowjob
[17-09, 12:08]FastAnna I like dat
You know shits getting real when people are going at tanks with nothing but their bare hands.
Guts level over 9000.
__________________ "There's a lot of dead people who had the right of way." "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." "I have a lot of beliefs, and I live by none of them. They're just my beliefs, they make me feel good about who I am. But if they get in the way of a thing I want, like I wanna jack off or something, I just do that."
Apparently he wanted to implement full sharia law, the same outdated, barbaric law that all the shitty countries around the world use that basically gives their people - especially women - no rights to live a normal life.