MY APPEAL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Admiral Türker Ertürk (Retired)
Former Superintendent, Turkish Naval Academy
Someone whom I respect and admire very much—a senior friend of mine—has asked me to write this letter to you, the American People. He is a businessman who has done business with you for years in the past and is still full of positive energy and appreciation for what and who you are. He has asked me to inform you by sharing with you the facts that the Obama Administration’s policy for Turkey and the Middle East are totally misdirected. Obama’s policy will send future generations into chaos and confusion and will cause our children to consider each other as enemies.
He is right, simply because the leaders and the administrators are here only temporarily but the people remain forever. Yes, he is right, but why me? Why should I be the one who would issue this message? How many Americans would read me or even know me? He answered: “I do know that the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey reads your articles.”
He might have been right. A while ago, one of the owners of the internet news portal where my articles appear called to tell me that it has been only four hours since we have posted your article but we have received a tremendous amount of clicking until now. Most of them are from Europe, the Gulf Countries, Iran, and Syria and, interestingly enough, two clicks from the Pentagon!
Perhaps your politicians, your military leaders and your intelligence units have been reading and following writers like me who post articles which criticize and analyze your country’s foreign policy. But I am afraid that you, the American people, are unaware of the things happening in Turkey and the Middle East.
Currently the Obama Administration is, for the sake of short-term benefits, endangering your long-term future benefits regarding the security of future generations of Americans, your universal values, your principles of democracy and human rights, all the foundational ideals of the American people so solidly written into your Constitution.
Your Ambassador in Ankara, Mr. Francis Ricciardone, by visiting sensitive geographical areas of Turkey and playing with the sensitivities and sensibilities of the people living in these regions, is attempting to trigger a civil war.
As you may have followed in your local press, the recent uprising in Istanbul which started as an environmental issue has quickly changed into a country-wide revolution against the current Turkish Government and its political party, the AKP, due to the brutal and excessive force used by the police. The issue is now well beyond “the cutting down of the trees” and “reconstructing a replica of an old, historical Army Barracks” which in the past was the symbol of religious fundamentalism.
The underlying reason for the current uprising in Turkey is the activities and decisions over the last 11 years of the Erdogan government and its political entity, the AKP Party. But the Turkish people know that the U.S. government brought Erdogan and the AKP Party to power and has supported 75% of their activities and projects. This remains the reason for the current revolt.
Do you know that the dimension of the current anti-US government feelings in Turkey is at the highest level now in the entire history of Turkish–American relations? In the past, only the socialists and political Islamists led anti-American activities and slogan-shouting. Now it is nationwide.
Erdogan and his government are trying to wipe out in Turkey the ideals, symbolism and modern reforms of Ataturk. I do not know how much you know about Ataturk but he is the leader who brought Turkey into the modern age, enabling renaissance and enlightenment periods to develop in Turkey which the West had produced so painstakingly in its past. He is, for us, akin to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, combined. Without those reforms, Turkey would have remained in the Middle Ages.
Do you know that the Obama administration together with Erdogan and some backward Gulf states are exporting terrorism to Syria, Turkey's southern neighbor? Are you aware that al-Qaeda-related murderers in Syria are supported by the American administration and are cutting and eating the hearts and livers of still-living people?
Do they tell you that, as in the Anthony Hopkins film, The Silence of Lambs, written by Mr. Thomas Harris, hundreds of human flesh-eating Hannibal Lecter characters have been created by the U.S. policies in Syria?
Do you know that the CIA is behind the operations in Turkey called Ergenekon and Balyoz, created to allow the Erdogan government to make regime changes in Turkey? Do you know that because of this, prominent and modern-thinking leaders from universities, politics, the military and media have been thrown into jails? There is no longer law or justice in Turkey. Since I have my roots in the military as a retired admiral, I know for sure that all the members of the Turkish Armed Forces, from the enlisted men to the top generals, hate the United States because of its support of Erdogan. This is the result of the U.S. administration’s short sighted leaders' inability to see the future.
Do you know that Erdogan and the AKP government, who are backed by the U.S. administration, made recent education policy changes called 4+4+4 that take the Turkish educational system back to the darkness of the middle ages? The best thing that will ever come from this educational system will be the fundamentalist suicide bombers. If tomorrow, somewhere in the world, you lose your children or grandchildren with the bombs exploded in the name of religion, wouldn't your consciences be pained for your government's support of those bombers?
I personally have grown up in the secular educational system which has been part and parcel of the Turkish Revolution, established and led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after the Independence War of 1923. I have no prejudice against any religion, race, nationality or religious sect.
I was in London last month for a conference. At a dinner given after the conference, a lady seated across the table from me, told me that she was Jewish. She had moved to England from Turkey 30 years ago and had come to this conference to listen to me. During my talk at the conference earlier that evening, I had mentioned about some not-so-friendly politics followed by the Israeli government against Turkey. I repeated my thoughts to her again so that they would not be incorrectly understood. My consideration of Israeli policies as a threat to Turkey depends totally on the policies advanced and applied by the Israeli government and is entirely related to current realities. In other words, I am not anti-Semitic. However, I explained to her with documentary evidence that the current Erdogan government was in fact anti-Semitic at heart. But it did not mind allying with the Israeli government in joint operations in the neighborhood, in following up their policies of worshiping power and disguising themselves as otherwise until they attain their purposes.
Dear American People, as I conclude my appeal to you, in all honesty, I wish you to know that the Obama administration’s policies are the root cause of the enmity between the American and Turkish peoples. It remains a threat to regional and world peace. Last Sunday, I noticed a hand-held sign during the demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. It read “Obama Supports Terrorism.” It is actually very true! Regrettably, the US government, for the sake of short term gains all over the world including in Turkey, supports terrorism. I happen to think that democracy is not this, or better put, this is not democracy!
Long live the friendship and brotherhood of the peoples of the United States of America and Turkey!
Long live World Peace!
Admiral Türker Ertürk, (Retired)
Former Superintendent of the Turkish Naval Academy
4 July 2013