Queen Elizabeth II Welcomes Turkish President Gul With Pomp and Circumstance


Queen Elizabeth II  Welcomes Turkish President Gul With Pomp and Circumstance
by Darius Kadivar

The President of Turkey was welcomed to Britain by the Queen today amid aspectacle of pomp and pageantry. Abdullah Gul's three-day state visit began with a ceremonial greeting under grey, overcast skies on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. (See Photos Here)

Queen Elizabeth gives ceremonial welcome to President Gul of Turkey:

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh give President Gül and wife a ceremonial welcome
 before reviewing aGuard of Honour on Horse Guards Parade.

London Ceremonial for Turkish State Visit – 22nd November 2011

A few clips from the ceremonial for The State Visit to the UK by The President of The Republic of Turkey and Mrs Gül on 22nd November 2011.






Ahmad Shah and Bertie (Then Prince Albert) future King George VI (1919):

Reza Shah Meets Attaturk:

Mohamed Reza Shah and Soraya Visit UK (1955):






IRI Press TV claims 'Parasite' Queen Elizabeth II Fears UK Break Up

Islamic Republic’s English Speaking Propaganda channel Claims that The British Monarchy is on the verge of collapse and that the Royal family is a parasite on the natural order because it unequally separates people into classes based on hereditary and not according to natural law, an analyst says. 

In an interview with Press TV, Charlie Veitch, political activist, elaborates on Queen Elizabeth II's recent comments that she may be the last royal head ofstate.

'Scots will see parasite monarchy's end' :

NOTE: Charlie Veitch is a 30-year-old stunt film-maker and anarchist who is part of the group Love Police. He was amongst 55 activists who were arrested but not charged prior to the Royal Wedding to ensure they did not disrupt the celebrations ( See Related News Here )

Bah Bah ... The Glorious Land of Cyrus the Great ? ...






Turks sense dawn of new era of power and confidence By Bridget Kendall (bbc)

The dome next to Istanbul's ancient walls is one of the city's newest tourist attractions. The 360 degree panorama, complete with sound effects of cannon fire and fighting, depicts the moment in 1453 when the Byzantine city of Constantinople was seized by the Turkish Sultan.

On the painted walls, Ottoman troops are poised for the final assault. Across the sky, flaming firebombs leave smoking trails. Close up the battle is already raging. The city's walls are crumbling. Soon Constantinople will fall and the era of the Ottoman Empire will begin.

The dome is crammed with excited Turkish children on school trips, all visibly impressed by this vista of a glorious past.

"It's a significant moment, the salvation of Istanbul," says 15-year-old Jansu. "There's nothing bigger... It really gives you a great feeling."

'Diplomatic bridge'

Turkey today is booming. And with its growing economic clout has come a new assertiveness that has led some to wonder if it harbours neo-Ottoman ambitions to resurrect its role as a dominant power in the Middle East.

Turkish diplomats dismiss talk of neo-Ottomanism. They point out that Turkey is a loyal member of the Nato alliance, an important EU trading partner, and that it remains firmly committed to reforms to make it eligible for EU membership, should that moment ever come.

It is, they emphasise, a diplomatic bridge between East and West, not a power with imperial designs.

Yet in recent years, Turkey has not always acted in concert with the West. It forged separate and closer ties with Iran. Differences over Gaza plunged its relations withIsrael into a deep freeze. Autocratic Arab leaders including Colonel Gaddafi of Libya and President Assad of Syria were courted as part of a new policy of 'zero problems with neighbours'.

Islam and modernity

That policy was swiftly reversed when parts of the Arab world descended into turmoil this year. But Turkey has not taken a back seat. Now it presents itself to the new governments of the Arab Spring as a model, a useful example to show that Islam and modernity can go together.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was greeted by cheering crowds on a triumphant tour of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt recently.

Once an ally of President Assad, he has turned into one of the Syrianregime's most strident critics, threatening sanctions and deliberately offeringsanctuary to Syrian opposition groups.

In Istanbul you will find members of the Syrian opposition demonstrating outside the Syrian Consulate after Friday prayers. A small clutch of protesters huddles, waving flags and calling for President Assad to go. The opposition members in exile are grateful for Turkey's willingness to give them a home but fearful of what may happen next.

