The Differences Between The Security Policies of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama by Ahmet Gencehan Babiş

obama-bushThe security policies of United States of America (USA) during George Walker Bush presidency and Barack Hussein Obama era have some different aspects that effect the perceptions all around the world. After September 11 terrorist attack, George W. Bush and his Neocon administration implemented its security policy which has realist demands in the core of it and flourished with liberal values like freedom of speech, especially democracy. The countering against terrorism became a primary concern of the security policy. With his popular “Change” slogan, Obama won the elections and reevaluated the security policy agenda of USA. Liberal paradigm is started to be more dominant after his inauguration but it is also designed in way of US hegemony strategy. This article will try to examine the changes in American security policy with referring to National Security Strategy Documents which was declared by White House in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In addition to that, the important events which are related with the security policy of US will be mentioned.

From Monroe Doctrine to Obama Doctrine, the security concerns and paradigms were seen in US history but they all served to the long term strategy of the state. The dual system of American politics formed by Republicans and Democrats creates a ground for USA to maintain its supreme position. In Bush and Obama periods, a good example of this situation is easily seen. During “pure neocon” (Neo Conservative) Bush presidency, the foreign policy aim was tried to be achieved by military interventions to Afghanistan and Iraq. It has to be noted that, while doing this anti-Americanism surged all around world. Unlikely, Obama chose nonmilitary ways and attached more importance to international institutions. By this way, Obama started to rebuild American credibility among the international community again.
Bush Administration: Between the Theories
First of all, it is better to start with the delineation of American national security. U.S national security is the confidence held by the great majority of the nation’s people that it has the military capability and effective policy to prevent adversaries from using force to prevent the pursuit of national interests.[1] While coding “terrorism” as a threat, Bush administration saw some liberal values a tool to realize their goals but they act with realist paradigm while doing that. In this point, it is fruitful to give the main specialties of liberalism, realism and democratic peace theory.
Liberalism is the one of the main theories of international relations whose roots are buried in the Enlightenment Era. “Democratic values”, “institutionalism” and the “free trade” are the main features of this school. More corporations between the states open a door to more stable global order. The concern is not democracy; the main concern is transforming the creating allies which can work in accordance with American system. So, Neocons have no problem with free trade and market economy. Either 2002 or 2008 National Security Strategy Document tries to reinforce the free market economy. Obama attaches more importance to the economic issues than Neocons.
Bush era has also some features form offensive realism. The “anarchic” structure of international relations from this theory has weight on this type of opinions. It has to be emphasized that Bush’s real intention is creating modest regimes and get rid of the ones who is not harmonious with global American order rather than implementing democratic values. Besides, Bush sees the international as power politics likes realism asserts unlike Obama. Bush’s policy used something from both offensive realism and liberalism. 
The legitimacy was given to this type of politics by Michael Doyle’s “democratic peace” thesis. For democratic peace, democratic states have never fought with each other. Bush delineates the states as anti-democratic failed states and by this way gives himself a right to protect the communities of these countries. In 2006 National Security Strategy Document stressed that Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Burma and Zimbabwe bring instability to the international relations because of the “tyranny” there and their anti-democratic regimes.
Communism Gone, Terrorism Came
After the demise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the threat of hostile ideology of US “communism” lost its importance and power. Some professors like Francis Fukuyama declared the permanent victory of liberalism in his article “The End of History” in 1989. However, 9/11 attacks showed world that history did not end and new American “nightmare” would be terrorism. Then, both in domestic and foreign policy, a new mobilization period started. The old tactics like deterrence and containment are far way to answer the necessities of post-Cold War era dangers. By the time passes, it can be seen that the harsh look transformed and some new threats related with the human security were added to the National Security Strategy Document in 2006. That means that, from 2002 to 2006, the threats during Bush administration also vary. Although, terrorism was always in the primary position. For example, with the worrying atmosphere of September 11, the focus point of 2006 NSSD is just terrorism. But in 2006, such issues like human and drug trafficking, natural disasters are counted as threats to humans.
Global War on Terror
