Mahir Zeynalov Profile picture
CEO at Globe Post Media that includes @defensepost & @tglobepost. @LATimes alumni. Harvard. mahir.zeynalov@theglobepost.com
markrowantree Profile picture Oku Ya Hû! Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
28 Apr
Erdogan is arguably one of the history’s most cunning politicians. He is such a magician that Turkish opposition falls for his tricks every single time.
Nearly a decade ago, Erdogan tried to limit alcohol sale late at night, introducing restrictions that were not necessarily harsher than the ones in US. Instead of justifying it with reasonable arguments, he insulted Ataturk & said laws “created by two drunks” aren’t respectable.
The opposition was furious. Now they started defending being “drunk” in a Muslim-majority nation, granting Erdogan unparalleled political fodder in his quest to trap the opposition. He buried the opposition with just two incendiary words.
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
Just like the militaries of Egypt, Pakistan, Thailand, Burma etc., Turkish military had been the fundamental tenet of the establishment that wanted to create a society that were Sunni (No Alawites/Shia), secular (No conservatives) and Turk (no Kurds or other nationalities).
Every time there was a threat to the Turkish state, either through communism or Islamism, the military acted. It is in the army’s DNA to “protect” the nation as a Sunni, secular and Turkish entity. Those genes still exist in the military.
Every time things “went wrong”, the military contemplated the possibility of overthrowing the government. In the mid-1990s (against Islamist govt), in 2003 (to protest Annan’s Cyprus plan), in 2007 (against Erdogan) and in 2016 (against Erdogan).
Read 30 tweets
9 Nov 20
Azerbaijani Presidents signs a deal that ensures the surrender of Armenian forces and the end of the war in Karabakh. Azerbaijani president says it is a 'historic day' and 'very happy' over the agreement.
Armenia agrees to surrender the province of Aghdam to Azerbaijan by November 20.
Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to Lachin corridor that will ensure the link between Karabakh Armenians and Armenia for 5 years.
Read 11 tweets
30 Sep 20
A lot of people have been asking me about the latest flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here is what happened and why:
Let me start with a little background. Throughout the history, Armenians were scattered around the region in the Middle East and South Caucasus, including eastern Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and some lands in South Caucasus.
Ironically, today's Armenia, including its current capital Yerevan were predominantly populated by Muslim Turks, or Azerbaijanis. After twin Iran-Russia wars in the early 1800s, the demographic landscape in the South Caucasus had been changed significantly.
Read 16 tweets
30 Jun 19
Many people keep asking me what is going on regarding Trump-Erdogan meeting and why Trump seems like taking a step back in imposing sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S400 systems. Here is what's happening:
Almost ten years ago, Turkey started negotiations with U.S. and European defense contractors to buy air defense systems to bolster its three-tiered Mediterranean air defense system and integrate into NATO's existing ones.
Around this time, several pro-Iranian groups in Turkey organized a humanitarian aid flotilla to confront Israel's blockade of Gaza. The bloody brawl on Mavi Marmara ship pitted Turkey and Israel against each other for many years to come.
Read 16 tweets
11 Jun 19
In the age of Trump, these polls don’t tell the entire story. That’s the reason why all polls failed to predict his victory. One reason is that some people avoid saying publicly (some ashamed, some fear backlash) that they support Trump, even to a pollster.
2. To win the presidential elections, you don’t need to win the popular vote or have high approval rating. You just need to win several battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. These are Trump strongholds.
3. U.S. electoral system is designed to favor rural voters. It worked until today because in no time in the history did any party has such a disproportianate representation in rural areas than the GOP today.
Read 5 tweets
11 Dec 18
As some of you already know, it has been more than a year since we launched The Defense Post, (thedefensepost.com). We have huge international audience, including government, military and defense officials, security experts and industry folks.
In a very short period of time, thanks to our excellent editors and reporters, we have become the third most visited defense news outlet in the world. We are very happy over what we've accomplished and the sky is the limit.
Today, I am proud to announce that we are entering into an exciting world of higher education. Meet The College Post (collegepostnews.com), a news publication that covers colleges in the U.S., from campus life to faculty.
Read 4 tweets
10 Aug 18
FAQ: Erdogan could have easily avoided economic sanctions by releasing the pastor. Why is he insisting on this? Here is why.
Turkey's credit-driven economy had been sagging this year. To avoid crushing financial meltdown before the elections, he called for snap elections and easily won before the economic crisis hit. He is facing another local elections next year.
Erdogan's government now understands that there is no way to stop looming economic crisis. How to win an election in the midst of high unemployment, high inflation and melting local currency? Blame America.
Read 5 tweets
30 Jul 18
There is a reason why Turks risk death to flee with their babies. It's not that they are looking for a better life. They are fleeing torture and life imprisonment.
These are not criminals. They are teachers, doctors, IT specialists, journalists, professors. Women, elderly, babies. All of them are banned from working in bureaucracy. Their universities, newspapers, bakeries were shut down.
Their names (nearly 200,000 of them) are openly published in Official Gazzette as terrorists so no one would give them a job. Some employers exploit their labor with salaries that are 10 times less than the average.
Read 9 tweets
1 May 18
I am launching a $100,000 campaign for Turkish refugees in Greece. Let's show them that they're not alone. youcaring.com/turkishrefugee… Image
It’s been only an hour and we raised nearly $8,000. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙏. Please continue to donate and share.
It’s been 24 hours and we hit $100,000. We will deliver every penny to refugee families in Greece. In the meantime, you can continue donating.
Read 5 tweets
25 Apr 18
Turkish court delivered verdicts in Cumhuriyet trial. Akin Atalay, Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chairman, was sentenced to 7 years and 3.5 months in prison. Orhan Erinc gets 6 years and 3 months.
Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief @muratsabuncum gets 7 years and 6 months in prison sentence on charges of "aiding a terrorist organization."
Columnist @KadriGursel was handed down a two years and 6 months prison sentence over "aiding a terrorist organization."
Read 10 tweets
18 Apr 18
Erdogan announces that presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2019 will be held in 66 days. Bear with me as I will explain why he is rushing. turkey.theglobepost.com/erdogan-bahcel…
Erdogan's biggest strength was to rally nationalist votes few months before each elections. It happened right before 2011 and his party won in landslide. He started Kurdish peace process and hence lost the election in June 2015.
His party refused to form a coalition government, ended the Kurdish peace process and won in snap elections in November that year.
Read 12 tweets
16 Apr 18
NYT and New Yorker get Pulitzer for Harvey Weinstein stories. Well-deserved.
Washington Post staff win Pulitzer for Roy Moore reporting.
NYT and Washington Post win Pulitzer for Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr 18
There was no "perfect" option in Syria. Limited strikes clearly don't deter the Assad regime from using nerve agent again. Massive strikes would create power vacuums, prolong the civil war and risk dragging U.S. down in Syria and possible conflict with Russia.
It is now clear that nearly 120 Tomahawk missiles were used tonight. This is apart from French and British strikes. This limited campaign that does nothing to degrade Assad's war machine will result in increased support by Russia and Iran.
This type of "we only hit Assad's chemical weapons-producing facilities" directly signals green light to other atrocities by the Syrian regime that kill far more than chemical gas.
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr 18
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban ('Viktator') is set to win 3rd term today. Here is an extensive piece about Hungary, with remarks by Kim Lane Scheppele, Zslot Enyadi, @laszloan, Erika Harris, @peterkreko, @szekyjanos, Saling Gergo, and Michal Kowalczyk theglobepost.com/2018/04/06/201… Image
@laszloan @peterkreko @szekyjanos Orban won 49 percent of votes, but his party will get nearly 70 percent of parliamentary seats. How is that possible?
After Orban won elections in 2010, he changed the constitution, electoral laws and significantly increased his party's disproportionate representation through gerrymandering. In the 21st century, autocracies are built through laws, and manipulation. Not by tanks.
Read 6 tweets
21 Mar 18
Dogan Media, which owns bunch of news outlets including Hurriyet and CNN Turk, has always been crucial in transforming Turkish politics, including bringing down governments.
It is owned by Aydin Dogan, Trump's business partner in Turkey. His media, including Hurriyet, played a significant role in creating a dystopian climate that eventually brought down an Islamist government led by Erbakan, Erdogan's former boss.
When Erdogan was jailed in 1998, Hurriyet ran a headline that read: "He even can't be a village head." This headline hurt Erdogan so much that he made it his mission to destroy the Dogan Media.
Read 10 tweets
26 Feb 18
White House says lifting term limits is a decision for China to make. Of course. The U.S. can't really do anything if Beijing is determined to abolish the term limits. But what kind of message does it send to the world?
Obama was no democracy evangelist abroad, but even he said the U.S. takes notice of autocrats who abolish term limits.
For White House to say that abolishing term limits is a domestic affair means giving a green light to autocrats who want to get rid of term limits, a major cornerstone of any democracy.
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan 18
Children around the world have come under attack at “a shocking scale” throughout 2017, with parties to conflicts “blatantly disregarding” international laws theglobepost.com/2017/12/28/un-… @Manuel_Fontaine Image
@Manuel_Fontaine In 2017, at least 5,000 children died or got injured in Yemen fighting. Thousands of children may die due to starvation and cholera outbreak.
Boko Haram has forced at least 135 children to act as suicide bombers in Nigeria and Cameroon – a number five times higher than in 2016.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan 18
Turkey's best and brightest officers are usually dispatched to serve at NATO in Europe or the U.S. Most of these officers were from the Air Force. Since they were not as loyal to the government as Erdogan wanted them to be, they needed to be purged. But how?
Starting from April 2016, a rumor for a possible military coup attempt was deliberately started. The goal was to see who would be sympathetic to the cause. The military establishment, headed by Hulusi Akar, spread this rumor wherever he went.
There was a prevalent conviction in the army that a coup attempt was highly likely and the establishment, especially army chief Akar, had his blessing. It was a ruse, designed to bring together non-loyalist generals, trick them into a small plot and purge them altogether.
Read 23 tweets
14 Jan 18
Istanbul Police Department, a sprawling complex at the heart of Istanbul, has now become a notorious center for torture and police mistreatment. Last month, authorities fabricated a letter and pinned it on @fevziyazici. They threatened him with his family into a false confession.
@fevziyazici Turkish authorities were aiming to discredit Iran sanctions case in New York. Fevzi withstood the mistreatment and he was then put in solitary confinement, another form of torture.
Now three Turkish police chief, who carried out corruption raids against Reza Zarrab, were taken to Istanbul police department. Kept in a damp, dunk room, they’re being threatened with their families. In a building now used to torture people, they’re being interrogated.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jan 18
In June 2013, hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey held anti-government demonstrations, so-called Gezi protests, that challenged the government. Erdogan held parallel demonstrations in a show of force and called his supporters "silent majority."
A month later, millions of Egyptians filled squares and streets to demand the resignation of former Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi. Erdogan's spy chief, Hakan Fidan, told Morsi to hold parallel demonstrations and show them that you're still popular.
"No matter what happens," Fidan told Morsi, "don't give up." He told Morsi that Turkey experienced a similar upheaval and parallel demonstrations helped Erdogan curb Gezi protests. Muslim Brotherhood agreed and stayed on streets until they were dispersed through bloodbath.
Read 5 tweets