Turkey’s foreign minister: ‘We are opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared a terrorist organization’


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/04/turkeys-foreign-minister-we-are-opposed-to-the-muslim-brotherhood-being-declared-a-terrorist-organization;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey has for quite some time been in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. It even welcomed Brotherhood leaders who had been forced to leave Qatar after heavy pressure from Gulf countries. But that was almost seven years ago. In February of last year, an Egyptian human rights group openly accused Qatar and Turkey of funding the Muslim Brotherhood group that had been designated as terrorist by the Egyptian government. By October, the leading British think tank, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, concluded that Qatar and Turkey were bankrolling Muslim Brotherhood networks and organizations all across Europe, including the Muslim Council of Britain.

In 2019, a shocking declaration was made by Turkey’s ruling AK Party. It threatened “that if the United States designated the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, it would hamper democratization efforts in the Middle East and serve militant groups like Islamic State.”

“Turkey Says It Still Opposes Egypt Labeling Muslim Brotherhood ‘Terrorists,'” Reuters, April 20, 2021:

ANKARA (Reuters) -Turkey remains opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared “terrorists” by Egypt despite a recent push to repair strained ties between the two countries, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

He said Turkey viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as a political movement.

Last month, Turkey said it had resumed diplomatic contacts with Egypt, eight years after ties crumbled over the Egyptian army toppling a Muslim Brotherhood president close to Ankara in 2013.

Asked about Turkey’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview with broadcaster Haberturk, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s international ties were not based on parties or individuals, and that Ankara’s issue with Cairo stemmed from what it views as a “coup”.

“We were against the coup in Egypt, not because it was the Muslim Brotherhood. If (Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al) Sisi was in office that day and somebody else had carried out a coup, we would shown the same principled stance,” Cavusoglu said.

“Our ties are not tied to one person or party. But, we are opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared a terrorist organisation. It is a political movement that is trying to come to power through election,” he said.

A thaw in ties between the regional powerhouses could have repercussions around the Mediterranean. They have backed rival sides in the war in Libya and sealed conflicting maritime deals with other coastal states. But, Turkey has said a new period in Turkey-Egypt ties had begun and Cavusoglu on Thursday said Ankara did not see “Libya as an area of competition” with Egypt.

In the first concrete sign of a thaw, Ankara last month asked Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in Turkey to moderate their criticism of Egypt. Cavusoglu on Thursday said Turkey had made a similar request from other such foreign channels as well, and it was not specific to Egypt…..

Erdogan targeted German and US intelligence investigating Turkish jihadists in Afghanistan, Pakistan



SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/04/erdogan-targeted-german-and-us-intelligence-investigating-turkish-jihadists-in-afghanistan-pakistan;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey didn’t simply refuse to cooperate with U.S. and German authorities in their intelligence gathering on Turkish jihadists who were recruited to the Islamic Jihad Union, a Turkish group operating in Europe, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went on an aggressive campaign to target the investigators, signifying that he supported the Turkish jihadists and claiming that U.S. and German authorities were getting in the way.

Considering that Turkey is a member of NATO, its actions are particularly a matter of concern.

One example of the jihadist activity in Turkey:

The investigation revealed how Mullah Muhammed had asked his followers to build bombs and mortars in their homes, urged the decapitation of Americans, claiming that the religion allowed such practices. “I’m telling you to take up your guns and kill them,” he said in recorded sermons, adding, “If the sword is not used, then this is not Islam.” According to Mullah, all Muslims were obligated to respond to then-al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s armed fight.

This was Turkey’s reaction to Muhammad being investigated:

An article tried to portray Mullah Muhammed as a victim. The government claimed that Mullah Muhammed was framed by the Gülen movement, a group that is highly critical of Erdoğan on a range of issues from corruption to Turkey’s arming of jihadist groups in Syria and Libya.

Turkey was also influential in fueling the rise of the Islamic State, so its protection of those engaging in jihad terror activity within its borders is consistent. A report late last month indicated that Turkey protected a “Turkish al-Qaeda group that sent fighters, money” to a “jihadist campaign in Afghanistan, Pakistan.”

Jihad, throughout history, is the foremost tool of Islamic conquest. Turkey's support for violent jihad is consistent with this history.

Erdogan’s hatred for the West, his unceasing propaganda, and his ambitions for a revived Ottoman Empire make Turkey a foremost threat to Western interests. Turkey does not belong in NATO.

“Erdoğan gov’t trashed German and US intelligence on Turkish jihadists in Afghanistan, Pakistan,” by Abdullah Bozkurt, Nordic Monitor, April 7, 2021:

As part of a vindictive campaign to punish investigators who played a crucial role in cracking down on radical groups in Turkey, the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted police chiefs who had acted on US and German intelligence on Turkish jihadists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The intelligence that was shared with Turkey back in 2009 concerned Turkish militants who were recruited to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) from Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in Europe. The IJU emerged in North Waziristan in northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan, and was affiliated with both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It was a splinter group from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IBU) and attracted many Turkish jihadists including some in the diaspora communities in Europe.

According to secret government documents, the Erdoğan government identified all police chiefs and officers whose signatures appeared on papers that ordered the monitoring and investigating of IJU cells that had connections to European countries, especially Germany. Ahmet Manavbaşı (aka Selahattin al Turki), a Turkish national who was a key propagandist for the IJU, and his network in Turkey were the subject of a criminal investigation as police scrambled to decode its network, identify operatives and discover methods used by the IJU in Turkey.

The orders, in line with Turkish law and the criminal code, were presented as criminal evidence against the police chiefs by the government in a bizarre and twisted move.

The first document submitted against the police chiefs was dated April 10, 2010 and indicated that the Istanbul counterterrorism department received intelligence on December 12, 2019 from Turkish intelligence agency MIT, coded as “Institution IV.” The intelligence, passed from the German and US intelligence services, stated that “financial and in-kind fundraising activities are organized by individuals belonging to radical religious organizations operating in the tribal regions of Pakistan in order to finance military articles and basic living supplies needed in the Afghanistan/Pakistan field.”

The police, under orders from the prosecutor’s office, launched a criminal investigation to uncover the network and looked into phone numbers, emails and names mentioned in the intelligence, which was apparently picked up from the notebook of Manavbaşı, who was killed in Pakistan. More than 30 phone numbers were found on Manavbaşı’s contact list, and they were transmitted Turkey for investigation.

The investigation revealed dozens of Turkish jihadists, many already known to Turkish authorities. One identified person was Mahsum Yeşilırmak from Muş province who was operating in connection with the now-defunct jihadist website www.diriliszamani.com. The site openly promoted armed jihad and functioned as a meeting and communications forum for Turkish jihadists. Banners advertising the Afghanistan Islamic Emirate and reports from jihadist regions were posted on the site.

There was an interesting figure on the list. Retired professional football player Candan Sayın (aka Ebu Seyfullah or Hamza), who was in contact with Manavbaşı, was listed in Manavbaşı’s notebook. Police put Sayın and his brother Sinan under surveillance and monitored their movements and communications. Sayın was detained at the airport on April 8, 2010 as he was about to get on a flight to Tehran and from there to Afghanistan. His brother was also detained at his home in Istanbul.

In the police interrogation, Sayın admitted that he wanted to go to Afghanistan for armed jihad, denied the charges of terrorism and said Islam obligated him to join the jihad. He added that he would try again when he was released from detention. He also admitted to his communications with Manavbaşı, whom he knew by his code name, Selahattin el-Turki, who had referred him to a man named Özek Azzam (assumed name). He tried several times to go to Afghanistan with the help of Azzam but failed before his detention at the airport.

The jihadist web site http://www.sehadetzamani.com/ and http://www.takva.com, now both defunct, helped Sayın radicalize with jihadist videos and news from around the world.

The people who were identified by Turkish police based on the phone numbers listed in the notebook were Ertuğrul Gazi Türker, Zekeriya Çiftçi, Muhammed Şerbetçi, Bekir Gültekin, Emin Aydemir, Soner Kazan, lbrahim Kayagil, Hakkı Yıldız, Kemal Durakoglugil, Bülent Sönmez (aka Bekir), Yakup Erdal, Mustafa Ürkmez, Bulut Güç and Mehmet Aydoğdu.

Police also found their associates and added their names to the report: Levent Ureyil, Amkhad Umaroc (aka Vaha), Osman Akyıldız, Serkan Öztürk, Sultan Çakar, İsmail Duru (he was already in the jihadist regions of Afghanistan/Pakistan), Talip Tekin, Mücahid Kemal Elverdi, Furkan İlbar, Haydar Kaya, Özcan Savucu, Emrah İçigen, Mehmet Toprak and Abdulhamit Doğrusözlü.

