ABDULHAMIT – An operation that disgraces Turkey before the world

An operation that disgraces Turkey before the worldThe famous politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit, also known as Red Danny, who has played a crucial role in the history of human rights activism, held high expectations about our country a decade ago. He was one of the most ardent supporters of Turkeyand#39s membership in the European Union, describing Turkey as the andldquoBosporus miracle.

andrdquoHe viewed the moves by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration as a silent revolution and supported President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan against his staunch opponents in both Europe and Turkey. He once stated that it was not a dream to fulfill the Bosporus miracle and that hopefully the two sides would one day work together So where are we now after 10 years? The same figure made the best statement on the current situation in Turkey.

In a statement a few months ago, Cohn-Bendit — noting that everybody who does not support ErdoIan is declared a traitor in Turkey — said: andldquoIf you are not declared a traitor by ErdoIan, then you are not a democrat.andrdquoWhen the police raided our building to take Editor-in-chief Ekrem DumanlI to the police station on Sunday, I thought much like every democrat in the world and in Turkey.

We, as the Zaman family, had been pretty excited about the possibility that Turkey would become a democracy along European standards. For this reason, we have always supported ErdoIanand#39s moves towards democratization and expressed our commitment to the protection of democratic principles.

People were chanting andldquofree media cannot be silencedandrdquo in our building when the raid took place, and I remembered the columns I wrote to defend ErdoIan against the accusations by the world 10 years ago, that he would not actually change and that he had a secret agendaDo I regret supporting the democratic moves of ErdoIan or standing against the dissolution case filed against the AKP because I found it an antidemocratic move? No. Back then, this was the requirement of being a democrat.

Red Danny, Hasan Cemal, Iahin Alpay, Ergun zbudun, HaIim KIlI, Ahmet Altan, Bulent KeneI, Hasan Cemal, Iahin Alpay, Hidayet Karaca, Murat Belge and Ekrem DumanlI all did the same. We did what being a democrat required us to do back then how could we know that ErdoIan, when seizing power, would suspend freedoms and liberties, change Turkeyand#39s direction from the EU to authoritarianism, declare all who criticize him as traitors, rely on oppressive measures to silence the media, sponsor police raids against media workers, make all inspection mechanisms dysfunctional and defy the EU, which has criticized the antidemocratic moves that have come despite ErdoIan pledging to introduce EU standards in Turkey? What could we do? We were all deceived.

I regret criticizing Nuray Mert, who warned of civilian oppression five years ago, instead of trying to understand her I apologize to her and all others that I failed to be empathetic in my statements and columns.In recent months, we have been subjected to inhumane treatment and insults those can be tolerated to some extent.

But what makes us really sad is that our country has been disgraced due to unreasonable and illegal practices that are not compatible with law and democracy. Nobody believes the arguments and allegations raised by the pro-government media that there is a parallel state in Turkey responsible for all the evil developments.

What is happening is not about a disagreement between the AKP and the Gulen movement. Turkey is moving away from the rule of law and democracy, and unfortunately this will affect everyone.

The most recent report by Freedom House — which rates countriesand#39 democratic development — reveals that the media is andldquonot freeandrdquo in Turkey.Our greatest consolation is the huge support, even from people who do not hold our views, expressed for us in the aftermath of the police raid of our building.

If the fearless stance of the Zaman, Ipek and Samanyolu groups encourages other media to do the same and contributes to our understanding of democracy, I hope that this crisis turns into a golden opportunity.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman