From the New York Times online, 4 March 2016

Turkey Seizes Newspaper, Zaman, as Press Crackdown Continues

By Safak Timur and Tim Arango

The police dispersed opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday during a raid on the Zaman newspaper in Istanbul.

ISTANBUL — Backed by a court order, the Turkish authorities moved on Friday to seize Zaman, the country’s most widely circulated newspaper, in the latest crackdown by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on freedom of the press.

The seizing of the newspaper also highlighted the government’s building campaign against those it perceives to be its two greatest enemies: opposition journalists and the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric affiliated with the newspaper who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. Mr. Gulen was once an ally of Mr. Erdogan’s but is now a bitter enemy.

As news of the takeover became public Friday afternoon, supporters began gathering in front of the newspaper’s offices in Istanbul, and employees locked a door to the building. In a live-stream broadcast on the newspaper’s website, supporters were seen chanting, “Free press cannot be silenced.” Some carried Turkish flags and banners emblazoned with, “Do not touch my newspaper.” Columnists from the paper were also seen addressing the crowd.

TURKEYPRESSZaman’s editor in chief, Abdulhamit Bilici, second from left, on Friday with journalists who came to offer support. Credit Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Later Friday night, Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd and forcibly enter the building.

“We are going through the darkest and gloomiest days in terms of freedom of the press, which is a major benchmark for democracy and the rule of law,” read a statement issued by the editors of Today’s Zaman, an English-language sister publication to Zaman. “Intellectuals, businesspeople, celebrities, civil society organizations, media organizations and journalists are being silenced via threats and blackmail.”

The move to seize Zaman and put it under the administration of a court-appointed panel of trustees emphasized what critics say is a rapid deterioration of free-speech rights under the Islamist government of Mr. Erdogan, who was prime minister for more than a decade before being elected president in 2014.

The executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon, said in a statement on Friday, “Rather than taking aggressive action to undermine the newspapers, Turkish authorities should be fulfilling their constitutional obligation to defend press freedom and rights of the journalists.”

The crackdown on expression comes amid a growing sense that Turkey, once seen as a bastion of stability in a hostile region, is being enveloped by instability.

A war with Kurdish separatists has turned cities in the southeast into rubble. The country is straining under the weight of more than two million refugees from Syria. And Islamic State militants, who have used Turkey to transit fighters and weapons to Syria and Iraq, have carried out deadly attacks on Turkish soil.

As Turkey faces its domestic demons, critics say the government has been emboldened to target its enemies within the country because the European Union and NATO allies, in particular, have looked the other way as they seek Turkey’s support to contain the refugee crisis and pacify the raging civil war in Syria.

“This pattern is appalling, and Turkey is galloping towards an authoritarian regime full speed ahead,” said Asli Aydintasbas, a prominent journalist who lost her column last year at the daily Milliyet under government pressure. “Unfortunately, the world, in particular the E.U., remains silent. The government here can sense the vulnerability in the West, especially since the beginning of the refugee crisis, and is pushing the boundaries to consolidate its power.”

Ms. Aydintasbas added, using an acronym for the Islamic State, “Erdogan knows the West is vulnerable because of ISIS and the refugees and he is going to use this as much as he can.”

Always thin-skinned, Mr. Erdogan has taken increasingly harsh steps in recent years to muzzle his critics. Dozens of journalists perceived as critical of the government have lost their jobs as officials have put pressure on their bosses. Academics have been targeted for speaking out against the government’s military campaign against Kurdish insurgents in the southeast.

At the same time, the justice system has charged Turks of all stripes — authors, journalists, cartoonists, politicians and ordinary citizens — with “insulting the president.” All told, more than 1,800 insult cases have been brought, the country’s justice minister revealed this week.

In some cases, such as with Zaman, and a broader crackdown on Mr. Gulen’s followers in business and the judiciary and the police, the government has applied the country’s antiterrorism laws.

When Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials A.K.P., rose to power in 2002, one of its important allies was Mr. Gulen, a powerful, moderate cleric. The A.K.P. and Mr. Gulen’s followers in the police and judiciary cooperated in a series of trials against military officers on coup charges — later determined to be based on fabricated evidence — that ultimately removed the military’s influence over politics.

But in late 2013, the groups had a falling-out over a number of issues, including the government’s handling of protests in the summer of 2013 and Turkey’s aggressive policy of supporting rebels in the Syrian civil war. Another point of friction was the growing hostility between Turkey and Israel, a country that the Gulenists were more sympathetic to than was Mr. Erdogan.

At the end of 2013, a corruption inquiry targeted Mr. Erdogan and his inner circle, a challenge that Mr. Erdogan survived by removing police officers and judges. Since then, the two sides have waged an all-out war in which Mr. Erdogan has had the upper hand.

The Gulen movement has been on the defensive, accused of being a terrorist organization that is plotting a coup. Its members have been subject to arrests, intimidation and court cases, while Mr. Erdogan has seemingly become more powerful. He has risen to the presidency, while his party, in national elections in November, secured four more years in power.

Recently, there was one glimmer of hope for Turkey’s beleaguered journalists. Turkey’s highest court issued a ruling that freed two newspaper editors who were jailed on espionage charges. The editors, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, of the daily Cumhuriyet, are being prosecuted for reporting on alleged weapons transfers by Turkish intelligence agents to rebels in Syria. The case is proceeding, but the editors were released from jail after the court determined that their constitutional rights had been violated.

Mr. Dundar, in a text message, said Friday of the Zaman case: “It is the sign that fear has entirely grown in the halls of state. They do not have tolerance for even the tiniest criticism. But it is impossible to silence an entire society by disregarding the law. Turkey would not keep quiet.”

Mr. Erdogan responded to that court ruling by saying that he did not respect it, and throughout the crackdown on Gulen-affiliated media — which did not begin with Friday’s seizure of Zaman, but has been continuing — government officials have framed it not as an assault on freedom of the press but as a determined effort to destroy a group it sees as an enemy of the Turkish state.

Speaking on local television Friday, Mehmet Metiner, a lawmaker with Mr. Erdogan’s party, said, “We will go on fighting against the Fethullah terror organization, and their extensions in the media and business world within the range of the law.”

Erdogan biding his time

Posted: July 17, 2015 in Middle East, Turkey
Tags: ,

Hurriyet Daily News, 17 July 2015
Only two options left in Turkish political scene

Before entering the three-day Ramadan Bayram, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan (Eid-al-Fitr in Arabic), Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has completed his “exploratory” talks with the leaders of other three parties for the next stage of coalition talks …

Davutoğlu rules out any partnership with the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), despite saying he observed a moderation in the tone of HDP speech regarding the Kurdish issue and relations with the government.

The picture leaves the Turkish political scene with only two options in practice:

(1) Either a Grand Coalition between the AK Parti and the CHP, or
(2) Going to another election.

That would most probably be a re-election rather than an early one, because the constitution suggests that if none of the parties will be able to form a government in 45 days after the first mandate was given by the president (which was on July 9), the elections could be repeated.

Despite his statements urging a coalition government, almost in everyone in political backstage of Ankara believes that the real aim of President Tayyip Erdoğan has been to take the country to another election in order to give another chance to the AK Parti to re-gain its power to form a single party government.

Erdoğan could be right in trying to stay away from a coalition government since it could limit his moves to direct the daily politics, unlike an AK Parti government.

Davutoğlu underlines he was sincere in his desire for a coalition, especially with the CHP, since it could enable a broad-based government, which could be good for the economy and also provide a new and more democratic constitution, including an acceptable solution to the Kurdish problem. But he is well aware of the “sensitivities” of the President, his political leader who was among the founding triumvirate of the AK Parti.

Under the circumstances, it seems the probability of a re-election is currently higher than the probability of a Grand Coalition among the only two options in Turkey’s political scene.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/only-two-options-left-in-turkish-political-scene.aspx?PageID=238&NID=85543&NewsCatID=409

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BBC News online, 8 June 2015
Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey’s bruised battler

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, but now his Justice and Development (AK) Party is reeling from an election that has loosened its grip on power. Deprived of a majority in parliament for the first time since 2002, the Islamist-rooted AKP cannot easily form a coalition.

And the election appears to have scuppered Mr Erdogan’s plans to turn Turkey into a presidential state and concentrate more power in his hands. After 11 years as prime minister, in August 2014 he became Turkey’s first directly-elected president, in what remains a largely ceremonial role.

But critics have increasingly accused the 61-year-old leader of polarising the country – by brooking no dissent and harbouring a secret agenda to turn Turkey into a fundamentally conservative Muslim society.

He has picked high-profile fights with some powerful vested interests – the staunchly secularist military establishment and a US-based Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen, who runs a huge network of supporters.

Read entire article for history of Erdogan’s rise to power: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13746679

Erdogan And The Prime Minister Of The Turkey, Just Made This Declaration To The Entire Islamic World: ‘We Will Gather Together Kurds And Arabs, And All Of The Muslim World, And Invade Jerusalem, And Create A One World Islamic Empire’

ErdoganAndPhoto: Erdogan and Dovutoglu at their speech in which they spoke of the revival of the Ottoman Empire and the conquest of Jerusalem.

“By Allah’s will, Jerusalem belongs to the Kurds, the Turks, the Arabs, and to all Muslims. And as our forefathers fought side by side at Gallipoli, and just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march together on the same path [to liberate Jerusalem].”

These are the words just declared by Dovutoglu, the Prime Minister of Turkey. You would think it’s coming straight from the mouth of the Antichrist.

The amazing speeches by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu were given at the inauguration ceremony at the country’s 55th airport in Yuksekova district of southeastern border province of Hakkari, in which they made an entire declaration to the Islamic world, on their desire to conquer Jerusalem and form a universal Islamic empire.

Prime Minister Davutoglu said that an agreement was made with President Erdogan to name the Yuksekova Airport in as Selahaddin Eyyubi Airport, after Saladin of the Ayyubids, the Kurdish-origin Muslim conqueror of al-Quds, or Jerusalem, and one of the great enemies of the Christian crusaders, especially Richard the Lionheart.

In the conference Davutoglu declared the universally Islamic aspiration to conquer Jerusalem:

“By Allah’s will, Jerusalem belongs to the Kurds, the Turks, the Arabs, and to all Muslims. And as our forefathers fought side by side at Gallipoli, and just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march together on the same path [to liberate Jerusalem].”

Many of the English media outlets, like World Bulletin, are trying to cover up the reality of this speech, and are actually falsifying the translation, saying that the speech is “to give a message of unity and brotherhood.” This is false, as we have already demonstrated.

Arabic media clearly shows the accurate translation. Arab media is calling it for what it is, “We will march to liberate Jerusalem: Says Davutuglo In Naming The Airport Saladin,” says the headline of Hasrr.

Again, here we have the prime minister, with Erdogan, declaring the Islamic desire to conquer Jerusalem. This desire to retake Jerusalem is the same sentiment that the Muslims of the Middle Ages were fighting to fulfill. Now that Turkey wants to pursue this very same conquests, it is obvious that we are going back to Medieval Times.

They are praising Saladin who fought a very fierce battle with Richard the Lionheart in the Battle of Acre, in which the Christians won, and who defeated the Christians in the Battle of Jerusalem, and they are also speaking of the Battle of Gallipoli, in which the Muslims defeated the Christian English.

Erdogan made more revealing statements on going back to the Crusades, declaring that he communicates with the soul of Saladin (which is necromancy), going so far as to say that he was in the presence of Saladin. The Turkish media outlet, Anadolu, quoted the statement of Erdogan from his speech:

“I am sure the great commander [Saladin] is bringing together all the people of the Middle East into the one army that defeated the Crusaders. He [Saladin] is currently witnessing what we are doing here spiritually. I was in his spiritual presence and I am addressing him [Saladin] here in Hakkari with the mighty men, be it eastern, brave south eastern, valiant Anatolian, in old Turkey, they all promise you, O Saladin, you united the brothers in the Middle East and so will we. You [Saladin] said, ‘Jerusalem is not for the Crusaders.’, Saladin you witness this, Allah witnesses this.”

Talking to the dead is against orthodox Sunni Islam, but it is not against Sufi Islam, in which Rumi (the top theologian of Sufism) encouraged the communication with the souls of dead Sufi masters.