Another Turkish jihadist website sehadetzamani.com, now defunct, promoted jihadist ideology in Turkey.
While the German and US intelligence services informed Turkey about the Turkish jihadists, the police in Turkey and prosecutors were already investigating some of the names on the list as part of a separate investigation into an al-Qaeda-linked group known as Tahşiyeciler in Turkish. The group, also referred as Molla Muhammetçiler, was a radical jihadist group led by Mehmet Doğan (aka Mullah Muhammed el-Kesri), who openly declared his admiration for Osama bin Laden and called for armed jihad in Turkey.

Yeşilırmak, whose name was passed by Turkey’s allies under an intelligence sharing scheme, was also among the members of Tahşiyeciler, which was raising funds and sending jihadists to Afghanistan and Pakistan as well. Some of the cells run by Tahşiyeciler were also active in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries. Many members of the group were rounded up by the police in 2010, indicted by the prosecutor on terrorism charges and tried in court.

The investigation revealed how Mullah Muhammed had asked his followers to build bombs and mortars in their homes, urged the decapitation of Americans, claiming that the religion allowed such practices. “I’m telling you to take up your guns and kill them,” he said in recorded sermons, adding, “If the sword is not used, then this is not Islam.” According to Mullah, all Muslims were obligated to respond to then-al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s armed fight….

The government also went after journalists who criticized the Tahşiyeciler group and even hired a lawyer to file a civil suit in the US against Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has been an outspoken critic of radical and jihadist groups, for defaming this fanatic. The case was dismissed by a US judge…..


Turkey accused of ‘dismantling human rights protections’ on an ‘unprecedented’ scale



SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/03/turkey-accused-of-dismantling-human-rights-protections-on-an-unprecedented-scale;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

In a forceful rebuke, Human Rights Watch has accused rapidly re-Islamizing Turkey of “dismantling human rights protections” on an “unprecedented scale.” Historically (and currently), the more Islamized a country gets, the more it tends to violate human rights. That’s because it adheres to the Sharia on issues such as the death penalty for apostates and homosexuals, the inferiority and of women and the requirement that she not venture out in public unless everything except her face and hands (and in some regions everything except for her eyes) is covered, the expansion of the domains of an Islamic caliphate via jihad (1,400 years of it), the persecution and subjugation of religious minorities who are deemed to be inferior, etc. The evidence is global and historic, contrary to Islamic supremacist deceit and despite denial by Leftists — and worse than denial: the Washington Post actually hailed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”

The rebuke by Human Rights Watch “followed Turkey’s chief prosecutor announcing plans to shut down the opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for acting ‘against the indivisible integrity of the state with its country and nation,’ which came amid a series of arrests of party members in cities nationwide.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also withdrew Turkey last week “from the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.”

In response, on March 20, thousands of women protested in cities across Turkey, declaring that the women’s movement in Turkey will continue the struggle and demand government action to combat the entrenched problem of domestic violence and femicide

HRW is accusing Erdogan of “weaponizing” the Council of Europe treaty, which is popularly known as the Istanbul Convention, to “appeal to his religiously conservative base.” But even more than accountability to his base, Erdogan remains true to his own convictions as an Islamic supremacist despot with visions of a revived Ottoman Empire.

“Turkey: Erdoğan’s Onslaught on Rights and Democracy,” Human Rights Watch, March 24, 2021:

(Istanbul) – The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms in Turkey on a scale unprecedented in the 18 years he has been in office, said Human Rights Watch today. The government took further dangerous measures over the past week to undermine the rule of law and target perceived critics and political opponents.

On March 19, 2021, the president issued a decree suddenly withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, a groundbreaking treaty strongly supported by the women’s rights movement in Turkey. The move came two days after the chief prosecutor of Turkey’s top court of appeal announced that he was opening a case to close down the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), only hours after the Erdoğan-controlled parliament improperly expelled an HDP deputy.

“President Erdoğan is targeting any institution or part of society that stands in the way of his wide-ranging effort to reshape Turkey’s society,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The latest developments against parliamentary opposition, the Kurds, and women are all about ensuring the president’s hold on power in violation of human rights and democratic safeguards.”

President Erdoğan’s dramatic move to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention with an overnight presidential decree is part of efforts to shore up support from religious conservative circles outside his party and shows his readiness to use the convention as a pretext to promote a highly divisive and homophobic political discourse. That discourse disingenuously claims women’s rights undermine so-called family values and promotes a hateful and discriminatory view of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

The president’s communications chief on March 21 issued a written statement defending the decision to withdraw Turkey from the treaty, saying that it was “hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality – which is incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values.” The claim stems from the convention’s language prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Women’s groups across Turkey have been staunch supporters of the convention as it legally obligates governments to take effective steps to prevent violence against women, protect survivors, and punish abusers.

Given the hundreds of murders of women by partners and former partners in Turkey each year, Erdoğan’s move to withdraw from and weaponize the treaty for political ends and to ignore the treaty’s desperately needed protections for women is shocking, Human Rights Watch said.

“The decision to withdraw is a profoundly backward step in the struggle to protect women’s rights in Turkey and a major blow for all women across the political spectrum,” Roth said.

In response, on March 20, thousands of women protested in cities across Turkey, declaring that the women’s movement in Turkey will continue the struggle and demand government action to combat the entrenched problem of domestic violence and femicide….

Greece boosts armed forces amid rising Turkish aggression



SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/03/greece-boosts-armed-forces-amid-rising-turkish-aggression;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey’s ongoing provocation toward Greece has warranted Greece to “introduce an increase in military service for conscripts serving in the army from nine to 12 months, starting in May, as part of a program to boost the armed forces amid tension with regional rival Turkey.” Greece has also been building up its military with new arms amid threats of war from Turkey, an expansionist country committed to jihad, with its sights set beyond just the immediate region. Turkey is aiming for a revived Ottoman Empire.

“Greece to increase army service amid tension with Turkey,” Associated Press, March 7, 2021:

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece will introduce an increase in military service for conscripts serving in the army from nine to 12 months, starting in May, as part of a program to boost the armed forces amid tension with regional rival Turkey.

The decision made public Friday will bring army service in line with the length of conscription to the navy and air force.

The nine-month term will only remain for army conscripts who volunteer to join special forces services or serve in border areas for their entire term in uniform.

Greece last year began a major military modernization program that will include the upgrade of its ageing [sic] F-16 fighter jet fleet as well as the purchase of new-generation, French-built Rafale jets and a planned frigate order that has drawn keen interest from competing U.S. and European arms makers….


SEE ALSO: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/03/turkey-muslim-men-killed-at-least-33-women-in-february-assaulted-57-others

The Biden Effect: Turkey holds massive military exercise in Aegean, increases presence in Africa


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/02/the-biden-effect-turkey-holds-massive-military-exercise-in-aegean-increases-presence-in-africa;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Jihadis and Islamic supremacists see the world in terms of strength and weakness. If you project an image of weakness and appeasement on the world stage, they will be emboldened.

“‘Turkey continues to increase its presence in Africa,'” by Burak Bir, Anadolu Agency, February 22, 2021:

Given the rise in the number of Ankara’s diplomatic missions across Africa, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Monday his country’s presence in the continent continues to increase.

“The African continent with its 33 Least Developed Countries [LDCs] is in need of solid leadership and support from its developed partners for economic growth, social progress, woman and youth empowerment,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Speaking at the Africa Regional Review Meeting for the 5th UN Conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), the Turkish foreign minister said there is still much to be done for helping the least developed countries especially at a time when the world is facing additional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A decade ago with the Istanbul Programme of Action, we put forward an ambitious vision for LDCs. Since then, the LDCs have achieved progress in bringing the people out of poverty. However, only three countries have graduated from the LDCs category in the last decade,” he said.

The foreign minister added that Turkey, as the co-chair of the Group of Friends of the LDCs, will continue to do its best to help them reach their objectives on economic growth, social progress, woman and youth empowerment….

“Turkey Announces Massive Military Exercise in the Aegean,” by Tasos Kokkinidis, Greek Reporter, February 22, 2021:

Turkey announced on Monday that it will conduct large-scale naval exercises in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea between February 25 and March 7.

The announcement came from the Turkish Ministry of Defense, which said that Turkish Naval Forces will launch the exercise dubbed “Blue Homeland 2021.”

The Turkish Army and the Air Force will also participate in the drill.

More than 80 ships to take part

According to the announcement, the purpose of the exercise is to evaluate the preparedness of the headquarters, units and ships affiliated with the Naval Forces Command.

A total of 82 ships, 5 maritime patrol aircraft, 12 naval helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Amphibious Marine Corps troops will participate.

In addition, general purpose and attack helicopters from the Land Forces Command, and F-16, F-4 and HIK (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft from the Air Force Command, will also take part….

Turkey takes charge of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force as it confirms Russian arms deal

4,200 Turkish troops, replace the polish 21st Polandia rifles brigade. The Turkish armed forces will take over from Poland an annual duty as a framework state in the land component of the so-called NATO spearheads, i.e., VJTF or very high readiness joint task force. The Turks will be the backbone of the forces with high readiness to react in a crisis, delegating to these tasks, primarily the 66th mechanized infantry brigade’s resources. The Turkish unit will replace the polish 21st Podhale rifle brigade in this role. The NATO communiqué indicates that starting in 2021, Turkey will take over command of the NATO spear from Poland, which provided the backbone of forces in 2020. Ankara will build the Turkish component of the VJTF around the 66th mechanized infantry brigade. That’s about 4,200 Turkish troops, and NATO’s VJTF total has about 6,400 militaries. Thus, we should remember that other soldiers from countries such as – Albania, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States will also serve under the VJTF. These VJTFs are part of a larger structure known as the----

Turkey to command elite NATO force in 2021

Turkey will take over the command of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force on Friday. The force was designed to deploy at short notice to confront threats against NATO members. Security analyst Murat Aslan explains how important this is for Turkey.


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/01/turkey-takes-charge-of-natos-very-high-readiness-joint-task-force-as-it-confirms-russian-arms-deal;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Rather than Islamic supremacist Turkey getting booted out of NATO, it is taking over from Poland to lead NATO’s military Very High Readiness Joint Task Force for 2021.

The move is highly questionable, given Turkey’s overt ambition of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, its constant bullying and threats of war with Greece, its alliance with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, and its interference in Libya to establish the Muslim Brotherhood there.

The NATO news comes at the same time as news of Turkey’s arms deal with Russia.

In mid-December, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system. And now the Turkey-Russian pact has gone farther.

Merely a day before Turkey took charge of the VJTF, it was announced that “Turkey and Russia have pledged to go further on military cooperation despite US sanctions, in a move that risks destabilizing Nato.”

The reason that the VJTF was created makes the NATO news even more bizarre:

NATO heads of state and government decided to create the VJTF at the Wales Summit in 2014 in response to a changed security environment, including Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine and turmoil in the Middle East.

In early December, Jihad Watch reported that Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, France and the UAE were conducting joint military exercises amid the rising Turkish threat.

“Turkey takes charge of NATO high readiness force, 01-Jan.-2021,” NATO, December 31, 2020:

The Turkish army will take the lead of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) on Friday (1 January 2021), placing thousands of soldiers on standby, ready to deploy within days.

Turkey takes over from Poland, which provided the core of the force in 2020. Built around Turkey’s 66th Mechanised Infantry Brigade of around 4,200 troops, a total of around 6,400 soldiers will serve on the VJTF. Units from Albania, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, the UK, and the United States will also serve on the force, which is part of the Alliance’s larger NATO Response Force. Turkey has made substantial investments into the unit – amongst the most mobile in NATO – particularly in its logistics and ammunition requirements planning. The latest models of Turkish armed vehicles, anti-tank missiles and howitzers have been allocated to the force.

NATO heads of state and government decided to create the VJTF at the Wales Summit in 2014 in response to a changed security environment, including Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine and turmoil in the Middle East. NATO members take turns heading the VJTF. Poland led the VJTF in 2020, Germany in 2019, and Italy had rotational control of the force….


Shocked, Shocked to Find Europe Cutting Deals With China Behind Our Back


SEE: https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2020/12/31/shocked-shocked-to-find-europe-cutting-deals-with-china-behind-our-back-n1295419;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Europe and China yesterday signed a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment after seven years of negotiation. Why now? As I report at Asia Times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pushed the deal through to pre-empt anything that the new U.S. administration might have to say on the subject.

From my article:

Representatives of the incoming Biden Administration tried and failed to stop the European Union from signing an investment treaty with China this week.

After seven years of often-stalled negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pushed for a final agreement on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) before the new US Administration takes office January 20.

A German government official, speaking on background, said that Europe wanted to present Washington with a fait accompli before the new administration could have a chance to exert pressure on the Europeans to keep a distance from China. China of course was on board for that.

“Members of the Biden team in Brussels campaigned against the deal with China in order to be able to exercise more pressure on China in future negotiations,” reported the center-right German daily Die Welt.

Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger said, “Leaders in both U.S. political parties and across the U.S. government are perplexed and stunned that the EU is moving towards a new investment treaty right on the eve of a new U.S. administration.”

Perplexed? Germany now sells more to China than it does to the U.S., thanks to China’s economic snapback and America’s continued economic weakness. East Asia (not just China, but South Korea and Taiwan) crushed the pandemic in weeks, while we still can’t distribute the vaccine we have. Last month China signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with fifteen other Asian countries, eliminating most tariffs on imports from Japan among others. U.S. economic importance is shrinking.

China has a $1.4 trillion, five-year budget to support high tech R&D and investment. China outspends us 10:1 on quantum computing research. China is determined to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution–mobile broadband, quantum communications, quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, self-programming industrial robots, self-regulating farms, autonomous vehicles, and so forth. It’s no wonder that Europe and Japan are cutting deals with China. China is where the market is, and, increasingly, where the technology is.

Beijing is using trade and investment deals with Europe and Japan to batter its own industry into shape, as I reported at Asia Times.

There’s a lot of talk from the Biden camp about multilateral diplomacy to shape up an alliance of democracies to contain China. It looks like the Biden administration has been made irrelevant before it takes office.

Biden Will Throw in the Towel on China Tech War

UK: Johnson government signs a multi-billion-dollar trade deal with Turkey amid Trump sanctions


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/12/uk-johnson-government-signs-a-multi-billion-dollar-trade-deal-with-turkey-amid-trump-sanctions;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Britain and Turkey are set to sign a multi-billion-dollar free trade deal this week, despite Trump’s sanctioning of Turkey due to its threats in the region and worldwide.

British trade minister Liz Truss boasted:

 “We now look forward to working with Turkey towards an ambitious tailor-made UK-Turkey trade agreement in the near future.”

All this as the Trump administration has cracked down on Turkey. According to the Jerusalem Post:

Those around Trump realized Ankara is hosting Hamas terrorists, having pleasant meetings with Iranian officials and working with Russia against US interests. This has come to a head in the fall and winter as the State Department finally condemned Turkey for giving a red carpet to Hamas terrorists and US sanctions have kicked in after Turkey acquired Russia’s S-400.

In early December, to cushion American sanctions, the Venezuelan regime under Nicolas Maduro urged Venezuelan firms to sign trade deals with both Turkey and Iran.

The Turkish government has also been using US mosques to spread “Islamist-nationalistic fervor,” similar to what Saudi Arabia and Iran have been doing to export their supremacist, jihadist ideologies. David L. Phillips, Director for the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, stated:  “These mosques are not places of worship….They are centers for political mobilization functioning like madrasas, distorting Islamic [sic] and radicalizing youth.”

“Britain says it will sign free trade deal with Turkey this week,” Reuters, December 27, 2020:

(Reuters) – Britain and Turkey are set to sign a free trade deal on Tuesday, the UK trade ministry said on Sunday, the first since Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a new trade agreement with the European Union.

The two nations will sign a deal that replicates the existing trading terms between Ankara and London, but British trade minister Liz Truss said that she was hopeful a bespoke deal between the countries could be struck soon.

“The deal we expect to sign this week locks in tariff-free trading arrangements and will help support our trading relationship. It will provide certainty for thousands of jobs across the UK in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries,” Truss said in a statement.

“We now look forward to working with Turkey towards an ambitious tailor-made UK-Turkey trade agreement in the near future.”….


Turkey plucked to pieces by Pompeo at NATO conference


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/12/turkey-plucked-to-pieces-by-pompeo-at-nato-conference;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey has been an ongoing menace in the region, as well as a global threat. It is mystifying that Turkey remains part of NATO, considering that it is in reality an enemy of NATO. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s missions of reviving the Ottoman Empire is directly contrary to the goals and philosophy of the NATO alliance.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Tsavoysoglou’s claim that Greece has “maximalist ambitions” is a classic example of the phenomenon of accusing the other of what you yourself are guilty of doing.

“Turkey gets plucked to pieces at NATO conference,” by Alex Constantine, Greek City Times, December 2, 2020:

In what was described by sources as a fiery confrontation between Turkey and NATO allies at Tuesday’s NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting, the US did not hold back its feelings on Turkey’s change of foreign policy and behaviour.

Specifically, outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Turkey over its provocative behaviour in the East Med and for purchasing the Russian anti-missile system S-400, actions which he said are contrary to the principles and operation of NATO and ultimately undermine its cohesion.

