Democracy is vanishing in Turkey, specialist says

Mahir Zeynalov speaking on Feb. 10, at the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City. Photo: Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
Mahir Zeynalov speaking on Feb. 10, at the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City. Photo: Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report


Date posted: February 13, 2017

Olivier Rey

NORMAN, Okla. – Mahir Zeynalov, a Turkish journalist and analyst in Washington, D.C., the first journalist to be deported by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey in 2014, talked about the recent evolutions in Turkey since the failed coup attempt in 2016 on Feb. 10 at the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City.

Zeynalov reminded the attendees that Erdogan also was arrested a couple of decades ago. That eventually helped him to become famous and won him the elections five years later. But it didn’t stop Erdogan to use the same law for justifying the arrest of Zeynalov in 2014. Zeynalov ironically added his deportation from Turkey helped him to become a famous journalist around the world.

He said there are still thousands of journalists (besides, academics, teachers, officers, and others) imprisoned in Turkey, sometimes persecuted or forced to sign false testaments of their involvement in the last failed coup.

He added that over 130 media outlets have closed in the last six months, forcing other media outlets to become more pro-government if they want to survive.


Zeynalov reminded the attendees that Erdogan also was arrested a couple of decades ago. That eventually helped him to become famous and won him the elections five years later. But it didn’t stop Erdogan to use the same law for justifying the arrest of Zeynalov in 2014.


“Turkey has the most educated incarcerated population in the world,” he said.

“Is the Turkish government trying to hide something?” Zeynalov wondered, adding civil liberties and democracy are part of the past in Turkey. “Ten years ago Turkey had a vibrant society.”

Zeynalov said Erdogan is still very popular in Turkey and believes Turkish people will start to question him only if Turkey’s economy is going down.

“There is this misconception in the West that Erdogan is not popular, no, he is widely popular in the country,” Zeynalov said.

Concerning Turkey’s international relations, Zeynalov said the U.S. helps the Kurdish in Syria and the refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and political figure, to Turkey has pushed Erdogan to be closer to Russia.

The arrival of Donald Trump at the White House could make a difference. He added there is no official proof that Gülen has organized the coup attempt in 2016.

And even if Turkey shut down a Russian aircraft and the Russian ambassador in Turkey was assassinated in 2016, Zeynalov noted that Turkey-Russia relationship is flourishing.

Zeynalov thinks if Russia was able to take Turkey out from NATO it will definitely weaken the U.S. in the region and lead to a new era of Russian domination in the Middle East.

“Turkey is one of the biggest contributors to NATO and only Muslim member,” he said, adding Erdogan is acting more and more like the President of Russia Vladimir Poutine.

He added that a possible adhesion of Turkey to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes Russia and China, is possible but Turkey today is still very dependent economically with the European Union that represents 50 percent of its economic trade.

Then, concerning the Kurds situation in Turkey, Zeynalov told Red Dirt Report that the Kurdish situation has greatly improved during the last decade with the possibility to have their own media outlets and political party.

“Erdogan has been the most liberal concerning the Kurdish issue,” Zeynalov said, adding the turnaround happened when Erdogan didn’t win the majority he needed at the parliament because of the success of the Kurdish party.

Source: Red Dirt Report , February 13, 2017


Related News

Does Erdogan really want Gulen in Turkey?

General assumption is that Erdogan is indeed playing a cynical game with the Gulen issue, and also involving the United States in this, in a populist effort aimed at his own constituency in the lead-up to the presidential elections in August, where he is expected to run.

Money trail in corruption case

The fact that the government practically stalled the investigation with a major reshuffle of the judiciary, police, watchdog agencies that track money, and finance and banking activities, while pushing emergency laws through Parliament to prevent further investigations and leaks, casts a shadow on how far the Erdoğan government had gone in these dirty deals.

Madeleine Albright’s remarks about Gulen Movement

In a world that lacks direction, there can be no doubt that a pathfinder is needed. It is much more likely to be found in the values that reside at the heart of the Gülen Institute and this luncheon series. These values include commitment to international dialogue, an understanding of cultural diversity, support for human justice and a love of peace.

Ex-soccer player’s resignation a turning point for the AKP

“Those who want to establish a parallel structure alongside the state, those who have infiltrated into the state institutions … We will come into your lairs, and we will lay out these organizations within the state,” PM Erdogan said on Dec. 21. Gulen responded in kind via a video message: “Those who don’t see the thief but go after those who chase the thief … May God bring fire to their homes.”

Totalitarian interference in individual sphere

The Prime Minister Erdoğanis talking about closing the prep schools in which students enroll to get additional education and be more successful on university entrance examinations.His whole argument to close these institutions is just a blur of some basic facts. Everyone knows that Erdoğan is taking these steps for a single purpose: He wants to punish the Gülen movement.

Efforts to accuse Hizmet movement of conspiracy failed, says lawyer

With the courts continuing to release police officers arrested in government-backed investigations, the lawyer of one of these officers says the court decisions have shown that the government is failing to demonstrate that the faith-based Hizmet movement was behind efforts to overthrow the government.

Latest News

Australian Relief Organization completes orphanage refurbishment project in Malawi

Study Reveals Horrible Pattern Of Hate Speech By Erdoğan, The Chief Hatemonger In Turkey

Turkish court jails 17 housewives over alleged coup involvement

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement of Condemnation on the Bombing in Manchester, UK

Enes Kanter: “I’m getting death threats almost every day”

International Workshop – Hizmet Movement between Political Islam and Civil Islam

3-month-old with oral disease also under arrest as parents imprisoned over coup charges

Civil death: Amnesty report on social upheaval caused by Turkey’s purge of public servants

Thunder’s Enes Kanter in London after detainment in Romania over politics

In Case You Missed It

Mr. Fethullah Gülen’s interview for Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper

Erdoğan’s scapegoats: the West and Gülen

Gülen says arms, swords have no place in Hizmet’s philosophy

Turkish NGO Kimse Yok Mu handed over 296 houses for flood affectees

Gulen movement sympathizers committed to interfaith dialogue, charity and nonviolence

Fethullah Gulen: Turkey’s Eroding Democracy (op-ed in NY Times)

Terrorist investigation against Kimse Yok Mu draws strong reactions

The hype about the Gülen Movement

Two Turkish TV producers detained as operation against media starts

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News