This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

His Way, All The Way, Full Speed Ahead

"The European Parliament ... strongly condemns the disproportionate repressive measures taken in Turkey since the failed military coup attempt in July."
Non-binding motion сalling on the European Commission and national governments to institute the largely symbolic freeze in negotiations with Ankara.
© Murad Sezer / Reuters

"The government and parliament can extend the length of state of emergency. What's it to you? Does the European Parliament rule this country or the government [of Turkey]? Know your limits! Those days are over."
"Saying ‘don't fight terrorism’ to a country who fights against terror every day is to tell them to put up the shutters."
"Are you [European Parliament] inviting terrorist groups? [Turkey will continue to] go on its way no matter what they say."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. © Murad Sezer

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feels that he should be imperviously protected from criticism emanating from within his own nation. To that end he has launched a series of lawsuits against anyone who dares defame him or question his authority. And since the independent press in a democratic society is given to questioning the legality or the justice in certain processes undertaken by governments, those enquiries are viewed by Mr. Erdogan as "terrorist" activities, which require that the government crack react forcefully.

Any hints of support for Kurdish nationalist aspirations is tantamount to treason. If news stories forget to state the number of people killed in the attempted coup of last summer, this represents proof of sympathies toward terrorism. According to Erol Onderoglu as the Turkish representative with Reporters Without Borders, 150 news outlets have been closed down while government-loyal business people have been urged to take possession of the remaining news outlets. Turkey has succeeded in out-distancing China's repression of journalists and the news media.

"What's left, they are all basically Pravda", Gulsin Harman, a former journalist for one independent now in government hands, observed glumly. While a senior official with the government stated that jailed journalists were in prison for criminal and terrorist offenses, certainly not for their unfortunate journalism.  Erdogan took on emergency powers in the wake of the failed military coup purportedly carried out by supporters of Turkish Muslim cleric in exile Fethullah Gulen.

Other "terrorists" abound in Turkey. There is, for example, the Kurdish movement restive to persuade anyone who will turn a sympathetic ear to their just wish to be finally accorded the national homeland their heritage status in the geography demands -- their actions and their perceived alliance with the PKK, designates them a terrorist group of the first order, seen to be a threat to Turkey that must be countered by arrests and whatever other means suggest themselves.

Oh, yes, and then there's the Gulenist movement which Turkey accuses of having masterminded and carried out the attempted military coup which loyal Turks helped the government to successfully defend itself against. They too, needless to say, are terrorists, which explains why tens of thousands of civil servants, police, lawyers, judges, teachers and other riff-raff within Turkish society have been arrested as enemies of the state.

The insufferably interfering European Union protests that Turkey's over-reaction to these events disqualifies it from membership in the EU.

The summary and absurdly justified arrests of Kurdish members of Parliament, the military bombardment of Kurdish enclaves and villages in the south-eastern Kurdish-majority areas of Turkey
all represent glaringly obvious instances of violent repression from a government that insists it is justified in whatever action it takes to counter the "terrorism" it faces from within and without. 
Turkey has historically repeatedly faced criticism from the EU for its record on human rights, democracy and freedom of the press. No less so today.

President Erdogan's declaration that he is seriously considering the reinstatement of capital punishment to deal with terrorist traitors who he charges took part in the coup has also alarmed EU lawmakers. Entirely justifying Mr. Erdogan's not-so-veiled threats that he is also considering releasing himself and his government from the year-old agreement with the EU to hold back the tide of Syrian refugees from once again overwhelming Europe by dangerously crossing the Mediterranean in flimsy boats to invade Greece in their passage through Europe.

Refugees wait for the arrival of officals at Nizip refugee camp near Gaziantep © Umit Bektas

This is Erdogan's Trump card. Perhaps the EU should consult with the president-elect of the United States, a man they have learned to love to hold in deep abhorrence and who they might feel has much in common with Erdogan, and who may yet surprise them when it turns out they are wrong. The simple fact being that it takes a very special mindset to reflect Erdogan's grandiose vision of himself as the caliph the Muslim world has long been yearning for. Mr. Trump has a personal aversion to that kind of aspiration, even though it mirrors what he has himself orchestrated elsewhere.

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