"There is a very dangerous situation in Syria," says Omar Shawad of the Syrian National Council. "President Assad has no friends anymore, except perhaps Iran. So he has no exit and that means he'll fight to the end."

He added that if the outside world, with support from the Arab League and at the United Nations, did decide to take action, then it would be Turkey in the north and Jordan on Syria's southern border, who would be the key players:

"If there is an intervention in Syria," he said, "It would need to have a base, and that base can only be here, so Turkey is very important."

And Turkey has much at stake in the outcome. If somehow the Assad regime were to survive, there would surely be no way back to neighbourly relations. But getting drawn in to any kind of intervention that might mean Turkish troops on Syrian and therefore Arab soil might also be risky.

'Soft power'

But it is not just Turkey's political rhetoric and its potential for military action that enhance its projection of power. There is also 'soft power', cultural exports which are strengthening links with neighbours in other ways.

On a film lot in the Istanbul suburbs, a set has been meticulously crafted to replicate interiors of the Ottoman Sultan's palace.

The film crew is hurriedly adjusting the lighting; make-up artists are giving a final check to the cast. Concubines to the emperor shiver slightly in their satin gowns and filmy veils, waiting for the signal to start.

Suleiman the Magnificent is Turkey's latest wildly successful soap opera. Set during the16th century, when the Ottoman Empire held sway over much of the Middle East, it is a rags to riches story, redolent with seething passions and secret politics.

The co-directors are two brothers, Yagmur and Durul Taylan. They believe that the appeal of the series lies in nostalgia, a harking back to a golden age.

"Everyone wants to get power. In Turkey we all want to feel like Suleiman," says Durul.

"Because we want to be a big and powerful country again," adds Yagmur. "You can feel it when you talk to people in Turkey today."

Modern Muslim democracy

But Turkey's soap operas are also sending another message that has proved an unexpected tool of foreign policy further afield.

On a pleasure boat along the Bosphorus, a tour group of young Arab couples on honeymoon watch the shoreline from the deck. As the boat passes an elegant sultan's palace and they all rush to take a photo.

They know the palace well, it's an exterior used in another Turkish soap opera which has taken the Middle East by storm. Since these television dramas captured audiences of millions in the region, the numbers of Arab tourists flocking to Turkey has, according to the distributors, gone up 10-fold in six years.

Hamza and Rajaare on honeymoon from Jordan. He is in jeans and a jacket. She is wearing a face veil.

Turkey, they explain, is an exotic but safe option. Like its soap operas, it is familiar but exciting, offering an aspiration of what they would like their country to be: a Muslim country, but modern and European as well.

So coming to Istanbul is a chance to experience a Western-style country without the risks of venturing too far into the unknown.

But for some Turkish intellectuals in Istanbul that aspiration is paradoxical: contemporary Turkey may have been demilitarized, but not everyone thinks that Turkey has yet won the right to put itself forward as a model of a modern Muslim democracy.

At the Istanbul International Book Fair, there is a crush at one bookstall. Crowds of supporters have gathered in support of a well known publisher and columnist, Ragip Zarakolu, whose posters are plastered on the walls.

He was recently detained and is being held without charge, one of dozens arrested as part of a vast operation against presumed sympathisers of outlawed Kurdish groups.

According to the International Press Institute, Turkey has more journalists in prison than either China or Iran. Many have not been charged.

The government argues that its wide ranging anti-terrorist laws are necessary to get on top ofa destructive Kurdish insurgency which has this autumn once again become a major problem.

But critics say the Erdogan government has also started to use the laws to intimidate journalists and academics who dare to speak out, and is in danger of succumbing to the authoritarian tendencies which many in Turkey had hoped were a thing of the past.

Nuray Mert is a political scientist at Istanbul University and a commentator for the daily newspaper Milliyet. She also used to have a TV show, but that was cancelled after the prime minister lashed out at her in public, more or less accusing her of treason.

This autumn a transcript of a private phone conversation between herself and a friend who is now in prison was leaked to a pro-government newspaper, alongside commentaries accusing her of expressing sympathy for Kurdish separatists. The public condemnation has unnerved her. She says she is now worried about her personal safety.

