The failed Western-backed coup against Tayyip Erdoğan has far-reaching geopolitical consequences.
That this coup was coming was known to the Americans, Europeans and President Erdoğan; In May the Wall-Street Journal wrote: “Speculation about a military coup reached a fever pitch in late March, when Turkish media reports suggested the Obama administration was trying to topple Mr. Erdoğan. The rumors led to a terse exchange at the State Department, where a Turkish reporter asked spokesman John Kirby whether the U.S. was working to bring down Mr Erdoğan.”
Let us wind the tape fast forward. Germany 2060. We are entering the country from east or west. We are travelling across it, visiting ancient towns and cities, doing the sights in medieval castles and cathedrals. The people that we face are black or brown; with kinky hair, squinted eyes, pouted lips and sometimes even blond hair and fair skin. Some speak good German, some speak broken German, some speak Somali, some Pashto, some Turkish. We hear their names: Muhammad,Karl-Heinz, Hassan, Konrad, Omar, Gojko, Mammoon. A German of Afghan descent is our guide around a medieval castle explaining to us the ways of life of the former inhabitants of the country; an imam walks us around a cathedral turned mosque, explaining that some time back it fell into disuse, and so it was taken over; we are entertained by a black teacher who is proud of teaching German to students with diverse cultural heritage, ‘You know,’ she says, German is almost a kind of present-day Latin in terms of it being almost obsolescent but still one of the official languages of the country.’ So we tour the country in search of Germany or rather traces thereof. We can still find German cuisine in isolated pockets in the countryside.
In the chaotic moments and endless news feed about the Turkish coup, it became clear that Washington and the West did not support Erdogan.
After Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi and Viktor Yanukovych it was now time to get rid of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to the Daily Sabah the coup was linked to the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which has its leadership based in Washington.
The day after the failed coup, Western-based media tried to contain the damage and hurried to proclaim: “NATO Allies Rally Behind Erdogan as Turkish Coup Splits Military.” They did not!
On Friday when the situation was very chaotic the White House website stated “The President spoke tonight by phone with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the events in Turkey. The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey. The President asked the Secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds.”
The announcement was purposefully vague nor was it made by the president himself; in the text of the White House, there was no reference or any direct support for Erdogan or outright condemnation of the coup. The “democratically-elected Government” as stated in the announcement does not include Erdogan as President. Of course, if the White House did support the democracy, the text should read: “democratically-elected Government and the President.”
The coup leaders said they’d done so in the name of protecting democracy, and this is in line with the statement of the White House.
The scenario seems to be like this: President Erdoğan lets loose immigrants wave after wave; the European Union negotiates with him in a bid to have him stop the immigrants flood and contain them on Turkish soil; President Erdoğan demands that Turks be allowed to enter the EU without a visa and that Turkey be admitted to the Union as soon as possible; Brussels-slash-Berlin apparently agrees though the idea of having Turkey as a member state without it conforming its laws to European standards is not palatable; so the German Bundestag comes up with the idea of slapping Ankara in the face by passing a resolution that recognizes and thus brings to the world’s attention the annihilation of Armenians that took place a hundred years back as an act of genocide. In response to or in retaliation for which Ankara recalls its ambassador from Berlin, blocks a visit of German politicians to 250 German soldiers stationed at İncirlik Air Base, and threatens with the worsening of the bilateral relationship. And to top it all, a Turkish party is to be formed in Germany.
As we predicted, Cameron resigns after the British have cast “a leave vote” but Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is to blame for the disastrous result of the referendum.
Last year she mishandled three problems:
In 2015, under Angela Merkel’s leadership, the problems in Greece span out of control and Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, was able to jeopardize the whole euro project;
- When in 2015 millions of refugees were heading for Europe, it was Angela Merkel that single-handedly, without consulting her political counterparts in Warsaw, London or Rome, decided how Europe had to deal with it ;
- Chancellor Merkel held talks with Erdoğan: Turkey was being considered as a member-state of the European Union, which lacked any support in Europe whatsoever .
