Jason Statham in Turkey: The Hollywood Star Celebrate Erdoğan’s Birthday with Guy Ritchie

Jason Statham in Turkey celebrating President Erdoğan's birthday

The world-famous Hollywood star Jason Statham is in Turkey. The eminent actor including Guy Ritchie celebrated President Erdoğan’s 67th birthday during the opening ceremony of the Istanbul Cinema Museum on Feb. 26. Jason Statham in Turkey The world’s eminent Hollywood star Jason Statham is in Turkey. On Feb. 26, the world-famous British actor celebrated President … Read more

An Office from Netflix in Istanbul: The Company Will Open Office in Turkey

An office from Netflix in Istanbul has already excited the country

The American-based streaming service Netflix has announced to open its office in Istanbul. The company took this decision in line with its latest investment in Turkey. However, the decision of an office from Netflix in Istanbul is also about the Turkish government. Turkey’s ruling party AKP and its leader and President Erdoğan‘s threats to prevent Netflix’s … Read more

Joe Biden and Turkey: Another Crisis or Healing the Relationship

The former Vice President of Barack Obama and the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

US Presidency Elections 2020 finally ended up the last week we left behind. According to the official conclusions, Joe Biden became the 46th President-Elect of the US over Donald Trump. So, on one hand, the preference for Joe Biden of the people of the US have become a new hope for the world. But on the other hand, these elections’ results have caused curiosity about how relationships between Joe Biden and Turkey will be. Therefore, we are today going to dig into President-Elect Joe Biden’s approach to Turkey throughout the last 50 years. Thus, try to anticipate how relationships between Turkey and the US might be.

The elected-president of the US, Joe Biden, visited Turkey three times before
The elected-president of the US, Joe Biden, visited Turkey three times before

Curiosity for Relationships Between Joe Biden and Turkey

Democratic candidate Joe Biden won the US Elections 2020 and became the 46th President of the United States. So, following the results, all eyes turned to the question of how the Ankara-Washington relations will be.

Erdogan, unlikely other European leaders, belatedly congratulated the new president of the US
Erdogan, unlikely other European leaders, belatedly congratulated the new president of the US

The new president of the US Joe Biden visited Turkey three times before. After his first visit in December 2011, he came to Ankara for the second time. It was when the period of the US’s ISIS operation in Syria. Biden was also in touch with the Turkish authorities a month after the coup of July 15, 2016.

So, the experienced politician Joe Biden has served the country for 36 years as vice president for 8 years and senator for more than that. He is, therefore, a very influential figure of the Democratic Party. People now wonder with the new resident of the White House: how will Turkey-US and Joe Biden and Turkey relations be like?

Joe Biden’s Political Bloomers: “Replacing Erdogan with Election”

One of the bloomers that Biden made was last year December. He had said that “We will replace Erdogan now with a coup, but elected.” Moreover, Biden also said that “in order to overthrow Erdogan, we must support the opposition [parties in Turkey].”

It is now a matter of curiosity on how relations between Joe Biden and Turkey be like
It is now a matter of curiosity on how relations between Joe Biden and Turkey be like

Following Biden’s statement without any hesitation in front of cameras, Erdogan had shared his anger and disappointments. He had reacted to Biden’s statements by addressing the history of strategic relationships between the US and Turkey.

Publicly Criticizing Turkey’s Capital Ankara

Biden was the Vice President of former President Barack Obama in the USA between 2009-2017. So, he openly and publicly has been criticizing Ankara. During the last election campaign, he named Turkey, along with Russia, and North Korea, as “autocrat administrations”. Turkey is familiar with Biden’s critics on Turkey in particular issues such as human rights, democracy, Syria, and the S-400.

Trump thinks that Joe Biden lacks the mental capacity to deal with leaders like Erdogan
Trump thinks that Joe Biden lacks the mental capacity to deal with leaders like Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand, criticized the Barack Obama period and stated that he had “good relations” with Donald Trump. Trump brought up his relations with Erdogan during the election campaign. He said, “I can get along with him. He is listening to me.” Trump said at this point that Biden “lacks the mental capacity to deal with leaders like Erdogan.”

