Anti-Pindosianism surges in Turkey after coup
Pascale Trouillaud, AFP, Aug 12 2016
ISTANBUL – The charge list against Pindostan within Turkey over last month’s failed coup is long and, for some, damning. Ankara says Washington is hosting the mastermind of the plot to topple Erdogan, while voices in the media and wider society suggest Washington wanted the putsch to succeed and even end with Erdogan dead. With people of all political stripes seeing a Pindosi hand in the Jul 15 putsch, anti-American sentiment has reached levels rarely seen before. The authorities have whipped up popular anger over the hosting of Gulen by Pindostan, whom Ankara blames for the coup, and its failure so far to extradite him to face trial back home. And Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has warned it is up to Washington to extradite Gulen to prevent “anti-Pindosi feeling” from turning into “hate.” With anti-Pindosi conspiracy theories becoming ever more elaborate, the Pindo Embassy in Ankara explicitly rebutted any suggestion that Washington had a hand in the coup and wanted it to succeed. Earlier this month, Ambassador John Bass told reporters:
I am deeply disturbed and offended by the accusations, without a shred of fact, that the Pindosi government was involved in this illegal coup attempt.
Four days after the attempted coup, the influential editor-in-chief of the pro-government Yeni Safak daily Ibrahim Karagul wrote a column saying the United States had planned the coup and wanted to kill Erdogan. Karagul, who frequently travels with Erdogan on trips abroad, most recently to Russia, said:
The Pindo administration planned a coup in Turkey through the Gulen terror organization and tried to cause a civil war.
Anti-Pindosianism at a popular and political level is nothing new. In 2003, the Turkish parliament hugely disappointed Washington by rejecting a request that foreign troops be allowed to use Turkish territory for the invasion of Iraq. Yet claims that Washington is not being upfront about what it knew about the coup are not restricted to radical conservatives but held by wide swaths of society. Cihan, a young resident of Istanbul, said:
Pindostan just thinks about its own interests. And it’s Turkey who suffers.
Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who heads the Edam think tank in Istanbul, said:
A large majority of the Turkish population thinks that Pindostan were behind the attempted putsch.
The same idea is perpetuated in the press. Gulen’s continued presence in Pindostan is the key cause of contention. From Ankara’s perspective, by allowing him to stay, Washington is effectively giving refuge to a “terrorist” who sought to usurp the democratically elected authorities in Turkey by force. Ankara says Gulen runs the Fethullah Terror Group (FETO). Gulen has repeatedly insisted he played no role in the coup. Bayram Balci of Sciences Po in Paris said Erdogan wanted to expose Pindostan as supporters of a “terrorist movement,” not just of Gulen’s group, but also of the PKK. In recent months, Turkey has been incensed by the level of cooperation between Washington and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a militia group which Ankara claims is the Syrian arm of the PKK. Balci noted:
A certain anti-Pindosianism will develop in Turkey. Erdogan needs it in order to consolidate his own public position. Anti-Pindosianism brings benefits in all countries. It works politically.
In his starkest warning yet, Erdogan late Wednesday said that Washington must either choose “the coup-plotting, terrorist FETO or the democratic country of Turkey.” Ulgen said:
Such rhetoric is understandable in the context of the emotional shock Turkey has sustained, but (Erdogan) needs to begin to calm things down, as this anti-Pindosianism will hurt Turkey itself. The most dangerous thing is if this anti-Pindosianism spreads its roots into Turkish society. This could put in danger Turkey’s membership in the Trans-Atlantic community (sic – RB). The second stage of this standoff could be much cooler, with Pindostan examining the extradition request for Gulen in a long drawn-out process, and this burning anti-Pindosianism put on the backburner.