Washington Post on Erdoğan’s purge: Cruel frenzy in march towards authoritarianism


Date posted: June 9, 2017

In an editorial on Friday The Washington Post expressed a glimmer of hope that the United States was returning to its championing of democracy and human rights due to a Wednesday statement by the US State Department in defense of Amnesty International Turkey Chairman Taner Kılıç, who was recently detained on suspicion of links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

“Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, the Turkish president who was the target of a failed coup last July, has since carried out a wave of arbitrary punishments and imprisonments of thousands of journalists, academics, bureaucrats, lawyers and human rights defenders he suspects of affiliation with Mr. Gulen and his movement. This cruel frenzy is just the latest step in Mr. Erdogan’s march toward authoritarianism in a nation that was once hailed as a model majority-Muslim democracy,” said The Washington Post editorial board.

Kılıç was detained at his home in the western Turkish city of Izmir on Wednesday along with 22 other attorneys for alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the recent detention of Taner Kiliç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey — the latest in a series of respected human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and activists detained in Turkey,” US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had said in a statement on Wednesday.

Underlining that these detentions, often with little evidence or transparency, are an alarming trend, Nauert said: “We are closely following these cases, and underscore the importance of respect for due process and individual rights, as enshrined in the Turkish Constitution and consistent with Turkey’s own international commitments.”

Nauert repeated the US position that “persistent curbs on free speech and other freedoms erode the foundations of democratic society.”

“Turkey benefits from having more engaged voices, not fewer. The detentions of individuals such as Mr. Kilic chill public debate and undermine the quality of democracy.”

The Post said the State Department stopped short of mentioning Erdoğan by name but that it accurately described detentions in Turkey, which are undermining Turkey’s democracy.

“We would add that there are hundreds of other cases worth speaking out about in Turkey as well, including that of French photographer Mathias Depardon, who has been detained  since May for committing acts of journalism while on assignment for National Geographic.”

Depardon, after a month in detention, was released on Friday and deported to France.

Criticizing President Donald Trump for abandoning the US’s championing of democracy and market capitalism by relying on example and promoting these values as superior to the miseries of tyranny, the Post said Trump has “hardly said a word to authoritarian bosses about repression of their people and has made no secret of his affinity for strongmen,” including Erdoğan.

“The United States must not only lead by example, as Mr. Trump suggested on taking office. It must also lead by speaking out forcefully on behalf of people whose rights are shackled in dark corners of the globe,” the editorial board concluded.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

Source: Turkish Minute , June 9, 2017


Related News

Erdoğan steps up campaign against Gülen-inspired schools abroad

In a clear sign of his intensified campaign and escalating political vendetta against the movement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Turkish diplomats on Tuesday to lobby in foreign capitals for the takeover of Gülen-inspired Turkish schools by a Turkish government-run foundation.

Why did Turkey seize Bank Asya?

In September 2014, in an address to the Turkish Industry and Business Association, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the following statement: “No effort is underway to cause the bankruptcy of a bank. That bank is already bankrupt. They are carrying water by hand to keep it afloat.”

US law professor: Gülen extradition would be unlawful

Seval Yıldırım, a professor of law at Whittier Law School, said in a statement to Today’s Zaman on Wednesday that for the US to extradite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen without a formal case against him would be an infringement of US law.

3 taken into custody for asking Minister Ala questions

Three people were taken into custody by security forces on Monday for asking Interior Minister Efkan Ala questions about Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the settlement process to end the Kurdish issue.

Please do not insult the intelligence of the people

The government’s defensive position could have been understandable had it not removed the police chiefs who did the investigation from their positions, almost as a punishment.

GYV says arrest warrant for Gülen motivated by upcoming election

The Journalists and Writers Foundation’s (GYV), of which Fethullah Gülen is the honorary president, issued a statement on Wednesday slamming the government-orchestrated arrest warrant for Gülen as a government election tactic.

Latest News

Lahore High Court orders protection for Turkish teachers in Lahore

Peace Islands Institute donates platefuls of generosity

Online Interfaith Dialogue Workshop

Pakistan admits they secretly deported Turkish family wanted by Erdogan govt

Pakistani Govt deports abducted Turkish teacher and family despite UN protections

Turkish family, kidnapped in Pakistan, deported to Turkey Saturday morning

Another woman faces detention just after giving birth: opposition deputy

Turkey Has Stolen The Future Of A Medical Student From Uganda

Pak-Turk Parents Association calls for immediate recovery of ex-principal, his family

In Case You Missed It

Turkey’s Erdogan Is Already Making the Most of His ‘Gift From Heaven’ After Coup Attempt

Hizmet’s approach to politics and politicians

Turkey: Inspiring or insidious

Turkey’s efforts in Somalia

You cannot fool all the people all the time

Sacred, Secular, Twin Tolerations and the Hizmet Movement

Turkish festival brings students from 27 countries to Ethiopia

Interfaith Conference – Peace Islands Institute in Connecticut

Turkish School strengthens ties with Turkmenistan

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News