tv Cross Talk RT June 5, 2013 3:29pm-4:01pm EDT
please. follow and welcome to cross talk for all things considered i'm peter lavelle turkey in turmoil a sudden upsurge in intensity of protest against the turkish government has caught many by surprise particularly prime minister aragon are we witnessing still another arab spring play out or is it more simple than that is it all about every country's politics and political style. protests in turkey i'm joined by a long ben mayor in washington he's a senior fellow at new york university's center for global affairs in stamboul we have michael dickinson he is a writer and artist and in london we crossed his aida lisa he is a political analyst and a writer right gentlemen crossed that means you can jump in anytime you want if i
go to you first in london the prime minister the turkish prime minister was in the u.s. at the brookings institution at the beginning of last month and he said turkey's in the news everyone's talking about turkey not in the way that he had hoped. definitely not in the way he hoped he was basically pointing out is that democracy well established democracy that he has managed to sideline and stretched. the army he put to hold the army coups that plagued turkish politics and it was emerging as an economy of power and he has the mandate democratic mandate of the people perhaps for the third time the third time and that's why i wouldn't call it similar to an arab spring because unlike the arab spring which were launched and wait but that people against radical dictatorships which wedding egypt tunisia attorneys here also yemen and it's still going on against the dictatorship and
also against. dictatorship as well isn't democracy but i do believe that a gun has shot him in the foot he is fighting with one hand tied behind his back because he has people in iraq which is again another more christian maliki was elected through the ballot box he encouraged people and sidelined with the protesters and took them to avoid and sweep under the carpet all democratic mechanisms that it's going through the parliament and also going against maliki in another general election elections opposing and he courage them to defy him to increase and why did that demonstrations and he also have to kill off using. brutal ruthless crackdown against i think a lot of people. point a lot of people michael them michael how do you see things going on in turkey go ahead first go ahead michael. in what we're.
going wrong what's gone wrong why the protests. well why do you start i mean. there are protests all around the world and they are also in america you remember the occupy what happened to them they were also surprised by the american police whether or not the first time. turkish police are in hiding. now for the last couple of days because they came out with full force with this tear gas against poor people who were sitting out in a pint pot to try to save the trees which are going to be stripped off the one of the only green parks in the center of istanbul well that's just wrong thing but they're used to police actually very start to do it and they always do with brutal treatment just fire these two guys without thought whole city was full of it and the people thought by this time and now for the last two days the streets of
central istanbul are empty of place i don't feel so safe without alone how do you see things going on and just you know concerned go ahead go it alone in my head you know what i think i think we have to look at the situation and turkey from about a larger perspective what happened in taksim square is that in my view was only the trigger delays there has always been for the last three four years at least a very simmering anger by the significant majority in there and that within the turkish community against what they see as a growing authoritarian regime yes. it was elected three times perhaps because of that the government is now has been behaving in a very arrogant manner. he himself said when you win an election in a democratic way you have
a majority that's what matters but how you implement democratic reforms how you go about it in the first the first six seven years i think. one made tremendous progress and social reform political reform certainly economic reforms but then they began to slide and that is what has been happening in turkey scores of times in the last several years and i can tell you when i see it's. in my own eyes the difference between what it used to be and what to zero what people begin to fear to speak in public sitting in a restaurant don't want to speak because somebody america here where they are talking about when journalists are in jail when hybris of the military are all under house arrest by fifty or sixty of them you must question where turkey is heading i have been a great admirer of to himself but i think turkey no longer can offer an mmog of democracy to the arab world i think it has failed miserably in that regard and i do
not believe that what we are seeing today is going to be quelled to a very soon and that's going to be the end of the story this may very well be the beginning that it's a really good. are you going to let me go to london you know heads i jump in the beginning of something or not i do believe all those are hugely important factors my my my colleague has the internal policies i do have to emphasize that his foreign policy hot spectacularly failed spectacularly backfired and we are seeing now the fighting and backlash to those policies particularly until policy on syria he used to preach and lecture that shot and said on how to deal with their people how to treat people on how not to use massive disproportionate force we are seeing seeing him doing the exact things that he told pressure on that side and you also preach to our magic you will how it's been elected through again democratic
process and you have accused him of monopolizing and accumulating to iran and gold powers and these are the very accusations leveled against him by his own people but let me add on top of that here it's off actually be siding with be a with qatar who are dictatorships and trying to use the same the same let's say extremist hardline. policies adopted by so again in actually supporting arming financing paying salaries of the president that move to the insurgents who happen to be in that vast majority that's according to the you not only new york times experienced what harvey said if it's like you just have to run and we have seen the new york times saying that all the money all the funding all the arming the absolute majority of that had played into the hands of actually turning out to the smoke ok. here let's go to michael to go to michael how much over the years if i
may going to jump in michael go ahead go ahead and stumble you know i was going to say i mean about people responding in not they're not whispering in cafes at the moment they are out on the streets without shouting devarim which means revolution and. their government must resign and they are shouting this at the tops of their voices the people are so happy with this idea i don't know what's going to happen but we're just at the moment the whole streets of it is untouched are occupied by people and they've set up stalls where they're giving away free food there are being songs they're having lessons and things like that. it's going to take a lot for this to be cleared up of the moment of the moment or two and it is on hold of the holidays or his visiting africa morocco or something about his coming back tomorrow as it was something he said i want this cleared up by the time i get
back but i think it was a little next to him at the airport and we didn't have our him to come into the country himself and one i don't think is going to go there this is the it's a go ahead go ahead jump in the this is exactly this is exactly the point you know here you have a prime minister who has done so so much in the past now he's seeing these demonstrations in his state of focusing and trying to deal with the same that. the arrogance has been applied to it by simply saying i am leaving this is really nothing of consequence he called the horrible names and then he said by the time i come back on this a big career that shows you how dismissive he has been but i want to echo one other point that was made by my colleague from london you know the so-called zero zero problem with neighbors which was admired when it was first initiated and now i ask myself the question which neighbor does not have a problem with this is this is another collapse of the turkish foreign policy and
if you look around turkey all the various countries perhaps except for some with georgia turkey has a problem with all of these countries so what you see the collapse of the foreign policy is going to be said only those countries have problems with their government so what can i add to this please go ahead you have been. going to london was a valid question it's a valid question we can see clearly that is actually toeing the line and getting even closer to becoming this chest and closer replacing mubarak as the bulwark that always saudi arabia and qatar have needed and carrying out its policies so he is bringing turkey closer into being the instrument of saudi arabia and qatar in implementing their policies in standing up for men and instigating the sectarian you're already emily's because they think this is just a vote for any internal risings in that country and let me add to that it was also
the bombing that took place in turkey that was that have stirred up shock waves and set alarm bells in jacket that jet back to. the top being given the entry and turkey's paying kids i mean all of them to america because they don't live like i mean a lot and he doesn't jump in if we go to the break ok let me let me just say some. you know i think what to say when you're saying this. alliance of convenience between turkey saudi arabia egypt and qatar this is i call it a lie so it could mean a lot because i think that bigger picture is that what you have not the just that's right what you have here is that the. conflict in syria really has two dimension one is one is between the right to say that russia to some extent but the other one which is easier to greater much more serious and much deeper and one of the situation here gentlemen we have to go to
is a. welcome back to cross talk we're all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the up people in turkey. all right gentlemen before going to the break was a bit heated there in along you said during the break do you want to finish your point so please do sir. you know i really don't want to talk about syria what i'm saying is the connection is there that this so-called alliance of convenience between turkey saudi arabia and other course imagined by my friend in london is that there is this conflict this is there really is reduced to the shiite and sunni and the two key in this particular respect would like to take the lead and its appeal to the arab street has backfired the arab street in the wake of the of the so-called arab spring turkey felt it's going to have inroads in the arab street as
a matter of fact i believe that sacrifices relation with israel as a result of that hoping to be able to assume the leadership of the region and that too has failed so what you look around you see that they are the one with the best of his intention what happened is that domestically he's back slighted their foreign policy back i now in the effort in the wake of what happened in syria he's also failing miserably ok michael if i go back to you in istanbul a lot of people would say that the islamic politics is what puts so many people off in turkey can you speak about. yeah actually enough of this assuming. basically. continue and so you know how much is his profit but you don't need to say that anyway if you just say la la la there is one god we are all the children of god there is no need
for separate religions like catholics and protestants and what a lot of people on the ground say way do they and i fortunately. have found ok go ahead in london jump in. yet another factor has been actually the kurdish issue a lot of people in turkey have perceived it or viewed it as over to god himself silly hats and overarching goal to actually become again and he has sold out or made concessions to the terrorists that is their peak in order to win them over to change that constitution to allow him to make changes that will in the long run how all the cards the kurdish cards and we've seen him play an instrumental role in actually breaking up the alliance between the kurds that the regional government in iraq that this region and the shia alliance and deflates it by is alliance between turkey and between that kurds and actually showing them all. the.