According to diplomatic sources, Pompeo referred to the provocative actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and to Turkey’s purchase of the Russian anti-missile system S-400 which he described as “a gift to Russia” by a NATO alliance member.

The alliance’s deconfliction mechanism, which is not working because of Turkey, should restart, sources said quoting him.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mehmet Tsavoysoglou protested angrily at the accusations and went off-script during his defence of the Erdogan regime whilst also accusing Greece of having ‘maximalist ambitions’.

Greece rejected the accusation with Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias accusing Turkey of being the main disruptor in the region and demanding that it respect international law….


Irked Turks slam Pompeo for promoting religious freedom, call on him to focus on ‘Islamophobia’ instead

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) listens to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/11/irked-turks-slam-pompeo-for-promoting-religious-freedom-call-on-him-to-focus-on-islamophobia-instead;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Pompeo is set to meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Tuesday in Istanbul. He is not scheduled to meet Erdogan. The Turks are enraged because Pompeo is slated to focus on religious freedom, just months after Turkey converted two venerable Byzantine churches, Hagia Sophia and the Monastery at Chora, into mosques. Pompeo should instead, the Turks insisted, focus on Muslims as victims. The establishment media and most non-Muslim leaders around the world readily fall for this victimhood propaganda. Will Pompeo stand firm?

“Turkey condemns Pompeo: Focus on racism, Islamophobia in US before preaching on religious freedoms,” Ahlul Bayt News Agency, November 14, 2020 (thanks to Henry):

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Turkey has condemned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for trying to promote religious freedom during an upcoming visit to Istanbul and called Wednesday on Washington to focus on racism and hate crimes in the United States instead.

The U.S State Department said in a statement Tuesday that Pompeo would travel to Istanbul to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Greek Orthodox Christians.

The top U.S. diplomat plans to discuss religious issues in Turkey and to promote “our strong stance on religious freedom around the world,” the statement read.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry rebuked the statement “as extremely inappropriate,” insisting that the country protects the rights of citizens of various faiths to freely practice their religions.

“It would be more advisable for the United States to look in the mirror first and to show the necessary sensitivity to human rights violations such as racism, Islamophobia and hate crimes in its own country,” the Turkish ministry said in a statement….


Turkey Is the Center of the New Islamist International

BY  Ioannis E. Kotoulas

SEE: https://www.investigativeproject.org/8623/turkey-is-the-center-of-the-new-islamist;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

The recent row with France further established Turkey's role as an ideological instigator of tension between Islamist elements and the West and its capabilities to appeal to Islamists globally. President Tayyip Recep Erdogan rallies Islamists by promoting the notion that Europe is at war with Islam and says that his government "is determined to protect the rights and security of its citizens," declaring his intent to interfere in other countries in the name of religion.

This strategy leads to an Islamist International, led by Erdogan. The Islamist International has a core of three states, Turkey, Qatar and Iran, and a nexus of diplomatic support provided by other Islamic countries, such as Pakistan and Malaysia, and terrorist groups of Hamas and Hizballah.

The Islamist International was initially formulated during the Islamic Summit held last December in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Turkey wants to supplant Saudi Arabia and create an Islamic bloc opposed to the now pro-Western nexus of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Jordan. The Islamist International has extended its influence inside the EU through the network of Islamic migrant communities and entities influenced by Erdogan's Turkey, such as the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe and the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations.

Turkey's bid to head the Islamist International is seen through a series of actions targeting the Islamic community. First, Turkey has proved its ideological purity by affiliating itself with the matrix of Islamist terrorism, the Muslim Brotherhood. Second, Turkey demonstrated its commitment to the Islamist global cause with military support on the ground in SyriaLibya and Azerbaijan. Turkey has supported radical Islamist fighters in all these countries or facilitated their transport to the war zones. Third, Turkey initiated the symbolic cultural war of militant Islam with the West in July, when it turned the Hagia Sophia, an iconic Christian church, into a mosque. Fourth, Turkey tries to appear as the leader of the Islamic resistance against "Western imperialism" and accuses the West of no longer feeling "the need to cover up their hatred toward Islam anymore." Finally, Turkish propaganda instrumentalizes the vague notion of Islamophobia, attempting to curb legitimate concerns of European societies over the growing Islamist terrorism.

Turkey's strategic use of Europe's Muslim populations echoes the old Soviet Union Cold War strategy to use communist elements and sympathizers as strategic minorities. Turkey today interferes in Western countries using Muslim populations and Islamist-minded groups as strategic minorities. Soviet efforts ultimately failed because, despite the ideological rift, those involved belonged to the unity of Western culture and post-Christian secular world. Today, the situation is altogether different; the strategic use of Islamic communities relies on the religious divide and legacies of historical confrontation between once-Christian Europe and the Islamic world.

A spiral of Islamist terrorism and violent activism has unfolded in Europe and is connected to the increased tension between Islamists and Western states. On Monday in Vienna, an ISIS-affiliated terrorist unleashed havoc killing at least four people and injuring 23, seven of them still hospitalized in critical condition. ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Investigators are trying to determine who provided the terrorist with help.

Again in Vienna, on Oct. 29, a violent group of 50 Turkish men staged a riot at the historic Catholic church of St. Anthony of Padua, shouting "Allahu Akbar." The assailants are radical Islamists of the Turkish migrant community.

That same day, the Turkish Ministry of Interior announced that Turkey would consider an asylum request by French Islamist Idriss Sihamedi, founder of a Muslim charity shut down in France over its ties to radical Islamism. French authorities shut down BarakaCity – ostensibly a humanitarian aid group – Oct. 28, saying it "incites hate, has relations with the radical Islamist movement and justifies terrorist acts."

Sihamedi posted his asylum request on Twitter, specifically addressing Erdogan. The Turkish Ministry of Interior quickly responded: "Hello Sihamedi. If you and your colleagues were to personally apply to our institution with your surname, first name, identity information, petition for an asylum request and your passport number, your request will be assessed."

In many Western countries, including the United States, groups of Muslims and mosques organized protests against French authorities attempt to resist the rise of parallel societies. In Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Somalia and the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Muslims staged anti-French protests after Friday prayers. Are these actions random outbursts of isolated radicals or part of an aggressive trend, aided by the emergence of an ideological center of action?

Erdogan Stirs the Pot

Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Turkish government has been on the forefront of tension with Europe and now aspires to be the standard bearer of Islamist extremism. It was Turkey's decision to create a civilizational crisis with France that increased tension between Islamists and Europe, as this spiral of Islamist terror attacks and activist protests unfold. Erdogan went so far as to claim that "Macron needs mental treatment" for a problem with Islam and called for a global boycott of French products in all Islamic-populated countries. Erdogan has warned European countries that their citizens will not be able to "walk safely in the streets." Turkey has coordinated an incitement campaign against France using pro-government media outlets, such as Daily SabahAnadolu Agency and TRT.

France is the main battleground in this fight due to its leading position as representative of secular values and its attempt to curb rising Islamist separatism. On Oct. 2, President Macron presented a five-point plan to address Islamist radicalization in a televised address. To Macron, Islamist separatism is a "conscious, theorized, politico-religious project that manifests itself in repeated discrepancies with the values of the Republic." Responding to the numerous Islamist attacks Macron called Islam "a religion in crisis."

Both the terrorist attacks in Europe and the global protests over the cartoons are part of a greater Islamist strategy to rekindle the confrontation against the Western world. Rather than a reaction to the republishing of the Muhammad cartoons, these attacks are part of a calculated violent reaction by Islamists against any notion of incorporating Islam into the fabric of secular Western society. The real issue is the rise of Islamic parallel societies and the end of Western freedom of speech. Islamists wish to silence Europeans addressing Islam which is perceived as an ahistorical entity outside of any rightful criticism.

Usual interpretations of Turkish foreign policy presume that, with its embrace of Islamist activism, Erdogan is focused on internal issues in a bid for popularity with an increasingly conservative electoral base. This premise is not only outdated, but dangerously naïve. Turkish embrace of political Islam is not a play at internal politics; it is an attempt at a new hegemonic form of political Islam and militant jihadism that shall subdue the West. Turkish Neo-Ottomanism focuses on revival of a "greater Turkey" that aspires to be the focus of the Islamic world.

Although Turkey is the vanguard of the Islamist International and fomenting tension with NATO allies, it is still considered by the United States to be an integral part of the security structure of the West. The West needs to realize the fundamental importance of culture as an underlying factor in state behavior and the new world that is being shaped and inject a basis of core values in its power structures to withhold the assault on its fundamental premises.

Ioannis E. Kotoulas (Ph.D. in History, Ph.D. in Geopolitics) is Adjunct Lecturer in Geopolitics, University of Athens.