Erdogan is proclaiming himself to be a reincarnation of Saladin, and he says that if anyone sees Saladin (that is, him, “Erdogan”) as God, Erdogan is making himself to be another Christ, hijacking the words of Jesus, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), to himself. He ended his speech with:

“Jerusalem is for the Muslims, and not for Israel. Why should continue to be friends with those who stomped their boots, stepping on Masjid al-Aqsa (the Temple Mount). They insist that we (Turkey and Israel) have to be friends? I say, we will not!”

Erdogan’s speech is even more amazing – he said: “One people, one flag, one nation, and one state.”

Here Erdogan is speaking of the Caliphate state, the universal Islamic empire of the Ottomans. This is a direct declaration to revive the Ottoman Empire. Davutoglu’s statements also included similar rhetoric:

“The Turkish government does not differentiate, from East to West… We intend to put together all of the regions of our nations and we will bring closer this regions back together.”

What Davutoglu is saying is that whatever was East of Turkey that was Ottoman, and whatever was West of Turkey, that was Ottoman, we will bring back together under the Ottoman.

“O Saladin, you united the brothers in the Middle East and so will we. You [Saladin] said, ‘Jerusalem is not for the Crusaders.’, Saladin you witness this, Allah witnesses this.”

http://shoebat.com/2015/05/27/erdogan-and-the-prime-minister-of-the-turkey-just-made-this-declaration-to-the-entire-islamic-world-we-will-gather-together-kurds-and-arabs-and-all-of-the-muslim-world-and-invade-jerusalem-and/

Prophecy News Watch
April 08, 2015 | LEO HOHMANN

ErdoganWavesToSupportersParty supporter to Erdoğan: Welcome, O Messenger of God!

(Image is from http://www.todayszaman.com/national_party-supporter-to-erdogan-welcome-o-messenger-of-god_374418.html)

Reports continue to pop up in Middle East publications that Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is seen within his ruling AK Party as more than just a president. Consider the following reports out of Turkey:

A billboard has appeared in the Gölbaşı district of Adıyaman province inviting people to attend a “holy birthday” event to celebrate Erdoğan’s birthday. The negative reaction this billboard received on social media stems from the fact that such an event is usually held to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. The billboard was an invitation to “a program of unity and togetherness organized on the occasion of the birthday of our president.”

The event was organized by the Gölbaşı Municipality, reported Today’s Zaman, a secular Turkish newspaper. No government officials or supporters have objected to the billboard or the statements.

AK Party Bursa deputy Hüseyin Şahin said touching Erdoğan is a form of prayer, while AK Party Düzce deputy Fevai Arslan said Erdoğan has “all the attributes” of God.

A March 30 article for Al Monitor by columnist Mustafa Akyol notes that devotion to Erdogan or “Erdoganism” is “morphing into an ideology unto itself, disillusioning veterans of Turkey’s Islamist movement.”

Akyol, whose articles also appear in the International New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, wrote:

“Pro-Erdogan propaganda, to which almost half the Turkish media is now fully devoted, has taken the shape of a cult of personality, which is also not a typical Islamist phenomenon. A recent book, ‘Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The Sun of the Age,’ proudly refers to him as ‘an idol for our youth,’ which would sound bizarre, if not heretical, to the average Islamist. In 2011, an AKP deputy declared, ‘Even touching Erdogan is a form of worship,’ and in 2014 another AKP deputy proclaimed that Erdogan ‘carries all the attributes of Allah in himself.’ Such views, heretical from a traditional Islamic perspective, were criticized and ridiculed by Erdogan’s opponents, but he conspicuously said nothing.”

Voice crying in the wilderness

Joel Richardson, author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and director of the documentary film “End Times Eyewitness,” does not believe Erdogan is the Antichrist. But he has been warning for years that something is going on in Turkey worth watching, and that this country of 78 million people and home to the region’s largest army could ultimately be more dangerous than ISIS or even Iran. In short, it is fertile ground for an antichrist figure to rise up and lead a large portion of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.

It should be remembered that the death toll caused by ISIS, which has shocked the world with its brutality toward Christians and other religious minorities, is still miniscule compared to the genocidal feats of the Ottoman Empire, which slaughtered 1.5 million Armenian Christians and another million or so Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Protestant Christians. The 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide is being commemorated on April 24.

