Turkey’s Kurdish Calculus

September 27, 2012

(Israpundit)Ankara re-embraces its old allies in Washington, at the expense of Tehran and Damascus.
By SONER CAGAPTAY, WSJ
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has made a bloody comeback in Turkey. According to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, PKK-related violence has killed some 700 people since the summer of 2011. This deadly toll recalls the horrors of the 1990s, when thousands of civilians were killed in PKK terror attacks and a brutal war in eastern Turkey between the government and Kurdish militants.
The resurgence of PKK violence is no accident. It is directly related to Turkey’s defiant posture in support of the Syrian uprising and against the Assad regime and its patrons in Iran. The upside for the West is that Ankara is starting to re-embrace its old friends in Washington.

The breakdown in Turkish-Syrian ties began in the summer of 2011. Since then, Damascus has once again allowed the PKK to operate in Syria. Meanwhile, to punish Ankara for its Syria policy, Iran’s leaders have made peace with the Kurdish rebels they had been fighting, letting the PKK focus its energy against Turkey.
This was not Ankara’s plan. When the Syrian uprising began in spring 2011, Turkish leaders initially encouraged Bashar Assad’s regime to reform. In August 2011, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spent six hours in Damascus asking Assad to stop killing civilians.
The Syrian tyrant not only disregarded Turkey’s pleas; he also sent tanks into Hama hours after Mr. Davutoglu left the capital. Thereafter, Ankara broke from Assad and began calling for his ouster. Turkey began providing safe haven to Syrian opposition groups, and media reports have even indicated that Ankara has been arming the Syrian rebels.
Enlarge Image
European Pressphoto Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Assad responded by letting the PKK operate in Syria after keeping a lid on the group for more than a decade. In 1998, Assad’s father had cracked down on the longtime presence of Kurdish militants in Syria, after Turkey threatened to invade if Syria continued to harbor the PKK. This spring, Assad allowed the PKK to move some 2,000 militants into Syria from their mountain enclave in northern Iraq. Assad, in effect, signaled to Ankara: “Help my enemy, and I will help yours.”
The Iranian regime has spoken in similar tones. In September 2011, immediately after Ankara started to confront the Assad regime, Tehran reconciled with the PKK’s Iranian franchise, the Party for Freedom and Life in Kurdistan. Tehran had been fighting its Kurdish rebels since 2003, as part of a strategy to take advantage of the rift between Turkey and the U.S. at the onset of the Iraq War. By helping Turkey defeat Kurdish militias, Iran had hoped to win Ankara’s favor at the expense of its own archenemy: Washington. But Iran flipped this posture last year, and by making peace Kurdish militants, it gave the PKK freedom to target Turkey.
The new stance on the PKK could not have worked so well against Turkey had the Syrian uprising not excited Kurds across the Middle East, including in Turkey. As Syrian rebels eroded the regime’s power in northern Syria this summer, Kurds started taking control of cities there, just across the border with Turkey.
Encouraged by this development, the PKK has tried to wrest control of Turkish towns, targeting especially vulnerable spots in the country’s rugged and isolated southernmost Hakkari province, which borders Iraq and Iran. Although the PKK has not yet secured any territory, the battle for Hakkari has caused hundreds of casualties over recent months.
Iran appears to be complicit in this new PKK assault, at least in part. Last month Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters that the government had “received information that [PKK] terrorists infiltrated from the Iranian side of the border” before launching a massive assault on the town of Semdinli in Hakkari. Tehran denies this.
Rejuvenated by its welcome in Syria and Iran, and also by Ankara’s stunted “Kurdish Opening”—an aborted effort in 2009 that had aimed to improve Kurds’ rights in Turkey—the PKK is now spreading tension beyond the Kurdish-majority areas of southeastern Turkey. On Aug. 20, the group killed nine people with a car bomb in Gaziantep, a prosperous and mixed Turkish-Kurdish city that had been spared from PKK violence. Once again, the Syrian-Iranian axis cast its shadow over the assault: Turkish officials alleged Syrian complicity in the Gaziantep attack, and when Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili met with Turkey’s prime minister in Istanbul on Sept. 18, he was also reportedly admonished.
Ankara’s Middle East policy rests on one basic premise: that anyone who supports the PKK is Turkey’s enemy. It follows that Ankara has a problem with Damascus until Assad falls, and a long-term problem with Tehran even after Assad falls.
Accordingly, these shifting stones in the Middle East are also bringing Ankara closer to its longtime ally the U.S. Turkey has agreed to host NATO’s missile-defense system, which aims to protect members of the Western alliance from Iranian and other nuclear threats.
After weeks of attacks and riots against their embassies elsewhere in the Middle East, Americans may well be wondering if the Arab Spring has had any positive consequences at all for the U.S. The severing of Turkish-Iranian ties, at least, can count as one.
Mr. Cagaptay is a Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
(image from Venitism – a pro Kurd blog)