"The real tension began two years ago," she said, "with my criticism of politics getting more and more authoritarian, rather than more and more democratic. Turkey's people are very nationalistic and the problem is the government encourages any public reaction against anyone who is critical of government policy."

There is an irony here: a governing party which wins landslide elections through genuine popularity but which rejects criticism as unpatriotic. And it leaves a question mark.

How can Turkey position itself as a major power with real influence in the region, unless it addresses flaws at home, and first and foremost troubling limits on media freedom?






SATIRE:Turk and Iranian argue in Austria ;0)

A funny clip of a Turk who picks up a fight with an Iranian in front of a Doner Kebab in Austria.(No Translation needed)

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Turkish ex-president Kenan Evren faces coup charge

by Darius Kadivar on

Turkey ex-leader, 94, in coup charge (bbc)




A Turkish court has accepted indictments against the country's seventh president, Kenan Evren, for his role in the 1980 army coup.

Prosecutors are seeking life terms for Gen Evren, 94, and another retired general, Tahsin Sahinkaya, 86, the only survivors among the five coup leaders.

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the time for coups was over.

Last Friday, the former head of Turkey's armed forces was remanded in custody over an alleged 2003 plot.

Gen Ilker Basbug denies involvement in the so-called Ergenekon network which is alleged to have tried to overthrow Mr Erdogan's government. 


Darius Kadivar

Turkey's ex-army chief arrested

by Darius Kadivar on

Turkey's ex-army chief arrested (bbc)



Gen Basbug's arrest comes amid heightened tensions between Turkey's once-dominant military and Mr Erdogan's democratically elected government.

Turkey's military elite has made no secret of the fact that it disapproves of the moderate Islamism of Mr Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The AKP's re-election in landslide victories in 2007 and 2010 did nothing to improve relations.

Hundreds have been arrested and charged with belonging to the secret "Ergenekon" group, alleged to have plotted to overthrow the government.

The government says the investigation is following due process of law. It is supported by many Turkish intellectuals and business people who normally have little sympathy for the AKP.

But many more have openly expressed discomfort at the investigation. They feel it has gone far beyond the scope of its initial remit, threatening the very democracy and freedom of expression it was instigated to protect. 

Darius Kadivar

Turkey arrests journalists in alleged terror plot

by Darius Kadivar on

 Turkish journalists held over terror plot (CNN)  

Istanbul (CNN) -- Turkish police detained dozens of people in a wave of raids targeting suspected members of the "press and propaganda wing" of a banned Kurdish separatist group accused of committing acts of terrorism, the semi-official Anatolian Agency reported Tuesday.

In a move that alarmed human rights organizations, journalists' associations and press freedom activists, police swept up a number of journalists in the raids.

"Thirty-eight colleagues have been detained," announced the Freedom for Journalists Platform, an umbrella group that represents dozens of Turkish journalist associations and unions.

"Detentions, arrests and trials pf journalists revive crimes of thought in this country. Turkey follows China as the country where the highest number of journalists are in prison," the Platform concluded. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Armenian Genocide

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Is a very real and tragic part of history. I realize Turkey is in denial but the best thing for all is to admit it; apologize and move on. Thankfully IRI has not screwed Iran / Armenia relations up.

Armenia is vital to Iran and her security particularly regarding Azarbayjan. It balances.Soviet brainwashed separatists with plans for Iran. Armenians in America and France hold a good deal of political influence.

They view Iran as a friendly nation and do not want it to break up. Specially in North. Iran provides them with a stable land route making integrity of Iran a matter of highest importance to Armenia. We  should deeply value and cherish Armenia. 

Darius Kadivar

France's Armenian genocide law angers Turkey

by Darius Kadivar on

France genocide law angers Turkey (bbc)


Turkey's president urges France to scrap plans for a bill criminalising the denial of the 1915-16 mass killings of Armenians as genocide. 

Darius Kadivar

Iran threatens to target NATO missile shield in Turkey

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Iran threatens to target NATO missile shield in Turkey


Iran will target elements of NATO missile defense network in Turkey if attacked, Iran’s Mehr News agency said citing a senior military commander.

"If we are threatened, initially we are prepared to target the NATO missile shields in Turkey and then we will target other places,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Force, said on Saturday.

Turkey agreed in September to host a U.S. early warning radar in the southeast of the country as part of NATO's missile defense network. The radar is aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from Iran. 

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Biden due in Turkey to talk on Iran amongst other key matters

by Darius Kadivar on

Biden due in Turkey, Greece for talks on two crises


US considers Turkey as supportive of its efforts to deepen Iran's isolation after a UN nuclear watchdog found evidence to suggest Tehran was moving towards developing nuclear weapons. 

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"Turkey Key to Expanding Sanctions Against Iran" Say's French FM

by Darius Kadivar on

Turkey May Be Key to Expanding Western Sanctions Against Iran


Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (r) and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in Istanbul, Nov. 17, 2011 


"Turkey is not a country to be taken for granted," said Bilhan. "It should be consulted at each level. The problem in the past has been, Turkey has been taken for granted."

To that end, observers say diplomatic traffic to Ankara is expected to be intense in the coming days as the push to sanction Iran expands. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Turkey and EU

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Turkey will never be allowed into EU. I guarantee you. I was talking to some French people I know. The degree of passion against admitting Turkey was very deep and that was the French people I know. Greeks are far more anti-Turk. Britain by itself is not going to be able to get them in. 

Add to it recent financial problems. The whole EU is in question. IMHO it will be really surprising if half the nations in it do not get kicked out. New ones : I don't think so.

Darius Kadivar

Internet 'censorship' increases in Turkey

by Darius Kadivar on

Safer or silenced? (bbc Video)      

The Turkish government has changed the way it filters the web - users are now asked if they want to sign up to a safe internet package, or carry on surfing the web the way they have been used to.

But critics say as many as 20,000 sites are blocked, including erotic sites and political sites which might be seen as hostile to the government. Spencer Kelly reports. 



by R2-D2 on

Let's See What The Price-To-Pay Would Be For Getting Such A "Royal" Treatment :)

P.S. BTW, Quite Delighted To See How Our Friend 'anglophile' Has So "Thoroughly Enjoyed" This Blog In General, And Your Analysis In Particular - Quite Delighted Indeed :) ! ?




Thank you Darius jaan

by anglophile on

As always I thoroughly enjoyed your analysis and I am in agreement with you one hundred per cent.

Darius Kadivar

thanks Anglophile jan : regarding the Turks here is my opinion

by Darius Kadivar on

They are in a very favorable position to "impose" their entrance in the European Union if they "play" it right but more importantly if they play it "smart".

That requires an open minded and intelligent foreign policy approach deprived of what is often characteristic of Middle Easterners including us Iranians in general: "Oriental" Stubborness ...

They need to detach themselves from all these clichés on "Orientalism" which seem to cripple nearly all Middle eastern so called Intellectuals who see progress in terms of West Vs East and want to reduce the Western world to "Oh Look at the Bad Bad Racist European Colonialist Red Necks with Blue Eyes and Look how we are better than them"

In short all the Junk fed to them for the past 60 years by the likes of Edward Said :


HISTORY FORUM: Edward Saïd and Orientalism (In 4 Parts)


Not to mention his other far less talented and clueless Groupies :


NIAC’s Hamid Dabashi Denounces Hypocrisy of Foreign Intervention in Libya 


COLUMBIA PRESENTS: Academic Excellence With Hamid Dabashi & Sadri Bros 


To which I am tempted to add these other clowns :


Greatest Iranians Who Ever Lived (BBC Persian)


some of whom belong to the least qualified to express an opinion when it comes to expressing views on "Greatness" or "Patriotism".


Mashallah Ajoudani on Intellectuals and the '79 Revolution

Given their own Bankrupt Record …

Revolutionaries hang Reza Shah's Bust at Paris Embassy (1979)


If you see what I mean …


Shadi Sadre's Rebuttal of Massoud Behnoud's Endorsement of IRI Constitution


Ebrahim Golestan: "The Shah's Coronation Made Me Wanna Vomit" (BBC)





But more seriously I think if the Turks use this opportunity to prove their commitment to the European Ideal given their healthy economic accomplishment by let's say bailing out the Greeks ( who hate them by the way) :    



THE LAST SPARTAN: Crown Prince Pavlos On Solving Greece's economic woes



The Turks would be in a very Powerful STRATEGIC position to even impose their candidacy as Full Member of the European Parliament compared to other Balkan Countries ( Take Macedonia for instance See Link Below at end of my comment) who hardly fulfill Turkey's record in terms of economic accomplishments given that for decades they were crippled by Communist Collectivism nor even Democratic Reform ( even if in this avenue Turkey is far from equating Western Europe's Standards it is still  a more democratic and legitimate entity than many East European nations let alone Russia) who are struggling to enter the EU.  


