Turkey Backs Anti-Russian Tatar Sabotage and Subversion
by Stephen Lendman
Turkish President Erdogan is up to his ears in high crimes, internally and abroad, his rap sheet matching some of the world’s worst.
Self-determination is a universal right. Crimea is legally part of Russia, its population overwhelmingly voting by national referendum in March 2014 (by a 96.77% majority with an 83.1% turnout) to correct a historic mistake.
There’s no going back or legitimate reason for any nation to reject reality. Washington and likeminded regimes remain hardline, including Turkey – Erdogan directly aiding the formation of a Crimean Tatar battalion, tasked with committing sabotage and other forms of subversion. More on this below.
Last August, Erdogan met with anti-Russian Tatar resistance leaders Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov in Ankara – promising no Turkish recognition of Crimea as a Russian province, pledging aid to its subversive resistance.
Recently, he met with Dzhemilev and Chubarov in Konya Turkey, both men organizers of the failed Crimean food and electricity blockade. Discussions about a strategic alliance with Ukraine and possible naval blockade of the peninsula were held – with Turkey’s involvement.
Lenur Islyamov represents the illegitimate, unregistered “Majlis (or council) of Crimean Tatars” organization. He explained Ankara is actively involved in forming a Tatar battalion on the pretext of “protecting the Crimean frontier” – code language for plotting sabotage and subversion, operating as an enemy of Russia with direct Erdogan aid.
According to Islyamov, “(w)hile the Ukrainian defense ministry only scratches its head, (its) Turkish” counterpart is offering direct support – likely including weapons, munitions, funding and training to commit lawless acts against the Russian Federation.
Islyamov told Ukrainian television viewers, “(w)e now have more than a hundred people who have already entered the battalion as volunteers, but we hope that after all the ministry of defense and the armed forces of Ukraine, will create and allow the Crimean Tatars to have their own national battalion within the armed forces.”
He aims to enlist hundreds of fighters, able to wage guerrilla war on the pretext of defending Crimea’s borders, risking direct confrontation with Moscow, apparently part of Erdogan’s dirty scheme complicit with Washington, following his downing a Russian Su-24 bomber, a willful act of war.
Islyamov promised further efforts to isolate Crimea and ways to “liberate Tatars” within a year – returning the peninsula to Ukraine – a strategy of madness, making no more sense than attempting to liberate my home state of Illinois from America.
His notion of instituting a naval blockade with Turkish help, including “small boats (able) to attack ships carry(ing) goods to Crimea” has no chance to succeed.
In late November, Tatar insurgents destroyed parts of the southern Ukraine Kherson region electricity grid, supplying energy to Crimea – preventing repair crews from restoring power, leaving 1.8 million people in the dark for days.
Russia intervened responsibly, supplying energy amounts needed – the first stage of a so-called energy bridge weeks ahead of schedule.
Most Crimeans are ethnic Russians, Tatars at most about 12% of the population, their people not in conflict with other ethnic groups, a small rogue band entirely responsible.
Erdogan risks greater confrontation with Russia than already – by partnering in sabotage and subversion, more proof of his rogue credentials.
Legitimate Majlis Tatar officials reject Dzhemilev, Chubarov, Islyamov and other hardliners, saying “cooperation with extremist groups condemned by the whole progressive world has deprived them of their right to represent Crimean Tatars.”
“From now on, all their statements at any forums should be qualified as personal opinions” – not representing the views of the vast majority of Crimean Tatars.
They denounced rogue elements using Tatar national symbols, saying they’re “not a bargaining chip for political crooks. No one gave them the right to unilaterally use our relics at their discretion.”
Erdogan continues overstepping recklessly, already deeply involved in supporting ISIS, challenging Russia’s patience, perhaps sowing seeds of internal rebellion.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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