ErdoIan has lost touch


Three theories have been aanced to explain the astounding difference between Recep Tayyip Erdogan between 2001-2011 and after. Kemalists maintain that Erdogan II has revealed the Islamist agenda that Erdogan I had hidden. Liberals maintain he is a case of and”power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.and”
Psychologists and psychiatrists have claimed Erdoganand’s character or personality has changed. Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, a Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP)andidate for Parliament, expressed the latter theory in its crudest form. Firat, who was a very close aide to Erdogan for many years, being a founding member and former deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), recently said Erdogan fears prosecution for the corruption scandal that even his family members are involved in and this has aersely affected his mental health and psychology. I do not know to what extent Firatand’s claim reflects the truth. Signs, however, that Erdogan has lost touch with reality are piling up. During the past week we witnessed two particularly visible signs. President Erdogan is speaking as though he is not a bit aware of the fact that the communications revolution has abolished national borders and that globalization has turned the world into a village. He speaks as though he has forgotten that Turkey is a founding member of the Council of Europe (CoE), a long-standing member of NATO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and a candidate country negotiating membership in the European Union. Much worse, he speaks as though the concept of freedom of the press in a democracy has never found a place in his mind. The New York Times is surely a newspaper that is read all over the world and a most influential member of the international media. It published commending and supportive editorials about the AKP government in its first two terms of power. Commenting and warning Turkeyand’s allies on the increasingly arbitrary and authoritarian rule by the AKP government, criticized by the entire opposition in Turkey, surely falls into the paperand’s area of interest. Erdoganand’s statements last week denouncing the paper not only confirms to the entire world that there are indeed and”Dark clouds over Turkey,and” as the NYT editorial commented, but also deals a blow to the countryand’s international esteem. International respect is not earned by sitting in lush palaces built illegally — as confirmed by the latest decision of by the Council of State — but by upholding the common values of democracies. I am indeed embarrassed at having to remind Turkeyand’s president of this fact. Letand’s turn to the second recent sign of Erdogan losing touch with reality: the fate that befell Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist Stephen Kinzer. Kinzer was the Istanbul bureau chief of the NYT between 1996 and 2000. He currently contributes to both the NYT and the Boston Globe, another distinguished American newspaper. His eight books on American and world politics, including and”Crescent and Star: Turkey Between the Two Worlds,and” are widely read. He has previously written commentaries pointing to how Turkey had democratized to an unrecognizable extent during Erdoganand’s first two terms. The mayor and city council of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey had invited Kinzer on May 26 for a ceremony where he would be awarded honorary citizenship of the city in recognition of his reporting years ago that resulted in saving the exquisite Roman mosaics of Zeugma from being lost to flooding and in the eventual construction of Zeugma Museum that helped attract tourists to the city. When Kinzer arrived in Gaziantep last Tuesday, however, his hosts informed him that the ceremony and the honorary citizenship were canceled on the personal orders of President Erdogan conveyed to the mayor. The reason appeared to be a critical column on Erdogan Kinzer had penned that appeared in the Boston Globe on Jan. 4 of this year, leading him to be considered an and”enemy of our government and our country.and” (See: and”Turkish leader cancels my honorary citizenship over criticism,and” The Boston Globe, May 27.) I can hardly think of a better way to show the world that Turkey is currently being governed by a one-man regime.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman