Erdogan Is Becoming A Control Freak


By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The bizarre world that churns inside Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s presidential palace reached a new zenith with the unveiling of surveillance control rooms inside, giving him unprecedented ability to personally spy on seventy seven million Turkish citizens. In a feat of technical engineering rivaling that of George Orwell’s Big Brother, the president will certainly enjoy the spectacle of his new spyglass.

According to Al-Monitor, the system has 143 displays that allow President Erdogan to tap into closed-circuit television systems in the streets of eighty one of Turkey’s provinces along with its government’s Mobile Electronic System Integration (MOBESE) and those used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

With the system about to become live, Erdogan will now be able to personally watch all public demonstrations, city life, military and police operations, and other events he finds of concern.

The system is not limited to just government operated video systems, the control center is wired to monitor cellular 3G traffic and television broadcasts, the Gendarmerie, the Disasters and Emergencies Management Directive, Information and Technologies Authority (BTK), and the intelligence services.

Erdogan’s palace also maintains a junior varsity version of the NSA with three massive servers storing all MOBESE data archives. A workstation is set up by the BTK will permit the unfettered access to all data. Military operations can be transferred from the Chief of Staff’s Operations Bureau to the White Palace.

Erdogan also directed that the Crisis Management Center at the country’s Prime Ministry be tapped to transfer operations directly to his control center.

125px-flag_of_turkeysvgPresident Erdogan shows almost complete intolerance of dissent or questioning and is known for his hostility to the internet and various freedoms of expression enjoyed by Turkey’s citizenry; yet his need for complete surveillance in every corner of government and the lives of all individuals borders on the pathological and in many respects paranoia. He is showing many of the hallmarks of a transition into a dictator increasingly driven by narcissism, intolerance and an underlying fear perhaps of overthrow.

He seems to have a nostalgic dream of the grand days of the Ottoman Empire merged with a complete surveillance apparatus and full integration into the fabric of Turkish Society. His world is one where a single person writing a text message on Twitter or SMS is something that should be scrutinized personally. Every street corner must be watched; every Donner Kebab shop is suspicious. Control is most certainly his goal.

By Darren Smith

Source: Al-Monitor Online

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

60 thoughts on “Erdogan Is Becoming A Control Freak”

  1. Life was simple when it was just us and Nato against the Soviets and the Red Chinese. Now the bad guys are difficult to discern from one another. A bad guy in one sense might be a horrible dictator but he might be an ally against the terrorists. This Assad guy in Syria may not get kicked out. Bad as he is, he is better than what may follow. I cannot remember the names of all the perps who have been deposed but they often seem better than what followed. Egypt seems to have done a fair job of getting rid of the Muslim Bros. Most of those pirate territories are not ready for democracy. A good dictator can be a good thing. All things being equal. About the best thing that could happen now would be for Putin to croak. It is rumored that he has Ebola. Someone heard it on a website and yakked about it at the marina today. It is hard to understand how such rumors spread.

  2. Ari, Lerner and Koskinen are examples of the most despicable type govt. official. They are errand boy/girls for politicians. Political hacks w/ a smirk on their face. Koskinen is the kind of guy who got his ass kicked in high school and Lerner was the b!itch who never got a date and hated all the other girls. I like to project people back to their high school days. It helps me understand them better.

  3. mespo just jumped the shark again. He is the FIRST person to ever call me a Christian fundamentalist. I guess you can be derisive of organized religion, something I’ve discussed w/ our whiskey loving barrister several times, not go to church, believe in legal prostitution, legal cannabis, and still be a fundamentalist in the synapse impaired mind of a man in free fall. You would think he would just let it go. I’m haunting the pitiful man. I dub him, Ahab.

  4. LOL, Isaac, w/ his 11:53am comment, is flying an Obama “Mission Accomplished” flag over Iraq and Syria. You can’t make this stuff up. He has BDS and a love affair w/ Obama. Few here seem to remember I NEVER have voted for a Republican prez and did vote for Obama in 2008. It fascinates me to watch the cult pathology. Absolutely fascinating. I made a big mistake in 2008. I learn from my mistakes.

  5. Issac … for G-d’s sake, the last thing I was referring to was the “American Ego.” Where you get these ideas? I thought I was pretty clear about what happens with US incursion, given I was once part of it elsewhere.

    The only difference between the Iranian al Quds force and the ISIS forces is the question of who will be the conquerers….otherwise they are both brutal terrorists joined at the hip. This is not representative of what the Iraqi people want, and never has been. Or maybe my Iraqi neighbors are wrong or misfits?