easing. that reliance will give pendants on the evocate central government and that has been dramatically spared on and encouraged by the kurds and by. the saudis and also the terrorists in order to drive a wedge between the kurds and the central government in iraq to weaken and destabilize the central government in iraq in all of that basically to make it easier to topple but shut it i said because their strategy has now changed their you want to weaken iraq because they can see that iraq and that's even the america . ns have given their lives to the soviets and qatar is dramatically destabilized and we can iraq so that it cannot act as the supporter or not called to shot it said that is the new policy adopted by of the gun is what's the concern how instead of the government going to move forward now in turkey i can what do you think i can just hear i've only got one one what the hell they're going to actually i think
they should be kicked out as the people are demanding they should resign and also i think that people should get to know this we're talking about arab spring we're talking about revolution we're talking about world revolution actually look people are rising and they should kick out these tyrants these poor tunes these are sides there is. no arms and let's have a real democracy where people have a voice for our people so you may have voted for the man live had elections over and over so what do you think about this and i just say go ahead jump in and just say what we're witnessing yeah what we're witnessing and what we're seeing on the ground is that dangerous president that all get down gun has started by actually encouraging people who have been encouraging people to take to the streets and defy democratically elected government as he has done explicitly in terms of iraq and when i hear that people are saying that again putin isn't describing putin as
a dictator that is another dangerous president that is encouraged and sped on by the americans so one way they have a democratically elected government like in the case of putin they simply encourage people to take to the streets to do fight and to overthrow and we don't see them implementing that on the streets of america if that is the case then they should actually listen and hear to their demands explicit demands by many american people who've taken to the streets now that starts putting their money where their mouth is and we not seeing them that doing that when there are staunchest and closest allies are the major anti ran it could regime in. what you have described people who have taken to the streets asking for democracy at service that's explicitly what the interior minister ministry and so the idea of calling them then you terrorists and they will be treated how does that tell us how being created you know your kid something even if you say i'm going to alone is this a cultural war being fought out because i've been to turkey many times and there
are many different turkeys. it's not monolithic well you know i think the one factor we have to emphasize here is there are the growing pervasive pervasiveness of the party you know nowadays if you want to be appointed to a political position you better have a very strong religious credential this is what worries me what worries many european allies of the of turkey and i must tell you also there is the current tremendous strain between turkey and the united states notwithstanding their public narrative in terms of grocers across alliance cooperation and all of that but this tremendous strain because the united states has been talking to the turks in this regard you know erica one only year ago were saying we have to protect every single means the freedom of speech and freedom of movement freedom of this what he's now doing is doing precisely the opposite banning for example that serve alcohol
building another mosque into a skid square instead of leaving some greens and then middle of the city of istanbul all of this is a clear indication how far how pervasive the party has has come and that is what has started to worry that many many turks specifically the academic community who feel that turkey it is no longer the guy in a democracy they were hoping for but he has a slide it so a back so much back that this what happened now it is only the initial manifestation of that kind of resentment and i secretly believe this is a good a beginning and certainly not the end beginning of the end if we go back to london just go ahead londoners yeah i do believe we have to be very careful in actually demanding the overthrow democratic democratically elected government which has which had the mandate by that people and have been elected through the ballot box to overthrow them by in cabbage ink people tom and it can hardly take that street
to overthrow throw them. i'm not saying that what democrats. are trying to refinance is right. and i tell you i don't think he's acting democratic i think that part is getting to it too is that he has just been practiced what you preach to the shop and to maliki by listening to their people and respecting the will of the people but overthrowing democratically by taking to the streets and actually the way this was going and hearing to what the americans want is to completely wrong. ok michael no i'm saying what i'm saying i with i am saying you know we are not advocating that these demonstrators can or should you have over there are a democratically elected government what i am saying is that comes next election. prime minister error to i should no longer feel that he's a shoo in and he's going to win the presidency that we are saying he is now anything the junk general public and that is where the problem is lies and that's
where his concern should be and this is the issue that he is now need to address and address it seriously in order to change the public to his narrative and not speak one way and act in a different way and that is a problem that era one has today michael what about the military are they going to feel bold and right now. military well actually i would just like to speak something else about first he doesn't he has a very hard skin and he refuses to accept criticism i was imprisoned sic i know someone will go for and i don't know college and i know the large picture of him and actually the case was after four trials i was acquitted and then six months later the court in ankara said no he should have been acquitted we will reopen the case so i was retried and found guilty and of insulting the judge from this just for a collage caricature showing him talking about the military i think the military
would actually be on the side of the people we were talking about the military who are the the boys who are drafted into the army they have no choice actually that is another thing that we can criticize not just only add on but talking about we should not have a draft in a civilized democratic country so anyway i would say that the general soldiers would be on the side of the people in this matter so i think they would be our friends so i do get a savings it's going to feel if you are there you know ten seconds i go ahead ten seconds thought it not. going to be as far as the military go i think i only read the language it might not think it is the brand would feel that they have found i actually do want their people that are about the two colors so that's really just going to general meeting where they run out of time i'm very sorry many thanks for you to make it and watch it in its temple in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here markie see you next time and remember promise not gross.
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you. will coming up on our t.v. while the guantanamo bay hunger strike continues i tend to close the detention facility appeared to be going nowhere house republicans have suggested legislation that would keep the facility open and block transferring suspects into the us or to other countries more on that battle over get mode just ahead. it's day three of the bradley manning trial and manning's defense explains that sharing information with wiki leaks was for the public good while supporters of bradley manning still gather outside the court room for updates on this case just ahead. protesters are still out on the streets rallying against turkish prime minister there's growing criticism of the turkish police it's just a show of force and clearing the use of the u.s. made tear gas more on those clashes later on the show.