fascinating. I was about to open my arms to the Kurds about two years ago when social media rumors were hinting that we should support them as atrocity victims. I’ve no doubt that they are indeed victims, but their recent allegiance to Iran and Syria isn’t exactly the type of response I’d of hoped for. The Kurds are an interesting third or fifth,,, or maybe sixth leg in mid-east politics. I’ve heard that they all aren’t Shia either. Some of the Kurds are also Sunni Islam… or maybe I was being lied to about that as well. It’s hard to know what to believe. Often times Westerners are told they are ignorant about mid-east political matters. That might be true… but usually because the sources we ask lie to us.


Erdogan: Turkey Would Strike PKK Fighters in Syria

July 27, 2012
Kurds protested April 6 in Qamishli against the Syrian government.
Most of the Kurds, however, have not joined the fighting.

I guess the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) is working with Assad… though it is hard to know. This could just be an attempt by Erdogan to tar the Kurds who he likes to kill.

(NYTmes) Mr. Assad has made major efforts to keep them out of the fray, aware that their support for the opposition could prove decisive. He has promised that hundreds of thousands of Kurds will be given citizenship, something the ruling Assad family has denied them for nearly half a century. The Kurds have other reasons for holding back: the opposition movement in Syria is made up in large part by the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab nationalists, two groups that have little sympathy for Kurdish rights, and the Kurds cling to their long-sought goal of a Kurdish state. A wild card in all this is the Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the P.K.K., a well-armed and well-trained militia that has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States. In Syria the group has allied itself with the Assad government, which could use it to stir up tensions along the Turkish border, should Mr. Assad see the need. In the past, Syria armed and protected the P.K.K. in its long campaign against Turkey, though that assistance cooled when relations between the countries began improving little more than a decade ago. The group has already threatened to turn all Kurdish areas in the region into a “war zone” if Turkey crosses the border to intervene in the Syrian crisis.

(Claire Berlinski) via (gatestoneinstitute.org) Speaking late last night on Turkey’s Kanal 24, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike at the PKK if it used Syrian territory to launch attacks on Turkish soil.

“In the north, it (President Bashar Assad’s regime) has allotted five provinces to the Kurds, to the terrorist organization,” Erdogan said on Turkish television late Wednesday, referring to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
He said the move was explicitly aimed against Turkey and warned that “there will undoubtedly be a response on our part to this attitude.”
Asked if Ankara would strike fleeing rebels after an attack on Turkish soil, Erdogan said: “That’s not even a matter of discussion, it is a given. That is the objective, that is what must be done.”
“That is what we have been doing and will continue to do in Iraq,” he said during a program aired on Kanal 24.
“If we occasionally launch arial strikes against terrorist areas it’s because these are measures taken because of defense needs.”
Turkey regularly bombs suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq.

Given that Syria has warned that it will use chemical weapons against any external threat–(“if such weapons exist,” Syrian Foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi later clarifed, which of course they do), I suppose we’d all best hope that Turkish columnist Mehmet Ali Birand is right and that Assad is just bluffing.
Me, I’m not so sure.


