Turkey and Crushing Free Speech based on Fear: Megalomania of President Erdogan
Nuray Lydia Oglu, Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Erdogan of Turkey is known for rebuking enemies at home and far away with extreme language. At the same time, the flowers of democracy are gradually being eroded based on his Islamist agenda, authoritarian ways, a very dangerous sectarian policy and Erdogan’s desire to maintain power over the political apparatus. Therefore, with Can Dundar and Erdem Gul being charged with espionage, for merely covering a very important issue, then the megalomania of Erdogan seeks to install fear within all writers and journalists throughout Turkey.
Shamefully, NATO continues to ignore the reality of Turkey being a major conduit for international Sunni Takfiri sectarians and international jihadists. On top of this, the intimidation shown in modern day Turkey towards writers and journalists is being ignored by institutions that are meant to cherish democracy.
The BBC reports “Two Turkish journalists face life in prison over a story alleging that the Turkish government was arming Islamist militants in Syria…Cumhuriyet newspaper’s editor-in-chief Can Dundar and its Ankara representative Erdem Gul have been charged with espionage.”
Hurriyet Daily News says both Can Dundar and Erdem Gul “…were arrested on terrorism charges on Nov. 26, 2015, over a story on trucks owned by the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), Turkey’s state intelligence agency, which were stopped and searched in southern Turkey in early 2014 while allegedly carrying weapons to opposition forces fighting against the Syrian government.”
However, several nations, including Israel, the Russian Federation and Syria have all accused Turkey of assisting ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and other terrorist groups. Indeed, even Joe Biden, the Vice President of America, pointed the finger at Turkey and other allies for assisting terrorism.
Only last week Biden stressed the need for Turkey to allow and protect people’s freedom of expression. AP reports “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has called on Turkey to protect freedom of expression at a time when social media websites are routinely shut down and hundreds of academics are facing legal proceedings over remarks criticizing security operations against Kurdish militants in the southeast.”
The serious threat of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul serving an extremely long time in prison is extremely serious. Yet, given the megalomania of Erdogan – and the ruling party in this nation – then clearly the current trial of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul is aimed at the bigger picture. In other words, academics, journalists, writers, human rights groups – and so forth – are being warned that free speech will not be tolerated if it challenges the ruling political party or “the supreme leader” Erdogan.
Therefore, it is essential that the European Union, NATO and the United States openly start to put pressure on Erdogan because the shadows are darkening in Turkey under his leadership. Equally, for genuine democrats within the ruling party then it is high time for them to stop towing the “Erdogan authoritarian party line.”
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