Long Arm of Erdogan – His campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain


Date posted: September 15, 2016

The Times Leading Article

Turkey cannot be allowed to export its ruthless crackdown to Britain.

Since the days of the 17th-century Huguenots Britain has developed a proud reputation for sheltering political and religious exiles. Now, as Turkish critics of Recep Tayyip Erdogan are hounded and harassed, the British government should stand firm and resist their extradition to Turkey on trumped-up charges.

As we report today, Turkish journalists and businessmen in Britain are being put under mounting pressure. A parliamentary delegation from Ankara recently made plain that it was compiling a list of Erdogan opponents who were allegedly providing “financial and propaganda support to a terrorist organisation”. That was a reference to the Gulen movement which Mr Erdogan claims pulled the strings of an attempted military coup against him in July.

The botched takeover claimed 271 lives and the aftermath has been extraordinary as the president seeks to establish control over every aspect of Turkish public life. Within a day of the coup falling apart he had demanded the dismissal and detention of 2,745 judges. More than 67,000 public sector workers were dismissed or jailed; at least 34 generals or admirals have been arrested, 16 television channels taken off the air and the shutters have come down in at least 1,000 private schools. Diplomats have been recalled and many muzzled journalists are riding out the crisis by writing from abroad.


Germany, dependent on Turkey to hold back the migrant flow to Europe, has been muted in its response. The United States, under pressure to push Mr Gulen out of his exile, has also tried to soothe nerves in Ankara. Britain should not be so amenable. The post-coup crackdown seems to be serving not the stability of the Turkish state but the ambitions of the president to create a ruthless parody of democracy. This campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain.


The British edition of Turkey’s leading opposition newspaper Zaman has stopped printing because Turkish businesses are too nervous to advertise. Arrest warrants are out in Turkey for 47 of the newspaper’s journalists. Other journalists have been stranded in Britain having discovered that they have been placed on a wanted list. Social media postings urge Turks in Britain to spy on the activities of political opponents. The address of a Manchester nursery school has been posted on Facebook claiming that it was spreading support for terrorism.

It is intolerable that the government of a NATO ally should support an attempt to split communities in Britain. The destructive potential of this calculated intrusion can be seen clearly in Germany. There German-Turkish supporters of Mr Erdogan have been using Facebook and WhatsApp to call for a boycott of restaurants, hairdressers, doctors and building contractors, all supposedly supporters of the exiled preacher Muhammed Fethullah Gulen, who lives in America. Mosques are calling on Turkish Muslims to shun shops. Turkish entrepreneurs are being denounced as traitors by pro-Erdogan protesters. Germany has received dozens of official requests for arrests and extradition. This may be what is planned for Britain.

Germany, dependent on Turkey to hold back the migrant flow to Europe, has been muted in its response. The United States, under pressure to push Mr Gulen out of his exile, has also tried to soothe nerves in Ankara. Joe Biden, the vice-president, was dispatched to reassure Turkey.

Britain should not be so amenable. It rightly condemned the coup attempt on the Turkish head of state. Turkey, moreover, is a vital ally in the Middle East and beyond. The post-coup crackdown, however, seems to be serving not the stability of the Turkish state but the ambitions of the president to create a ruthless parody of democracy. This campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain.

Source: The Times , September 16, 2016


Related News

Q&A: Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen

Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based imam who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of masterminding Friday’s failed coup, answered questions from The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon via email on Sunday:

Human Rights Watch: Emergency Decrees Facilitate Torture in Turkey

Turkish police have tortured and otherwise ill-treated individuals in their custody after emergency decrees removed crucial safeguards in the wake of a failed coup attempt in July, 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report details 13 cases of alleged abuse, including stress positions, sleep deprivation, severe beatings, sexual abuse, and rape threats, since the coup attempt.

Did Turkey Really Save Democracy On July 15?

The government is yet to renovate that place, preserving the area for foreign delegations as a showcase for the savagery of putschist soldiers. Ankara makes sure that every visiting foreign official is making their pilgrimage to the site, through dust and scattered rocks, so that they see firsthand how the mutineering soldiers attacked the Turkish democracy.

3 dead, 5 missing in attempt to escape Turkey’s post-coup crackdown

At least three people died and five others were missing after a boat carrying a group of eight capsized on Tuesday in the Maritsa River while seeking to escape a post-coup crackdown in Turkey.

Dialogslussen establishes tradition of dialogue dinner in Stockholm

Cihan News Agency, STOCKHOLM Renowned for its dialogue efforts across Sweden, the intercultural and interfaith dialogue institution, Dialogslussen, recently held its dialogue dinner that has come to be a tradition in Stockholm. In attendance of the gathering at Sheraton Hotel were Swedish minister for Public Administration and Housing, Stefan Attefall; State Secretary to the Minister […]

Turkey as a “serial” human rights derogator

The past couple of months have been tumultuous in Turkey. In short order, an ill-conceived military coup was followed by popular mass protest, the quick return of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power, and a wave of repression ranging from military and judicial purges, to state restrictions on a panoply of basic human rights protections, to allegations of “widespread human rights abuses” by state actors.

Latest News

Crimes Against Humanity in Erdogan’s Turkey

Exiled journalist warns of a genocide in the making in newly released book

Vague terrorism charge used to target supporters of the Gülen movement: UN special rapporteurs

ECtHR urges Albania not to deport Gülen follower to Turkey

Woman detained over links to Gülen movement after giving birth

Formerly Gülen-linked schools in Albania face growing gov’t pressure

Exclusive: Turkey, Kosovo violated fundamental rights of expelled teachers, UN body says

Sacked policeman’s grim death sparks debate on COVID-19 data in Turkish prisons

Dissidents of the Turkish government are living in fear in Canada

In Case You Missed It

Arbil closer to İstanbul than Baghdad

Gülen Community and Gülen’s Reminder

TUSKON’s Meral tells Turkish firms in Germany to open to world

Tip of the iceberg

Journalist and Writers Foundation welcomes EP’s transparency calls to Hizmet movement

Kimse Yok Mu delivers 25 electric wheelchairs to handicapped Palestinians

US law professor has no doubt Gulen trial in Turkey was political

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News