segunda-feira, 18 de julho de 2016

The reaction of the Eurasian movement to the military coup in Turkey

(Part of the population took to the streets against military coup: President Erdogan´s call seems to have taken effect.) 

As soon began the military coup in Turkey on July 15th, the think thank site Katehon, based on Eurasian thought and dedicated to political, geoestrategic and global geopolitical analysis, released some commentaries on the event.

The Katehon´s president is Konstantin Malofeev, oligarch described as the "Putin´s Soros" because his support to Kremlin´s projects. Maloffev is also in the UE and Canada sanction lists on charges of financing the conflict in Ukraine. The leading Katehon developer is Alexander Dugin, founder and ideologist of International Eurasian Movement.

I won´t make analysis here about the coup d´etat, but what Eurasianists thinks on it. It´s important to understand a little what they have to say given the influence on Russia´s political, economic and military elite.

According to the Katehon´s commentators, the main responsable for the military coup in Turkey would be the US. At first the site highlighted the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan´s accusation that who was behind the coup was a former allied, Fethullah Gülen. Gülen is intelectual and leader of an islamic religious group, and lives self-exiled in Penssylvania, US. For Katehon, he would be collaborating with American intelligence services, and the "Washington´s hand" would be the real political force behind the coup. The reason of this supposed American support would be in geopolitical reoriantation of Turkey, which in recent years has approached to Russia and announced, by it´s new Prime Minister on the coup´s eve, the reestablishment of relations with Syria. It would result in "collpase" of the US strategy in the region, which would have triggered it´s military contacts network in Turkey to initiate the action against Erdogan´s government.

(Fethullah Gülen: Erdogan´s ally in the past and accused of being behind the military coup in Turkey. He is accused by the President and the Eurasianist.)

When it became clear that military coup had failed, the site published text "Another US bloody mistake", in allusion to the American interference in other countries in the past. The commentary accused the putschist officers of "completely belong to the CIA-US based Gulen´s organization" (which calls "sect") and went straight to say that "this was a pro-American coup d´états organized by Gulen´s officers against the army, the government and the people". In addition there is no support of senior military officers, the people in the streets, conclamed by the President on TV, would be a demonstration that the coup didn´t have popular or state support. "This was only another faliure on the USA", the text says, which highlighted, once again, that Americans were disgusted with Turkey´s geopolitical reapprochment with it´s neighbours.

In another text the think thank comments on future geopolitical possibilities of Turkey. It says that from now on the country should be "distinctly Eurasian" with the resuption of it´s alliances regional policy with neighbors like Russia and Syria, the removal of a weakened pos-Brexit European Union and the thigthening of laws against coups in the future (which, according to the author, still come under US encouragement).

This Katehon´s approach isn´t surprising. Since 90´s of 20th century the Eurasian movement had created ties with politicians and intellectuals and published magazines and academic journals in Turkey. Dugin is the principal agent in the formation of these ties visiting the country several times. According Laruelle, the Eurasian thought approaches the old pan-Turkism, which in it´s origin sought the unification of the Turkic peoples in the same state. But the ideology was driven out of power even in 1923 by Ataturk´s nationalist government, and in the post-Cold War period was discredited by it´s association to far-right nationalist groups and lack of receptivity in Central Asian coutries. Thus, Eurasianism gives Turkey a new geopolitical vision and a less ideological approach in the country´s integration strategy in Eurasia. The Ankara´s approchment with Central Asian countries, whose peoples speak lenguages of Turkish origin, takes on a more "pragmatic" and "politically correct" tone instead the national and ideologized pan-Turkism bias.

(Russia and Turkey: for the Eurasian Movement and it´s intellectuals, people historically close that must establish an alliance in Eurasia against American unipolarity.)

According the researcher, since 2000´s Russia and Turkey have approached politically, economically and diplomatically with Russians trying to establish a strategic alliance formed by the two countries more Syria and Iran. The question is how this approach will be successful. Laruelle says:

"...the Russo-Turkish rapprochement, if pursued, is certain to change the basic situation in an important way: It will affect the very framework of relations of Moscow and of Ankara toward the European Union and NATO, as well as toward the Caucasus, where both countries might well seek to implement a logic of alliance and not one of competition." 

The failed coup d´état in Turkey left at least 165 dead, 1140 injuried and nearly 3000 were arrested. Another sources speak of up to 265 dead and over 1600 injuried.

According to Russian state new agency Sputnik, the Turkish Labor Minister, Süleyman Soylu, accused US of being behind the coup. True or not, it´s the same version of Katehon´s. Turkey asked for the extradition of Gülen, who, as expected, denied involvement in the coup. The question is how much this is true, or if the version of the events given by the official Russian press and Katehon are a new move of Kremlin and it´s allies given the commitment of it´s members to the Russian establishment.

* published in Portuguese on July 16th 2016.

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