Erdogan's Volatile Ire
"In Germany, they are not allowing our friends to speak. Let them do so. Do you think that by not allowing them to speak the votes in Germany will come out 'no' instead of 'yes'?"
"Germany, you don't have anything to do with democracy. These current practices of yours are no different than the Nazi practices of the past."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Berlin needn't feel too upset. Israel has also been needled by Mr. Erdogan for its 'Nazi' strategies victimizing Gazans. Whether he conflates the perpetrators of the Holocaust with the victims in their purported propensities to fascism as more than a raging flourish of his volatile temperament likely even he doesn't know for certain. What is certain, however, is his own growing fascistic streak, as he takes Turkey from its Western-style secular Ataturkian government toward an Islamist totalitarian government.
Any individual, group or government that he perceives interfering with his plan to rule Turkey in the style of the Ottoman Empire caliphs earns his venomous scorn. When the Turkish Kurds' political party upended Erdogan's plan for a majority re-election to enable him to get on with his program of changing the constitution for the purpose of investing greater powers in the presidency, that spurred his rejection of the truce between Turkey and the PKK. He drew his nation back into an active conflict against its Kurds, in a frenzy of fury.
And since the failed attempt at a coup that he attributes not only to his U.S. self-exiled nemesis the Islamist Fethulah Gulen, he has also implicated the Kurds in the attempted coup and the sinister backroom tactics of politics in the United States. More latterly, Germany has been drawn into the circle of those he accuses of thwarting his plans. Erdogan's ranting raves against Germany aren't entirely new. He has in the past accused Berlin of poor treatment of the Turks who migrated to Germany to find temporary workplace employment, only to become permanent residents.
Turkey invested millions in treasury at a time when its economy was on a more secure footing than it has been of late, in building gigantic mosques, and interfering with Germany by inciting Turkish residents and citizens of Germany to flaunt their Muslim heritage and never allow it to merge with the prevailing German culture and heritage, let alone recognize German laws over those of Islamic Shariah.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's famous temper tantrums are well known and poorly regarded; he has arisen as a somewhat faded but vainglorious facsimile of President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Just as Mr. Putin played musical chairs with Russia's presidency and prime ministership until he was able to change the constitution to enable himself to be president-in-perpetuity, and just as Mr. Putin built a grandiosely sumptuous palace for himself as befitting his Czarist rank, so too did Erdogan emulate him.
It rankles and goes against his irksome grain, but Erdogan forces himself to play the supplicant with his Russian counterpart. It represents a step too far and too critically burdensome, however, for this man to regard a woman chancellor of Germany with the same courtesy that he extends to Putin. He prefers to fulminate and to rage when he finds his plans blocked in any way. There is no element of civil moderation in Erdogan's response to any manner of challenge to his reign.
Turkey is still reeling from the mass arrests of tens of thousands military servicemen, police, lawyers, journalists, teachers, public servants, all of whom stand accused of being part of the Gulen movement intent on removing Erdogan from power. He remains popular among the Islamists of Turkey, but the secularists and liberals would be ecstatic to see him pass into history and to be given the opportunity to reverse the harm he has wrought in their country.
Turkish Kurds curse this man and his 'Justice and Development' party, a misnomer if there ever was one. His war on Kurds, their political party and their paramilitary fighting back against the injustice that Turkey has forced on them is legendary and deplored. That this nation of Muslims is a NATO member under someone of his ilk is beyond absurd. With the second largest standing army in NATO he has focused military strength on defeating the aspirations of Kurds to have a national homeland.
Erdogan's original support of Islamic State gave it haven and helped the barbaric jihadi Islamists to launder oil revenues to fund ISIL through the black market, along with facilitating the sale to the international community of priceless antiquities Islamic State had looted from world heritage sites in Syria and Iraq. He and his political colleagues as well as his close family have profited from the corruption that permeates his administration.
His plans to have his government ministers address German Turks at huge political rallies meant to support his upcoming constitutional referendum, gifting Erdogan with sweeping new powers having been foiled by German authorities refusing to permit those rallies on German soil has resulted in his latest volcanic eruption. The man suffers from a very particular pathogen of paranoia coupled with egotistical contempt for those he views as enemies -- a very large cortege of international bodies -- along with vicious hatred for those whose presence he dispatches his military to eradicate.
|A general view shows the audience before a speech by Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in Leverkusen, Germany, on March 7, 2017 Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters|