Problem med gasledningen mellan Iran och Pakistan kan leda till krig

Iran would not terminate gas deal with Pakistan: Minister

TEHRAN – Iran’s oil minister has rejected speculations that Iran would withdraw from gas deal with Pakistan.
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters that Iran was prepared to start its gas exports to Pakistan. “Pakistan has signed a deal to import 21.5 million cubic meters of natural gas daily from Iran and by the beginning of 2015, it should start receiving this amount of gas according to agreement,” he said. However, Pakistani officials had ascribed their failure in construction of even single cubic meters of gas pipeline in their soil to international sanctions, and according to provisions signed in the agreement, it would pay US$3 million to Iran in compensation for each day delay in its pipeline inauguration. Oil ministry officials still have not commented about Pakistani side’s claims. Amid uncertainties in construction of pipeline, experts from both sides have speculated that the gas deal would be suspended, which Zanganeh rejected, saying that Iran’s daily production of natural gas increased 100 million cubic meters, bordering 600 million cubic meters daily.
Oil minister emphasised that Iran was prepared to start gas experts to Pakistan; “the operation to construct pipeline to Pakistani borders approaches final stages, and whenever Pakistanis construct their domestic gas pipeline network, Iran would start gas delivery to eastern neighbour.”
On Pakistanis’ recent statements relating sanctions to gas agreement with Iran, Zanganeh told an Iranian news agency  that the Islamic Republic of Iran had been committed to its obligations made in gas deal with Pakistan, and it expected Pakistan to remain committed to its obligations as well.
Staff Reporter adds from Karachi: Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Karachi, Mehdi Subhani said that the economic and trade relations between the two countries would further strengthen when next Joint Economic Commission meeting takes place in Islamabad.
He asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to organise a trade delegation’s visit to Iran in order to further strengthen trade ties between the two countries and seek new avenues of enhanced cooperation, while speaking at meeting at KCCI.
“To help Pakistan resolve the ongoing energy crisis, we are ready to send gas to Pakistan by the end of this year, now it is up to Pakistan to decide whether they need Iranian gas or not”, he added.

The envoy added that Iranian Consulate will be extending full support to the proposed visit of KCCI delegation to Iran. “This delegation should be composed in such a manner that it covers various sectors, particularly the leather, textile, dairy products and confectionary items etc. Pakistan can make substantial profit by exporting these products to Iran”, he added.
He said that security, stability and prosperity of Pakistan and Iran are linked with each other as both countries share many similarities and possibilities. It is heartening to note that politicians of both countries have started displaying their willingness to expand ties in many fields which would help in boosting the existing relations between the two countries. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline upon its completion will assist Pakistan in overcoming the energy crisis, trigger economic activities and generate massive employment opportunities all over the country, the Consul General opined. Referring to President KCCI’s concerns over rising smuggling on Pakistan-Iran border, Iranian CG said that both sides must sit together and come up with a mechanism to effectively curb smuggling and other issues hindering bilateral trade.
Earlier, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, said that bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Iran are cordial and healthy. However, due to sanctions on Iran, State Bank of Pakistan has restricted Pakistani banks from accepting L/Cs opened by Iranian banks. As a result, goods are being re-exported through Dubai which raises the cost of doing business for Pakistani traders, he noted, adding that this was the reason why Pakistani businessmen and industrialists were reluctant to do business with Iran.

Publicerat i Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Pakistan | Lämna en kommentar

Kärnvapenkrig på Saudiskt initiativ för att slå ut Iran?

The Nuclear Implications of Iran-Pakistan Tensions

The long-standing tensions between Iran and Pakistan over proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the use of militant proxies for regional power projection, and divergent geopolitical alignments remain one of the oft-neglected strategic factors that may influence Tehran’s nuclear calculus in salient ways. Such a consideration carries much greater significance today, when decade-long negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, U.S., and Germany) over the Iranian atomic venture have reached a very sensitive stage. Once they escalate into a systematic pattern, as suggested by developments over the past years, Tehran-Islamabad tensions will constitute a totally new security front for the Islamic Republic and are thus likely to exert a cynical impact on its nuclear logic.

Iran’s relationship with Sunni-majority Pakistan has often been one of restrained fear and loathing, dating back to the spring of 1998. In 1998, following nuclear tests by India, Pakistan conducted a series of atomic tests and thus became Iran’s sole neighbor with nuclear weapons capability. In August the same year, the Taliban forces — who had established their “Emirate” in Afghanistan after toppling the Afghan government with the assistance of Islamabad in 1996 — captured the Iranian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif and killed 11 members of its diplomatic and media corps. Alarm bells rang in Tehran, but threats of military action and a ceremonial deployment of troops along the border with Afghanistan was all that ensued in response. Later, it was discovered that the murders had been carried out by Sipah-e-Sahaba, a rabidly anti-Shiite militant organization with close connections to the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment. Pakistan’s nuclear status must have been in the minds of Iranian leaders and strategists, who stopped short of military intervention against the Islamabad-backed militants in Afghanistan. No wonder Iran rushed to help the U.S.-led coalition overthrow the Taliban government three years later.

Over the past decade, narcotic trafficking, banditry, kidnapping and cross-border attacks have been rampant in the Baluchistan region straddling Iran and Pakistan. Yet, the militant threat reached a turning point in October 2009 when a suicide operation by the “Jundullah” separatist group in the Iranian border town of Pishin claimedthe lives of over 30 people, including two senior Revolutionary Guard commanders. Though the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi was later apprehended and executed in Tehran, bilateral tensions as a consequence of Sunni militant activity have recently escalated into deadly border skirmishes engaging conventional military forces of both sides. In mid-October this year, Islamabad filed a diplomatic protest with Tehran after attempts by Iranian security forces to chase militants across the border led to the death of a Pakistani Frontier Corps paramilitary and left four other soldiers wounded. Shortly afterwards and in an unprecedented escalation, the two sidesexchanged mortar fire.

As a matter of fact, Iran does not have many friends in the region (hence Tehran’s obsessive defense of Bashar al-Assad in Syria), while its unique foreign policy vision in general and nuclear ambitions in particular have alienated and in some cases antagonized world powers. Nor does the Islamic Republic enjoy the protective cover of a powerful nuclear-weapons state (NWS) as in the case, say, of South Korea and Japan, both of which fall under the “nuclear umbrella” of the United States. If the Iranian leadership has drawn one single historical lesson from the bitter-ended Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), it is the realist maxim of “self-help”: they will have to fight single-handedly should any serious conflict or conflagration break out within their borders or beyond. This applies today as much as it did in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution.

Iran’s concerns about Pakistan’s atomic capability are mainly two-fold. As the “fastest-growing” arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, Pakistani nukes — or more likely, sensitive nuclear technology — run the risk of falling into the wrong hands, given the embedded presence of Sunni militant groups throughout the land as well as the close ties between these groups and certain segments of the military-security establishment that generally oversees Islamabad’s nuclear activities. After all, Pakistan has a long track record in employing the export of militancy as an instrument of foreign policy making. As the foremost Shiite power in the Middle East, Iran sees itself as the immediate target in the eventuality of such scenarios due to its ideology but also its geographical proximity.

These fears have been intensified by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) and the transnational links it is trying to foster with the Pakistani Taliban and Sunni jihadists in South Asia among others. Over a year into its inception, it is no secret today that IS is franticallyscrambling to get its hands on weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological agents, which the terror group has reportedly used against Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town of Kobani and Iraqi forces in the Salahuddin province. IS and its like-minded Sunni sympathizers regard Shiites — particularly Iranians — as “Safawi” and “Rafida,” pejorative terms referring to those Muslims who are perceived to have deviated from the true path of Islam and dismissed the authentic Islamic tradition, hence more legitimate targets for “believers” than the Western “infidels.”

Tehran also has serious apprehensions about Pakistan’s strategic alliance with its archrival and Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia, which is largely driven by a common sectarian ideology. Riyadh has invested heavily in the Pakistani nuclear program and is believed to be able to obtain atomic weapons from Islamabad at will. In the words of a senior Pakistani official aware of the unwritten covenant between the two capitals, “What did we think the Saudis were giving us all that money for? It wasn’t charity.” Amos Yaldin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, has similarly observed that if Iranians manage to acquire nukes, “The Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.” Yet Tehran’s worry is that, in certain circumstances, Riyadh may take such an action even without the materialization of an Iranian bomb.

What are the implications of all this for the ongoing nuclear negotiations? Arguably, this complex dynamic can act as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it may dispose the Iranian leadership to stand their ground firmly and leave ample space for deterrent action in the face of mounting threats in the neighborhood. Such a “tragic” view, needless to say, bodes poorly for the prospects of a comprehensive deal. On the other hand, it may persuade Tehran to lose no time facilitating an ultimate agreement over its nuclear venture, so it can integrate fully into the fold of international community and thus enjoy the normative checks and balances that keep states from transgressing each other’s national sovereignty and security.

What is beyond doubt, however, is that should talks fail, the Pakistan factor will play a more prominent role than ever before in Iran’s nuclear calculus.

Maysam Behravesh is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Lund University, Sweden, the Senior Editor for Media Reviews of the journal Asian Politics & Policy (Wiley), and the Editorial Assistant of the quarterly Cooperation and Conflict (Sage).

Publicerat i Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Pakistan, Saudiarabien | Lämna en kommentar

Kan det bli krig mellan Pakistan och Iran? – (På Saudisk beställning?)

24 October 2014

Iran-Pakistan: Will border tensions boil over?

Iranian border guards march near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Sistan Baluchistan ProvinceIran and Pakistan have contained border skirmishes for years but incidents have recently escalated

Related Stories

There have been a number of rounds of border skirmishes between Iran and Pakistan since the first week of October. However, reports that Pakistani forces have returned mortar fire is highly unusual and represents an increase in tensions that have marred this region for years.

Last week some 30 Iranian security force personnel crossed the border in pursuit of anti-Iranian militants. The Iranian raid resulted in the death of a Pakistani Frontier Corps soldier.

Islamabad lodged a diplomatic protest. A meeting on Wednesday in Tehran on increasing intelligence sharing between the two countries was meant to end this latest spat. That meeting clearly did not achieve its objective.

The problem is considerably deeper than merely finding ways to share intelligence about border crossings. Officials in Tehran have for years maintained that the Pakistani side is either incapable or reluctant to stop cross-border attacks.

In fact, Iranian officials often accuse elements in Pakistan – with the alleged backing from Gulf States – of providing sanctuary and support to anti-Iranian militants to try to create instability for Tehran. The Pakistanis have always rejected such charges.

Turning point

The militants at the heart of the dispute are from Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice). It is an ethnic Baloch and Sunni group which purports to fight for better living conditions in Sistan Baluchistan, Iran’s most impoverished province.

Online photo purportedly showing captured Iranian border guardsFive Iranian border guards – one of whom was killed – were held by militants in Pakistan earlier this year

It is widely believed to be the successor to Jundullah, another Iranian Baloch group, which the United States in 2010 designated a terrorist organisation.

Jundullah, which emerged on the scene around 2003, was responsible for the deadliest attacks against Iranian government targets, including an assassination attempt against then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The group’s most high-profile attack took place on 18 October 2009 in the border town of Pishin.

A suicide bomber that Tehran claimed had crossed the border from Pakistan blew himself up at an assembly of Iranian Baloch tribal leaders and senior commanders from Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Among the dead was Noor Ali Shooshtari, the deputy commander of Ground Forces of the IRGC, a man close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That attack was a turning point.

Major difference

It is most likely not a coincidence that the recent attacks by Jaish Al-Adl come on the fifth anniversary of the Pishin attack. As is the case today, top commanders from the Revolutionary Guards then vowed to retaliate and put extreme pressure on Pakistan.

It was most likely with Pakistan’s help that, within four months of the Pishin attack, Iran was able to capture Abdolmalek Rigi, the young leader of Jundullah. Rigi was hanged in Tehran in June 2010.

The most recent Iranian actions, including the pursuit of militants across the border and shelling inside Pakistani territory, is very similar to what occurred in the aftermath of the Pishin attack.

The major difference this time, however, is that the Pakistani side is now openly returning fire against Iran. This amounts to an escalation that breaks with past Pakistani behaviour.

Islamabad, which over the last few weeks has also had to deal with skirmishes on its Afghan and Indian borders, apparently feels it has to react to deter the Iranians from any further unilateral action.

The record from the last decade shows that both sides are disinclined to let the violence get out of control. Tehran and Islamabad have for a long time been willing to accept ”contained hostilities” in the border regions as part of life and assumed that border violence will always be limited and localised.

That is a dangerous and potentially a very costly assumption.

Alex Vatanka is the author of a forthcoming book on Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence, to be published by IB Tauris.

Publicerat i Hot mot DEMOKRATI, Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Islamska Staten, Pakistan, Saudiarabien | Lämna en kommentar

Shiite Iran vs Sunnin Neigbhors – 2


24 November 2014
Majid Izadpanahi
Majid Izadpanahi, Research Intern, IPCS
Iran and Pakistan have been facing issues on the border relating to terrorism and drug trafficking for some time now. This has raised tensions between Tehran and Islamabad, resulting in clashes. The recent clash in October resulted in casualties for both sides and the Pakistani ambassador in Tehran was summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Iranian officials state that the terrorists and bandits use Pakistani territory as a base to attack Iranian border forces, and Pakistan categorically rejects the allegations. Iranian officials allege that Pakistan has no control over its own borders and Pakistan says that Iran should not justify its internal problems with external reasons.
Iran’s foreign policy post the 1979 Islamic Revolution shifted from a pro-US to anti-US stance, while Pakistan remained pro-US. The US’s policy of regime change in Tehran through destabilisation by the separatists was welcomed by Pakistan, especially evident in their support of the Iranian Jundallah.
The latest clash on the Iran-Pakistan border is not a new occurrence, but it is rare that a number of clashes take place frequently in the span of few days. Insofar it is unclear whether the clash was a reaction to the terrorist attacks on the Iranian Border Police or confrontation with the armed groups and drug barons that are active in the region. Nationalist Baloch groups, radical Sunni groups and drug traffickers are active in the Iran-Pakistan border region; Pakistan accuses India and sometimes Afghanistan, of fueling instability in the region.
Evidently, the situation along the Iran-Pakistan border is worsening.Are Both Sides Interested in a Military Solution?

Pakistan’s western border is its safest border; most Pakistani forces are positioned in the country’s eastern border with India and its northern borders with Afghanistan. The rest are positioned either in Sindh or Punjab. Despite the security and ethnic problems in Balochistan, Pakistan is not interested in beginning a new conflict on the western border by confronting Iranian forces. In other words, Pakistan has no military and financial ability to confront another country and engage in border conflicts. Such conflicts could lead to instability in Balochistan, such that it may may get out of Islamabad’s control.Iran also understands the situation in Sistan Baluchestan, and has now engaged in a big conflict in its western borders. Tehran is therefore not interested in clashing with Pakistan and considers such a move unwise. Iran is also concerned about other actors beyond the region that tend to cause disputes in its eastern border given its wariness regarding the Islamic State and the role of some regional countries in creating it.

Therefore, Iran’s hard talk vis-à-vis the border clashes can be considered a diplomatic and military show that also sends a warning to the neighbours, especially Deputy Commander Brigadier-General Hossein Salami of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s statement that if Pakistan does not take any action against terrorists targeting Iran and drug traffickers, Iranian forces may enter its territory.“Every country should fulfil its obligations towards its internal security as well as the security of the neighbouring countries,” Salami said. “We will find rebels anywhere, even inside the neighbouring countries and will take any action against them without restrictions if they do not stop their activity,” he added.

Iran’s reaction, that is expected to serve as a warning to non-state actors and one that follows limited aims, can impact regional equations. However, if the situation gets out of control, it can have a serious influence on Tehran’s military and security approach towards problems in Sistan Baluchestan. Such a situation will result in increased instability and insecurity in Iran’s eastern border. And that too is not in Tehran’s interests.

The conflict between Iran and Pakistan and Pakistan’s tacit support to non-state actors and separatists against Iran could be the result of Islamabad’s close relations with Riyadh and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Iran’s shaky relations with its neighbours and the US. The Pakistani state is extremely dependent on the US military and economic aid that is used especially against India. Iran-Pakistan relations are dependent on Iran’s relations with the US and the regional Arab countries.

So if Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani can achieve improved Iranian relations with the West and promoting Iran’s international position, it would reduce some sources of hostility in Iran-Pakistan relations. This would push Islamabad to change its hostile behaviour toward Tehran and reduce and eventually give up support to non-state actors, namely the Iranian Jundallah and Jaish-al Adl.

Publicerat i Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Islamska Staten, Israel, Pakistan, Saudiarabien, USA | Lämna en kommentar

Saudisk prins hoppas att världen skall tvina sin vilja på Iran


Prince Mutaib bin Abdulaziz of Saud Arabia met with US President Barack Obama and other senior US officials and said that his country supportsnegotiations with Iran in the hopes that through their course the internationalcommunity will succeed in enforcing its will and providing the countries of the world effective proof that Iran abandoned its military nuclear program.