The Future of the S-400 Missile Defense System

Turkey, last year October, purchased an S-400 missile defense system from Russia. Later on, experimented with the S-400 missile defense system in Turkey’s Sinop city. Thereupon, Biden stated that “Ankara is the possibility to impose sanctions.” Trump, however, didn’t approve the sanction decision against Turkey in the Congress last year.

Turkey's purchasing S-400 missile defense system from Russia had caused trouble with the US
Turkey’s purchasing S-400 missile defense system from Russia had caused trouble with the US

However, it is stated that one of the most important priorities of Biden in foreign policy is to make NATO more effective. At this point, the experts say that they would choose the path of development of relations with Turkey.

Joe Biden and Turkey: Eastern Mediterranean Politics

One of the most popular subjects between the two actors was the recent tensions in natural gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey. In the past, the US pursued a policy of balance between Turkey and Greece. But in recent months, the US has been developing relations with Athens in defense and security fields.

Ceaseless Tension: Cyprus

The endless tension of Cyprus
The endless tension of Cyprus

Biden was also among those who criticized Turkey’s policy on Cyprus while he was serving as a senator. Experts state that Biden will maintain Ankara’s opposite view on Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean issues.

Syria and Israel 

Washington under Obama, despite Turkey’s objection, gave support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). So, political experts expect Biden keeps supporting the SDF in the new period.

Obama era politics gave a powerful support to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
Obama era politics gave powerful support to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)

Joe Biden is a “Pro-Israel” politician. He also gives importance to Turkey-Israel relations. So, so experts express that Biden will try to reconcile two sides for the Middle Eastern politics. And thus, the US will able to regain its powerful position in the region against Russia’s current existence in the absence of the US army.

Joe Biden and Turkey: 1915 Events (or So-Called Armenian Genocide)

Biden is known that has been doing some serious and effective works for the so-called Armenian Genocide to be accepted as the “Armenian Genocide” in the US. So, experts state that Biden will not give up this policy. This policy, in the meantime, has always been the official discourse of the US Foreign Policy, anyways. Therefore, it is quite unsurprising and understandable for the US to maintain its historical position on the issue.

Turkey's pro-government online newspaper Daily Sabah claim that Joe Biden is a complete stranger to Turkey
Turkey’s pro-government online newspaper Daily Sabah claim that Joe Biden is a complete stranger to Turkey

In Conclusion

Turkey and the US have long had strong, ties, and strategic relations. The strategic partnership between the two countries began following the end of WWI and strengthened with the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. There have always been some milestones for the route of the relations. For instance, Turkey’s military support to the US forces in the Korean War, or Turkey’s participation in NATO in the 1950s.

In spite of Trump's ongoing objections, Joe Biden took over the US's administration and the presidency
In spite of Trump’s ongoing objections, Joe Biden took over the US’s administration and the presidency

Yet, relations haven’t always been progressive and routed in a positive way. Turkey’s Cyprus intervention and president Johnson’s threatening letter gave some hard-to-repair damages to both sides. Nevertheless, one way or another, the strategic partnership between the two has survived each time and has succeeded to come today. When it comes to mutual interests, and historical ties, names are just names. Don’t you think?

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9 Similarities between “Black Lives Matter” and Turkey’s “Gezi Protests”

Black Lives Matter protests have spread over the world since May, 25th. (Image Credit-The Times)

Black Lives Matter protests have been shaking the US for almost two weeks. Protests began after a white police officer pressed his knee to George Floyd’s neck. After the video of the 46-year-old black citizen, George Floyd’s death became viral, tens of millions of people began screaming out three words: “I can’t breathe!” Those were the last words of the victim, which shook the world. Though it wasn’t the first crime committed by the US National Security forces, this last one changed the world’s agenda inevitably.

