The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/14/2018. And so by mid-2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved virtually everything he sat out to achieve when he first came to power in 2003. Turkey is now in everything but the name an Islamist dictatorship with Erdogan as the unchallenged leader. Yet, instead of feeling supremely confident, Erdogan and his clique are beset by ineluctable problems and foreboding of disaster down the road. In many ways, this was inevitable and stems from the very nature of the radical transformation of an imperfect democracy into an oppressive tyranny. Disaster for Turkey may not be around the bend, it was thought, but it was inevitable sooner rather than later. The collapse of the Turkish lira last Friday may have signaled that ‘sooner’ is now. To
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The creation of Freemasonry lodges and Supreme Councils in our country is becoming business and politics The Russian hybrid war in Bulgaria has a new important target – the unity of Bulgarian Freemasonry. After breaking this unity, the next step would be their subsequent subordination to Kremlin interests and the resulting domination of Russian Masons in the Balkans. The first considerable breakthrough is already a fact – on May 5th this year a constituent assembly for the installation of a new Second Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was held in Plovdiv. It elected as Grand Commander a very controversial person – Ivan Sariev, who until a year ago was the Grand Master of the local Masons. Just a few weeks later, on
On the deceitful political reality. The nationalists, a.k.a. patriots, pursue a “double bottom” policy line at a critical junction for national security. There is no shortage of fighters for Islam. The nominal choice is between siding with the Turkish ethnic party, DPS, or joining the Erdogan loyalists?! The narrative goes that it is fine for the leader of GERB to befriend the Turkish president, while the ethnic Turks and their parties in Bulgaria are a liability when it comes to national security and opposing him?! One of the cornerstones of the ruling coalition before coming to power was the commitment to shut down the channels of influence of Erdogan’s regime through the funding of institutions of Islam in Bulgaria. The results of the last presidential vote
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 06/26/2018. By far the most interesting thing about yesterday’s Turkish elections were the endless speculations by pundits left and right about what would happen if Erdogan were to lose. These clueless if numerous pontificators forgot to ask themselves a simple question: when was the last time an Islamist dictator in full control of state power lost an election? Mindless as they are, these idle meditations have little to tell us about Turkey, but a lot of the West’s (and Europe’s especially) failure or unwillingness to understand what Erdogan is and was all about. For NATO and the West, the inevitable harsh payment due is just around the corner. In the meantime, Turkey has a new sultan that can and will do whatever
The Russian government can do little to undermine the competitiveness of alternative supplies along the Southern Gas Corridor. Moreover, the suppliers’ list is rapidly expanding with new gas fields in the Azeri offshore of the Caspian (Absheron and Shah Deniz 3), Turkmenistan (swaps already under way via Iran with Azerbaijan), Iran, Northern Iraq and the Eastern Mediterranean. All this clearly alludes to the feasibility of alternative gas exports via Greece and Bulgaria to the rest of the EU. Gazprom’s nightmares are just starting to mature as soaring production and transportation costs within Russia do not leave much room for further cost-cutting. Militarizing the Caspian Sea To block the development and export of Caspian gas, including via the Trans-Caspian pipeline, Moscow decided to relocate its flotilla from Astrakhan
Shortly after President Aliev inaugurated the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor and announced the opening of the TANAP pipeline on June 12th, Russia beefed up its wartime machine to block competition to its gas supplies in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. The timing of the agreement between the Turkish government and Gazprom on the onshore segment of Turkish Stream matched to the day the news from Azerbaijan. Ostensibly, this a legitimate defense of Gazprom’s market shares, having already lost substantial chunks in the diversified market of Turkey and Greece – where it accounts for 50-60% of the gas imports. When the periscope moves on to Bulgaria – the bounty is a complete and seemingly durable monopoly. Yet, even in this small market, the Russian state company has