As longer term readers may remember I have written a number of pieces on intelligence matters, particularly those that involve the work of our so called "intelligence" agencies regarding nuclear proliferation and immigration issues. See also this piece I wrote, which pulls a number of these diverse strands together.
One of the primary figures in these narratives was FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, who clearly identified numerous corrupt interests at the heart of the U.S. government who were tied deeply into Turkey's thoroughly corrupt "deep state" (a concept so well entrenched in popular Turk consciousness that it has a specific term in Turkish - derin devlet).
Having spent a lot of time working through Sibel Edmonds various pieces of testimony, and following up as many of the links as I could, I was naturally horrified to hear of David Cameron's insistence that he would "fight" for Turkey to join the EU, saying that without Turkey at its heart, the EU was "not stronger but weaker... not more secure but less... not richer but poorer" and "I'm here to make the case for Turkey's membership of the EU. And to fight for it." (it would be lovely if you expressed "fighting" for Britain in the same strong terms Dave).
I often used to joke with an Italian friend that both our countries were competing to see who could produce the most corrupt and mendacious political officials. We both agreed however that British and Italian corruption would pale into insignificance when compared to Turkey's. Accession to the EU, giving complete open borders to what is effectively Europe's drug funded, weapons (including nuclear) proliferating gangster state would be an immense disaster for all Europeans, for it would give these same corrupt interests unfettered access to Europe.
This background is important to lay out the significance of the contents of the diplomatic cable, marked with 'secret' classification from the U.S. Ankara embassy in 2004 (the target recipient isn't clear): Cable #04ANKARA7211
Turkey's corruption alone is reason enough to strenuously oppose EU entry - this diplomatic cable however sets out in stark terms the powerful Islamist influence at work within the Turkish government - a government we are repeatedly told is secular. EU nations such as Austria and Greece (among others) have extremely bitter - and in the latter's case, historically very recent, ancestral memories and histories tied up in the aggression of the Ottoman empire, in a way that I don't think most Britons can fathom. Once this cable does the rounds there I can't see any MEPs from either nation not attempting to block Turkish progress into the EU.
The U.S. assessment of the Islamist influence begins from paragraph 10:
We have also run into the rarely openly-spoken, but widespread belief among adherents of the Turk-Islam synthesis that Turkey's role is to spread Islam in Europe, "to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683" as one participant in a recent meeting at AKP's main think tank put it. This thinking parallels the logic behind the approach of FonMin Gul ally and chief foreign policy advisor in the Prime Ministry Ahmet Davutoglu, whose muddy opinion piece in the Dec. 13 International Herald Tribune is in essence a call for one-way multi-cultural tolerance, i.e., on the part of the EU.
I'm sure there will be Spanish and Austrian heads exploding, even amongst so called political "moderates", at the references to Andalusia and Vienna, respectively. British people besieged by the de facto serial monoculturism of "multicultism" in the UK will be deeply familar with the utter hypocrisy expressed in the last sentence, especially those who have objected to it and erroneously been written off as racists, or supporters of the BNP.
In fairness, the cable does detail some distinctly secularist efforts that are more pro-Western, including some that aim explicitly to bring forth the more humanist - Sufi-influenced - side of Islam (see for example Paragraph 24). However the bulk details the impact of the Islamist element in stark terms. There are for example, allegations that the West is fomenting a clash of civilisations and can effectively be "saved" by the spread of Turkish values, along with "concern that harmonization and membership will water down Islam and associated traditions in Turkey". Paragraph 13 goes on to point out the Turkish government's civil service hiring policy: 'to hire on the basis of "one of us", i.e., from the Sunni brotherhood and lodge milieu'. The cable frankly expresses the opinion that previous hires were incompetent and a change to hiring 'on the basis of competence' (!) would still mean that new recruits would be frustrated because of their predecessors incompetence.
The Turkish leader, Erdogan, who Cameron so praises, is described as having "hunger for absolute power and for the material benefits of power" . He has "a sharp authoritarian style and deep distrust of others" and he surrounds himself "with an iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors". As a result, he has a "susceptibility to Islamist theories". And this is supposed to be the Secular leader who Call me Dave assures us will lead Turkey - and the EU - to a better age!