People keep gathering for Black Lives Matter protests in the US. (Image Credit-Times Magazine)
People keep gathering for Black Lives Matter protests in the US. (Image Credit-Times Magazine)

American police officers’ violence over black citizens in the country is almost an official state policy. Some also argue that following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the US, those incidents have risen. One way or another, the last crime took millions of people down the streets of the US. Protests began on May 25 and increasingly continuing. Having killed an unarmed black man by a white American police officer ignited the wick of a new riot wave.

“Black Lives Matter” and Turkey’s “Gezi Park Protests”

Turkey had experienced one of the biggest political unrest in its history in 2013. The protests had begun on May 31, —almost the same date with George Floyd protests. It was an unforgettable solidarity example in Turkey’s near term political history. Millions of people from 81 provinces of Turkey occupied streets in search of justice and democracy.

Duran Adam (Standing Man) was one of the most popular figures of Gezi Park Protests. (Image Credit-Milliyet))
Duran Adam (Standing Man) was one of the most popular figures of Gezi Park Protests. (Image Credit-Milliyet))

In fact, it all started to prevent the ruling party (Erdoğan’s AKP) to build a mall to the heart of Istanbul. Because the government in that period was planning to destroy the only public area in Istanbul’s Taksim square. However, shortly after, protests turned into another shape and demanded more political freedom. Further, the more Turkish state and police forces became aggressive, the riots became bigger and stronger.

A picture from Black Lives Matter protests in the US. (Image Credit-Financial Times)
A picture from Black Lives Matter protests in the US. (Image Credit-Financial Times)

So, today in Turkey, many people from social media show their interest in the riots in the US. Moreover, they tend to offer their solidarity for the American protestors. For example, millions of social media users joined #BlackoutTuesday trend and turned their personal pages into black. But these acts also raise a question: where does this interest really come from? The answer is the 2013 Gezi Park Protests, which holds many similarities with its descendent. So, let’s see what are those and are there really some parallelism between them.

1- Naming Protestors

US police officers and the government are growing the tension. (Image Credit-Voice of America)
US police officers and the government are growing the tension. (Image Credit-Voice of America)

Both leaders, Erdoğan and Trump, have a similar and identical term to call and name protestors. Instead of democratically give an ear to them, they rather prefer to insult them by giving out-of-line defining. Trump has recently called protestors as “Thumb”, while Erdoğan had called protestors as “Çapulcular” (Looters). I assume that it is a common feature of all anti-democratic leaders and their powers.

2- Using Religion as a Toxic Tool

The President of the US Donald Trump poses a bible outside of a Church in Washington D.C, the capital city of the US. (Image Credit-The Print)
The President of the US Donald Trump poses a bible outside of a Church in Washington D.C, the capital city of the US. (Image Credit-The Print)

Religion has always been an important political instrument to use the ruling people. It “was” during the middle ages in the West, and still “is” assumably. So, last week Trump held a Bible outside a church in Washington D.C, the capital city of the US. While holding a bible, he was threatening protestors by using the military force to end protests. Former PM, and current President of Turkey, Erdoğan, on the other hand, had held a Kuran in a mosque in Turkey during Gezi Protests. What’s more, he depicted protestors as marginals, who bent on the destruction of property and religion.

3- Conspiracy Theories!

George Soros is an 89-year-old Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist. (Image Credit-Foreign Policy)
George Soros is an 89-year-old Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist. (Image Credit-Foreign Policy)

Here is an indispensable instrument that has been in use over the centuries. According to both leaders, there are some secret international powers, who are aiming to destroy political and economical stability inside the country. “Traps of the outsiders” are focusing on tearing the country apart. What’s more, even those secret power resemble both in Turkey and the US: George Saros! Trump claims that George Soros and his Open Society Foundations funds protestors, just like Erdoğan claimed that.