More than four years ago, while being interviewed for Glenn Beck’s documentary, “Rumors of War Part 2,” Richardson made the statement that in Erdogan, “We have the modern-day Adolf Hitler of the Middle East emerging right before our eyes.”

This seemed like an extreme statement to make at the time. But in light of recent developments, Richardson’s assessment of Erdogan now appears less controversial.

“He is a megalomaniacal dictator of the worst stripe, in a nation where nationalism is a religion, and that celebrates excessive exalted leadership like their Sultans of the past,” Richardson told WND.

It is nearly impossible for most Americans to grasp the degree of nationalism that exists in Turkey, he said.

That’s why he tried to provide a taste of the leader-worship during a rally he filmed for “End Times Eyewitness.” Richardson gives viewers of this documentary a front-row seat at an AKP rally in which a sea of adoring fans wave flags and chant songs to exult their leader, Erdogan.

“When we look back at the Nazi rallies, we recoil at the way Germans had an almost religious devotion to their nation and to their leader, Adolf Hitler,” Richardson says. “Although there is a strong contingency of those who do not support Erdogan in Turkey, for those of the AK party who do, their support for him is nearly religious.”

Man of the hour?

Not only is Erdogan the embodiment of Turkish success over the past decade, but more importantly, he is the embodiment of Turkey’s future aspirations, specifically at a time when many Muslims believe Islam is rising up to take its rightful place in the world.

It remains to be seen whether Erdogan’s god-like appeal among his own party in Turkey will translate beyond his borders. Right now he is just one of several international Muslim leaders competing for influence among the wider “uma” of Muslim believers. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leaver of the ISIS caliphate, would surely have something to say about who leads the restored Ottoman Empire.

“As so much of the Muslim world now believes that we are on the very cusp of the messianic age or the age of the Mahdi, Erdogan is looked to (by his followers) as the chosen one, poised to lead the Turks into a position of exalted leadership over the Islamic community, and thus the world,” Richardson said. “In the eyes of many religious Turks, Erdogan is the one who will forever enshrine the Turkish people as divinely ones, the race called by Allah to lead the world.”

Some Christian prophecy watchers, such as Walid Shoebat, believe Erdogan is essentially claiming to be God by not rebuking those who have anointed him with such lofty status. Richardson doesn’t go this far.

“This isn’t really true, although he is most certainly pushing the boundaries of orthodox Islam and upsetting some imams in the process,” he said. “In the same way that President Obama imbibed upon and played up the messianic devotion that swirled around him during his candidacy, so also is Erdogan playing the Mahdi card.”

The similarities between Nazi Germany and present-day Turkey can be seen in numerous ways.

It is plainly evident in the philosophy of Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who is the architect of the Islamist party of Turkey’s rise to success over the past decade.

In his 2001 book, “Strategic Depth,” Davutoglu draws upon the political philosophy of German Karl Haushofer, who popularized the idea of Lebensraum, or living space, a phrase employed by Germany during the 1920s and 1930s to emphasize the need to expand its borders into Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and beyond.

Davutoglu believes the nations established after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire are artificial Western creations.

“Turkey must reclaim these nations in order to carve out its own Lebensraum – a phrase he uses unapologetically throughout his book,” Richardson said. “Davutoglu argues that reclaiming the nations that comprise the former Ottoman Empire is an act of saving them. He believes it would bring about the cultural and economic unification of the Islamic world, which Turkey will lead into the messianic era.”

And every messianic era needs a messiah.

“In the imagination of many Turks, Erdogan is the man to fill this role,” Richardson said.

“In the years ahead, the world must keep its eyes on the profoundly dangerous combination of Islamism and messianic nationalism that has arisen in Turkey,” he said. “Never before have we seen a moment where so many dangerous trends are all emerging at the same time.”

