Notes From Underground: Let’s talk Turkey

We at notes will sometimes put an issue on the radar screen that may not have present value for trading, but may well have significance in the near future and ultimately have an effect on global money flows that we hold dear. Turkey fits that profile.

During the weekend, Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla of boats that were trying to break a long-established blockade of Gaza. Israelis’ actions seemed to be irrational and ill-thought out, but we don’t wish to revisit that as it is an issue for the “pundits.” What bothers us at Notes is the fact the actions carried out by those attemting to run the blockade were aboard a Turkish-flagged ship. Turkey, who has long held friendly relations with Israel, provided the diplomatic cover for what was in no uncertain terms a preconceived belligerent action meant to attract media attention. Why would a “friend” license its relationship to agent provocateurs? This action toward a friend is beginning to look like a pattern. During the Iraq invasion in 2003, the Turkish government did not allow the U.S. Fourth Army to use its territory to invade from the north, thus prolonging the war and resulting in more U.S. casualties. In the last year,  Turkey has also been a blocking agent in the U.S. efforts to tighten the screws on Iran.

Turkey has been a moderate and pragmatic Muslim-led country and is a full member of NATO. Further, until recently, Turkey appeared to be on the fast track for full membership in the EU until the French appeared to slow its entry down and perhaps even scuttle the idea. Turkey may well be moving away from Europe in an attempt to carve out a position as the leader of the Islamic world and end its affair with the WEST. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been under fire from his own military for years for involvement in combining the clerical with  the secular in Turkey politics–previously a no no–and may well be looking to international affairs to establish Turkey’s role in the Islamic world. This is our hypothesis, but is deserves watching as Turkey has been a recipient for foreign investment and is a heavyweight in the emerging markets. We caution that any moves by Turkey to break with the West would certainly disrupt Nato and other alliances.

We found of more then passing interest in a piece by Chris Patten in today’s Financial Times, “Europe must focus on what works”, this quote buried deep in the article: “Above all, we should understand that the reallly EXISTENTIAL issue for Europe is how we handle Turkey’s membership application.” Again, we caution to put events in Turkey on your radar screens. Its implications for global macro events is potentially huge.

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8 Responses to “Notes From Underground: Let’s talk Turkey”

  1. Kerry Newman Says:

    From what I understand this act from Turkey was prompted as pay back to the USA for branding Turkey as committing Genocide against the Armenians. This was approved by Congress. So in reality it was an act to embarrass the USA for its support for Israel. The Turks have been doing business this way for centuries.

  2. yra Says:

    Kerry—I think that has merit but I think there are bigger things afoot–long before tom lantos was successful in getting congress to approve that the Erdogan admin had rebuffed the U.S.—so the point has merit but I think we need to look deeper

  3. Serkan Says:


    first of all I love both you and your former partner, Jim Sinclair, for your knowledge and analysis of both markets and geopolitical issues.

    Speaking as a Turk, there is a issue that you are missing. On both points, Iraq and Israel, Turkey has been proven right. Firstly, not to allow the US to use it’s territory because it knew the war was based on a pack of lies and falsehood propagated by the neo-cons. The death of US troops lies solely at their door and no one else’s.

    On the Israel issue – will no one stand up for what is just and humane? Will no one stand up for international law and decency? “Islamist” is how I often hear the Turkish government being termed as – a name that does play well to western ears as those who use it know very well – but what about this present Israel right wing government? Would it be a stretch to call them “Jewish extremists”?

  4. Serkan Says:

    I disagree Kerry. It is the Israeli government that has left the US in a difficult position, not Turkey.

  5. Fred E. Says:

    It’s just too bad the previous respondents neglect any knowledge of the facts and history. Israel left Gaza in 2005. In 2007 Hamas, a terrorist organization sworn to the destruction of Israel, which has been vying with the Palestinian Authority for control of Palestine, took control over Gaza and is in a state of war with Israel. They have sent over 7000 missiles into Israel. Israel has instituted a blockade to prevent shipment of armaments from Iran and others to Hamas. They intercepted one such ship previously, laden with weapons. Israel has a right to this blockade, but they have permitted humanitarian supplies to enter by land, and offered to allow this flotilla to do the same after going through an inspection. They refused. Five ships were taken over peacefully. The sixth was sponsored by IHH, an organiztion with terrorist connections. Some of its passengers planned an ambush and were hoping to become martyrs to their cause and succeeded in doing so.. All the ships were brought to Israel, the passengers physically able to leave have been deported. Hamas has refused entry of the of the humanitarian aid.This was an exercise in propaganda and had nothing to do with helping the Gaza residents.

  6. Ray Says:

    Watch this Fred, you might learn something and also learn the true meaning of the word “facts”:

  7. Mike Says:

    Yra- this may harden the Turks military even more against the Erdogan
    goverment. The Turkish Navy will not escort the next flotilla and I
    seriously doubt the Israelis will be armed w/ only pistols and paint ball
    guns. I wonder who sponsored (the Cash) this Islamist/leftist propaganda
    coup. Just like those Sunnis & Shias supposedly hated each other- until
    they didn’t- Islamist lions & lefty lambs palling around make me curious
    (and really suspicious). Aside from making Israel look bad, I can’t
    see any other motive for this.

    Semper Fi


  8. yra Says:

    ray please don’t forward that garbage—-UNrwa has been in gaza long before 1967—so as usual the UN is totally mis-stating and as for as Finkelstein he is the classic example of Geobbelization—if you keep repeating it someone will believe it—this is an economic blog and I have kept emotional issues out—the Turkish situation is important from an emerging market perspective –that is all and to enter someone like finkelstein into the discussion besmirches the credibility of the Blog—-stay to topic and keep the pollution out

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