ErdoIan’s fight against press freedoms

If Recep Tayyip Erdogan is able to establish a dictatorship in Turkey, that would not be a problem for many Western and Eastern governments. They have already been working closely with many dictators. But the problem is this: Erdoganand’s desire to create a dictatorship in a country with 200 years of electoral history, modernization, secularization and democratization will definitely backfire. What is more, Turkey has a 1,000-year tradition of pluralism, multiculturalism and diversity that Erdogan has waged a war against. Erdoganand’s attempts only portent chaos, anarchy and civil war. Just look at Gezi. There are millions of people in Turkey who cherish freedoms and dignity. They do not want a Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar al-Assad! Now, around 60 percent of society and 80-90 percent of the bureaucrats, the rich and the elite simply hate him, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and his puppet Ahmet Davutoilu. Thank God, Turkey does not have oil, so he cannot bribe his people for long. On the other hand, the Turkish economy is approaching a disaster while he is occupied with imprisoning not only police officers and prosecutors but also judges. If Erdogan rigs the elections and wins, the country will come closer to chaos. No one can predict the consequences. Because of their appeasement policies and transactional relations, the West, the EU in particular, has been very soft on Erdoganand’s autocratic moves. They have been closely working with him. If they maintain their silence, they may lose for good the trust of millions of Turkish citizens critical of the government. In that context, they must listen to the warnings of The New York Times. Erdogan is not only trying to silence critics in Turkey and to confiscate the remaining tiny little free media but is also trying to silence the Western media. What else does he need to do to convince Western governments that he is not a democrat and for them to stop helping him? Erdogan has slammed The New York Times as and”shameless,and” calling on the daily to and”know its place.and” He yelled: and”Who are you? Would you dare write such a thing [critical editorial] against the US administration? If you did, [the administration] would immediately do what is necessary.and” He lives in a fantasy world! For us of course, it is not a fantasy world, it is a dystopian fascist fantasy world. Now many journalists like myself are concerned that they might be imprisoned on terrorism, espionage and treason charges or get shot! It is high time that The New York Times editorial titled and”Dark Clouds Over Turkeyand” be taken seriously. The editorial that was deeply critical of Erdoganand’s rule accused him of conducting a crackdown ahead of the polls. The NYT said and”the United States and Turkeyand’s other NATO allies should be urging him [Erdogan] to turn away from this destructive path.and” Erdogan will do his best to rig the elections and if he is successful, he will not hesitate to isolate Turkey from the world. I wish and pray that electoral irregularities and corruption can be stopped.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman