As you can see from my facebook pics today I was together with Chinese dissident Mr. Liu Gang demonstrating in front of the United Nations to fight back the crimes against humanity committed by both Chinese Communist Party and the 1980 military junta in Turkey. He showed my the New York Post piece which I put a copy here. It uses the word paranoid which is extremely unfair considering the immense power of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) I put another piece showing that CCP is controlling street gangs around the world to win its goals. CCP will not shy from using its trained agents to abduct or kill dissents. So I think New York Post piece was totally unfair.
Then as you may wonder about the implications of a Turkish dissent like me collaborating with Chinese dissents in front of UN. Ok it is totally natural as central concept of our friendship is based on democracy and human rights. We are against dictators in Turkey or in China or elsewhere. They are all same and commit crimes against humanity. That is why we are friends. More friends will join our force in the next days. We will visit congressmen and senators to fight crimes against humanity.
We can collaborate all legitimate parties and people if they are fighting crimes against humanity. I believe that when the junta criminals in Turkey are hung and punished truly this will allow Turkey to support democratic movements in the Middle East. We can establish regional organizations which can better deal with bigger criminals like CCP. I want to raise this opportunity during our visits to Congress.
By the way, today I had some positive and some negative comments from Turkish people. Negative ones are saying that the ruling party in Turkey is becoming a dictator as they are putting the military junta criminals in jail and out of power. I am totally against any dictator elected or military. We must ensure that we have advanced quantum democracy in our new constitution we are writing in Turkey. We must be very careful to build advanced computer mechanisms to prevent the elected officials to go astray and become elected dictators. This is very important issue and I have many comments about this quantum computer and its democracy. More on it as we move next days.
Turkish Chief of Staff General Isik Kosaner during a military ceremony in Ankara on Aug. 28, 2010. Kosaner stepped down on July 29, and the entire military command has resigned in a dispute with the government. (AFP/Getty Images)
Turkey Undergoes A ‘Silent Revolution’
by Alan Greenblatt
Aug 4, 2011 — For decades, Turkey’s military leaders have intervened repeatedly when they viewed civilian governments as going astray. Now, all the nation’s top commanders have resigned, leaving the ruling political party with unquestioned control.
Politics in Turkey have just undergone a profound shift.
For decades, Turkey’s military leaders repeatedly launched coups and other interventions to bring about an end to civilian governments they felt were straying too far from the country’s secular traditions.
But with the resignations last week of the top Turkish commanders — including the chiefs of staff of each service branch — civilian authorities have, for the first time in the nation’s history, clearly gained the upper hand.
“The military has finally seen that its standing is in free fall,” says Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish research program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They have conceded defeat.”
That may be a positive sign of Turkey’s maturation. The republic appears to have outgrown its military DNA and the notion that the country was ultimately owned by the army.
But even as it appears to be moving toward a more mainstream model of Western democracy, with firm civilian control, some worry that the scaling back of the military’s power means there are no real checks on the power of the ruling Justice and Development Party, known as the AK Party or AKP.
The AKP, which has Islamist roots, has established its authority over the judiciary and jailed its critics by the dozen — not just admirals and generals, but journalists and people working for civil society organizations as well.
“After a decade, the ruling party now has control of all the levers of power in Turkey,” Cagaptay says. “The military was considered the last institution standing that could intervene. Now, the resignations are a sign that the military, too, has snapped.”
Turkey’s Military Tradition
After World War I, modern Turkey was born out of the ashes of the old Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who had led the country’s war of independence and became its first president, established Turkey as a secular democracy.
Ironically, Ataturk imposed changes such as creating political parties and abolishing the caliphate, or theocratic Islamic rule, through authoritarian means. Before there was a Turkish republic, after all, there was a Turkish army. Some historians view Turkey as a country that was, at its roots, set up by army officers.
That may be overstating things, but the military has, in fact, taken its role as guardian of Turkey’s secular traditions quite seriously.
Since 1960, the army has overthrown top civilian leaders four times for perceived violations of those traditions, whether by putting tanks into the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, the capital, or by issuing a memorandum that led to the bloodless “postmodern coup” of 1997.
A Slow Paradigm Shift
But things have changed over the past decade. Recep Teyyip Erdogan, who has been prime minister since AKP took power in 2002, has successfully challenged the military — most notably through a series of court cases that have landed much of the top brass in jail.
There’s not a single four-star general in the Turkish air force, for instance, who has not been charged. Half the country’s admirals are in the clink, too, charged with fomenting instability and plotting to overturn the government.
Last Friday’s resignations were the “culmination of a process,” says Omer Taspinar, a professor of international relations at the National Defense University in the U.S.
“The arrest of active-duty generals last year was a first in Turkish history,” he says. “The fact that you had so many admirals and generals in jail was too much for the top commanders to digest.”
Given Turkey’s past, many may have expected the military to protest — perhaps even to issue another threatening memo. Instead, they remained quiet.
“This was a silent revolution,” Taspinar says.
How Times Have Changed
The military’s standing with the public has eroded over the years AKP has been in power, notes Cagaptay. The military’s approval ratings — which stood at 90 percent back in 2002 — have since dropped to about 60 percent.
That’s still respectable, but it’s not enough to overcome the canny political moves taken by Erdogan, who received a renewed mandate in June with the AKP’s third straight victory in parliamentary elections.
Outside powers had tolerated the series of coups, largely because of Turkey’s strategic importance during the Cold War. But the Cold War is long since over. And, in terms of domestic politics, AKP remains highly popular thanks in large part to the country’s strong rate of recent economic growth.