No wonder the British voters came to doubt the democratic legitimacy of Brussels as they saw Berlin mishandle the European project.
Belarus the last pariah of Europe? Its leader, referred to as dictator, shunned by polite society? Its image tarnished in the media? No longer so. Alexander Lukashenko’s fortress has been laid siege to, has been bombarded and… emerged victorious. With flying colors. Minsk has hosted talks on Ukraine’s future, the sanctions have been lifted, and President Lukashenko has been readmitted both to the lay (Rome) and spiritual (the Vatican) European salons.
The time of Kazakhstan’s stability and prosperity is just passing away. And this conclusion does not come from recent protests and shootings in the city of Aktobe, but from the panicky reaction of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to the 75-year old declared Leader of the Nation and his officials, latest developments are a “color revolution” aiming at a “coup” made by “pseudo-religious extremists” financed by detained pro-Russian businessmen; the President voices this opinion despite the fact that previously he claimed it was the “fifth column” of undefined third (western) powers that attempted to interfere with Kazakhstan’s internal policy. Madness. As if it were not the sharp decline in oil revenues has nothing to do with that in a country which produces 1.7 million barrels per day.
Making things even worse, it is questionable if the Aktobe event was prepared by Wahhabis or other Islam terrorists. Religious extremists usually do not attack gun shops and military units, but prefer bombings and random mass killings. Moreover, they usually wear beards, whereas most of Aktobe assailants were clean-shaven. Radio Liberty attributes the responsibility for the attack to the “Army for the Liberation of Kazakhstan,” which, according to officials and some other experts, does not even exist. The level of misinformation is enormous.
Two weeks before the UEFA EURO 2016 starts in Saint-Denis near Paris the situation in France is deteriorating rapidly now that the country is also running out of petrol due to labor unrest. The French police are overwhelmed due to the state of emergency after the two terrorist attacks in Paris last year. Since then there have been large-scale civil upheavals and riots due to labor law reforms and chaos as a result of immigration problems near Calais.
France is known for its radical labor protests and it is not the first time the country experienced a petrol shortage due to blockades. But this time it is different because there is now discontent at all levels of French society. Francois Hollande has an approving rating of 17 %, which is the lowest ever for a president of the Fifth Republic.
The European Union does Germany a lot of good. To say that the country would develop better or worse without the common currency would be risky. However, the fact is that Germany is doing much better than other EU-members and the Eurozone has never been so dominated by one country. Germany has been growing faster at the regional as well as at the national level and has been gaining its relevance at others’ expense. Accusations of German supremacy may well be grounded, but then the question is who is to blame? Those who are able to improve or those who are lagging behind?
European gas supply
Currently, less than half of the EU’s gas demand is met by domestic production. The rest is imported, mainly from Norway (36%), Russia (41%) and Algeria (10%). In recent years, LNG, or liquefied natural gas, has accounted for around 10% of the imports, with most of them coming from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria.
The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht came two years after the unification of Germany and laid the groundwork for the 2002 introduction of the euro. The French elite was afraid for the resurgence of a new German powerhouse. To eliminate the dominant Deutschmark, they wanted to extend the use of the German currency to the whole European Common market and have it renamed to the euro. In 1992, Le Figaro wrote that the “Maastricht is the Treaty of Versailles without war”. A French observer noticed, “Maastricht is only a calculated move against the predominance of the Bundesbank and against an independent German currency.”
Demographic trends that are taking place are having an adverse effect on pension systems. Some experts are painting a black picture: pension systems will collapse. Others, especially those in the pay of the governments, assure us of their stability. We had better ask whether the economies of the countries concerned will support their pension systems because the ageing societies certainly will not.
Pension systems are not only about elderly people. They are constructed on the basis of a contract between generations or, to put it otherwise, on the concept of social solidarity: people who are currently economically active provide in the form of pensions for those who are not. That’s the first, the main pillar of the pension system, often referred to as the pay-as-you-go pension plan.