In addition Turkey's Secular nature despite a Moderate Islamist Government ( but who respects the secular nature ofthe state and are to the Middle East what Christian Democrats are to Europe) are a role model for even some East European Countries which have a strong muslim presence ( Serbia, Croatia, to name a few ...)  


As such Turkey is in a favorable situation to lobby it's European integration if it proves it can offer guarantees as to it's sincere democratic commitments. One such commitment is to fully acknowledge the Armenian Genocide ( perpetuated during the Ottoman Empire and Not Attaturk's Republic) :



HISTORY FORUM:Turkey and the Armenian Genocide - 'The Betrayed' (BBC Documentary)



Something which it has refused to acknowledge to date.  


The Brits on the otherhand see in Turkey an Ally in the ideological and economical confrontation they are faced with the Eurozone given their own Currency (The Pound) .  


Ironic given that Turkey used to be a staunch ally of Germany during WWI. As you know France's Sarkozy has expressed staunch opposition to Turkey's integration to the European Union. So despite Cameron's full support of Sarkozy on Libya they differ on the Eurozone Crisis.    


On the otherhand as you know Europeans may differ on many things but they have developed over the years a working relationship which is based on mutual interests. The fact that France and Great Britain perfectly cooperated on the Libyan Crisis but differed Germany is compensated by France and Germany's full cooperation on the Greek Bail Out policy where as the British are opposed to them on this issue.  But such differences don't truly jeopardize their Friendships on the long term. Europe still remains a family despite the regional and political diversities. Although the current and serious economic situation is indeed very stressful and dangerous to the global and regional stabilities of all concerned nations in the Eurozone. But allies remain allies despite such difficulties when it comes to major issues of mutual interest.   


But I think on the long term France,Germany and the UK have to come to terms in developing avenues of beyond their mutual immediate interest and cooperation if they wish to form a United Europe. In the meantime they need to adapt themselves differently on such issues ranging from military cooperation to economic integration and monetary harmonization.  

In terms of Foreign Policy I think the UK is trying to play a mediator between Turkey and France notably on the Iranian nuclear project.  


Kholaseh Cameron will try to "nooneh Turkaroh too roghan charb koneh" and promise them support on their European Integration in exchange to their rallying on the Sanctions issue and maybe encourage them to bail out Greece  ( with whom Turkey has many differences notably on the status of Cyprus).  


I personally would like to see Turkey integrate Europe.


Historically it may appear an oxymoron to have an Asian country enter the European Union but on the otherhand Turkey is and always has been a Euro Asian country and seen as a Bridge between Europe and Asia ( very much like Iran except that we  can never expect nor demand being part of the EU given that we are fundamentally an Asian country even if we do have a genuine interest in the West).    


As such if Turkey helps bail out Greece, not only their gesture would appear as one of full commitment to the European Ideal but it would also help boost the democratization process of Turkey on the long run.


Turkey 'worldleader' in imprisoned journalists, IPI report says   


But at least unlike the Islamic Republic Turkey's imperfect democracy is reformable because they know how to define their priorities particularly when it comes to their national interests and are however imperfect at least overall reliable  partners on the international aréna ...


That is not at all the case for the Islamic Republic of Iran …    


However our ANN TELECTUALS on BBC Persian like Massoud Behnoud or Ramin Jahanbegloo would like us to think it is ...


KhatamiDemocracy, & Islamic Republic


My humble Opinion,    




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Of Pomp and Circumstance

by anglophile on

Darius jaan   Now that you mentioned Sir Edward Elgar's great work, here I present you with a sample:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moL4MkJ-aLk     By the way, what do think of Turkey's chances to join the EU? 

Mohammad Ala

Kako, good compilation

by Mohammad Ala on

Kako, good compilation. 

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