The main concerns during Bush era were terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and rogue states. To cope with terrorism; George Bush declared his “global war on terror” strategy. The “preventative war” and “preemptive war” notions help to implement this strategy and try to legitimize American interventions. Both of them are the produced due to too wide interpretation of UN Charter Article 51 which defines self-defense. Preemption is the taking of military action against a target when there is incontrovertible evidence that the target is about to initiate a military attack. Prevention is the taking of military action against a target when it is believed that an attack by the target, while not imminent, is inevitable, and when delay in attacking would involve greater risk.[2] The difference between them seems very foggy and open to various evaluations. Both of them have the same aim so the usage of the true terms are determined according how close the threat is. Additionally, it can be said that prevention is for defense and the preemption is for hegemony. The result of them in real politics is setting up “Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)” in Afghanistan to eradicate Taliban regime in 2001 with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. In the framework of OEF, US sent soldiers to some different regions like Philippines to combat the terrorist activities of Al Qaeda braches there, terrorist Islamist organizations like Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Under this action, a fight against terrorism and piracy in Africa were wanted to be confronted.
Creating the Homeland Security
In 2002, with the Homeland Security Act a new body in the state mechanism, Department of Homeland Security was established. The missions of this new body is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism and minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.[3]
In addition to military preparedness, foreign interventions must be endorsed by the public support and will. Thus, in accordance with the non-governmental organizations, think-tanks and media a good example of public diplomacy was adopted by Bush administration. For example; Saddam was shown to Americans as a negative stereotype. Rather than seeing as a religion, discourse of Bush administration showed Islam as a marginal value system and also triggered Islamophobia all around.
The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security was not the only event. During Bush presidency, the legal procedures inside the state were created in line with the terrorism threat. Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001[4] has brought many regulations from “penalties for terrorist conspiracies” to “period of orders of electronic surveillance of non-United States persons under foreign intelligence surveillance”. To fight against terrorism and cut its financial support from various sources; on September 24, 2001, Fact Sheet on Terrorist Financing Executive Order was enacted. In the context of it, “The President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State and others are working with our allies around the world to tackle the financial underpinnings of terrorism[5]
Patriot Act is another important act about US countering again terrorism method. This act reinforces the cooperation between intelligence bodies of US, increase the penalties and stricken surveillance on terrorism. Remembering Bush’s these words; “The gravest danger our nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology[6]” from the introduction part of the 2002 National Security Strategy paper, the base of the act can be seen easily. The Patriot Act updated the law to reflect new technologies and new threats.[7] Moreover with the Joint Resolution for Authorization for Use of Military Force, the authority of the president rised.
Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Tool and A Danger
One of the most important factors in Bush security policy agenda is the weapons of mass destruction (WMD). For the new preventative war concept, WMD was designed as a casus belli andthe accession to these weapons and their means of delivery by the terrorist states must be avoided for Bush. With a big international propaganda, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was alleged to have weapons of mass destruction. After the war, no biological weapons were found in Iraq. It has to be noted that, Bush do not fully opposes WMD, the point that he refuses is collecting them in “irresponsible” hands. In 2002, Bush described North Korea, Iran and Iraq as an “axis of evil” saying these countries have WMD and support terrorism.
While establishing alliances and friendly ties to combat against terrorism in 2002 National Security Strategy Document, Bush also underlines the unilateral actions of USA with these words; “the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international coming unity, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country[8]”. Here the fingertips of Iraqi invasion of US can be noticed. The military intervention to Iraq in 2003 has undermined international law because the vetoes of Russia, China and France in United Nations Security Council. Here, it can be easily said that, “cooperation” part of liberal argument was ignored by Bush administration.
The United States attacked what was thought to be a biological weapons facility in Sudan, but it turned out that the building was probably an innocent aspirin factory. Saddam’s chemical weapon warehouses were not found. Meanwhile, North Korea and Pakistan became nuclear weapon states, India prepared to resume nuclear testing without detection and Iran accelerated its nuclear weapons development program.[9]
Obama Era: A Shift In Security Policy