Turkey Seeks Simultaneous Drilling Halt

October 1, 2011
(Hudson-NY.ORG) Washington is closely monitoring the recent developments on the issue…

Redrawing the Sea: Erdogan says Israel will not be able to move in the eastern Mediterranean as it wishes.
…oh and don’t forget about those
Turkish warships that are being built domestically. oh joy! (Hurriyet)…in the mean time Turkey acts like it is being diplomatic with it’s other neighbors:

(AA.com) Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu on Saturday submitted a four-item proposal to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to resolve the spat with Greek Cyprus over drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.
The proposal starts with a bid for both sides to simultaneously suspend oil and gas exploration, a move that seemed to show Turkey’s reluctance to start drilling work in the Mediterranean.
In the first item of the new proposal submitted to Ban, Eroğlu made an offer to the Greek side to “suspend the oil and natural gas exploration simultaneously until a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem.”
If this is not going to happen, Eroğlu offered to “set up an ad-hoc committee shaped by representatives of both peoples” on the divided island.

Disgusting denial of the correlative. Turkey is on the gas pipeline and has no gas shortages like Europe does. It is not generous at all to meet this demand. Hindering exploration would raise the price of the resource… this would make Turkey profit. It sounds like as if they are making nice, but they are not. Erdogan’s ploy at diplomacy is hostile and manipulative.

“We shall give some authority to the committee, such as [authority over] explorations, agreements and licenses dependent on written approval of both sides, and we will negotiate the ratio of sharing the riches that will be found,” Eroğlu said.
Thirdly, the Turkish Cypriot leader proposed, “We shall use the income to finance the comprehensive talks,” adding that “the adoption of the plan shall not harm the positions of either side.”

He is playing as if he is generous and ready to negotiate terms… typical Islamic move of demanding conditions for negotiations.

Eroğlu said Ban was pleased with the proposal, in which he repeated Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier call for the two sides to simultaneously renounce the energy explorations. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey supported the new proposal that was presented to the UN chief.

We all know Ban’s bias already

“If the two parties renounce natural gas exploration, we will accept it,” Erdoğan told Ban late Thursday on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, asking the UN chief to intervene with the Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia and urge them to stop their offshore explorations.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said Sunday that required coordinates had been set and drilling for oil would soon begin in northern Cyprus. If the Greek Cypriot administration sees Turkish Cypriots as a minority on the island and carries out exploration work unilaterally, Turkish Cypriots can begin exploration in the north of the island, Özgürgün said.
Richard Stone, a leader of Jewish communities in the United States, meanwhile told the daily newspaper Kathimerini on Sunday that Turkey’s actions to prevent the gas and oil drilling efforts of Greek Cyprus and Israel in the East Mediterranean is “a reason for war.” He said.

Meanwhile Ankara Prepares to Penalize Syria to look good for the international community and sadly the United States. Keep in mind that Assad isn’t even a Muslim

(Hurriyet)”If you’re going to act against fundamental rights and liberties, and the law, you will lose your position in my heart as my brother and my friend,” Erdoğan said, referring to al-Assad. “I was very patient. Patience, patience, patience. And then I cracked.”

It is amusing to think anyone would cooperate with Erdogan based on such dishonest intentions.

(Zaman) Opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leader Devlet Bahçeli has accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of working for the security of other countries while his country has been suffering from terrorist attacks.

Yikes, U.S., Turkey Agree on Delivery Schedule of Predators

(Zaman) “These [Predators] are UAVs with better qualities and features than the Herons,” Yılmaz said, adding that the Turkish-made Anka would also be ready for the TSK around the same time as an alternative to Israeli-made Herons.Turkey was disappointed by Israel’s failure to return six Herons it had sent to the country for maintenance, as it relies heavily on spy aircraft for surveillance missions that gather data on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, across the country’s borders in the Southeast…. Meanwhile, the domestically made Anka, named after the legendary flying creature of Persian mythology, was brought out of the hangar for the first time in July 2010 and is expected to provide Turkey with a crucial advantage in its fight against the PKK. The Anka is capable of disrupting the electronic ware of enemy aircraft and has made Turkey the third country in the world, after the U.S. and Israel, to engineer UAVs.

