Not Good For A Secular Turkey

If you thought Turkey was already an unreliable NATO ally, this won’t help.

Turkey: Military chiefs resign en masse

The chief of the Turkish armed forces, Isik Kosaner, has resigned along with the army, navy and air force heads.

They were furious about the arrest of senior officers, accused of plotting, shortly before a round of military promotions.

A series of meetings between General Kosaner and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to resolve their differences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul moved quickly to appoint General Necdet Ozel as the new army chief.

Gen Ozel is widely expected to be swiftly elevated to chief of the general staff in place of Gen Kosaner. Tradition dictates that only the head of the army can take over the top job.

There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the governing AK party, with the two sides engaged in a war of words for the past two years over allegations that parts of the military had been plotting a coup.

See also:
In Turkey, top military figures apparently resign en masse
Turkey’s military has at last stood aside
Turkey’s top generals resign in apparent rift with Erdogan government
Turkey’s military chiefs of staff resign
Turkish military’s chiefs of staff step down
Turkey’s top military leaders resign in protest of staff arrestsTurkey’s resignations, a sign of military decline
Turkey’s military chiefs quit ahead of key meeting
How Turkey’s military upheaval will affect NATO
Turkey’s reset
Analysis: Turkish government strengthens control on military
Government prepares for major overhaul of Turkish military
A Prime Minister’s Push Reshapes Turkish Politics

Traditionally, in Turkey, the military has served as check on Islamist forces and a key to maintaining a secular government.

/obviously, this development represents a substantial consolidation of power in the hands of Erdogan’s Islamist AK party and a big blow to the future of secularism in Turkey

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Eruption In Ecuador

Is it a coup attempt or just police protests against salary cuts? The 24 hour rule is in effect.

Ecuador ‘coup’: 50 injured in clashes

“We’ve treated 50 people in Quito for medical emergencies due to asphyxiation due to tear gas and impacts from pellets and teargas canisters,” said Jorge Arteaga, a Red Cross spokesman.

Most of the injured had been involved in clashes outside the hospital where president Rafael Correa is being held.

Mr Arteaga said that injuries were also reported in other Ecuadoran cities where rebel police took to the streets.

Mr Correa was holed up at Quito’s National Police Hospital, where he was taken after a tear gas canister exploded near him when he addressed rebellious police at a barracks nearby.

Although the police are surrounding the hospital and preventing him from leaving, Mr Correa told ECTV television that he is still running the country.

“They’re not letting me out,” Mr Correa said. “They’ve got all the hospital exits surrounded.

“Obviously, it’s a kidnapping, when you kidnap the president,” he added.

Mr Correa said he would not negotiate with the officers while he remains a captive.

“I’d rather die,” he said.

Ecuador’s president defiant after hospital rescue

A defiant Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa returned safely to the presidential palace late Thursday after spending hours held by police inside a hospital room outside Quito.

Minutes earlier, members of the Ecuadorian army — wearing gas masks — rescued him, a reporter for Ecuadorian Television reported.

Speaking from a balcony, Correa told thousands of jubilant supporters that he saw one person who was shot during the rescue, which he regretted.

He thanked his supporters — in particular his bodyguards — for standing behind him and said the rebel police effort to oust him had failed.

“Nobody has supported the police as much as this government, nobody has increased their salaries as much,” he said about police protests about what they thought were salary cuts. “After all we’ve done for the police, they did this!” he said, adding that he was held inside the room and not allowed to leave.

“Supposed national police!” he spat. “Shame on you!”

See also:
Ecuador coup attempt? President Rafael Correa attacked in police revolt.
Ecuador’s president attacked by police
State of Siege Declared Over Ecuador Coup
Coup d’état continues in Ecuador
Ecuador’s leader trapped after ‘coup attempt’
Ecuador President Hurt During ‘Coup Attempt’
Correa Claims Ecuador Coup Attempt After Scuffling With Police
Unrest In Ecuador: Protesting Security Forces Seize Airport
Protesting police, soldiers seize Ecuador airport
Ecuador Declares State of Emergency
Ecuador declares state of emergency as country thrown into chaos
Ecuador state of emergency: Your emails
Peru closes border with Ecuador after coup attempt
Colombia Seals Off Border with Ecuador
Colombia joins Peru in closing borders with Ecuador
Troops free Ecuador president
Ecuador president rescued amid police, military clash
Ecuador unrest: Rafael Correa returns to presidential palace
Ecuador’s President Freed From ‘Police Siege’
Troops storm Ecuador hospital and free Correa

Obviously, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on in Ecuador at the moment, although it seems that it might be a failed coup attempt.

/if so, all I can say is better luck next time, Rafael Correa is a close protégé of oppressive socialism poster boy and enemy of the United States, Hugo Chavez

Coups Have Consequences

Apparently, the interim government of Kyrgyzstan, that came to power in a coup two months ago, has lost control of parts of the country and, so far, their pleas for the Russians to intervene and bail them out are being rebuffed. And so, the chaos and carnage continues to unfold.

Kyrgyzstan to get aid, no troops from regional security group

A Moscow-led security organization Monday recommended offering logistical support and goods such as fuel to Kyrgyzstan rather than peacekeeping troops to help stop ethnic violence in the Central Asian country.

