Washington Post: Biden needs to give Turkey’s Erdogan some tough advice


Date posted: August 22, 2016

Editorial Board

WHEN VICE PRESIDENT Biden meets with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara this week, Mr. Biden will need all the reservoirs of patience and persuasion he can muster. Mr. Erdogan, having survived a coup attempt July 15, which brought huge crowds to the streets to defend democracy, has subsequently launched a sweeping purge aimed at perceived enemies. Mr. Biden needs to deliver some tough counsel to the Turkish president.

In the past, Mr. Biden has paid tribute to Turkey’s importance as a NATO ally and cornerstone of a region in turmoil. Both are still true. Mr. Biden should not hesitate to reassure Mr. Erdogan once again that the two nations share vital interests, not the least of which are fighting the Islamic State and ending the conflagration that has consumed Syria. He should make clear he understands how much Turkish civilians are suffering from terrorist attacks. Turkey also participates in NATO’s nuclear mission, and nuclear weapons are stored in vaults on its soil. Mr. Biden should do his best to convince Mr. Erdogan that the United States does not desire to destabilize Turkey.

But Mr. Erdogan may not want to hear the rest of the message that Mr. Biden should deliver. The coup attempt, in which 240 people were killed, was apparently staged by a loose coalition of disaffected military officers and others worried about Mr. Erdogan’s slide toward authoritarianism. The outpouring in the streets that confronted the coup plotters was an encouraging sign of people’s faith in a tattered democracy. But Mr. Erdogan’s actions since then have seriously undermined democracy and the rule of law.

He blamed the coup primarily on Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and who has inspired a large civil society and educational movement in Turkey. Mr. Gulen had a falling out with Mr. Erdogan in recent years. Mr. Gulen said he had nothing to do with the coup and denounced it. While some Gulenists may have participated in the coup effort, Mr. Erdogan’s assault on Mr. Gulen and his movement has been over the top. The authorities have said 4,262 companies and institutions with links to Mr. Gulen have been shut and 40,029 people detained, while in the military, police and civil service, 79,900 people have been removed from duty. Some 38,000 prisoners are being released to open up cells for the newly arrested. Mr. Erdogan has demanded Mr. Gulen be extradited from the United States, but according to a senior U.S. official quoted in The Post,the material submitted by Turkey thus far does not include evidence of his involvement in the coup.

Mr. Biden ought to candidly tell his host that the United States did not instigate the coup and that it will not relinquish Mr. Gulen to a witchhunt. Mr. Erdogan may not want to hear it, but he also should be reminded that crushing the rule of law will dim Turkey’s prospects. Mr. Erdogan may bask in the crowds today, but using the coup as a pretext to purge the media, academia and other spheres of independent voices will not strengthen the nation in the long run.

Source: Washington Post , August 22, 2016


Related News

Peace Islands Institute Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Peace Islands Institute (PII) is ten years old now. Its 10th Anniversary and 6th Annual Award Ceremony was held on June 2, 2013. Over 200 guests and many dignitaries joined the PII to applaud the accomplishments of the honorees and to celebrate PII’s 10th anniversary. The honorees and guests all applauded the PII for becoming an agent of dialogue, love and peace-building within a short span of time.

Forget about the gentleman living in Pennsylvania, US tells Ankara

Turkey should stop discussing “the gentlemen in Pennsylvania” and instead focus on other important issues as a NATO ally, the U.S. State Department said, regarding U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Opposition does not believe Gulen movement was behind the coup attempt

Dr. Kadir Akyuz of University of Bridgeport, CT, USA has carried out a poll to find out who the general public believe was behind the bloody coup attempt in July 2915. According to his results, opposition does not believe the Gulen movement but it was conspired by the “deadly combo” of Tayyip Erdogan and Dogu Perincek.

The Gulen Movement is not a cult or terrorist group

The Gulen movement doesn’t support or engage in any terrorist activities. Although an Islamic movement, it is a social movement rather than a political one that focuses on the growth and change of education as a way to empower the Muslims for the future. They are open to dialogue, tolerant, moderate and non-violent. So for anyone to say that the Gulen movement is a cult, doesn’t know that they emphasize on dialogue and peace.

Over 30 Turkish diplomats, families seek asylum in Germany

Nearly three dozen Turkish diplomats and family members have claimed asylum in Germany over alleged affiliation to the network of US-based opposition leader Fethullah Gulen, whom the government in Ankara claims to have masterminded the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Nigeria demands Turkey’s apology over ‘unjustifiable’ students deportation in coup crackdown

Nigerian lawmakers have urged the Turkish government to apologise for arresting and deporting dozens of Nigerian students. The majority of the youths attended the Fatih University, which is among thousands of educational buildings Turkey has shut down in a crackdown following the failed coup.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

The Alliance for Shared Values Statement on Ankara Attacks

America’s Friends Get Arrested in Turkey’s Post-Coup Purges

Scholars to discuss tolerance at Hizmet Movement conference in Taiwan

‘I see the Hizmet movement as the best expression of Islam’

Visually impaired journalist’s letter shows he can barely survive in prison

Turkey’s media watchdog asks Albanian counterpart to restrict Gülen documentary

It is a great loss that Turkish Olympiads were not held in Turkey

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News