This one is hysterically funny! Turkey’s economic lie …Erdogan Says Turkey is a Role Model in Region?

Turkey’s economic lie

Turkey no economic powerhouse, Erdogan’s credit bubble will soon explode

(AA.com) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey is a role model in its region and has become a country whose friendship and cooperation is asked for in the whole world. Attending a brunch meeting of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency in New York on Saturday, Erdoğan said that a country needed some qualities to draw investment and make commercial relations with another country, listing the qualities as a democratic milieu, stable economy, strong political state, dynamic real sector, big domestic market and export potential. Stressing the importance of stability and confidence, Erdoğan said that Turkey had these qualities. Turkey gives confidence to investors in the world with its economy, public financing and banking sector, Erdoğan said, adding that Turkish economy grew nine percent in 2010, 11.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, and 8.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011. He said that Turkey became one of the fastest growing two economies together with China in the first half of the year. Noting that Turkey became an attraction center for investors, Erdoğan said that private sector investments, which were only 43 billion Turkish Lira, or TL, in 2002, rose to 164 billion TL in 2010. Erdogan noted that Turkey created 1.5 million new employment opportunities in June 2011 when compared to June 2010. He added that Turkey’s success was not related with conjuncture, noting that it was related with economy management, real sector and the potential of the country. He said that Turkey’s export increased from $36 billion in 2002 to $130 billion in 2010, adding that Turkey had free trade agreements with 20 countries, and opened to Middle East, Africa and South Africa countries to make export. Erdogan said that trade volume between Turkey and the United States was $16 billion in 2010.

Turkey’s economic lieTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Says Turkey Appreciated in IMF Meetings?

(Anadoluajansi) “This is the first time in nine years that I have seen such a high-level political will in the United States, aiming to make business with Turkey,” Babacan said.

Turkish Opposition Says No to ‘Israel Shield’ aka that NATO thing Obama wanted so bad …doesn’t sound like the West likes them or vise versa as much as Erdogan’s propaganda claims.

(Hurriyet) The Turkish government is doing nothing but ensuring Israel’s safety by allowing the establishment of a NATO radar base in Turkey, Republican and People’s Party, or CHP, leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Israel contemplates playing hardball with Turkey

September 9, 2011

For an entire week since the Palmer report mostly exonerating Israel for the Mavi Marmara incident was released, Turkey has been increasing its rhetoric and actions against Israel – and the only official Israeli response has been to express hope that relations between the two countries can improve. That may be about to change.

(YNet) Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has decided to adopt a series of harsh measures in response to Turkey’s latest anti-Israeli moves, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials convened Thursday to prepare for a meeting to be held Saturday with Lieberman on the matter. Saturday’s session will be dedicated to discussing Israel’s response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent threats and his decision to downgrade Ankara’s diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.

Following Thursday’s meeting, officials assessed that Turkey is not interested in an Israeli apology at this time and prefers to exploit the dispute with Jerusalem in order to promote Ankara’s status in the Muslim world. Lieberman therefore decided there was no point in seeking creative formulas for apologizing, instead choosing to focus Israel’s efforts on punishing Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry has now decided to proceed with the formulation of a diplomatic and security “toolbox” to be used against the Turks. The first move would be to issue a travel warning urging all Israeli military veterans to refrain from traveling to Turkey. The advisory will be especially harsh as it will also urge Israelis to refrain from boarding connections in Turkey.

Another planned Israeli move is the facilitation of cooperation with Turkey’s historic rivals, the Armenians. During Lieberman’s visit to the United States this month, the foreign minister is expected to meet with leaders of the Armenian lobby and propose anti-Turkish cooperation in Congress.