When the first black man came to Oval Office in White House, there have been some problems inherited from the past years. He noticed it in his election campaign and used a softer language than his republican opponent John McCain. After leader like Bush, George Walker Bush, he won the sympathy of international community. He said, there will be a “change” in American strategy and without doing anything, just with his commitment about the future, he won the Nobel prize in 2009. Many things in various field gained a new ground in Obama era. But one thing was still the same; US leadership.
Obama’s discourse is close to liberal school. Unilateral point of view was transformed into multilateralism with reference to liberalism. Instead of “hard power”, for the survival of US lead global order, Obama selected “smart power” which is a compound of hard and soft power.
In 2006, a working group called Commission Smart Power started working for the preparation of the infrastructure of this notion in Center for Strategic and International Strategies (CSIS) which is one of the world-wide known think tank. In 2007, “A Smarter and More Secure America” report says that; United States should focus on five critical areas: alliances, partnerships, and institutions; global development, public diplomacy, economic integration, technology and innovation.[10] The education of all level section of 2010 National Security Strategy Document is the reflection of the necessities of being a smart power.
During his address after he received the Nobel Peace Prize, he talked about the different type of war, the preventative and preventive war gave their place to “just war”. He said; “The concept of a ‘just war’ emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when it meets certain preconditions: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the forced used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.”[11] Obama’s way of war is more “disciplined” comparing with President Bush.
Obama’s Way of Countering Terrorism
The Bush policy was defined Islam as an enemy but Some of his personal feature also gives advantages to transform this view in US security policy. For example, having Muslims relatives, gives reliability to some which has effects. But, he defined the new enemy with referring to Islamic radicalism. Obama’s Top Counterterrorism Adviser John O. Brennan’s words must be underlined in this sense. He said that “Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because use of these religious terms would play into the false perception that al-Qaeda and its affiliates are religious leaders and defending a holy cause, when in fact, they are nothing more than murderers.”[12]
The source of the terrorism is both in the country and out of the state. But he also wants to control the terrorist attacks that can come inside the country. He also stressed the radicalized people inside the country pose a threat to the state, as it is said in 2010 National Security Strategy Document, the defeat this threats; well informed and equipped families, local communities, and institutions for a good solution. But on the other hand, he did not describe them as “other”. His discourse is more inclusive than Bush, he still underlines that the differences in the country is the source of being strong instead of being insecure.
The success of Obama administration is the killing the head of Al Qaeda, Usama Bin Laden in the first period of his presidency, in 2011. In contrary to occupation idea of Bush administration, Obama’s military policy abroad US rise on the withdrawal concept. Which has two main causes; the first one is the rising military expenditures and in the time global financial crisis and the other one is the infelicity of the nation from ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama withdrew American troops from Iraq in December 2011 and setting the conditions for the withdrawal in Afghanistan in 2014. However, it cannot be said that the counter again terrorism policy ended in Obama era. The best example of it is Pakistan. In Pakistan, where the CIA greatly sharply increased unilateral drone strikes – to nearly 200 – against “high-value” al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in the first two years of the Obama administration, the tactic has contributed heavily to an increase in anti-Americanism. An overwhelming 97% of respondents in a recent Pew Research Center poll in Pakistan, where anti-Americanism is at an all-time high, said they viewed drone attacks negatively.[13] Obama was globally peacefully, but regionally, there are some exceptions as it is seen in this example.
Obama’s Homeland Security
For Kagan, the war on terrorism was never a sufficient paradigm for American foreign policy. It was too narrow, too limited and less than ideal for mustering the support of others around the world.[14] In this point, Obama says that the homeland security notion has to be integrated with broader American national security approach. Obama tried to renew these legislations and revise the organs of the states, but it must be remembered that he signed the bill about the extension of Patriot Act in 2011. Moreover, The organized crime in the state and border protection is the other key points in Obama’s review.
The cyberspace security is the one of the component of the new security policy of Obama. Considering the technological improvement, US wanted to take the leadership in terms of cyberspace activities. Like Bush did in terrorism issue, Obama established new organs in cyberspace. Late in May 2009, President Barack Obama instituted the post of Cyberspace Coordinator within his administration, with the coordinator sitting on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. The same month saw the establishment of the US Cyber Command, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, and headed by Army General Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, America’s most powerful intelligence service.[15]
Part of the National Security: Economy
In the beginning of Bush era, the most problematic issue for him was the security concerns and terrorism. The most difficult duty for Bush was how survive with a strong economy under the heavy financial crisis. No more than two months after the elections in 2008, the whole world shocked with the collapse of one of the biggest companies in US, Lehman Brothers. Obama tells the situation as “the most devastating recession that we have faced since the Great Depression”[16]. Obama is aware of that the US influence abroad is highly linked to state economy and the military supremacy is also tied with the economy. But the only dimension of his economical approach is not military spending, investing on research, a sustainable growth of the nation, the reinforcement of civil aviation, increasing education level and expanding on clean energy has place in the context of it. In general, like every US President in history, Barack Obama is in favor of global free trade and market. Its best and brightest would devote themselves to clean energy, not financial speculation. Reinvigorated public investment in education and infrastructure would revitalize manufacturing, boost middle-class incomes and meet the competitive challenge from China.[17]
With a stimulus package in 2009, the economic recovery was wanted to be realized. By most economic indicators, the Economic Stimulus Package was a success. In March 2009, before it was launched, Q1 GDP was -6.4% (it has since been revised to – 4.9%) and the Dow Jones had slid to 6,500. By Q4 2009, GDP was +5% and the Dow had risen to 10,428. Not all of that success can be attributed to the Stimulus Package, since expansive monetary policy and strong emerging markets also helped boost the economy.[18]
WMD: More Moderate View
Like Bush era, Obama is sensitive about the spread of WMD and the possibility of their use by terrorist groups but his discourse was much more accommodationist than his predecessor. In relations with its global competitor, like Russia, US prefer to solve the questions together. “Pursuing the goal of a world without nuclear weapons” is a topic in his national security document.
Neo conservative Bush administration was consisted by the officers like Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Condelezza Rice did not use an exact theoretical background in the security policy. We can see both the tips of neo-realist approach and liberal schools in their activities. Obama administration is more liberal comparing with George Bush. The most distinguished difference between them is a shift from hard power to smart power.
From 2002 to 2010, three national security strategy documents were published by US are relevant to each other. Some In the Middle East issue, and in all national strategy documents Israel was shown as US’s loyal ally.
In 2002, unilateral look to the international relations was dominant but in 2006 this attitude was turned into a more moderate view. In 2010, US opened itself to the idea of institutionalism but three of them have the same aim. In 2002 and 2006, the majority of topics are about military issues, in 2010 some alternatives like climate change, clean energy were added to the agenda. On the other hand, supporting the rights of women was in 2010 NSSD and in many places both words; “men and women” were used to refer the gender equality. Fighting against corruption is another issue in the document. 
While examining Bush presidency in terms of security, a pro-active interventionist idea is seen. The formal discourse of this era was defeating states who threats the stability to international area. There is no exaggeration to say that, democracy grows in tens of years in a community not with a military occupation. When the situation in Iraq is analyzed now, the in stability source was US, itself. So, in one side asserting the stability, US actions in Middle East ruined the Iraq’s integrity, caused sectarian conflicts in the country that poses an insecure atmosphere for the region and approximately 1,5 million civil deaths. 
Secondly, Bush has showed freedom of speech as a valuable opinion to the world, the legal acts that for the mobilization inside the country do not fully respect this. Internationally, the freedom of speech and human rights were the main concern but at home, these ideas are not really taken into account during these legislations.
In Obama era, it must be underlined that despite the economic crisis, the military expenditures were not decreased. If the Pentagon were a cooperation, it would be the largest in the world as well as the sloppily run. (The Pentagon in 2010 reported 1.7 trillion dollars in assets, 2.1 trillion dollars in liabilities and 676 billion in net operating costs) Its procurement budget, at a a staggering 107 billion in 2012, expands even as the number of deployable war planes, combat ships and troops diminished.[19] In US politics the place of anti-war protests during Bush era was taken by Occupy Wall Street Movement which gives us clues about the economic concerns of Americans. OWS protesters declared that, one percent of the world population takes all the assets and describe themselves as “99%”.
Bush also perceives threat in technological area but the practical steps are taken in Obama era about that as a consequence of using its smart power. Bush used WMD issue as a reason for interventions, in Obama era we cannot see the same tendency. However, about the uprising in Syria, Obama warned that the use of the WMD by Assad regime is the “red line” for US, in August, 2012. There is a difference between them, Obama refers to the “use” of these weapons but for Bush just “prediction” is sufficient for the intervention.