“If things are stable and going well, as they have for the last 10 years, I don’t think people are interested in seeing a coup and the military stepping in,” says Taspinar, who directs the Turkey project at the Brookings Institution. “No one wants a military authoritarian system when the alternative is better.”
A Changed Outlook
The straw that broke the military’s back was the current season for promotions. The military wanted high-ranking officers who are sitting in jail, but have not been convicted, to be able to move up. Erdogan was having none of it.
Last year, he sat alongside the armed forces chief at the annual meeting deciding on appointments. On Monday, The Associated Press reported, Erdogan sat alone, in a choreographed gesture demonstrating his authority.
Despite the symbolism of that moment and the importance of the military resignations, analysts don’t expect any major short-term changes in Turkey’s foreign posture. The country will still work with other European nations and the United States on issues such as Libya, Iran and Syria, while having strained relations with Israel.
But the fact that the AKP has put down the main protector of the firewall between religion and the government has made some outsiders nervous.
“If you’re a European looking at this, on the one hand you don’t want the military overturning a democratically elected government,” says Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO. “On the other hand, we don’t want the Islamists to have an undue influence over politics.”
Growing Regional Influence
Turkey has always been a Muslim nation, despite the strictures against the use of Islamic symbols in a political context. No one now expects the imposition of Shariah law or any kind of theocratic rule.
But Turkey’s national identity could become more openly Islamist. And its sense of its place in the world is likely to shift to some extent away from the West — where it has been trying for more than a decade to gain membership to the European Union — and toward the Arab world.
Turkey’s transition from military rule to democracy has been viewed as a model for countries such as Egypt during the Arab spring. The fact that it’s now clear the military has to take orders from civilians, coupled with the country’s gradual shift to a nation with a more openly Islamic identity, will only increase Turkey’s influence in its immediate neighborhood, Cagaptay suggests.
“This is a real opportunity for a burst of Turkey becoming a more powerful country in the region, through its Islamic identity,” he says.
Some Key Moments
1960: A military coup leads to the hanging of two government ministers. 1971: The military hands Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel an ultimatum that leads to his resignation. 1980: A military junta takes power for several years. 1997: Another military memorandum leads to the “postmodern coup,” in which Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan resigns and his coalition government falls. 1999: Turkey applies for full membership in the European Union. 2002: The Justice and Democracy Party, or AKP, takes power. 2008: An alleged plot leads to the unprecedented arrest of top retired military officials. June 12, 2011: AKP wins a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. July 29, 2011: The nation’s top military commanders resign.
Copyright(c) 2011, NPR
Torment of Tiananmen
By KATHIANNE BONIELLO
Last Updated: 7:25 AM, August 7, 2011
Posted: 1:31 AM, August 7, 2011
The ghosts of Tiananmen Square still haunt Gang Liu.
It’s been 22 years since Liu, then 28, took to the streets of Beijing to fight for democracy in China.
Though the smoke of the doomed revolution has long since settled, the exiled Liu finds himself shadowboxing with an army of foes and fears — and repeated attempts by the communist government to take him out, he believes.
He flings accusations near and far: his estranged wife tampered with his car, trying to kill him; his ex-employer spied on him to secure his silence about atrocities in his homeland; and even Google failed to protect his e-mail from hackers.
STRUGGLE GOES ON: Gang Liu lives in New York after fleeing China for his part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising — but his inner demons drove off estranged wife Yinghua Guo, whom he accused of plotting to murder him.
“If I don’t fight back, they’ll kill me,” he told The Post of his communist enemies.
Physically and psychologically scarred from a brutal eight years in Chinese prisons, Liu, 50, sees the enemy around every corner. And the courts have been left to sort out what is truth and what is paranoia.
After his release from prison in 1995, he fled to the US, where he was granted political asylum. During 15 years in the US, he’s gone to Columbia, gotten a Wall Street job, married and had a daughter.
He believes his estranged wife, Yinghua Guo, is a Chinese military officer. When Morgan Stanley suffered a February cyber-attack, Liu was convinced it was because he worked there. Chinese security forces have called him on the phone, threatening his life, he says.
The Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest ended in massive bloodshed. More than 1 million young Chinese in and around the symbolic plaza faced off against the military, which used tanks to clear the streets. Hundreds, if not thousands, were killed.
“They came from all directions,” Liu recalled. “People were very angry.”
Afterward, Liu was third on the Chinese government’s list of the 21 most-wanted student leaders responsible for organizing the protests. He was caught and held by authorities for nearly two years before trial. He was quickly convicted and sent to prison for another six years.
There were regular beatings, he claims. He was shocked with an electric prod — in the mouth, “in sensitive areas,” he said.
He was forced to make his way secretly to Beijing and Guangzhou, switching trains to avoid detection.
He took a ferry to Hong Kong, where he found protection at the American Consulate.
“It was very dangerous,” he said.
He got a Wall Street job and married Guo, 38, a business exec at Pfizer, in 2007, after she reached out to him via online dating. The couple had a daughter, Angela, now 2.
But then, Liu claims, he discovered his wife had gotten a $60,000 payment from China, had contacted a government agency there and stole money from him.
In the midst of a bitter, still not finalized divorce, Guo got an order of protection. Liu has been arrested for allegedly violating the order.
“Guo threatened to kill me if I disclose her military background,” he wrote in federal court papers. “Guo was sent by the Chinese Central Commission to the USA and to kill me.”
He also plans on suing Morgan Stanley, which fired him last month after pressuring him to stop his dissident activities, Liu said. Morgan Stanley confirmed Liu’s firing but wouldn’t comment on the case.
Liu now speaks out on a blog and Twitter about China.
“Once the Chinese government lists you as a target, you have no way to hide, no way to escape,” he said.