On Sunday, December 14, Turkey arrested 27 journalists, media workers and police officers, accusing them of supporting an influential Muslim cleric whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of attempting to overthrow his government.
“This is a reckless move toward dictatorship. It is nothing else than a rough attack against media freedoms with the pretext of a ‘community operation.” Cengiz Candar, via Twitter.
This is the latest in what has been a year-long tirade that amounts to foolish drivel and a desperate man attempting to hold power in a NATO country through intensified alignment with Islamism; denial of his population’s heritages; violations of human rights; breaking international laws and treaties; as well as further demonstrated support of certain terrorist organizations being opposed by his allies.
Erdogan’s Past Performance
Last December while Erdogan was still Prime Minister of Turkey, there were “intercepted telephone calls between Erdogan, his son Bilal, ministers and close confidantes — sound files which have been appearing on the Internet in recent weeks — have also damaged the prime minister. The phone call recordings are intended to prove that he is corrupt and that he tries to influence both the judiciary and the media. Erdogan himself has confirmed that some of the recordings are authentic.
“But I can’t say who leaked the recordings,” Baransu says. “They are definitely real. Everybody knows that the government is extremely corrupt.” (Spiegel.de)
Erdogan’s attempts to squelch the story failed, and by March, 2014, leaks of the alleged corruption scandal broke – not on his state-run media outlets – but on youtube and twitter accounts. His reaction was to shut down access to youtube and twitter for the entire country. This had no influence when it came election time, and Erdogan ascended from his role of PM to that of President with as much arrogance as Putin used while claiming rights over the Crimea.
Erdogan’s actions were just a precursor to what was to come. Not necessarily in chronologocal order, he has continued to prove his lack of leadership by trying to prove what a tough leader he is. Examples include:
- In fact, Erdogan’s domestic policy has diminished Turkey’s prospect of becoming a member of the EU because many in the EU do not want to integrate an Islamic state with a large population, which would give it a leading role in a “Christian club.”
- More important, the EU has raised concerns about the Turkish government’s interference with the judiciary, the restrictions it has imposed on the press, and the “excessive use of force [which] continues to be a matter of concern.”
- In the wake of the Arab Spring, Erdogan was convinced that it was Turkey’s time to project itself as the leader of the Sunni Arab world. He believed that Turkey could offer a successful model of democracy and religion.
- He was rebuffed by the Arab states as Arabs throughout the Middle East recall the reign of the Ottoman Empire and have little desire to see Turkey restore Ottoman-like power that would dominate the region.
- As a part of Erdogan’s ambition to solidify his domestic and regional power, he embarked on a systematic Islamization campaign, aggressively making Turkey an ever-more Islamic state while openly supporting Islamist groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Many suspect that he in fact supports the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which could explain why he refused to join the American coalition against ISIS, albeit under the pretense that the PKK and the Syrian Kurds are one and the same.
- Erdogan made Islamic credentials central to high profile political and military appointments. To further imbue the educational system with Islam, he transferredmore than 800 people from the Religious Affairs Directorate to the Education Ministry.
- He provoked outrage when he likened abortion to murder, pushed to allow more religious schools to create a new “pious generation,” annulled the ban on headscarves, and enacted a controversial law banning the sale of alcohol overnight.
- He doubled the number of schools that train Sunni Islamic clerics and instructed the military to include ‘basic religious education.’ In addition, the number of mosques has increased by more than 7,000 throughout his tenure.
- Erdogan’s obsession with Islam went as far as claiming that “Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century,” which is far removed from the historic account. And his claim that “Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178” is as absurd as his unfounded claim that “Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast.”
- In the summer of 2013, he cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in Gezi Park and arrested scores of journalists who are still languishing in jail. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there are more journalists in prison in Turkey than in China or Iran.
- He instructed internal intelligence to spy on ordinary people and passed a new law that empowers the intelligence agency to collect private data without the need for a court order.
- Following accusations of corruption, Erdogan purged several thousand police officers and legal officials, accusing his rivals of plotting against him.
- In 2013, he emasculated the military by deposing high ranking military officers and putting them under house arrest, accusing them of plotting to bring down the pro-Islamist government led by the Justice and Development Party.
- To top it all, his unconscionable inaction to prevent the slaughter of the Kurds in Kobani only points to his self-centered interests and moral decadence.
(list from Huffington Post)
Other considerations include: “Worried about corruption investigations and intent on holding on to power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is setting up a shadow government,” in an article published December 12 titled “Shadow Government Set Up In Erdogan’s White Palace.” Many are asking if Erdogan is attempting to rewrite history to fit his own religious and political beliefs.
Now, with Putin giving him accolades for standing up to the EU, he is calling for the arrest for Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who has been living in Pennsylvania on a self-imposed asylum since 1999. Erdogan expects the United States to extradite Gulen, calling him a leader of a terrorist organization; Hizmet (translated to mean “Service”). His call for Gulen’s arrest lands on the one-year anniversary of his own corruption scandal – perhaps a desperate move to divert attention from his own mistakes and blunders.
Most offensive and unaddressed is the obvious support he provides Daesch (ISIS) through porous borders for those wishing to join the fight. Recruiters tell them to simply get to Turkey, and then they can join up with Daesch easily. Turkey is the only place black market oil stolen by Daesch is bought and transferred to legitimate markets. Erdogan wants Syria’s Assad to be defeated, yet will do nothing to help the Kurdish forces in northern Syria maintain supply lines or allow Kurds to cross the same borders that Daesch fighters cross back and forth routinely.
For all these, and more to numerous to mention, we name him the most insecure, desperate, backstabbing and dishonorable nation leader in the entire Middle East.
Congratulations, Mr. Erdogan – may no one try to take this achievement away from you!
News of our disdain for Erdogan is actually not new. Past articles began with A Martyr For Democracy” on March 14, Gobbling Up Twitter on March 22, Disingenuous Behavior and Call For Action in October, World Kobani Day vs. Turkey’s Foul Position on November 1, More Foul Turkey, and two guest pieces: ISIS-Turkey Links and Islamic State Murders Erdogan’s Dog.