[1] Bush George Walker, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, White House, Washington, 2002, p. 13
[2] Barnes Joe, Stoll J. Richars, Preemptive And Preventive War: A Preliminary Taxonomy, James A. Baker III Institute For Public Policy, Houston, 2007, p. 7.
[3] Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Act of 2002, (Accession Date: 07.01.2013)
[4] Electronic Privacy Information Center, Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, (Accession Date: 07.01.2013)
[5] White House, Fact Sheet on Terrorist Financing Executive Order (Accession Date: 08.01.2013)
[6] Bush, p. ii
[7]Department of Justice, The USA Patriot Act: Preserving Life And Liberty,, (Accession Date: 08.01.2013)
[8] Bush, p. 6.
[9] Sapolsky M. Harvey, Gholz Eugene, Talmadge Cailin, US Defence Politics The Origins of Security Policy, Routledge, New York, 2009, p. 155.
[10] Armitage L. Richard, Jr. Nye S. Joseph,  A Smarter and More Secure America, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C, 2007, p. 1.
[11] CS Monitor, Text Of Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, (Accession Date: 08.01.2013)
[12] DeYoung Karen, Obama Redefines National Security Strategy, Looks Beyond Military Might, Washington Post (27.05.2010)
[13] Loeb Jim, New Bases Extend US’s Drone War, Online Asia Times ( Accession Date: 10.01.2013)
[14] Kagan Robert, Higher Realism, Washington Post (27.05.2010), p. B07.
[15]RT, Supremacy In Cyberspace: Obama’s ‘Star Wars’?, Date: 13.01.2012)
[16] Obama Barack Hussein, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, White House, Washington D.C, 20102, p.3.
[17] Economist, Barack Obama’s Economic Record, Date: 12.01.2013)
[18] CNN, What Was the Stimulus Package? Obama’s First Major Act to Stimulate the Economy, (12.01.2013)
[19] Galin Stephen, State vs. Defense, Crown Publishers, New York, 2011, p. 409.

This article is published in TURKSAM (20.01.2013): 

An Interview by “Le Monde” with Bernard Lewis By: Ayhan Ozer

Recently, the lower Chamber of the French National Assembly adopted a Resolution making the denial of the so-called “Armenian Genocide” a crime punishable by one year of jail term and 40,000 Euros.

This brings to mind an interview conducted in 1993 by the French daily Le Monde with the eminent Turkish and Middle East historian Bernard Lewis. In the aftermath of this interview Mr. Lewis was sued by the Armenian organizations in France on the grounds of denial the Armenian genocide, which the Armenians conveniently equate with the Jewish Holocaust. This preposterous court action yielded nothing. The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post criticized France in their editorials. I had translated this interview from French, and it was published in the Turkish Times. Below, are the segments of that interview that deal with the Armenian issue, and my Turkish Times article on this subject dated September 1995. The account of this episode from my file may serve as a historical background. I hope you will find it of interest. Please read on.     [Read more…]

E D I T O R I A L Senator Joe Biden, Quo Vadis? By: Ayhan Ozer

Senator Joe Biden

Senator Joe Biden

This Editorial was written for The Turkish Times in November 1989 as a reaction to Senator Biden’s anti-Turkish remarks on the subject of the Armenian Genocide saga. The SJR@ 212 was introduced to the Congress, and it was being debated at the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that session the then Senator Biden displayed a crude anti-Turkish posture. Recently, as a V.P. he visited Turkey, and against the backdrop of his past stance this visit sparked jittery comments in the internet. Although it has been about two weeks from that visit, I thought it may be useful to share this article with the community, so that we will refresh our memory about V.P. Biden’s records.

We read in the Turkish Times November 1989 issue the detail of the deliberations of the “Armenian Genocide Resolution SJR#212” in the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 11, 1989. The news item stated that the Committee Chairman Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) referred to the Turkish Nation using scornful epithets, and also he called “idiots” the 69 prominent History scholars in this country just because they repudiated the Armenian allegations, and made a public declaration in the New York Times and The Washington Post in 1985 to warn the U.S. Congress against the passage of a spurious Resolution manipulated by the Armenians to legislate a faulty history. These eminent historians constitute the main body of academia in this country in their field. Therefore, we leave it to the judgment of our readership as to who really deserves this characterization.   [Read more…]

The Simit Vendor Rıza and Dersim (Tunçeli) Events, 1935 – 1938, Part 1

Even though İstanbul has hundreds and thousands of restaurants and cafes all around the city, the vendors that sell pohça and simit are still abundant, including in Kozyatagı, Kadıköy. As I was walking pass the cart full of Simit two days ago, I noticed that the vendor was reading a book, a rare picture. I stopped and after saying good morning,  I asked the vendor what he was reading. He smiled and showed me the cover of the book: The title was: ‘’Fuzuli – Hadikatü’s S-Sueda’’, by Şeyma Güngör, published by the Ministry of Culture, as part of a series as ‘’Source Books.’’ When I asked him, what the subject was, he said, ‘’The Kerbela,’’ the story of the murder of Hazreti Ali in the 7th century in a town now in Iraq, which is considered a sacred place for the Şiis and Alevis. When I told him that perhaps he should be reading books on ‘’Dersim,’’ the hotly debated issue of the day, he smiled again and said, I have been reading about Dersim for 35 years. I know all about it.’’

The vendor’s name was Rıza Balta, from Karakaya village, Sivas, but his parents were originally from Dersim. (A coincidence since the name of the Kurdish rebel was Seyit Rıza.) Since I was headed for the airport, I could not continue with the conversation but asked his permission to take his photograph. He said yes, shown in the Attachment, which I will make a copy and present to him and perhaps continue with our conversation, since he knew a lot about what had happened in Dersim many years ago. The subject has been hotly debated since the revelations, first by the former Deputy Onur Oymen on TV 10 Nov 2009 and again by CHP deputy,  Hüseyin Aygün,  ironically also on Nov 10, 2011, although he had given the interview to Zaman newspaper on Oct 31, prompting discussions on almost every tv channel and the publication of articles in many newspapers, which is still continuing. [Read more…]

Norway and the July 22, 2011 Bombing in Oslo and Massacre – A result of Anti – Muslim and Anti – Turkish Propaganda in the West over the centuries

Oslo bombing photo

Oslo bombing photo

The pictures from the month old tragedy shown on TV and the newspapers are still alive in our memories which will be remembered until eternity. The 32 year old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik set bombing at an office building in Oslo on July 22 where 8 Norwegians died and followed with the massacre of 69 innocent people on an island. Gizem Dogan, a 17 year old Turkish girl who was among the murdered youngsters was laid to Rest in Trodeim , Norway on Monday, August 1, 2011. Her funeral held at a park was attended by the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davuoglu and a member of the Turkish Parliament and many dignitaries and over 2,000 concerned people. [Read more…]


President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

April 22 Earth Day and April 23 International Children’s Day Celebrations, April 25 Anzac Day Commemoration, and the sad and baseless April 24 Armenian Genocide Day Around the World

April 24, 2011

On April 22, New York City offered many colorful and fun Earth Day celebrations and people all over the world showed some love for their planet Earth and raised awareness to environmental concerns. Thousands of Turks from around Turkey continued on with their march to Ankara from every corner of beautiful Anatolia protesting the building of hundreds of hydroelectric power plants and other mega projects, which are destroying the valleys, the river beds and forests.

On April 23, the Turks and the members of the Turkish World and their friends celebrated the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day holiday, as they have done since 1920 when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established, with close to a thousand young students from 40 countries who came to Turkey for the 33rd International Children’s day celebrations in Bursa, joining their hosts commemorating an event in a spectacular show of peace and friendship, unfortunately ignored by the western media.

On April 25, the Australians and the New Zealanders, known as the ANZACS, and others will travel to Gallipoli ,Turkey, to hold their annual commemoration and dawn services at the Anzac Cove, as they have done every year, and to celebrate the establishment of their states. As they pay their respects to their fallen comrades in 1915, they will read the message of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to the grand parents of the Anzac soldiers, engraved in the Turkish Memorial.

[Read more…]

The Efforts over NGO’s and Media for the Acceptance of PKK Terrorist Organization as an Interlocutor – 21 July 2010


Sinan OĞAN

Sinan OĞAN

Special Army/Units Debate

We have been a country and a society busy with terrorism and separatism actively for 30 years and for the last two hundred years in various means. Insurgences in the Ottoman Empire and the separatist, ethnic terrorism that had started especially in the Balkans had taken many lives and the state had established a defense mechanism against these activities. The foundation of the Republic afterwards and the struggle of the young Republic with the following wars and insurgencies, let it to act with a motivation inherent form the Ottoman Empire. Afterwards, the attacks of the Armenian ASALA Terrorist Organization against Turkish diplomats had revealed the international feature of terrorism. Turkey had taken different methods for ASALA. In the 1980’s we observe the PKK terrorism stepping in after ASALA ceased the terrorist activities and faded away from the scene. [Read more…]

Cypriot Turks in ‘’Dawn Turn’’ and Bosnians Waiting for Their Identities in Their Graves – 20 July 2010

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) celebrated the 36th anniversary of 20th July 1974 Peace Operation which was a real landmark. The crowd, having gathered in the Yavuz Landing Beach the night before, waited the moment that brought peace to the island and freedom to Turks living in Cyprus 36 years before, with ‘’Dawn Turn’’. Even though sometimes different opinions about the time span following 20th July 1974 came up, all Cypriot Turks are like-minded about the fact that 20th July 1974 is an interference stopping the massacres. If the opinion had not been arranged and Greek Coup had been successful, without doubt the massacres in Murataga, Sandallar, Atlılar, Taskent villages would have happened in the whole island. Even Greece and Greek populated southern Cyprus can talk frankly about the day before 20th July 1974.
Greek Ta Nea newspaper analysed the time span before 20th July 1974 and said that Greece in the early 1950 set up EOKA organization in order to bind Cyprus to itself. This organization terrorized police stations, public sector and Turk villages in the island showing its aim as picking a civil war and pave the way for Athens’ interference. This statement of the newspaper was regarded righteously as ‘’ the confession came up after years’’. Greek Administration, believing that in order to make the whole world support the Greek Argument, it is important to convince firstly its own people, censors talking about the time before 1974 in front of the press. When the Greek Administration’ EU membership ceased the pressure, confessions related to the time between 1963-1974 increased. Andres Dimitrius, former EOKA B member, in his declaration published in Alithia newspaper on 22th November 2004, he confessed that Taskent massacre 30 years ago was made by Greek soldiers coming from Hirokitia village and they raped the women living in the region. Moreover, he used the statement ‘’ whatever we have done, we have done it with the legal force of the government.’’ Antonis Angastiniyotis who described the massacres in the three villages in his documentary named as ‘’Brutality to Cypriot Turks and The Other Side of The Coin’’, was marginalized in his own country. The documentary, in which it is told that 126 Turks were executed by shooting without making a distinction between women or children and buried in mass graves, was not telecasted on Greek TV channels.