He added that “Saudi Arabia supports supervision of the nuclear reactors in Iran and hopes to see results from the negotiations.”

Publicerat i EU Europa, Förenta Nationerna FN / UN, Hot mot DEMOKRATI, Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Islamska Staten, Israel, USA | Lämna en kommentar

Saudi Gazette rapporterar sakligt om Jerusalem och tempelberget

Israel pushes to outlaw Muslim guards in Al-Aqsa

RAMALLAH — Israeli security officials are pushing a bill that would outlaw the presence of Muslim guards that patrol the Al-Aqsa mosque, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

Under the auspices of the Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, a bill on behalf of the Israeli police and the Shin Bet security service will target the guards whose responsibility is to ward off non-Muslims from the site.

The Haaretz reported that Aharonovitch has discussed the bill with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Additionally, security officials claimed that blocking funding to these guards, who receive $776 to $1,036 a month according to Haaretz, had led to a decrease in protests in the area around the mosque.

“The smartest thing to do is to show how we’re stopping the funding. We recently seized roughly a million shekels. We felt a drastic change on the “Temple Mount” in a matter of days, the numbers [of demonstrators] went down,” Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said, using the name Jews use to describe the compound.

“I think it’s an effective way to deal with this phenomenon,” he added during a Nov. 2 meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee.

Should the bill pass, it will criminalize the guards’ presence in the Al-Aqsa compound, where according to one NGO, they repeatedly stopped attempts by extremist settlers to enter the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israeli officials agree that authorities must continue restricting access to the compound, namely for Knesset members and right-wing activists, as the latter have been repeatedly calling for an increased Jewish presence in the area.

In statements made Tuesday, Danino branded Likud MK Moshe Feiglin’s visit to the compound a mistake.

“I forbade Feiglin from going up to the Mount until I no longer had backing from the attorney general. It was a mistake to allow someone up there who symbolizes changing the status quo,” he was quoted as saying by the Israeli daily.

In response, Feiglin slammed Danino, saying that the police chief had “failed to defend Jerusalem, and is looking for a scapegoat. “I’m praying in accordance with the law,” he claimed. — Al Arabiya News

Publicerat i Hot mot DEMOKRATI, Iran, Islamister / Jihadister, Saudiarabien | Lämna en kommentar

Turkiet mot resten av världen…

International conspiracy theories and xenophobia in Turkey

Turkey alone against the world

Turkey appears to be in the grip of a wave of xenophobia, according to the results of a recent survey by the US-based Pew Research Foundation. The findings come as the country has to cope with two conflicts on its borders and faces increasingly strained relations with key allies and neighbours. But as Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul, the findings could be part of a far deeper historical fear of the West

An old Turkish adage that goes ”the only friend of a Turk is a Turk” could not be truer in the minds of many Turks, according to startling findings published by the Pew Research Foundation. The survey found that the majority of Turks dislike nearly everyone: along with the usual suspects (Israel and the United States), between 70 and 80 per cent said they did not look favourably on Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and even Brazil.

”It’s part of this vast xenophobia that does not spare anyone,” observes Cengiz Aktar, professor of International Relations at Istanbul Suleyman Sah University, wearily. ”Jews, Christians, Arabs, Farsi, anybody who is not Turk, all are considered an alien, if not an enemy.”

The Pew findings recorded a considerable surge in prejudice since last year’s study. This surge coincides with Turkey’s growing diplomatic isolation. With Ankara backing Syrian rebels in the raging civil war, diplomatic relations are either non-existent or severely strained with southern neighbours Syria, Iraq and Iran. Differences on strategy over the Syrian civil war and the battle against Islamic State have also strained ties with many of Ankara’s Western partners, notably Washington. Relations with Egypt and Israel have also collapsed.

In the face of domestic and international criticism, the Turkish government has sought to sell the country’s isolation as a virtue to its supporters. Says Professor Aktar: ”the government is exacerbating this feeling of loneliness, and it works.” Arguing that Turkey holds the international moral high ground despite its isolation, Ibrahim Kalin, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s senior adviser and foreign policy guru, coined the phrase ”a precious loneliness” in a bid to put a positive spin on what many in the country describe as a diplomatic debacle.

