Turkish delight at Capitol riots

9 Jan

See also yesterday’s post, Stop trivialising the term, coup!

Below are my shamelessly cherry-picked highlights from a predictably flawed but highly entertaining piece today in the liberal centrist Middle East outlet, Al-Monitor.

Turkey awash with schadenfreude over Capitol takeover

A large number of Turks feel deep animosity toward the United States, and a sense of just desserts prevails as the world reels from yesterday’s rioting in the Capitol.

“America is burning,” reads a top trending hashtag following the storming of the Capitol by supporters of Trump. It’s an expression not of alarm but of schadenfreude. Many Turks see America as getting its just desserts for the decades of humiliation inflicted on weaker states. Images of Trump supporters in outlandish outfits, and the Statue of Liberty on life support, were met with glee on social media. “The curses of the children you slaughtered are yet to take effect,” read one tweet while another urged, “let it burn, let it burn, let it burn”.

The sentiments are common in much of the Middle East, where US military intervention and unconditional support for Israel have earned it many enemies. Turkish feelings are particularly raw over America’s perceived support for rogue officers who unsuccessfully tried to overthrow President Erdogan in 2016, a theory propagated by Interior Minister Soylu.1 Then there are the US sanctions slapped on Ankara in December over its purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, and Pentagon support for Syrian Kurdish fighters Ankara calls terrorists.

Parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop invited “all parties in the US to use moderation to overcome this domestic political crisis.” Such [tongue-in-cheek] concern was too much for Samantha Power, Obama’s former UN ambassador, who tweeted. “Erdogan [and] leaders like Putin Xi have waited a long time to issue statements like this”.

Erdogan supporter and journalist at Turkey’s pro government Daily Sabah, Hilâl Kaplan, hit back:


  1. Western media depicted as paranoid Erdogan’s suspicion of Washington’s hand in the failed 2016 coup. IMO no impartial CIA watcher could rule out ‘Company’ involvement, maybe by rogue units: a deeper state within the deep state. In any event, a thawing of Ankara’s relations with Moscow – still complex, as shown in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, but warmer than prior to the coup – has ensued, with Ankara re-evaluating both friends and foes. The 2017 purchase of Russia’s S-400 SAM defence system – much to the fury of Washington, Pentagon and America’s $10tn military-industrial complex – would appear to be one of the fruits.

5 Replies to “Turkish delight at Capitol riots

  1. Not only the Turks – the Chinese are having quite a laugh as well. From the “Global Times”

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “The storming of the US Capitol today is unacceptable. Lawlessness and rioting – here or around the world – is always unacceptable… Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting.

    That’s a really interesting comment. Now let’s remember when a similar scenario happened in Hong Kong last year, during which protesters broke into the legislative building, Pompeo’s exact wordings were, “We stand with the Hong Kong people” and support their “freedom of expression.” When the same thing takes place in the US, how could he so shamelessly define it as lawlessness, rioting and unacceptable?”

    It appears that one of the main reasons for Erdogan insisting on buying the S-400 was that it could not be sabotaged by the US should they try to (mis) manage another coup against him.

    Also, there is this very good article by Jonathan Cook.

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