A Greek Tragedy and Greek Amnesia

A  Histoprical  Record – A Greek Tragedy And Greek Amnesia By: Ayhan Ozer

The Turkish-Greek friendship was conceived and realized in 1930s by Ataturk and the then Greek Prime Minister Venizelos to promote the mutual interests of the two countries in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. Later however, this legacy was abandoned by unscrupulous politicians in Greece, and an attitude of jingoism and belligerence towards Turkey have become currency for domestic consumption in the Greek politics.


Turkey, as a firm believer of regional cooperation and stability, has all along spent lopsided efforts to nurture and keep this increasingly fragile relationship alive. Yet, these one-sided efforts have been shy of reversing the downward trend that has besieged this relationship.

[Read more…]

Senator Ted Kennedy, the Kennedy Family, and Turkey

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy died last week at the age of 77 after serving in the US Senate for 47 years. The memorial service for Senator Ted Kennedy at the Presidential Kennedy Library and Museum was broadcast in Turkey very early Saturday morning. It was more of a celebration than show of grievance. John and Caroline Kennedy spoke lovingly of their uncle who was most famous for arranging historical visits around America during the annual Kennedy family reunions, “share the love of being together” as echoed by his niece. Vice President Joe Biden said that, if it was not for Ted Kennedy, he would not be where he is today.


Joseph Kennedy, the head of the Kennedy family and the father of 9 children including Ted Kennedy, became famous when he was appointed as the US Ambassador to England and, taking advantage of the prohibition, exported Irish and British spirits to the US . After the lifting of the prohibition, Joseph Kennedy was the first one to establish liquor factories in the United States which made him a multi-millionaire.


Kennedy family and Turkey


Kennedy family, well known around the world as the non-crowned American royal family, was part of the Boston politics and always received the support of the large Armenian community in and around Boston . Even though John F. Kennedy’s name was given to an avenue in Turkey , I don’t recall any member of the Kennedy family ever visiting Turkey . They have always supported the false Armenian claims and voted for the mythical Armenian genocide resolutions. If only Ted Kennedy had arranged one of their family re-unions in Turkey and tried to learn the truth about the sad events that took place during the First World War, especially since one of his brothers was killed during the Second World War. I hope Carolyn Kennedy will complete this mission and come to Istanbul in 2010 when all of Europe and Turkey will be celebrating the crowning of Istanbul as the Culture Capital of Europe. Perhaps she will have a chance to learn that the Ottoman Sultan was the only European monarch which sent ship loads of grain to the starving Irish during the potato famine of 1830s.


Eulogy by President Obama and a Visitor to Istanbul from Great Britain


As I walked into the Lounge on the 9th floor of the Hilton Hotel last night, I saw a lady listening to President Obama on CNN with tears in her eyes. I sat next to her, trying to comfort her which also gave me a chance to talk to her about the Kennedy family.  She knew all about the Kennedys but was surprised to learn that no Kennedy had ever visited Turkey which she said was a lovely country. When I told her the unjust support that the Kennedy family members gave to the Armenians without knowing the real truth, all she said was, “I did not know that.”


President Obama is fighting the opponents to his Health care plan which was also championed by Ted Kennedy and some are suggesting to attach his name o the bill., including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Perhaps, it would be fitting to call it the “Kennedy Health Care Plan” if it would help the passage.


Yuksel Oktay , PE

30 August 2009