GeriFatih ÇEKİRGE - English That Israeli commander should be removed from office
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That Israeli commander should be removed from office

Who was the accusation, “You know very well how to kill people," which was made by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Davos, directed at?

Israeli Ground Forces launched an offensive into Gaza... And General Avi Mizrahi commands that force...


Mizrahi attacked Turkey's three sensitive issues during an international conference...


What is more, he did this by saying that "the Turkish prime minister should look in the mirror".


- The Armenian Genocide...


- Invasion of Cyprus...


- Attacks on Kurds...



The Israeli general took a shot at Turkey's sensitive points on purpose... Can this be accepted?


In other words, can a general from one country "insult" the prime minister of another?


Is this consistent? How it can be explained?


What happens when soldiers start to speak in the place of diplomats? As you see, our chief of military staff officially delivered a "note" to the Israeli army...


In other words, "the soldiers started to speak".


A spokesman for the Israeli army says "those opinions are not official".There not being official is worse...



This is the "state of mind" of the commander of the Israeli Land Forces. Therefore it is more dangerous. This commander has made the situation clear.


Can this be a coincidence? Can a commander at this level make such a remark without thinking; particularly as a great deal of military cooperation exists between the two countries?


Beyond diplomacy, the aim here can be to cut ties between the two armies.


In a bid to achieve this goal "radicals" and "extremists" might be starting to take action.


So, what should be done now? Both countries should step in to avoid the incident evolving into a hatred "between the people" of both countries. For this reason, Israel should be the first to step in.



The removal of the Israeli Land Forces' commander would be considered as the first step by Ankara.


In return for this, Ankara could make a statement that would ease the tension and erase the "you know killing very well," remark...


Radicals dominate the atmosphere if these efforts are not made... And there is only one thing that the gallantry and radicalism in the streets brings…





Four capital cities, 10 extraordinary days

An unbelievable level of traffic is taking place between Washington, Ankara, Tehran, and Baghdad...

I find myself at the center of this traffic when I visited Tehran, accompanying Turkey's Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim during a two-day official visit.


Turkey's outlook in the Middle East becomes clearer when the details are observed...


This is the movement of traffic...


George Mitchell, the new special U.S. envoy for President Barack Obama, pays a visit to Turkey's capital city of Ankara.


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Did the Turkish PM's co-chairing of the GMEI* project silence him on the 1.5 mln killed in Iraq?

Cuneyt Ulsever, a columnist for Hurriyet daily, made a very interesting comment last week; in brief he said:

- A major deterioration in the entire being of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was revealed after Numan Kurtulmus become new the leader of the Felicity Party...


I pondered this over an extended dinner engagement with Kurtulmus... Is he really the person that could change Erdogan’s being so fundamentally? Does he have inclination and the vision to initiate such a thing? I put such question to him and he responded with the utmost sincerity. 


Here are my observations:


- Unlike Erdogan, Kurtulmus doesn’t have a "tough, belligerent and fierce" stance. He rather prefers a style that tells it in a softer, more convincing tone.


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CHP's candidate leads a ruling AKP survey conducted for Istanbul

Why does the Turkish Prime Minister pay so much attention to Istanbul, particularly to main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, ahead of the upcoming March bi-elections? I put this question to Gursel Tekin, the CHP's Istanbul provincial chairman; his response was very biting:

1- Erdogan asked an impartial institution to carry out the survey. The figures revealed that Kilicdaroglu leads the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP), Kadir Topbas by 1.5 percent... Of course, this is cause for alarm for the AKP.


Since the claim is serious, and since the person making it is the CHP's provincial chairman, I called him again to ask:


- Are you certain of the results?


He says: "Yes", and continues:


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Everyone needs each other in the Middle East region

I asked Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, who monitored the war and the recent Davos crisis, about the other side’s perspective.

What will Israel do after this?


- Turkey and Israel are two important countries in this region. You’ll see that relations will continue in the same tone and at the same level in the coming term... This is the reality of diplomacy... Nobody needs one side more than the other. Everybody needs each other in this region... Israel will continue to give the same importance to Turkey. Just as Turkey does...


Tan, described the rhythm of relations between the two countries in the future as this... Plainly, this is the impression he got from Israel after the Davos crisis.


What about the sentiments of the two sides?

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U.S. Ambassador's message at a Turkish memorial

Newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffrey, visited one of the most important memorials of our Republic at Duatepe, the site for the pitched battle of Sakarya...

I wonder what for?

He not only makes the visit, but he writes in the memorial guest book, “The victory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk not only gave birth to our ally, modern Turkey, but served as an inspiration for all who yearn for independence and sovereignty”.


Photographs of the ambassador’s visit were uploaded onto the official U.S. Embassy Website... In other words he wants his "Duatepe visit" to be known...

What for?

-Has any other U.S. ambassador ever paid such a visit? I don't know. (They used to visit the southeastern province of Diyarbakir and the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)).

And another question:

- Why did he want this visit to be made public?

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Who fooled Turkey in the Hamas-Israel conflict?

A question circulates the increasingly secluded corridors of the Foreign Ministry headquarters: "How is that the Foreign Ministry failed to learn that Israel would attack Gaza prior to the operation? If they did know, how would they have reacted towards Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his Ankara visit?"

This is a real test question for the government. A test question in the efforts to make Turkey "a solution center" in the Middle East... If the Foreign Ministry really had such a provision, then Turkey would not be seen as a country that is not aware of anything. As a result this war showed that:

 - The government, who built its foreign policy strategy on the basis that if a country wants to do anything to do in the region it should do it with Turkey, had been fooled in front of the whole world.


Not only Israel, but Hamas who sent 200 rockets into Israel, also fooled Turkey.

 They prepared their plans for war as the "peace talks" were underway. And Turkey, who is not aware of these preparations, sent a messages of "don't worry, we are solving the issues" to the world. This is the "trust gap" that has existed in the Middle East for years.

Hamas said "Ok" but still sent missiles into Israel... Israel, paid a visit to Turkey at the prime minister level and shook hands for "Middle East peace", but later launched a massive attack against Gaza... And now, Iran shouts declarations of radicalism at every occasion and says "Didn't I tell you so? No peace can be established with these Jews."

 So, what will Turkey do in these circumstances? 


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The common factor preventing Arab countries from taking a stand over the Israeli Gaza offensive

It is 4:30 am on Sunday morning, and while most Turks are still asleep, two international television news networks, CNN and BBC, air live broadcasts from Gaza, as one point draws my attention.

Regardless of who is speaking on either of these two channels, the Israeli offensive on Gaza does not create any discussion on whether or not Israel is right in taking action.


The only two issues that are being discussed are the capturing of locations used by Hamas to fire missiles on Israel and the ceasefire process... In other words, from the very outset, Israel's operation is being legitimized by two international news channels.


Neither network talks about Turkey's efforts, and nor are Egypt and Syria mentioned...


There is a gaping silence... What else could be expected under the current circumstances?


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Pro-Kurdish DTP and Iraq plan a World Kurdish Conference

A low-key "meeting" was held during the Eid al-Adha holiday... Ahmet Turk, the leader of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), visited Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration in northern Iraq... This visit, which was not widely publicized, was very important...

It was important as the first step in the serious preparation that is being undertaken for the upcoming period.


I spoke to Turk indepth regarding the visit; in summary, what he told me from his meeting with Barzani was this:


- Mr. Barzani shares the same perspective as us... This issue cannot be solved solely by means of military might or force... Ankara is trying to solve the issue with an approach that puts dismantling the PKK at the center, but the issue is not as simple as this. A democratic solution and dialogue is required... Barzani is ready to work towards this...


What about the cancellation of President Abdullah Gul's visit to Iraq and Arbil, how do you assess this?


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Attention! Alarm at Turkey's red line, Mosul-Kirkuk

The intensity of the question that asks, "What will happen to Mosul and Kirkuk during the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region?" is gradually rising in Ankara.

- Will they leave it to the power of the ruling Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq?


Therefore, the planned visit of Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, is crucial in getting answers to these questions. In response to a question about why it is:


- It is because the same game is being played time and time again and it is coming to the stage one more time...


For, example Turkey ended its claims on Mosul in 1926.


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The latest controversial concept: Islamist Bourgeois

I came across the same concept while reading a United States based report recently.

-Kemalist elite...


Here is the Washington based CSIS's report entitled as "The changing dynamics of Turkey".


-Kemalist elites...


And here in the books of ex-CIA chief and Turkey expert Graham Fuller... Always the same concept...


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Turkey's critical meeting with the Armenian foreign minister

Armenia's Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian is due to arrive in Istanbul today... Armenia has taken the chair of the Istanbul based Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), no matter how often we reiterate that we "don't recognize" this country...

Nalbandian is in Turkey for this purpose and he will also deliver a speech.


But the most important part of his visit will be the unscheduled meeting with the Turkey’s foreign minister, Ali Babacan... Armenia still occupies land in Nagorno-Karabakh.


But he also takes the rotating chair of an Istanbul based institution... However, although this seems to be a conflicting situation, it can open the door for a solution. Armenia can take steps regarding Karabakh. Turkey can open its border... This is something I want. Do you want to know why?


Because we are tired of this fear... We don't recognize the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. But they have joined the European Union. We compete against them at the Olympic Games... We pass over Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq, and we refuse to meet. But, we are conducting a number of construction projects, including an airport, in northern Iraq and send delegations to Baghdad.

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Turkish film "Mustafa" burned our fingers

I will not write anything about the content of the movie, "Mustafa".

Because it is not a documentary... So you cannot debate the details of story; it is Can's interpretation.

It is for this reason that the question: 

-Why is "Mustafa" causing so much discussion, while many such films about this subject exist?

It is because this representation is different... It is being perceived as if the country’s "national historical society" was involved in the making of the movie.

It was presented as a "state conception"...

For example, the premiere...

The film was premiered at Dolmabahce Palace.

The Dolmabahce Palace premiere is not a public event. It had the air of an official state decision; like it was directly related to the Turkish parliament. Also, it would not be possible to hold the film premiere at this venue without the permission of parliament.

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Turkish goverment closes the Kurdish "opening-up"

The question is this: "Why did Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who recently mentioned 'an opening-up to the Kurdish issue', change his direction to the point of "love it or leave it..."?

The initial target of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of the local elections was this:     


"We should take some of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party held municipalities in Turkey's mainly Kurdish-origin dominated southeast region. It would be a great success to win the Diyarbakir province. We could say to all everyone, even those who wanted to close the party that 'the AKP is the cement of Turkey's integrity. Here is the result. All, including Turkish, Kurdish and Circassion citizens, gather together under this roof."


And very intense activities began in this region. Roads, water, and electricity. Direct funding to help women...


This activity made the DTP uncomfortable and they raised tensions in the region by claiming ill-treatment of the jailed terrorist PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan. And "nationalist reactions" arose especially from central Anatolia, the Agean, Marmara and Black Sea regions during this time.


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