Turkey under Erdogan: Tens of Thousands Arrested but Turkey still not Expelled from NATO
Nuray Lydia Oglu and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Turkey is witnessing the relentless imprisonment of Kurdish political activists, arrests of supporters of Fethullah Gülen, and anyone not towing the Islamist-leaning government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yet, despite month after month of imprisonment, persecution, people losing their jobs, and Turkey resembling all the traits of becoming a dictatorship by stealth, this nation isn’t being kicked out of NATO. Therefore, just like Saudi Arabia sullies democratic nations that turn a blind eye to this feudal monarchy, the same can be said of Turkey mocking the alleged role of NATO defending the democratic world in the northern hemisphere.
Reports stress that media manipulation highlights the utter erosion of democracy in Turkey. For example, the government-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation in the first three weeks of March this year covered over 4,000 minutes of pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) propaganda, in stark comparison to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that obtained one minute. Similar enormous disparity equally applies to other mainstream political parties in the run-up to the pre-referendum.
At the same time, journalists that say a minimum against Erdogan face the wrath of this megalomaniac but once more NATO ignores such enormous excesses of power concentration. In truth, it mocks the notion that NATO is in the vanguard of protecting the “free world” because what about the freedoms of the people of Turkey?
Reporters Without Borders focuses on the freedom of the press. The Turkish representative, Erol Onderoglu, said, “There is no more critical journalism, 90 percent of the free press is destroyed directly or indirectly… Investigative journalism is considered treason. Journalism has been stolen by the government.”
Since the failed coup that erupted in July last year, it appears that the only winner is Erdogan because he is utilizing the state apparatus to the maximum. Not surprisingly, with the anti-Russian Federation issue reaching fever pitch in America and some European nations – and with the European Union seeking to stem the mass immigration crisis – then Erdogan can crush internal dissent knowing the external environment. NATO, in turn, does not seek to lose the geopolitical importance of Turkey in relation to the Russian Federation, Black Sea, the Balkans, the Caucasus region, and the Middle East. Therefore, Erdogan senses opportunism in order to fulfill his Islamist version of Turkey under the “Great Leader.”
Hence, the crushing of dissent that resembles a version of Maoism in modern day Turkey. This is based on the arrest of vast numbers of people from various walks of life. Asian News (http://asianews.it) reports, “Since July 2016, Turkish authorities have arrested more than 45,000 people, including teachers, soldiers, intellectuals, opposition politicians, businessmen, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens. More than 135,000 public servants have been either suspended or dismissed.”
Reuters reported in late December 2016, “Authorities have also arrested 140 journalists and closed down 177 media outlets, although 11 were subsequently reopened. More than 2,000 schools, universities and dormitories have also been shut down.”
All this is happening when rhetoric out of America and the United Kingdom, and other NATO powers, are obsessively upping the ante against the Russian Federation based on “a new Cold War.” The mantra is “protecting democracy against the threat of an encroaching Russian Federation.” Of course, it is NATO that is increasingly encroaching and militarizing along the geopolitical space of this nation according to the opposite view in the Russian Federation.
However, irrespective if individuals seek to blame NATO or the Russian Federation over Abkhazia, Crimea, and South Ossetia, the democratic mantra by NATO is meaningless based on events in Turkey. Hence, if NATO is serious about being in the vanguard of protecting the democratic model in Europe and North America, then Turkey must be suspended under the leadership of Erdogan. If not, then just like Saudi Arabia sullies democratic nations, then NATO will also be seen to be “rotten and hypocritical.” Therefore, just how many people must be put in prison, lose jobs, and face ethnic or political persecution before NATO takes the crisis seriously in Turkey?
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