On this particular topic, the remainder of paragraph 17 is worth quoting in full:
With regard to Islamist influences on Erdogan, DefMin Gonul, who is a conservative but worldly Muslim, recently described Gul associate Davutoglu to us as "exceptionally dangerous." Erdogan's other foreign policy advisors (Cuneyd Zapsu, Egemen Bagis, Omer Celik, along with Mucahit Arslan and chef de cabinet Hikmet Bulduk) are despised as inadequate, out of touch and corrupt by all our AKP contacts from ministers to MPs and party intellectuals.
Paragraph 19 also gives us specific numbers regarding the number of Islamists within the government itself:
Judging by comments to us of insiders in the influential Islamist lodge of Fethullah Gulen such as publicist Abdurrahman Celik, the lodge, which has made some inroads into AKP (Minister of Justice Cicek, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mumcu; perhaps 60-80 of 368 MPs; some appointments to the bureaucracy), has resumed the ambivalent attitude it initially had toward Erdogan and AKP.
Further down, in paragraph 23, the cable identifies a prominent Islamist appointment: "Omer Dincer, an Islamist academic whom Erdogan appointed Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry, THE key position in the government/state bureaucracy."
Can you imagine the popular media reaction to the idea that the BNP had a quarter of the seats in parliament and several ministerial appointments? The above is certainly no different.
The additional information the cable provides us on Turkish corruption is also enlightening:
in increasing numbers AKPers from ministers on down, and people close to the party, are telling us of conflicts of interest or serious corruption in the party at the national, provincial and local level and among close family members of ministers. We have heard from two contacts that Erdogan has eight accounts in Swiss banks; his explanations that his wealth comes from the wedding presents guests gave his son and that a Turkish businessman is paying the educational expenses of all four Erdogan
children in the U.S. purely altruistically are lame.
Specific Ministers identified as corrupt were: "Minister of Interior Aksu, Minister of Foreign Trade Tuzmen, and AKP Istanbul provincial chairman Muezzinoglu". The cable even goes on to point out that Turkish police are investigating "Muezzinoglu's extortion racket and other activities has already produced evidence incriminating Erdogan." - a minister openly identifed as running an extortion racket!
The final assessments in the cable are absolutely damning:
the broad, rubber-meets-the-road reality is that Islam in Turkey is caught in a vise of (1) 100 years of "secular" pressure to hide itself from public view, (2) pressure and competition from brotherhoods and lodges to follow their narrow, occult "true way", and (3) the faction- and positivism- ridden aridity of the Religious Affairs
Directorate (Diyanet). As a result, Islam as it is lived in Turkey is stultified, riddled with hypocrisy, ignorant and intolerant of other religions' presence in Turkey, and unable to eject those who would politicize it in a radical, anti-Western way. Imams are for the most part poorly educated and all too ready to insinuate anti-Western, anti-Christian or anti-Jewish sentiments into their sermons. Exceptionally few Muslims in Turkey have the courage to challenge conventional Sunni thinking about jihad or, e.g., verses in the Repentance shura of the Koran which have for so long been used to justify violence against "infidels".
Yep - that sounds just like the fundamentally secular state we've been sold all these years. It is also very important to take note of the U.S. take on the Turkish relationship with history:
A second question is the relation of Turkey and its citizens to history -- the history of this land and citizens' individual history. Subject to rigid taboos, denial, fears, and mandatory gross distortions, the study of history and practice of historiography in the Republic of Turkey remind one of an old Soviet academic joke: the faculty party chief assembles his party cadres and, warning against various
ideological threats, proclaims, "The future is certain. It's only that damned past that keeps changing."
Having been on the receiving end of multiple hacks and defacements on my own websites by Turkish hackers for daring to mention the Armenian Genocide, the above paragraph certainly rings true for me.
Simply either the pervasive - and deep - corruption, or the extensive influence of Islamists within government would be enough to give anyone in the EU pause regarding the wisdom of welcoming Turkey as possibly the 28th member state. But both?
It is reasonable to assume that given the general convergence of views on other matters, the UK FCO assessment of Turkey would not have differed greatly from that of the U.S. Although, as Peter Oborne has repeatedly warned us in his excellent excoriations of the political class - the British FCO and the government parted ways many years before, and in fact the British government under Blair and Campbell has made best efforts to make it irrelevant, despite its long history of expert local knowledge. This is all the more significant in the light of Cameron and LibConfused giving the European External Action Service a free pass to replace the FCO and gives credence to Godfrey Bloom's accusation of "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer" - a vision that, if Davy Boy is anything to go by, surely involved having the Turkish nightmare foisted upon us without a single one of us having a say.
The release of this cable could well change all of that however. Spread it far. Spread it wide.