The Kemalist Politics of Turkey

Turkey has a complex political system just under the surface. The two main forces are the Crypto-Sabbatean Derin Devlet (Turkish for ‘Deep State’) and the Muslim Brotherhood Crypto-Islamist AKP. Turkey has been characterized by undercover intelligence warfare since 2003, indeed intense power struggle between the two camps which both purport to be so-called “Kemalists”. In practice is it all about power and control and the future of the nature of the Republic of Turkey. 

For the Islamists it must be rather humiliating to pretend to be “Kemalists” since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk represents the exact opposite of what they stand for. Yet, the power of the Derin Devlet in Turkey is still so great that the AKP dares not be openly Islamist and therefore pretends to be “secularist” and Kemalist. 

The power struggle has been intense since 2003 and mostly under the surface. It is a struggle between two intelligence services; the Muslim Brotherhood intelligence and the Derin Devlet domestic intelligence apparatus.

While Erdogan projects an aura of omnipotence is the fact that the Derin Devlet is very much influential in providing powerful checks and balances on the exercise of power by the AKP and Erdogan. 

Turkey is a nation strategically situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe and much is at stake for the world in Turkey. Who will win? For the past two decades, Erdogan has been prevailing but not winning. Erdogan has won a long series of tactical victories but strategically the country remains under Derin Devlet control. Ideologically the country is still firmly under Kemalist control. 

Will the Derin Devlet be able to force the hand of Erdogan to allow tens of millions of Turkish Median Jews (Alawites, Alevis, Alians, Bektashis [including Sabbateans], Yarsanis and Yezidis) in Turkey to emigrate to Israel? The stalemate in Turkish politics suggests that the resolution to that question will happen through a credible threat of comprehensive economic sanctions from the EU and the US unless the AKP regime unequivocally agrees to put no obstacles in place to Median Jewish emigration to Israel. Israel has no leverage on Turkey but the onus is rather on the EU and the US to use their economic power to ensure a safe Exodus of Median Jewry to Israel.

The threat of genocide in Turkey were the Muslim Brotherhood controlled AKP to take over power completely must be taken very seriously and be dealt with preemptively in ensuring that Turkey’s Median Jewry is safely allowed to emigrate to Israel without any obstacles put in the way.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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