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2015/April08/083.html#PtlzIIMMyPaHu8I3.99

Also see:

http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/muslims-praise-key-mideast-leader-like-god/#2OdzABhMUobHMXJQ.99

http://www.todayszaman.com/national_party-supporter-to-erdogan-welcome-o-messenger-of-god_374418.html

The President Who Ate Turkey

Posted: November 28, 2014 in Middle East, Turkey
Tags: ,

How Recep Tayyip Erdogan gorged on a whole country.
Politico online
November 27, 2014

TurkeyPresidentWhoAteTurkey… After a mere 90 days as president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the man who has eaten Turkey—the country. He is president and de facto prime minister, making him Turkey’s first “Primesident”—sort of like the political version of Turducken. Yet Erdogan’s powers run even further and deeper. He is also, effectively, the country’s foreign minister and chief judge, a prosecutor and big city mayor, university rector and father figure.

There is nothing that better represents how Erdogan has gorged on Turkey than the president’s own newly unveiled Ak Saray, or White Palace, with its $350-$650 million price tag, 1,000 rooms and more than 2 million square feet.

Erdogan was, of course, larger than life before he took the presidential oath of office in August. Since 2007, when then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul—the only other adult in the room—became president, Erdogan has been the only person who has really mattered in the Turkish political arena. As prime minister for more than a decade, he achieved this mastery through his finely honed political skills, the incompetence of an out-of-touch and craven opposition, political coercion and fear.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) went from one of the most interesting “post-Islamist” political parties in the Muslim world to little more than a hive of sycophants who elided Turkey’s interests and those of the party into the man’s ambitions. In the process, the party has become more hardline in its role as the vehicle for Erdogan’s authoritarian and even retrograde turn.

At a recent conference on women’s rights, Erdogan declared, “You cannot put women and men on equal footing. It is against nature.” This was shocking, even for Erdogan who wondered last summer what Americans knew of Hitler and more recently asserted that Muslims discovered America.

By Erdogan’s third term as prime minister, which began in the summer of 2011, the AKP had stuffed Turkey with copious amounts of patronage, making it practically impossible for anyone to mount a challenge to the man. The process of reinforcing Erdogan’s predominance was fairly straightforward: Erdogan encouraged big businesses that wanted lucrative government contracts—mostly in construction—to buy up media outlets, and, in return for good coverage of the government, the lira would flow.

Those who refused to play the game were hounded, sued and fined, often exorbitant amounts. The most famous example of this was the $2.5 billion tax fine levied on the Dogan media group, whose owners, editors and journalists refused to be intimidated by Erdogan and the AKP.

This is not to downplay Erdogan’s achievements. He has certainly broadened Turkish politics to include classes that the previous elite had little interest in, and provided them with health care, better infrastructure and improved transportation. Turks have also felt wealthier since the AKP came to power, thanks to economic growth and the availability of consumer credit.

Erdogan was also highly regarded in Washington, which considered his pious politics in an officially secular political order a Muslim “third way” that was an example to Arab countries. The European Union even rewarded Turkey with an official invitation to begin membership negotiation after Erdogan oversaw wide-ranging political reforms in 2003-2004.

But Erdogan has rolled back many of these liberalizing changes, using the state at his command to crack down on dissent, intimidate his opponents and—perhaps above all—enrich and empower himself. For all his political dominance, as prime minister he was still just the head of government, not the head of state.

When, after three terms, the AKP’s bylaws prevented him from standing for another election in the Grand National Assembly, he was faced with the dilemma of how to finish his grand project of establishing Turkey as a regional and economic power. (Thus, his switch from Prime Minister to President…Bette)

Steven A. Cook is the Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/erdogan-president-who-ate-turkey-113193.html#ixzz3KNDfitxE

I’m not the only one who thinks Turkey politics are a mite strange these days. Here’s an interesting newspaper article from within Turkey. Bette

Is something happening within the Turkish government?

Hurriyet Daily News Online
MURAT YETKİN
13 November 2014

That was one of the most popular questions among guests attending the ceremony in the Palais de France in Istanbul on Nov. 11, where French Ambassador Laurent Bili presented a Legion D’Honneur medal to one of Turkey’s leading industrialists, Bülent Eczacıbaşı, for his contributions to both Turkish-French relations and to cultural life in Turkey.

Given the government-dominated political atmosphere in Turkey nowadays, the question might be a dangerous one to ask in public. Still, it remains a matter of curiosity because of continuing signals from within the government.

The fact that President Tayyip Erdoğan has been delivering no fewer speeches than his time as prime minister and chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), and the fact that his words are equally political, slamming the opposition parties just like he did before – despite his constitutionally bi-partisan status – is only part of it.

He did not hide the fact that he was going to be a more active president who would not leave government affairs to the prime minister only; so his active stance was something expected, even if it overshadows Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu from time to time.

But there are more indications than the frequent speeches.

The first was about the appointment of Davutoğlu’s undersecretary. Erdoğan would have liked to see Davutoğlu keep his last trusted undersecretary, Fahri Kasırga, but Davutoğlu’s choice was to bring in Gökhan Çetinsaya, the head of Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK). The end result was the appointment of Kemal Madenoğlu, a former undersecretary of the Development Ministry, whose most recent job was to monitor the construction of the new $615-million Presidential Palace.

Madenoğlu was approved by Erdoğan as Davutoğlu’s undersecretary, Çetinsaya was removed from office and hired by Davutoğlu to his team of advisors, and Erdoğan replaced Çetinsaya as the head of YÖK with Yekta Saraç. Saraç is publicly known as the brother of Fatih Saraç, who was nicknamed “Alo Fatih” after Erdoğan allegedly called him to manipulate the media, with recordings of the conversations released soon after the (now closed) Dec. 17 and 25 corruption probes.

There has been no Treasury undersecretary for the last two-and-a-half months, since the former İbrahim Çanakçı left for his IMF post. There are reports that different wings of the government have been lobbying for different names for the position, a practice that Turkey is familiar with from past coalition governments.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has been subject to criticism within the AK Parti for revealing the real cost of the new Presidential Palace.

In addition, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi complained on Nov. 12 that there were five ministries in charge of different branches of the economy, too many to operate effectively, and suggested that two ministries would be enough. It was as if he is not a member of the government, but rather a spokesman for the opposition.

What’s more, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, an MP for the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said on Nov. 11 that “unfortunate statements” by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç regarding the covert talks for a political solution to the Kurdish problem were “probably due to a lack of information.”

Arınç, a veteran AK Parti personality, is officially in charge of the talks, but the HDP deputies who visit the jailed head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, to give information and take instructions usually talk to another deputy prime minister, Yalçın Akdoğan, for debriefing after those visits.

There is also public tension between the Energy and Labor Ministries following a series of fatal mining disasters. The competition within the government over the Foreign Ministry, despite the fact that it is currently headed by Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, is now also easy to observe for an outsider.

These are just some of the examples causing business circles to ask whether something is bubbling beneath the surface in the government. Perhaps Davutoğlu could give an answer to this after his return from the G-20 Summit in Australia next week.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/something-is-bubbling-beneath-surface-in-turkish-government.aspx?pageID=449&nID=74257&NewsCatID=409

Also see:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-says-america-was-discovered-by-muslims-not-columbus.aspx?PageID=238&NID=74371&NewsCatID=338

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbuls-giant-mosque-to-be-women-friendly-architects-say.aspx?pageID=238&nid=74329&NewsCatID=341

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/100-years-after-wwi-turkish-leaders-nostalgic-empire

Prophecy News Watch
November 11, 2014 | Debbie Smith

“And where do Oktar, a Sunni Muslim, and according to Oktar, Shiite Muslim leaders in Iran, predict the Mahdi will appear? Istanbul, Turkey. Based upon Islamic prediction, the Mahdi is to appear between 1400 and 1500 on the Hijri calendar, the current year is 1435 on that calendar, coupling this with predictive verses in the Christian gospels, has led Oktar to believe Isa is now walking among us.”

Stepping onto the world scene, in the not too distant future, will be a man of great influence, power, presence, and diplomacy, promising peace amid the chaos and conflict that dominate life on planet earth. Likely, the reader has heard of this coming world ruler, for in fact, the two largest monotheistic religions predict, in their separate holy books; the Bible and the Quran, the arrival of this future ruler.

The evidence is compelling that these two men; one revered by the Quran, the other abhorred in the Bible, are actually one in the same. If this is true, then could it also be that the appearance of the coming world ruler will be in a place not previously thought and under circumstances that may surprise most of us?

