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

Gray domination’ and Turkey’s civil rights challenge

The Hizmet movement, the largest civil society group in Turkey, inspired by Fethullah Gülen, is active in around 150 countries. Hizmet is marked by outstanding schools, dialogue initiatives and relief organizations. Its greatest achievement, however, is the ability to remain independent at all times

Scholars: Misconceptions of Islam still abound

SEVGI AKARÇEŞME, İSTANBUL The subject of misconceptions of Islam dominated the debates at the international conference organized by the Foundation of Journalists and Authors (GYV) and Fatih University in İstanbul today. The event, titled “The Practice of Coexistence in Islamic Civilization and Contemporary Interpretations,” started on Friday with the participation of international scholars and leading […]

Young Peace Ambassadors Academy 2015 Graduation Ceremony

Peace Islands Institute launched the Young Peace Ambassadors Academy (YPAA), which is a peace education program for the middle and high school students in the New York City. The aim of this 6-weeks intense leadership program is to provide a space platform for the students, who are interested in the social science, to learn about the global issues and United Nations.

A time for sacrifice

The sacrificial festival has many social aspects to it: it is all about charity, community and family, as well as the pilgrimage. During this holiday, people visit their relatives and friends; family ties are strengthened, and it gives children an opportunity to bond with the older generation. The sacrificial festival is a time for wishing one another well, exchanging gifts, having big feasts, donating and praying.

Bradley Hawkins on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement

Dr. Hawkins refers to Fethullah Gulen as a wise man and says, “. I think that his form of Islam is a tremendously powerful, modern form of religion and has a lot to teach the world about how we should get together.” “I think Hizmet goes to the heart of what it means to be a Muslim. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was a man who was not teaching a set of dogmas. He was teaching a revolution of life, a whole new way to interact with the world around them, to interact with God, to interact with other human beings, to interact even with nature…”

European court rules Asya-like seizure of bank unfair

In a decision that could potentially set a precedent for similar cases in Turkey, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday ruled that the seizure of the country’s Demirbank in 2001 was unfair.

Latest News

Germany Accuses Turkey Of ‘Unacceptable’ Spying Against Gülen Supporters

Expert: I fear that Turkey is headed to a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war

Ex-Pentagon advisor says Turkey is heading towards civil conflict, if not civil war

Radio Sweden exposes Turkish Gov’t tracks down regime critics in Sweden, threatens to take wives as hostages

UK Clears Gulenists Of Turkey’s ‘Coup’ Accusations

Germany informs Gülen sympathizers about Turkish Intel surveillance

Turkey – Baby with Down syndrome suffers major health problems in absence of jailed parents

After 8 Months, Turkish Gov’t Still Unable to Sell Allies Coup Narrative against the Gulen Movement

UK Parliament: No evidence that Gülen, movement behind coup attempt

In Case You Missed It

Prime Ministry asks president to purge ‘parallel state’ in his office

Erdoğan gov’t signals change to allow re-trial of officers

Turkish Gov’t media targets exiled journalists, their lives at risk

Int’l symposium in Washington D.C. to discuss Hizmet’s contribution to world peace

Love is A Verb – forthcoming documentary on the Gülen Movement

Turkey tries to trap Obama with extradition demand [of Mr. Gülen]

Kimse Yok Mu opens two orphanages, Quran course in Senegal

GYV’s dialogue center not returned despite court order

AKP winning perception war !

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News