The implication of this move could be Israeli assistance in promoting international recognition of the Armenian holocaust, a measure that would gravely harm Turkey. Israel may also back Armenia in its dispute vis-à-vis Turkey over control of Mount Ararat.

Lieberman is also planning to set meetings with the heads of Kurdish rebel group PKK in Europe in order to “cooperate with them and boost them in every possible area.” In these meetings, the Kurds may ask Israel for military aid in the form of training and arms supplies, a move that would constitute a major anti-Turkish position should it materialize.

However, the violent clashes between Turkey and the Kurds only constitute one reason prompting accusations that Ankara is violating human rights. Hence, another means in Lieberman’s “toolbox” vis-à-vis Erdogan is a diplomatic campaign where Israeli missions worldwide will be instructed to join the fight and report illegal Turkish moves against minorities.

The tough response formulated by Lieberman stems, among other things, from the foreign minister’s desire to make it clear to Erdogan that his anti-Israeli moves are not a “one-way street.”

EOZ says:The current Turkish leadership is not the type to back down in face of actions like these, so there is a danger of a macho cycle of escalation that cannot be easily repaired.

EOZ has gone to Ariel Sharon land! Turkey needs to experience a little thorn before they take anyone seriously.


Turkey Strikes PKK

August 19, 2011
[PKK Flag]
PKK Flag
[PKK old Flag]

Turkish jets and artillery pounded targets in northern Iraq overnight Wednesday amid an escalation in violence that could dash hopes of a resolution to the conflict between the Turkish state and the country’s Kurdish minority.
The Turkish general staff said the airstrikes hit 60 targets in the Kandil and Zap regions of Iraq, where officials in Ankara say Kurdish rebels have established a haven.

Turkey’s military on Thursday confirmed that its warplanes struck Kurdish rebel targets during cross-border raids into northern Iraq, and vowed to continue operations until the guerrilla group is “rendered ineffective.”

A military statement said fighter jets hit 60 suspected rebel targets across the mountainous region near the border with Turkey late Wednesday, as well as targets on Mt. Qandil along the Iraq-Iran border, where the leadership of the outlawed rebel group Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, is believed to be hiding.

How about an air flotilla for the Kurds? yeah…OK… so they are Commies. No one is perfect!

Shocking Images of Dead Kurdish Fighters:

August 12, 2010

Turkey Accused of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK – Turkish Logic: a Blockade against rocket attacks is wrong, Chemical Weapon are fine as long as it is a Muslim that does it and the Muslim used Taqiyya afterwords

Turkish soldiers on patrol in a Kurdish area of southeastern Turkey: Did the Turkish military use chemical weapons against the PKK?

Turkish soldiers on patrol in a Kurdish area of southeastern Turkey:

German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that purport to show PKK fighters killed by chemical weapons. The evidence puts increasing pressure on the Turkish government, which has long been suspected of using such weapons against Kurdish rebels. German politicians are demanding an investigation.
It would be difficult to exceed the horror shown in the photos, which feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts. The victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings. Turkish-Kurdish human rights activists believe the people in the photos are eight members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) underground movement, who are thought to have been killed in September 2009.

In March, the activists gave the photos to a German human rights delegation comprised of Turkey experts, journalists and politicians from the far-left Left Party, as SPIEGEL reported at the end of July. Now Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, and a forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the initial suspicion, saying that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died “due to the use of chemical substances.”

Did the Turkish army in fact use chemical weapons and, by doing so, violate the Chemical Weapons Convention it had ratified?

Repeated ‘Mysterious Incidents’

German politicians and human rights experts are now demanding an investigation into the incident. “The latest findings are so spectacular that the Turkish side urgently needs to explain things,” said Claudia Roth, the co-chair of Germany’s Green Party. “It is impossible to understand why an autopsy of the PKK fighters was ordered but the results kept under seal.”

The politician said there had been repeated “mysterious incidents of this type that are crying out for an independent investigation.” Roth demanded that Turkey issue an official statement on the possible use of chemical weapons “in order to nullify further allegations.”
Ruprecht Polenz, a member of the German parliament with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the chairman of the Bundestag’s Foreign Relations Committee, sees it the same way. “Turkey needs to urgently look into these accusations,” he told SPIEGEL ONLINE, adding that an international investigation would be the best approach.

