Erdogan to become an all-powerful democratically elected dictator


Date posted: July 22, 2016

Shannon Ebrahim

Turkey’s failed coup last week has emboldened President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become an all-powerful democratically elected dictator. The attempt by his opponents to take over the state by force provided him the political cover to destroy all remaining opposition to his rule both within state institutions and in civil society.

“Destroy” is no exaggeration considering that he is seeking to bring back capital punishment in order, potentially, to execute the 2 839 military personnel accused of involvement in the coup, as well as some of the 2 745 judges who will be tried for treason. There will be no fair judicial process for these so-called political opponents, as all judges who question Erdogan’s agenda have already been purged.

The greatest irony of all is that the man who Erdogan has singled out as the penultimate terrorist, is globally recognised and revered as a man of peace. Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Gulen movement who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US, has become the scapegoat for Erdogan’s purges.

Gulen is a Turkish Islamic scholar who has disavowed any form of violence, and has spread his message of humanism and humanitarianism across the globe.

The Gulen movement has established over 2 000 schools around the world, and offers scholarships to the universities which they run in Turkey.

South Africa alone is home to nine highly successful Gulen movement schools, which, since their establishment, have seen South African students achieving a 100 percent matric pass rate. The Gulen movement also built the famous Turkish mosque complex in Midrand.

The Gulen movement has prided itself on its inclusive ideology of embracing all people, and stems from Anatolian Sufi tradition which promotes peace. Gulen was the first Muslim cleric to condemn the 9/11 attacks, and was widely quoted for having said: “A terrorist cannot be a Muslim and a true Muslim cannot be a terrorist.”

This is the same man who Erdogan seeks to denigrate, and insists that the US must extradite to face terrorism charges in Turkey. Ironically the Gulen movement used to be among Erdogan’s closest allies, and had been the force behind his rise to power in 2003. In the early years of Erdogan’s administration he would give speeches praising Zaman – one of the largest news agencies in the country which is owned by the Gulen movement.

Erdogan made a speech at the 25th anniversary of the Zaman newspaper saying that when he visited different countries he was very proud to see the Turkish schools, and noted that Zaman was published in 35 countries in 10 different languages.

He had praised Zaman as a great supporter of democracy, saying that after the coup of 1980, when there was a dark cloud on Turkey, Zaman had emerged as a flower from that chaos.

So how did Erdogan go from embracing the Gulen movement as bedfellows to accusing them of being terrorists? The reason is that Fethullah Gulen had a falling out with Erdogan in 2013, when he was no longer prepared to tolerate Erdogan’s policy of protecting corrupt officials and citizens – which included Erdogan’s two sons, Bilak and Burak. In 2013, there had been a criminal investigation into the activities of several key members of the ruling AKP government, who were accused of bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering and gold smuggling. Numerous AKP officials were found guilty at the time.

Erdogan retaliated by firing the chief prosecutor as well as 350 police officers, including the chiefs of the units dealing with financial crimes, smuggling and organised crime. This was when the Gulen movement ended their support for Erdogan and the AKP party, and in Erdogan’s eyes became public enemy number one.

Over the past two and a half years Erdogan’s administration has pursued members of the Gulen movement, purging them from state institutions, taking over their media agencies and schools in Turkey, and charging its members with terrorism.

These are the acts of a desperate president who has reacted to his increasing isolation. Ever since Erdogan failed to win a majority in the 2015 elections, he has been jailing newspaper editors, trade unionists, lawyers and members of the opposition.

Since last week’s coup attempt Erdogan has become ever more draconian, arresting over 60 000 citizens, with more than 58 000 people in public sector jobs now estimated to have been arrested or fired, and 9 000 being held in state custody.

We know that once a regime has succeeded in silencing the independent media, academics, accused its opponents of being terrorists, and purged the military and judiciary of detractors, the path forward is one of dictatorship and repression. Turkey is a fabulous country, bulging with youthful energy – it is time to reclaim its soul.

Source: IOL , July 22, 2016


Related News

Bank Asya answers smear campaign

Publicly traded Bank Asya roundly denied the ‘baseless rumors’ about its financial status via the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP). “There have been baseless smear and defamation campaign widely circulating in some press organizations and social media sites” read the statement. “Our bank will apply to the authorities to protect our legal rights in the face […]

Turkish journalist at daily Bugün is threatened

A journalist at the Ankara branch of the daily Bugün has claimed that he received a threatening phone call which he describes as “insulting and discomforting.” The threat follows recent similar claims by Cüneyt Özdemir, a writer at the newspaper Radikal and anchor of the 5N 1K program broadcast by the CNN Türk TV station.

Victims of Turkey’s purge exploited also by lawyers with exorbitantly high fees

Victims of Turkey’s post-coup purge have been taking another toll from lawyers who ask outrageously high prices either to keep themselves out of trouble or to exploit from the lost causes. In Turkey, the presumption of innocence has been dramatically reversed and now everybody is assumed guilty until they prove their innocence.

How Kyrgyzstan and Turkey quarreled about Gülen

An analyst Dosmir Uzbekov believes that the closure of a wide network of schools and high schools “Sebat” will cause outrage among the population. “My son has graduated from Turkish lyceum, and I am very pleased with the education he received there. “Sebat” has become an inherent part of the education system of Kyrgyzstan.

Gülen sues Ankara chief public prosecutor for defamation after terrorist label

Fethullah Gülen’s lawyer has filed a civil lawsuit claiming compensation against Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Harun Kodalak for calling the Turkish Islamic scholar the leader of a terrorist organization, Gülen’s lawyer Nurullah Albayrak announced in a written statement

Message of tolerance, peace expressed at GYV’s fast-breaking dinner

A message of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence for people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds was dominant at a fast-breaking dinner organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Thursday. “We have capital no other than love, no intention other than serving humanity,” Mustafa Yeşil, head of the GYV, said at the fast-breaking dinner, […]

Latest News

Turkish Food Festival seeks to teach Greenville about Turkey’s culture and cuisine

Chestnut Retreat Center offers a look inside their Saylorsburg facility and its mission

Erdoğan’s overarching purge is not a road accident

Is Gulen the scapegoat of Ankara crisis?

Post-coup purge in Turkey leaves children parentless after mother and father are put behind bars

Turkey’s post-coup purge and persecution makes no exception for children

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences for the Beirut Explosion

Turkish Cultural Center Hosts Food Drive

Hizmet movement demonized by Erdogan regime but loved abroad

In Case You Missed It

Turkey’s Gulen supporters flee to Greece – BBC World

How can a government allow damaging their very own successful educational system to please another country?

GYV says Gülen did not send letter to Erdoğan

Daniel Skubik on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet Movement

Likely case against Hizmet will bolster authoritarian character of Erdoğan gov’t

Approval rate of Turkish schools abroad at 78 percent

Erdogan set up Maarif Foundation to seize Hizmet-inspired Turkish Schools

Copyright 2020 Hizmet News