4- Black Lives Matter: Between Peace and Violent

Britain and Germany host the toughest riots in Europe. (Image Credit-Washington Times)
Britain and Germany host the toughest riots in Europe. (Image Credit-Washington Times)

The name of the protests in the US is quite meaningful: Black Lives Matter! It matters because of the roots of the protests based on more than two centuries of slavery tradition of black people in the US. So, George Floyd’s incident is not the first one, —hopefully, it will be the last! And same anger was exist in Turkey before Gezi Protests exploited. The search for a democratic country, ending all discrimination caused a month-long riot in Turkey. However, commonly, both unrest turned into violent acts from a peaceful one.

5- Military Force Card

Millions of people in Turkey had taken over Istanbul's street during a month-long Gezi Park Protests in Turkey for advanced democracy and justice. (Image Credit-Middle East Affairs)
Millions of people in Turkey had taken over Istanbul’s street during a month-long Gezi Park Protests in Turkey for advanced democracy and justice. (Image Credit-Middle East Affairs)

Due to the fact that the leaders do not step forward to take democratic precautions to meet protestors’ demands, the intensity of riots grows. So, it happened in Turkey, which happens in the US. At this point, similarly again, both leaders threatened their own citizens to use military forces against them in the country. So far so now, American Army refused to take over the streets and shot over the Americans. But no one is sure what is going to happen in the next rally…

6- Danger for “Counterrevolution”

It may be overestimating to name unrest in the USA as a revolution, so the term counterrevolution may be a misleading and assertive term to define the situation. However,   it is obvious that there is a powerful demand for change. And every revolution holds a demand for change in it. So, why not call the aggressive attitude of governments as counter-revolution?

7- Who is the “Silent Majority”?

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1267838101340196866

On June 2, Trump shared a tweet, which he uses quite often and actively, wrote down “Silent Majority” with capital letters. He was referring to his supporters and meant that he keeps them in control against civil war. But in the subtext, Trump is giving a message that nothing can stop him to use Hell’s Angels as a paramilitary army against ANTIFA and some other local leftist groups. As citizens of Turkey, we are quite familiar with this language of hatred. President Erdoğan had also used exactly the same term as silent majority to threaten peaceful protestors. This language of hatred and hostility, nevertheless, only grows the polarization of the country and the society itself.

8- The Orientation of Protests

Defiant DC mayor names plaza 'Black Lives Matter', who has been criticized by Trump for not doing his job right. (Image Credit-WION)
Defiant DC mayor names plaza ‘Black Lives Matter’, who has been criticized by Trump for not doing his job right. (Image Credit-WION)

Both “Black Lives Matter” and “Gezi Park Protests” broke out in one particular city, —Minneapolis and Istanbul, respectively. However, following the decisive manner of protestors and offensive and aggressive policies of the states, they spread over the country.

Coloring stairs in Turkey had become a trend symbolizing a multicolored democracy instead of the gray one of majority. (Image Credit-al arte magazine)
Coloring stairs in Turkey had become a trend symbolizing a multicolored democracy instead of the gray one of the majority. (Image Credit-al arte magazine)

9- “Black Lives Matter” Protests Own Language

Every riot, unrests, protests, upheaval create their own language and the way to gather support from common people. While some fight face to face on streets, others support from their home. Fear is always a real feeling that everyone has and must-have inside of their existence. Apart from fear, creativity, and imagination leaves its mark to protests. It occurred in Turkey, and now we witness the same way in the US.

Woman in Red is an iconic figure of Turkey's Gezi Park Protests in 2013. (Image Credit-CNN)
Woman in Red is an iconic figure of Turkey’s Gezi Park Protests in 2013. (Image Credit-CNN)

The way people showed their support in the two examples is quite similar. The banging of pots and pans to show support from home, battling with tear gas, commandeering of a small crone, “woman in red” standing up bravely to the police are, for instance, the way how people reacted against disproportional power of the states’ legal military forces.

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