Canada: Trudeau government grants exemption to sell drone technology to Turkey


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/10/canada-trudeau-government-grants-exemption-to-sell-drone-technology-to-turke;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports ISIS, is virulently anti-Israel, and is now recruiting jihadists from Syria with plans to attack Greece. Turkey also violated Greek airspace 45 times, and meddles in Libya. Erdogan called the EU “sick” and “collapsing”; he called French President Emmanuel Macron mentally unbalanced for protecting the freedom of speech in France in the wake of a teacher’s beheading for offending Islam. He referred to Dutch politician Geert Wilders as a “terrorist” for supporting the right to “offensive” free speech. And according to Armenian reports, Turkish leader Erdogan has been sending Syrian jihadists and F-16 combat jets to aid Azerbaijani forces in their conflict with Armenians. To this day, Erdogan also denies the Armenian genocide. Yet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actually “discussed the issue of WESCAM exports to Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone conversation in April.”

Trudeau already has a worrisome record in advancing the cause of Islamization in Canada.

“Opposition presses Trudeau on exemption to military drone tech sales to Turkey,” by Levon Sevunts, RCI News, October 27, 2020:

Canada’s opposition Conservative Party wants answers from the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over its decision to allow a Canadian company to sell advanced drone technology to Turkish arms manufacturers despite its own ban on military exports to Turkey.

The issue of Canadian defence exports to Turkey was brought to the fore once again last week when Armenian authorities displayed remains of what they claim is a Turkish combat drone, featuring high-tech Canadian-made optical sensors and a target acquisition system.

A spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Defence said the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone was shot down by Armenian air defence units during fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh on Oct. 21.

Armenian officials released detailed photos and video of the drone’s optical sensors and its target acquisition system that experts consulted by Radio Canada International identified as an CMX-15D system produced by L3Harris WESCAM in Burlington, Ont.

The WESCAM CMX-15D system — which basically allow drone operators to see what’s happening on the ground and paint targets for airstrikes, either by the drone’s own missiles or by other aircraft — was manufactured in June of this year and installed on the downed Bayraktar TB2 in September, said Shushan Stepanyan, spokesperson for the Armenian Defence Ministry.

Speaking during question period in the House of Commons on Monday, Conservative Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Chong demanded to know why the sale of these WESCAM systems was allowed to proceed despite the arms embargo announced by Canada following the Turkish invasion of northern Syria in October of 2019.

Chong referred to a story by Radio Canada International, reporting that Trudeau discussed the issue of WESCAM exports to Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone conversation in April.

“Last April, the prime minister spoke with Turkish President Erdogan and reports indicate he committed to addressing Turkish concerns about the suspension of these arms exports,” Chong said in the House of Commons.

“Subsequently, seven drone systems were approved for export from Canada to Turkey. Did the prime minister or foreign affairs minister override the recommendations of Global Affairs officials and approve these exports to Turkey?”…


Erdogan says West is ‘once again headed to a period of barbarity’: ‘They literally want to relaunch the Crusades’




SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/10/erdogan-says-west-is-once-again-headed-to-a-period-of-barbarity-they-literally-want-to-relaunch-the-crusades;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Erdogan likely knows what an absurd claim this is, but he is apparently calculating that such charges will intimidate Macron and other French authorities to back down from challenging Islamization and Sharia in France, and doing anything significant to stop jihad violence.

“Turkey hits at ‘Crusades’ against Islam in cartoons row with France,” by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay Reuters, October 28, 2020:

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s president said on Wednesday that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to “relaunch the Crusades”, heightening a confrontation with France over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have stirred anger in Muslim-majority countries.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October 28, 2020. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

In a speech to lawmakers of his AK Party in parliament, President Tayyip Erdogan said that standing against attacks on the Prophet was “an issue of honour for us”, suggesting Ankara may be digging in for a prolonged standoff….

In a sign of spreading anger at France’s defence of the right to publish the cartoons, demonstrators denounced France in street protests in several Muslim-majority countries.

“France down, it insulted our Prophet,” protesters shouted in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Furthering Turkish anger, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon on its cover showing Erdogan sitting in a white t-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink and lifting the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic hijab to reveal her naked bottom.

Turkish officials said Ankara would take legal and diplomatic steps in response to the caricature, calling it a “disgusting effort” to “spread its cultural racism and hatred”.

The Turkish foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affaires at the French embassy over the magazine cover.

Erdogan said he had not seen the caricature “because I consider it wrong to even look at these immoral publications” and that his anger was over disrespect towards the Prophet rather than the “disgusting attack directed at me”.

The West was “once again headed to a period of barbarity”, he said, describing colonial powers as “murderers” for their record in Africa and the Middle East.

“They literally want to relaunch the Crusades. Since the Crusades, the seeds of evil and hatred have started falling on these (Muslim) lands and that’s when peace was disrupted.”…

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said freedom of expression should stop if it offended more than 1.5 billion people.

The Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar university, one of the world’s most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning, urged the international community to criminalise “anti-Muslim” actions.

In the Somali capital Mogadishu, hundreds of mostly youthful demonstrators gathered at a busy junction leading to the airport, chanting anti-French slogans and burning French flags. They were responding to calls by clerics to come out and condemn France and boycott French products.

“We are going to use our muscles to defend Islam,” a middle-aged man, Mohamed Ahmed, who was at the demonstration, told Reuters when asked why he was participating. “We ask people to burn every product of France they come across.”

Dozens of Iranians gathered in protest in front of the French embassy in Tehran, state media reported. Some held up placards with red crosses plastered on images of French goods.

In Dhaka, hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims took to the streets of the capital for a third consecutive day, chanting slogans such as “Boycott French products” and burning effigies of Macron, whom they described as an enemy of Islam.

At a much larger protest on Tuesday in Dhaka, thousands had turned out for a protest carrying banners such as “Stop Islamophobia”, “Boycott France” and “Lay siege to the French Embassy in Dhaka”.



UK ‘stands in solidarity with France,’ calls on NATO to defend the freedom of speech




See the source image

See the source image

Turkish and Greek Naval Forces Face Off in Tense Eastern Mediterranean Confrontation


SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2020/08/28/turkish-and-greek-naval-forces-face-off-in-tense-eastern-mediterranean-confrontation-n859744;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Turkey and Greece are threatening to go to war again. The two NATO allies are facing off over a potentially small natural gas find in the Eastern Mediterranean. But it’s not about the gas, nor is it about insufferable Turkish Islamic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, although it probably should be. Erdogan has been flexing his muscles throughout the region and this latest standoff between the two historical enemies is more evidence of his imperialistic designs on the region.

Erdogan fancies himself a latter-day Ottoman sultan and would dearly love to dominate the region from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran. To that end, he has struck a deal with Libya that creates a naval corridor connecting Turkey to the Mediterranean. That’s all well and good, except there are several Greek islands that are in that corridor, including Rhodes and Crete. Greece was miffed that Erdogan forgot to consult his NATO ally about the deal with Libya and relations have been frosty ever since.

The current spat seems a minor irritation. But taken with all the other moves by Erdogan in the Eastern Mediterranean, the confrontation would seem to be foreordained.

The Spectator:

The practicalities of the dispute are straightforward: Turkey dispatched the Oruc Reis to survey an area of the Mediterranean which it claims is within its Exclusive Economic Zone, giving it the right to search for fossil fuels. Greece believes the area sits on its continental shelf. It’s basing its claim on the UN’s Convention on the Law of the Sea, which states that even the smallest of islands have their own EEZ. Turkey, one of only 15 countries that hasn’t signed the UN Convention, is unwilling to accept these islands have a claim to the territory. As the struggle for Indian/Chinese dominance in the South China Sea shows, countries increasingly view their EEZs in terms similar to sovereign soil, as it’s becoming easier to extract the resources hidden in their depths.

Both sides have been securing allies in the dispute. The EU and NATO are officially neutral, but that hasn’t stopped France from sending warships to help its ally Greece and sticking it to Erdogan, who tried to make France look bad in Libya by backing rebels against the officially recognized government. Greece also signed a maritime deal with Egypt. As for Erdogan, he got Russian President Putin to help. The uneasy alliance between the two was solidified by Putin’s sale of thousands of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey.

It’s not a good sign when two historic adversaries start forcing nations in the region to choose sides. But both nations see the confrontation as being worth the risk of war.

Putting French posturing to one side, the issue for Greece is that Turkey simply does not want to talk seriously about the eastern Mediterranean. During the negotiations, the Turkish have attempted to add a host of other issues and claims to the agenda, in effect advancing their ‘Blue Homeland’ doctrine. The Blue Homeland, first championed by the Turkish admiral Cem Gürdeniz in 2006, is a maritime plan which would see Turkey’s ‘blue’ naval territory extend to the middle of the Aegean, halfway between the Greek mainland and the Turkish coast. This would effectively surround Greek islands like Lesvos and Chios, meaning islands with tens of thousands of people on them would potentially be encircled by a foreign nation’s sovereign waters.

Turkey announced naval live-fire exercises in the region — not exactly routine when there are dozens of warships from several nations sailing in the Eastern Med keeping an eye on each other.

Neither side appears willing to give an inch at the moment. No negotiations are scheduled. Indeed, President Erdogan does not appear to want to talk anyway. Greece is trying to keep the crisis at a low simmer, unlike Erdogan, whose bombastic rhetoric looks to rile up Turkish nationalists.

Greece wants the EU to sanction Turkey, but that’s not going to happen. The Europeans have taken a decidedly hands-off approach to the conflict. And if anyone cares, NATO appears paralyzed by the row.

A war between the two is not a certainty, but given the history of these two countries, I wouldn’t bet against it.



While statues of American heroes come toppling down, Turkey honors a mass-murdering, pedophilic slaver of history.


SEE: https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/07/turkey-openly-declares-commitment-jihad-non-raymond-ibrahim;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Raymond Ibrahim, author most recently of Sword and Scimitar, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

While monuments to heroic Americans of a former age—including abolitionists who died fighting slavery—get toppled and dishonored, a land-grabber, mass-slaver, terrorist, and pedophile—Ottoman sultan Muhammad II—was recently honored by the president of Turkey.

During his recent public address celebrating the July 10, 2020 decree to transform the Hagia Sophia, which for a millennium had functioned as Eastern Christendom’s greatest church, into a mosque, Turkish president Erdoğan repeatedly saluted Sultan Muhammad (1432-1481), also known as al-Fatih (“the Conqueror”), for violently transforming Christian Constantinople into Islamic Istanbul. 

Of the apparently intolerable decades when Hagia Sophia served as a museum (1935 to the recent decision), Erdoğan began by quoting a Turkish poet:

Hagia Sophia, O magnificent temple, do not worry: the grandchildren of Muhammad al-Fatih will overthrow all the [Christian] idols and convert you into a mosque; they will perform their ablutions with tears and prostrate; tahlils [recitations of the Islamic credo] and takbirs [cries of “Allahu akbar”] will replenish your empty domes … Your minaret balconies will light up in honor of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad. The whole world will think that Muhammad al-Fatih has resurrected.  This will be Hagia Sophia; this will be a second conquest, a new resurrection”

Erdoğan’s and much of Turkey’s adoration of and desire to emulate Muhammad al-Fatih—this, to quote Erdoğan, “happy, blessed servant of Allah,” who in fact behaved like an ISIS chieftain—should (but won’t) be cause for alarm.

Consider: Sultan Muhammad’s sole justification for conquering Constantinople was that Islam demands the subjugation of “infidels,” in this case, Christians. He had no other “grievance” than that.  In fact, when he first became sultan, he “swore by the god of their false prophet, by the prophet whose name he bore,” a bitter Christian contemporary retrospectively wrote, that “he was their friend, and would remain for the whole of his life a friend and ally of Constantinople.” Although they believed him, Muhammad was taking advantage of “the basest arts of dissimulation and deceit,” wrote Edward Gibbon. “Peace was on his lips while war was in his heart.”

During the siege of Constantinople, he regularly exhorted his followers with jihadi ideology, including by unleashing throngs of preachers crying, 

Children of Muhammad, be of good heart, for tomorrow we shall have so many Christians in our hands that we will sell them, two slaves for a ducat, and will have such riches that we will all be of gold, and from the beards of the Greeks we will make leads for our dogs, and their families will be our slaves. So be of good heart and be ready to die cheerfully for the love of our [past and present] Muhammad.

“Recall the promises of our Prophet concerning fallen warriors in the Koran,” the sultan himself exhorted: “the man who dies in combat shall be transported bodily to paradise and shall dine with Muhammad in the presence of women, handsome boys, and virgins.”

The mention of “handsome boys” was not just an accurate reference to the Koran’s promise; Muhammad was a notorious pedophile.  His enslavement and rape of Jacob Notaras—a handsome 14-year-old noble’s son in Constantinople, whom Muhammad forced into becoming his personal catamite until he escaped—was only one the most infamous. According to Gibbon, the sultan stabbed to death another Christian boy who “preferred death to infamy.”

After his conquest and desecration of the Hagia Sophia, Muhammad had the “wretched citizens of Constantinople” dragged before his men during evening festivities and “ordered many of them to be hacked to pieces, for the sake of entertainment.” The rest of the city’s population—as many as 45,000—was hauled off in chains to be sold as slaves.

This is the man whom Turkey and its president honor—including by rededicating one of Christendom’s greatest and oldest churches as a victory mosque to him.  As Erdoğan concluded his speech:

The conquest of Istanbul [Constantinople] and the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque are among the most glorious chapters of Turkish history.….The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia represents our memory full of heydays in our history, from [the battles of] Badr to Manzikert, from Nicopolis, to Gallipoli [all jihadi victories] … The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia is required by our respect and commitment to all of our ancestors, from Alp Arslan [Islamic victor of Manzikert and conqueror of Asia Minor, who massacred or enslaved tens of thousands of Christians], to Muhammad al-Fatah, to Abdulhamid [who massacred as many as 300,000 Armenians in the name of jihad between 1894-1896].  The resurrection of the Hagia Sophia … honors Muhammad al-Fatih’s spirit of conquest… Allah willing, we will continue to walk on this sacred path without pause or hesitation, until we reach our ultimate destination.

The message is clear; jihadi ideology dominates Turkey.  Hating, invading, and conquering neighboring peoples—not due to any grievances but because they are non-Muslim—with all the attending atrocities, rapes, destruction, and mass slavery is apparently the ideal, to resume once the sunset of Western power is complete.

Not, of course, that any of this stops Erdoğan from playing the victim card.  In the same speech, he said that transforming the Hagia Sophia into a mosque is not only supposed to “reignite” all Muslims, but “all the oppressed, all the wronged, downtrodden, and exploited”; moreover, the real issue that needs discussing is not his transformation of a site deemed sacred to millions of Orthodox Christians into a victory mosque but rather Western “Islamophobia” and “xenophobia.”

Sadly, because Americans are used to seeing statues of this nation’s heroes toppled—for no other reason than they were white and/or Christian, and therefore inherently evil—the significance of Erdoğan’s words and praise of Muhammad the Conqueror—who as an Asian Muslim is further immune from Western criticism, as that would be “racist”—will remain lost on them.



SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/07/why-erdogan-converted-the-hagia-sophia-to-a-mosque-and-why-the-state-department-should-be-concerned;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

My latest in PJ Media:

Most Western media analyses of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision Friday to convert Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque have asserted that Erdogan has wanted to do this because the move is popular among Turks and will shore up his base. But there is a great deal more to it: The conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque is actually as clear an indication of Erdogan’s overall plans as Mein Kampf was of Hitler’s, and just as sinister, as well as just as likely to be disregarded until it is too late.

The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday that following the announcement that Hagia Sophia would again become a mosque, the Turkish Presidency website stated: “The resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the footsteps of the will of Muslims across the world to come… the resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the reignition of the fire of hope of Muslims and all oppressed, wrong, downtrodden and exploited.”

The Post added that Erdogan “linked the decision to reviving Islam from Bukhara in Uzbekistan to Andalusia in Spain. This terminology, linking al-Aqsa in Jerusalem to Hagia Sophia and Spain, is a kind of coded terminology for a wider religious agenda.”

No kidding. Erdogan is signaling his aspiration to restore the caliphate, the single unified Islamic government to which, in Sunni Islam, all Muslims owe allegiance. The last caliphate was abolished by the secular Turkish government in 1924; now that Erdogan has just about completed his work of destroying Turkish secularism, he is moving more directly than ever to reestablish the caliphate that the secularists themselves destroyed.

In light of that, the reconversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque has enormous importance. For nearly 1,000 years, from 537 to 1453, Hagia Sophia was the foremost cathedral in Christendom. When the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror finally defeated the Byzantine Empire and took Constantinople on May 29, 1453, he almost immediately had the Islamic call to prayer proclaimed from Hagia Sophia, so as to herald its conversion to a mosque.

The glory days of the caliphate and Hagia Sophia’s status as a mosque thus went together. Hagia Sophia stood as a symbol of the triumph of Islam over Christianity, and of the power of the Ottoman Empire. Erdogan is positioning himself as a new Mehmet, destroying the monument to secularism that the Hagia Sophia museum has been since 1935, and emulating his illustrious predecessor by converting it to a mosque once again.

There is more. Read the rest here.


Turkey: MP says “Decision to convert Hagia Sophia to mosque will make life more difficult for Christians here”


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/07/turkey-mp-says-decision-to-convert-hagia-sophia-to-mosque-will-make-life-more-difficult-for-christians-here;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Indeed it will, as it is a new indication that Erdogan intends to destroy Turkish secularism altogether and restore Islamic rule to Turkey, which will involve the subjugation of the country’s remaining Christians as dhimmis.

“Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally makes Hagia Sophia a mosque,” by Suzan Fraser, Associated Press, July 10, 2020:

…Turkey’s high administrative court threw its weight behind a petition brought by a religious group and annulled the 1934 Cabinet decision that turned the site into a museum. Within hours, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree handing over Hagia Sophia to Turkey’s Religious Affairs Presidency.

In a televised address to the nation, Erdogan said the first prayers inside Hagia Sofia would be held on July 24, and he urged respect for the decision.

“I underline that we will open Hagia Sophia to worship as a mosque by preserving its character of humanity’s common cultural heritage,” he said, adding: “It is Turkey’s sovereign right to decide for which purpose Hagia Sofia will be used.”

He rejected the idea that the decision ends Hagia Sophia’s status as a structure that brings faiths together.

“Like all of our other mosques, the doors of Hagia Sophia will be open to all, locals or foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims,” Erdogan said….

Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, called the action “a mistake.”

“Turning it into a mosque will not do anything for the Muslim world. It does not bring nations together, but on the contrary brings them into collision,” he said.

The debate hits at the heart of Turkey’s religious-secular divide. Nationalist and conservative groups in Turkey have long yearned to hold prayers at Hagia Sophia, which they regard as part of the Muslim Ottoman legacy. Others believe it should remain a museum, as a symbol of Christian and Muslim solidarity.

“It was a structure that brought together both Byzantine and Ottoman histories,” said Zeynep Kizildag, a 27-year-old social worker, who did not support the conversion. “The decision to turn it into a mosque is like erasing 1,000 years of history, in my opinion.”

Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian member of Turkey’s Parliament tweeted that it was “a sad day for Christians (and) for all who believe in a pluralist Turkey.”

“The decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque will make life more difficult for Christians here and for Muslims in Europe,” he wrote. “Hagia Sophia was a symbol of our rich history. Its dome was big enough for all.”…

The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, considered the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, warned last month that the building’s conversion into a mosque “will turn millions of Christians across the world against Islam.”

On Friday, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America said the decision runs counter to the vision of secular Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk “who understood that Hagia Sophia should serve all Turkey’s people and indeed the whole world.”

“The days of conquest should remain a closed chapter of our collective histories,” he told The Associated Press, adding that Turkey’s government “can still choose wisely” but letting Hagia Sophia remain a “monument to all civilizations and universal values.”…

Some Islamic prayers have been held in the museum in recent years. In a major symbolic move, Erdogan recited the opening verse of the Quran there in 2018….


Christian theologian: “Christians should be delighted” at Hagia Sophia becoming a mosque


SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2020/07/christian-theologian-christians-should-be-delighted-at-hagia-sophia-becoming-a-mosque;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Useful Idiots such as Giles Fraser, who couch their capitulation in the guise of being broadminded, tolerant, and generous, will be the death of us.

Giles Fraser has offered an argument from authority, which is the weakest of all arguments: Christians and Muslims worship the same God because the Pope Francis and the Second Vatican Council say so. In reality, there are immediate and obvious differences: the Trinity, the crucifixion, and the divinity of Christ. Beyond that, Islam in its traditional theological formulations denies free will, the nature of good and evil (both of which, says the Qur’an [91:7-8], are placed in the soul by Allah, while the Christian idea is that evil stems from a rejection of God), and the nature of the deity. Allah is absolute will; Islamic theologians throughout Islamic history have held that even to expect consistency in moral or physical laws would be placing restraints on his sovereignty.

All this was known in the Christian world up until the 1960s. Vatican II’s affirmation that Muslims and Christians together worship the one God, and pointed omission of any discussion of what had led the two to be in conflict for 1,400 years, was a radical departure from the statements of many popes, as well as of saints and martyrs.

“Theologian: Vatican II Justifies Hagia Sophia As Mosque,” by Jules Gomes, ChurchMilitant.com, July 10, 2020:

ISTANBUL (ChurchMilitant.com) – A controversial theologian is quoting Pope Francis and Vatican II to justify Turkey’s decision returning the world’s largest Byzantine basilica to its conquered status as a mosque.

Giles Fraser, a liberal Anglican, says he “cannot but applaud” radical Islamic president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “desire to return this once holy place back to a mosque.”

“Christians should be delighted” if Hagia Sophia reverts to being a mosque because “Muslims are our brothers and sisters with whom we share a faith in the living God,” Fraser argues.

Church Militant reported Thursday that the Council of State, Turkey’s top administrative court, reached a unanimous verdict declaring that secularist President Kemal Atatürk’s 1934 decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a museum was unlawful.

Fraser, a Nietzsche scholar, claims he is offering “no less an authority than the pope himself,” to “those Christians who believe that Muslims and Christians worship something different.”

The former columnist for The Guardian quotes Pope Francis’ tweet ahead of his trip to Morocco last year to make his case that Christians and Muslims worship the same God: “We Christians and Muslims believe in God, the Creator and the Merciful, who created people to live like brothers and sisters, respecting each other in their diversity and helping one another in their needs,” the pontiff tweeted in March 2019.

“This view goes back to the Second Vatican Council, where it was affirmed that Muslims, ‘together with us adore the one, merciful God,'” writes Fraser, citing Lumen Gentium.

“And from the Muslim side, the Qur’an makes it clear that Muslims worship the same God as the Jews,” notes Fraser, providing a hyperlink to the Koran (2:132).

“Giles Fraser has offered an argument from authority, which is the weakest of all arguments: Christians and Muslims worship the same God because Pope Francis and the Second Vatican Council say so,” distinguished Islamic scholar Robert Spencer told Church Militant.

“In reality, there are immediate and obvious differences — the Trinity, the Crucifixion, and the divinity of Christ,” said Spencer, author of over 20 books including Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics: 100 Questions and Answers. “All this was known in the Christian world up until the 1960s.”

Spencer explains:

Vatican II’s affirmation that Muslims and Christians together worship the one God — and pointed omission of any discussion of what had led the two to be in conflict for 1,400 years — was a radical departure from the statements of many popes, as well as of saints and martyrs….


Turkey’s New Mosque a Monument to Western Decline

We may think we’re exhibiting high-minded principles, but our enemies know the score.


SEE: https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/07/turkeys-new-mosque-monument-western-decline-bruce-thornton;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Last week Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that on July 24 Hagia Sophia, for a thousand years one of Christendom’s most storied and significant churches, will once again become a mosque. So far, the remnant of established Christianity has been silent. But this affront to the faith that is one of the pillars upon which the West was founded reveals how damaging has been the historical amnesia and appeasing double-standards that have compromised our response to the challenge of Islamic jihadism.

Until recently Turkey had been a poster-boy for the dubious globalist consensus that liberal democracy and free-market capitalism are the destiny of all humanity, including Muslims. In 1923 founder Kemal Atatürk created Turkey to be a modern Western nation-state, with religion separated from the secular government. He abolished the caliphate, closed Islamic courts, gave women equal rights in divorce and inheritance, allowed them to vote, restricted sharia to religion, and secularized education for females as well as males. In 1934 Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum, part of Atatürk’s program to recognize Turkey’s pre-Muslim history and strengthen Turkey’s modern global identity and prestige.

But over the years it took the military to maintain this modernizing, secular program in the face of the more traditional and conservative Muslim masses and their discontent. Starting as mayor of Istanbul in 1994, Erdoğan became their champion, and as president has abandoned Atatürk’s democratic, secular program: He has jailed more journalists than any other country, and built 17,000 new mosques. Nearly a century of efforts to reconcile Islam with liberal democracy are failing under Erdoğan’s incremental Islamization. Turning Hagia Sophia back into a mosque is an important sign of his success, and a gesture of defiance of the “rules-based international order.”

And it is a repudiation of the West’s belief that transforming Islamic majority states into secular liberal democracies, what we spent lives and resources futilely attempting to do in Iraq and Afghanistan, could defuse the materialist and political dysfunctions that the idealistic internationalists champions claimed created jihadist terrorism. This belief is a colossal failure of imagination, enabled by a refusal to take seriously the traditional doctrines, scriptures, jurisprudence, and behavior documented in 14 centuries of Islamic history.

One constant of that history is the totalizing role Islam plays in Muslim societies, and the depths of a religious fervor now nearly extinct in the Christian West, where Christianity has been driven from the public square, and relegated to private and, at holidays, commercial life. Contrary to our focus on material causes to account for historical and political change, as Bernard Lewis has written, Islam’s “most characteristic, significant and original political and intellectual responses [to Islam’s retreat before the West] have been Islamic. They have been concerned with the problems of the faith and the community overwhelmed by infidels.”