  6. nick:

    “. It’s when you compare Islamic killers, cutting off heads to Christian fundamentalists. ”


    They gave it up for Lent in the early 16th century and forgot about it. Making a comeback though:

    “Doctrinal leaders (notably Rushdoony, North, and Bahnsen) call for the death penalty for a wide range of crimes in addition to such contemporary capital crimes as rape, kidnapping, and murder. Death is also the punishment for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, “sodomy or homosexuality,” incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, “unchastity before marriage.” ”

    Good folks you identify with, nicky.

  7. Aridog

    If you take out the American ego, the supposed slights by other world leaders and those within the US, and look at the situation, it is proceeding as it should be. It is proceeding in a way that would not have been possible if the US had left tens of thousands of troops in place, sent in tens of thousands of troops, or even sent in special forces to ‘practice’ using the thugs as targets. Personally I thing that the US and the FFL missed a great opportunity here. It doesn’t matter if an American official was slighted or the US ends up looking ineffective. Whatever the US does, its detractors it will spin it to feed the nationalistic, religious, and whatever fervor present in the region. WE’ve witnessed that here at home for the past 6+ years. Go back and read some of the GOP/Tea Party stuff. If one thing is apparent throughout history it is that history is written at the convenience and to the benefit of those in power, in place, and for the moment.

    Who cares, as long as Iraq and the other countries wax the thugs and get back to figuring out how to live, evolve, or whatever else you want to call it.

    That does not take the ‘big stick’ out of the equation. It only addresses when the stick should be used. I would have loved to see Obama practice some ‘Bin Laden’ projects, but that’s just me.

    1. Back to Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter I see

      Who cares, as long as Iraq and the other countries wax the thugs and get back to figuring out how to live, evolve, or whatever else you want to call it.

      That does not take the ‘big stick’ out of the equation. It only addresses when the stick should be used. I would have loved to see Obama practice some ‘Bin Laden’ projects, but that’s just me.

      I hate to be that way Issac but why are you so insulting. I have never seen anyone so misread inn my life

  8. Issac….vis a vis Obama and Isis: I found it highly amusing, as I’ve said elsewhere here I think, how the administration was left out of the loop on the attack on Tikrit. Dempsey hiking up his skirt and scurrying off to Baghdad was hilarious….in a pathetic way.

    I agree that the Arabs need to defend their countries and defeat ISIS by dint of their own participation…and men like el Sissi of Egypt have said as much…but somehow we seem to dismiss leaders like him. Never mind he’s put himself in dire risk just as Anwar Sadat did….courage represents itself.

    When the leader of the Iranian al Quds force is on the battle field in person it says simply we’ve been by-passed and are no longer trusted. Yeah, we supply some minimal air support, but do so without trained forward observers on the ground … which means collateral innocents will die in larger numbers.

    I will admit, by my own experience, that it is v-e-r-y hard to convince peoples we allege to help that we are not fickle and won’t abandon them, perhaps even betray them, sooner than later. I’ve had it said to my face more than once. Post WWII and Korean War reconstruction periods, we’ve managed to do that fickle bit a lot. Can’t deny it. We’ve sent some very good men and women in to harms way to do the best they can, but they cannot make the pig of politics in Washington DC look like an American Beauty Rose.

    I wish I knew the answer. Oddly, Obama in his Selma speech, cited one of our failings…the failure to vote en mass. I favor voter ID requirements and don’t believe it impedes anyone’s vote who isn’t downright lazy. Each election I stand in line with hundreds of immigrants, all clutching their proofs of citizenship and address, eager to vote. Some of these people barely speak English yet they manage to acquire he ID and show it proudly. What about the rest of us?

  9. When it comes to “control freaks” I can think of none more arrogant and prevaricating than senior bureaucratic clowns such as just one agency’s collection of Steve miller, Lois Lerner, & John Koskinen. Hillary is another example. In my time working for DOD I had to deal with these types periodically and every time it was painful to resist just punching them out. I might be weird, but I find anyone who look me dead in the eye and lies to my face, when they know I know they are lying, to be repulsive.

    My salvation was to cite the old adage “I don’t work for you. You are staff, just like me. I work for the Colonel (whomever that local commander was at the time) and if you have an order to give, pass it down through the chain of command and when my commander wishes he can order me to follow it.” It used to make them nuts…but they knew they couldn’t do anything about it except harass me. Once in a while they’d again get up on their fancy high horse and try to “order” me to do something I was skeptical about, or outright knew was unlawful, and I’d have to repeat the adage again. It really made some spiteful if I said “when you earn a pair of eagles on your shoulders, get back to me.”

    Our institutionalized federal government today is trying hard, under either Democratic or Republican administrations, to defeat the chain of command idea and centralize control of everything under a bunch of senior staffers run amok…it always begins each time the effort is renewed by a “re-organization.” That means they RIF some civil servants or soldiers (who actually provide services) and hire more SES staffers who think they have the authority of a general. Maybe that is because in the SES the powers that be decided they had to have their own flag just like a general does.

    We can debate and discuss politicians & candidates all we want, but we kid ourselves if we think these few run the government.

  10. You can label any politician naive, blundering, out of touch, etc. However, Obama’s handling of the post Iraq-ISIS-Iran issues has yet to be proven effective or not. In the beginning when the thugs started to over run Syria and Iraq, it was perfect tripe for rabid Republicans and Obama haters. Now, as the Iraqi army, Kurdish army, with the help of Iran, or the peoples in the area whose business it is, are pushing the thugs back, with the aid of US and coalition air support, perhaps Obama’s approach is not so naive after all.

    There will always be unwanted stuff coming from any success. Right now, Obama is being proven to be correct in how he handled this mess. He did not get US troops involved-exactly what the majority of Americans want, he has forced those under attack and threat of attack to field the military force necessary to push the thugs back-this will not happen over night so there is plenty of time for Obama haters to rant and rave, and he is still in dialogue with all the legitimate leaderships in the area-he has kept the area from inviting Russian or other intervention.

    Obama’s not perfect but light years ahead of those that caused the mess and those that rant and rave. Pulling in a coalition with NATO etc is the appropriate way to deal with this, not US troops on the ground, except of course special forces with Sly Stalone and the boys. We need more stuff for Hollywood.

  11. Would any of you like to be on my new reality show? It is named :Fundamentalist Island, and will be populated by anyone who claims to have THE answer. No agenda, just cameras everywhere watching what comes naturally. Suggested participants are expressly solicited.

    1. neighbordave – I suggest Putin vs. Obama. Regardless of who wins, we do not lose.

  12. A new Godwin Law has been established. It’s called the Atheist Law. It’s when you compare Islamic killers, cutting off heads to Christian fundamentalists. There are a few afflicted here.

    1. Nick – it will have to be a corollary, like Esposito’s corolary.

  13. People mistrust the US now. Most countries seem to be hedging their bets. All the arguments presented thus far make as a commonly accpted baseline “the US is the country entitled to maintain world order.” Let’s throw this out the window for a moment just to make the argument interesting. Maybe as seen in the eyes of someone else. All countries know that we will not hesitate to export a “color revolution” in their capital city. Didn’t anyone find it interesting the US was left out in the mainly French and German negotiations over Ukraine? I bet Germany is concerned and keeping an eye out for the “Cookie Monster of Kiev” Nuland to show up. Since democratic revolutions keep happening and leaving wastelands like Libya in their wake, where’s the argument? Tow the line or have a color revolution come to you.

  14. Nick:

    “Isaac, Erdogan is no more an Islamic fundamentalist than am I.”


    But Nick, you are a fundamentalist. Just without the fashion sense.

    1. mespo –

      But Nick, you are a fundamentalist. Just without the fashion sense.

      It takes one to know one!!!

  15. Before I scanned the headline I scanned the photo and, at first, assumed it was a frame from a Monty Python sketch. No such luck.

  16. Darren,

    Are you daft?

    “According to Al-Monitor, the system has 143 displays that allow President Erdogan to tap into closed-circuit television systems in the streets of eighty one of Turkey’s provinces along with its government’s Mobile Electronic System Integration (MOBESE) and those used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).”


    Look in your own backyard before you think others are so draconian.

  17. issac siad…

    OK Paul, you get first prize in the how to connect it with Obama contest.

    There’s no need to make that connection … when very plainly and obviously, Iraq has chosen to go with the Iranians…e.g., the people who stayed, not boogied. All vacuums are filled, and these clowns in DC have yet to learn that simple lesson.

    It is not that Obama is evil, he is simply naive…and foolish to the degree of being outright silly. None the less, he is the CINC, so he owns the issue. Nothing amused me (dismayed me) more than CJCS Dempsey going to Baghdad to talk about our relationship (after discovering that the move on Tikrit didn’t include us nor were we informed about it officially)…in short, we are in the dark and Dempsey was the stooge to try to make it look like we weren’t. He works for Obama and that is the connection…Paul C didn’t assert anything not appropriate.

    PS: As I have said before, if Hillary is the Dem Party nominee, I’d vote, if given the opportunity & no viable Repub candidate, for a third Obama term…avoiding the leap from pan to fire and all that 🙂 Obama is a sorry POTUS, but he’s an Eagle Scout compared to the potential of Ms Clinton….Obama’s naive, but she is completely amoral and with character.

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