T. E. Lawrence, known to many as Lawrence of Arabia (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is stoking the feeling in Turkey that the country is surrounded by enemies and is the target of international conspiracies, even harking back one hundred years to T. E. Lawrence, known to many as Lawrence of Arabia (pictured here), to back up his theories: ”There are new Lawrences, disguised as journalists, religious men, writers and terrorists… Each conflict in this region was designed a century ago,” said Erdogan in October

New Lawrences” everywhere

President Erdogan went a step further, rekindling an historical bogeyman for Turks. British army officer T. E. Lawrence led an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. ”Lawrence was an English spy disguised as an Arab,” said Erdogan in a widely televised address at a university in Istanbul in October. ”There are new Lawrences, disguised as journalists, religious men, writers and terrorists… Each conflict in this region was designed a century ago.”

The legacy of Lawrence of Arabia, which was immortalised in a 1960s’ Hollywood film, lives on to this day, with British spies blamed by Turks and their leaders for many of the country’s ills. The saying ”under every stone can be found an English spy” remains popular to this day. Semih Idiz, diplomatic columnist with the ”Taraf” newspaper, argues that World War I and the demise of the Ottoman Empire are key to understanding the Turkish psyche.

”It harks back to the First World War, when the perception was that everyone was out to destroy the Ottoman Empire and get rid of the Turks, especially the West, but not exclusively the West, given that the Arabs co-operated with the West during the war, so the xenophobia has a complex historical, psychological and social background to it, and the latest research shows it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

Throughout the last century, Turkish children were taught that Turkey is only surrounded by sea and enemies. The same lessons explained the demise of the country’s imperial past as a result of intrigue and plots by ungrateful and untrustworthy Armenian and Greek minorities, stirred up by Russian and English spies. But Istanbul University’s Professor Nuray Mert claims that the suspicion of the West goes back beyond the Great War.

”Both Islamists and those coming from a right-wing tradition have these conspiratorial fears of the West. They see everything through this prism, When they fail, it is not because of their own mistakes but because of the enmity or hostility of foreign powers, and they start to recall scepticism stemming from conspiracies theories, that all the world is against Turkey, all the Western world is against Muslims, starting from the crusaders.”

A Turkish woman in front of an image of President Erdogan (photo: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

A Turkish woman in front of an image of President Erdogan. Obviously no longer solicitous of his reputation and standing at international level, Erdogan declared on Monday that women are not equal to men and accused feminists of not understanding the special status that Islam attributes to mothers during a speech to the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) in Istanbul

Siege mentality in Turkey

Tricky foreigners playing tricks on straight-talking, trustworthy Turks is becoming a common narrative among the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and their advocates in the powerful pro-government media. 2012’s summer of anti-government protests centring on Istanbul’s Gezi Park saw even Germany’s Lufthansa being blamed. It was a grand conspiracy to stop Turkish Airlines challenging Germany’s national air carrier, was the bizarre argument peddled by columnist Yigit Bulut, who is now a senior presidential adviser. Berlin thus joins Washington and London in the ranks of those conspiring against Ankara.

”No one in the West buys that there is an international conspiracy to overthrow the government,” warns Kadri Gursel, diplomatic columnist with the newspaper ”Milliyet”, ”it destroys his (Erdogan) reputation, his legacy, his reputation around the world; he is not aware of this. Maybe he can convince part of the electorate, but not the world.”

But with increasingly controversial outbursts, Erdogan appears to be showing signs of having given up on his international standing among his Western allies. At an international conference on women’s rights, Erdogan declared that gender equality was against nature. Pouring fuel on the fire, he accused feminists of opposing motherhood. The comments drew widespread international criticism.

The fact that many of the president’s supporters continue to identify him with such criticism is only likely to add to the current siege mentality in Turkey. The growing alienation from the world in the minds of people in large sections of society is taking Turkey further down a dangerous road, warns Professor Mert: ”We are already in the grip of deep authoritarianism, and this conspiracy mentality and all these xenophobic conspiracy theories, this kind of inwardness, promises more authoritarianism, and this is a risk for Turkey.”

Dorian Jones

© 2014

Publicerat i Islamister / Jihadister, Turkiet | Lämna en kommentar

Få meddelanden om nya inlägg via e-post.