Given that religious focus, Lewis also writes, “In most Islamic countries, religion remains a major political factor,” for “most Muslim countries are still profoundly Muslim in a way and in a sense that most Christian countries are no longer Christian.” Given how secularized the West is, we discount faith and its doctrines and look for material, economic, political, or psychological causes of jihadist terrorism and violence, from the lack of economic development to justified anger over the West’s sins such as imperialism, colonialism and modern versions like globalism.

Moreover, our fashionable civilizational self-loathing leads us to accept these specious causes, even to the point of whitewashing Islam’s long history of violence in the name of Allah, and styling Islam, as presidents from both parties have done, as the “religion of peace.” This bad habit explains as well the relative indifference of Western politicians and clergy to Erdoğan’s announcement that one of the West’s most glorious and beautiful cultural treasures, already partially defaced by its first conquerors in 1453, will be turned into a venue for the faith that attacked, plundered, occupied, and enslaved Westerners for a thousand years, and continues today to slaughter and enslave Christians.

This dismissal of faith has also led to a double standard in the West’s responses to events. Addled by multiculturalism and its noble-savage fantasies of the exotic “other,” we strain out the Western mite and swallow whole herds of non-Western camels. Churches across Christendom are vandalized or demolished with scarcely a “tut-tut” from our political and ecclesiastical leaders. But let one mosque be defaced with graffiti, and passionate denunciations of “racism” and “Islamophobia” will fill the airwaves and bandwidth for days.

Similarly, scarcely a day passes when we don’t hear heated complaints about Israel’s “illegal occupation” of its traditional homeland as documented in historical writing, inscriptions, and archeological finds. But seldom, if ever, do we hear that for nearly 50 years Turkey has illegally occupied and colonized northern Cyprus, ethnically cleansing Greek Cypriots; destroying, looting, and vandalizing more than 550 churches; and refusing to this day to inform the Greeks about the fate of over 2000 of their compatriots who disappeared during the invasion.

Worst of all, we allow mosques to arise on Western lands and solicitously protect them, even as many are centers of jihadist recruitment and indoctrination. Germany alone has 2400, 900 of which are controlled by Turkey. Yet Saudi Arabia will not allow a single church on its territory, and punishes Christian evangelism with death. Other Muslim countries restrict, according to sharia law, the number and size of Christian churches, which are frequent targets of vandalism or destruction. Turkey continues to forbid new churches, though a few years ago it did allow a new church to be built––the first in 90 years.

Perhaps nothing illustrates this cringing double-standard as well as the continuing Arab control over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The holiest site of Judaism, it was strictly off-limits to Jews during Jordan’s occupation, as was the Old City. Forty to fifty thousand headstones from the Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated, some being used to pave latrines, and 56 synagogues were destroyed.

Yet despite this record of destruction and contempt, after the 1967 Six Days War and Israel’s reconquest of Jerusalem, Israelis didn’t just let the two mosques on the Temple Mount survive, but allowed Arabs to maintain significant control over the Mount. Worse yet, in 1996 a new mosque and prayer hall was built below the Temple Mount on the remains of Solomon’s Stables, and during construction excavations thousands of precious artifacts from the as far back as the First Temple era were contemptuously dumped in the Kidron Valley along with excavation spoil. Israeli archaeologists for years had to sift from the mounds of dirt 1000 ancient objects like coins, inscriptions, building stones from the two temples, and tools.

Finally, this myopic and cringing double standard is manifested in the use of “imperialism” and “colonialism” as epithets to delegitimize the West and Israel, which in Arab propaganda is routinely characterized as a Western colonial and imperial outpost. This bad habit is particularly cringing, given Islam’s long record of imperial conquest, colonization, and occupation: At one point three quarters of the Roman Empire and over a third of what was then known as Christendom were occupied. From the beginning, as historian Efraim Karsh writes, Muslim armies “acted in a typically imperialist fashion . . . subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth and labor.” And whereas Western imperial powers abandoned almost all their colonies and continue to aid those peoples in determine their own political destiny, the descendants of Muslim invaders, colonists, and occupiers continue to live and rule most of the territories they conquered centuries ago: all of North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Iran––all except the last had been Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian, i.e. proto-Western, for as long as nearly 3000 years before Islam even existed.

Which raises some questions: By what moral calculus do the imperialism and colonialism of the past in the West come in for constant condemnation and scapegoating for the rest of the world’s problems, while no one holds Islam and its colonial and imperialist sins to the same standards of judgment and accountability? Or why does the West’s history of brutal slavery remain an indelible stain on today’s Westerners, while Islam’s much longer and more brutal history of slavery, not just of Africans, but of millions of Europeans, is scarcely mentioned, though it continues to this day? Or why are the richest, freest women in the world defended by militant feminists against sexist “microagressions,” while in many Muslim countries, the misogynistic customs and laws, including polygamy, veils, genital mutilation, honor killings, and inequality before the law, are, when not just ignored, admired as exotic chic by ignorant Western activists?

Accepting a double-standard is always a sign of weakness, inferiority, and fear. We may think we’re just displaying our high-minded principles and cosmopolitanism, but our enemies know the score: We are displaying a civilizational failure of nerve, and a sordid materialism that will not let us risk our rich dolce vita lifestyle. Just like the current destruction of America’s history as expressed in statues and monuments, and just like the libelous revision of American history to legitimize an illiberal collectivist ideology and its impossible utopias, the shrugging off­­––with a few exceptions like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo­­––of Turkey’s conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque bespeaks a civilization that no longer is willing to defend and fight for its ideals, its history, its achievements, and its future.

The word for that condition is “decline.”


Hagia Sophia Is a Mosque Again! (But That's Not as Terrible as You Think!) 

On July 10, 2020, Turkish President Erdogan announced that Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom"), which had been a museum since 1935, was again being converted into a mosque. Since the Church of Hagia Sophia was built by Christians in honor of Jesus Christ, many are upset about its reconversion to a mosque. David Wood, however, has a different perspective.




SEE: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/35962-nato-trump-plans-to-reduce-u-s-troop-presence-in-germany-by-more-than-25-percent;

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

An unnamed former senior U.S. official stated on June 5 that President Trump plans to remove 9,500 U.S. troops from Germany, reducing the total number to 25,000. The plan aims to complete the withdrawal by September. The report was originally featured in the Wall Street Journal and also carried by the New York Times. 

The decision reflects Trump’s position that other NATO members should bear a greater share of the cost of maintaining the U.S-European defense alliance. The Times report noted that while Germany spent 1.36 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense in 2019, that number is still significantly short of NATO’s stated target of two percent. 

The Times noted that last August, Richard Grenell, who was then the U.S. ambassador to Germany, suggested that it made little sense that Germany would maintain a budget surplus while failing to meet the NATO spending guidelines and then rely on U.S. troops to bolster its defense.

“At the urging of President Trump, NATO allies increased their defense spending by $140 billion so it only makes sense that the American people don’t have to carry the burden as much,” Grenell was quoted by the Times.

Trump’s arguments concerning the proper level of U.S. involvement in NATO have so far been based solely on economics and have not addressed the greater question of why the United States has troops stationed in Europe in the first place.

Over many years, The New American has questioned not only U.S. support of NATO, in the form of both troops and money, but the very necessity of continuing the existence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

When NATO was created in 1949, its leaders claimed the pact was needed to block further Soviet advances in Europe after practically all of Eastern Europe’s nations had already been conquered and made part of a Soviet-ruled empire. However, if that were its real purpose, NATO should have closed its doors when the Soviet empire collapsed close to 30 years ago. Aside from the fact that NATO has outlived its original mandate, however, is the fact that its founders had a more sinister ulterior motive. 

As we have noted,

Always a subsidiary of the United Nations to whom it owes its very existence (see Articles 52-54 of the UN Charter), the pact requires all participants to consider an attack on any NATO member an attack on all NATO members. Heavily promoted at its founding by world government advocates John Foster Dulles (who admitted it being “a step in a political evolution”) and Dean Acheson (who claimed “it will strengthen the United Nations”), it drew opposition from Senator Robert Taft (R-Ohio) as a threat aimed at U.S. sovereignty.

President Emeritus of The John Birch Society and former publisher of The New American John McManus stated, “Our nation needs leaders who will restore undiluted U.S. independence. The clear way to accomplish this sorely needed restoration involves quitting NATO and withdrawing from the United Nations.”

Related articles:

NATO’s Real Purpose

The Truth About NATO

NATO: A Military Entangling Alliance

NATO: The UN’s Military Arm