According to Bible teacher, author, and documentary film maker, Joel Richardson, the similarities between the Islamic messianic figure, Mahdi (meaning Guided One), and the Biblical Antichrist are unmistakable, and deserve consideration by those watching for the appearance of this future world leader. While this premise is controversial among scholars, it has been affirmed by noted Bible teachers like; Walid Shoebat, Avi Lipkin, and Dr. John McArthur, who teaches that the Anti-Christ of the Bible is the Messiah of Islam.

The Mahdi and the Antichrist are both the associated with an End Times scenario. Both are said to possess great political and military prowess, and both will institute a one world religion and government. Both the Biblical Antichrist and the Mahdi will ride upon a white horse as a conquering king, possessing supernatural power and receiving worshipful adoration by the masses, followed by the establishment of a seven year peace treaty with the Jews, promising peace and prosperity but delivering the greatest slaughter of Jews in history. These are but a few of the similarities between the two. Joel Richardson, in his books” The Islamic Antichrist” and “The Mideast Beast,” details the extensive parallels between the two and identifying features of the Mahdi.

Because most scholars have studied the Bible from a Western perspective, Richardson suggests that studying the Bible as an Eastern book reveals a more accurate representation of the fulfillment of End Time’s prophecy, and even the location from which the arrival of this Mahdi or Islamic Messiah will occur.

That the Islamic world is anticipating this Mahdi , is demonstrated by a recent documentary “End Times Eyewitness”, produced by WND films and directed by Joel Richardson, wherein he interviews Adnan Oktar, a popular television personality and prolific Turkish Muslim author, concerning the expectations of Muslims during the End Times. In this interview, Adnan Oktar affirms that Muslims are not only anticipating the arrival of the Mahdi, they are also awaiting the arrival of Isa, or the Islamic version of Jesus. According to Islamic doctrine, this Isa will tell the world that he was neither, crucified or resurrected, and that he is not the Son of God but has become a Muslim prophet.

Isa’s role in the End Times scenario will be to evangelize for Allah and convert the world to Islam. Assisting him in this conversion work will be the “djinn” (English translated “genie”) or supernatural beings with whom the Mahdi will be able to communicate and lead to accomplish his purpose of worldwide conversion to Islam. Oktar believes that Mahdi and Isa may already be walking the earth today, awaiting the time of their unveiling.

And where do Oktar, a Sunni Muslim, and according to Oktar, Shiite Muslim leaders in Iran, predict the Mahdi will appear? Istanbul, Turkey. Based upon Islamic prediction, the Mahdi is to appear between 1400 and 1500 on the Hijri calendar, the current year is 1435 on that calendar, coupling this with predictive verses in the Christian gospels, has led Oktar to believe Isa is now walking among us.

Adnan Oktar, has the ear of President Erdogan of Turkey, according to Richardson, and operates as a Rasputin type advisor to the President. Turkey under Erdogan’s leadership, has seen a lessening of its ties to the west and to NATO, and seems poised to intensify its power and influence in the predominantly Islamic Middle East. Reportedly, Turkey is helping to finance ISIS through oil purchases, and has refused use of its airbases during bombing raids on the terrorist group, and according to Richardson, ISIS actually serves as Turkey’s proxy in its greater war against Iran and Syria’s Bashar Al Assad.

Predicting an intensification of the conflict involving ISIS, Richardson sees Iran’s eventual entrance into the war, to protect holy sites in Iraq that may be threatened by ISIS. Though not sure about the timing, he does see an increased conflict between Turkey and Iran on the horizon, as Turkey seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate, and possibly a restoration of the Ottoman-Turkish Empire, under the presidency of Erdogan.

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist, who converted to Christianity, is an Islamic expert, who has since warned the western world of the intent of Islam to establish a caliphate, also points to Erdogan’s aspirations to establish a “New Turkey” which will move away from the EU and focus its intentions on China, Russia, and the former Soviet republics. Like Richardson, Shoebat believes that this shift in Turkey’s aspirations also indicates a shift in where Bible prophecy students should focus their attention, remembering that the Roman Empire, from which the Biblical Antichrist will emerge, actually had two legs, the Western, and the Eastern, based in Constantinople or present day Istanbul.  The later of which lasted 1,000 years longer than the Western Empire.

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