Turkey has been suspected of using chemical weapons for years, points out Gisela Penteker, a Turkey expert with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. “Local people have said that again and again,” she explained. Finding proof is difficult, however, she said, because bodies were often released so late that it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy.

‘PKK Propaganda’

 In Turkey, human rights advocates have long demanded an investigation. The army, however, has refused to comment on the issue. Similarly, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been stubbornly silent or tried to portray the accusations of war crimes as “PKK propaganda.

“The prime minister is not interested in human rights violations,” says Akin Birdal, a member of the Turkish parliament whose pro-Kurdish BDP opposition party has repeatedly questioned in parliament if Erdogan’s war in the southeast of the country is really being conducted legally. In Birdal’s view, the only thing that matters to Erdogan is that the army eradicates the PKK problem once and for all “by any means necessary.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has rejected the accusations, according to the Berlin daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung, which reported on the case Thursday. Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its armed forces do not possess any biological or chemical weapons, the ministry reportedly said.
The newspaper also reports that it has obtained additional, shocking pictures in the meantime, supposedly autopsy photographs of six other killed Kurds. These images, too, have now been submitted to the Hamburg-based experts.


Turkey’s Religious Leader Gülen and his Opposition to the Flotilla

June 23, 2010

Gülen said that if Turkey wanted to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Turkish government should have coordinated this with the Israeli authorities, because “one must not go against authority.”
What does this mean? Although both Gülen and the current Turkish Islamist government agree on many Islamic subjects, they disagree on very basic issues:
President Gül, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, and to some extent Prime Minister Erdoğan, have views very similar to those of the Arab-Oriented Muslim Brotherhood; so it is therefore not surprising that many Arabs, as a result of the Flotilla crisis, are now looking toward Turkey as their leader. Strange as this may seem, they see Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Flotilla Incident as standing up for the Arabs as no other Arab leader has done. (For more Arab reactions to the Flotilla Crisis, See, http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4383.htm).
Gülen, on the other hand, is Turkish and Turkic-Oriented. Gülen has huge amounts of funds at his disposal; he finances schools throughout the Turkic lands of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as Europe and the U.S.. These schools teach a “Turkish/Turkic-oriented Islam,” which has little concern for the Arab world. It is therefore obvious why so many ultra-nationalist Turks — some of whom want a union of all Turks from Northwestern China to the Adriatic Sea — support Gülen. These Turks have little interest in the Arabs; they see the Flotilla crisis as actually hurting the interests of the Turks.

There are many forces in play in Turkey that could undermine the Arabist government as of late.

The Reaction of the Turkish Military

Early last week, there was an attack on a Turkish naval installation in the port of Iskenderun on Turkey’s southern coast. Erdoğan blamed this attack on the PKK (a Kurdish terrorist organization), and insinuated that Israel was behind this attack. The military launched an investigation of the attack, and issued a statement on Friday, June 20, that there had been no foreign involvement whatever in that incident.
What happened here, and what does this tell us about the flotilla crisis and internal Turkish politics?
Until this announcement, the Turkish military had been notably silent about the flotilla incident. The reason for the silence was that they knew the government was looking for a scapegoat to blame for the negative fallout from the flotilla crisis — and that the military would be the obvious group to blame.
The public, however, interpreted the military’s silence as disapproval of the government’s having created the crisis.
By issuing the statement that there had been no foreign involvement, the military showed it felt confident that the Turkish public was holding Erdoğan, Davutoğlu, and their cronies responsible for the flotilla blunder: The military was indirectly accusing the government of lying to the people about the facts.
The military reaction is just one more indication that the Turkish public feels that its governmental leaders are heading Turkey down a dangerous path. Further, given Turkish culture, it is also highly unlikely that the military would have issued such a statement if it thought that the government had the support of the people.