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What the 'Russian lobby' in Ankara wants

A group of so-called Eurasianists are again whispering to Ankara that Turkey's future lies with Russia and China and have outlined a plan for severing ties with Europe.
Dogu Perincek, Chairman of the Turkish Workers' Party addresses supporters at the end of a hearing at the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, January 28, 2015. The European Court of Human Rights holds an hearing on Wednesday on the case of Perincek against Switzerland. Perincek was found guilty of racial discrimination by a Swiss Police Court for having publicly denied the characterisation of genocide, without calling into question the existence of massacres and deportations of Armenians in 1915 i

On Dec. 8, veteran Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin published a piece in the Hurriyet Daily News titled “A Scary Scenario in the Ankara Political Backstage.” The article, which elicited a multitude of comments and gossip, exposed a “group of people with close access to Erdogan” with an “elaborate plan” to reshape Turkey’s future. The plan involves a total detachment from European institutions to build a poorer, but more manageable Turkey. The steps would be, in Yetkin’s words, to “bring back the death penalty, to get rid of the restraints of European Union legislation when the EU cuts all relations, to let the stock exchange collapse (i.e., get rid of the pressure from big companies and foreign capital, which are not ‘from us’ anyway), to meet the military needs of NATO in a bargain with ‘our own needs’ to get rid of the excessive political pressure from the West.”

In a second piece, Yetkin identifies the group promoting this radical plan as the Eurasianists: people who believe Turkey must seek its future not in the West, but in Eurasia, in particular alongside Russia and China. They view the reinstitution of the death penalty, an idea with which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lately been playing, as the pivotal move for cutting all ties with the European Union and setting sail for the Shanghai Pact.

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