Kyrgyzstan law enforcement organizations, with some help, can control the rioting that began Thursday in Osh, said Nikolai Bordyuzha, secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is made up of several former Soviet republics, including Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

Bordyuzha met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday as officials announced that the death toll from the rioting in southern Kyrgyzstan had increased to at least 125, with more than 1,200 injured. Tens of thousands of people have fled the violence, many of them ethnic Uzbeks moving either into Uzbekistan or massing at the border.

“The current situation in Kyrgyzstan is intolerable, people have been killed, blood is being shed, and mass ethnic unrest is continuing,” Medvedev said, Interfax news agency reported. “This is extremely dangerous to that region, and therefore anything possible should be done to prevent such developments.”

Medvedev also indicated that the security organization’s leaders may need to reconvene if the situation worsens. He said he had shared the same message with Roza Otunbayeva, prime minister of the interim government in Kyrgyzstan. On Saturday, Moscow rejected Otunbayeva’s request to send troops to quash the riots.

But former Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, speaking to reporters in Belarus on Monday, said bringing the situation back to normal required international forces. The interim government has lost control, said Bakiyev, who was ousted in a coup in April.

In Jalal-Abad, north of Osh, mobs continued to loot and burn houses and kill people.

See also:
Uzbeks flee Kyrgyzstan, seek safety at border
Thousands flee ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan
“Slaughter” in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan violence: ‘I saw two neighbours shot dead before my eyes’
Kyrgyzstan’s unrest exposes heavy political jockeying
UN slams Kyrgyzstan violence
Red Cross: No Quick End to Kyrgyzstan Crisis
Russian-led Security Group Considers Intervention in Kyrgyzstan
Russia Weighs Pleas to Step In as Refugees Flee Kyrgyzstan
Coup In Kyrgyzstan?

Let’s hope this doesn’t totally spin out of control and spread countrywide.

/the Transit Center at Manas, a key U.S. airbase, crucial to our logistics chain into Afghanistan, is located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek

Coup In Kyrgyzstan?

Whatever is happening, it’s not helpful to the U.S. war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, seeing as one of our main resupply bases is located at the Manas International Airport, about 19 miles northwest of the capital of Bishkek.

Dozens killed in Kyrgyzstan unrest

The small, mountainous Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, a vital conduit for supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, plunged into chaos Wednesday as thousands of protesters ransacked government buildings and riot police fired on crowds, killing dozens of people.

The unrest left the fate of the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in doubt. Bakiyev has led the country since 2005 when he headed the so-called Tulip Revolution that deposed autocratic leader Askar A. Akayev. In the wake of Wednesday’s violence, Bakiyev’s government declared a state of emergency, even as opposition leaders claimed to have assumed power and Kyrgyzstan’s border with Kazakhstan was closed.

Although officials reported that at least 40 people had been killed and 400 wounded in the violence, opposition leaders put the death toll at 100. Neither claim could be verified.

The violence was being watched closely by Washington, which uses the Manas base at the airport in the capital, Bishkek, to ferry supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

Manas is the only remaining American base in Central Asia and is considered vital to the Afghanistan war effort. Military officials said the violence had not affected operations there.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the base was “functioning normally,” adding that the Obama administration was urging a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Kyrgyz opposition leaders have called for closure of Manas because, they say, the base could put the country at risk if the U.S. becomes involved in a military conflict with Iran. And at least twice in recent years Bakiyev has threatened to end U.S. use of the airport, but reconsidered after negotiating larger payments.

Ex-foreign minister says she’s Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader

A former foreign minister claimed to be in control of an interim government in Kyrgyzstan early Thursday after a wave of protests that left at least 40 dead and appeared to have driven President Kurmanbek Bakiev from office.

“We must restore a lot of things that have been wrongly ruled,” said Roza Otunbayeva, who called herself the country’s interim leader.

No independent confirmation of the claim was immediately available. The U.S. State Department said earlier that it believed Bakiev remained in power, but Otunbayeva said he had fled Bishkek, the capital, and his government had resigned after a day of clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

See also:
Kyrgyzstan: Coup in a U.S.-Allied Country?
The day Kyrgyzstan’s anger boiled over
Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan Could Imperil Key U.S. Base
Opposition says it leads Kyrgyzstan after uprising
Kyrgyzstan opposition sets up ‘people’s government’
Roza Otunbayeva New President of Kyrgyzstan After Government Collapse, 100 Dead in Extreme Violence
Uprising in Kyrgyzstan leaves dozens killed
Unrest in Kyrgyzstan Prompts U.S. to Limit Flights at Base
Centerra Shares Plunge After Kyrgyzstan Opposition Claims Power
Kyrgyzstan protests: What it means for US role in Afghanistan war?
Factbox: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan
Q&A: What’s causing the unrest in Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Roza Otunbayeva
Manas International Airport
Transit Center at Manas
Transit Center at Manas

One thing the United States cannot afford to lose is use of the Transit Center at Manas, it’s vital to our resupply of Afghanistan and there really isn’t any viable substitute. Hopefully, if the apparent new government threatens to kick us out, we’ll be able to bribe our way into maintaining the base, as we did when the old government threatened to kick us out.

/however, given our foreign policy comedy team of Clinton and Obama, I have my doubts as to their diplomatic prowess in dealing with this delicate and immensely important situation