Turkey’s Erdogan and onslaughts against opposition


Date posted: November 10, 2016

Yunus Haruna

The recent reports emanating from Turkey must interest everyone who desires freedom of association for the millions of people that dwell in that strategic country. Turkey under the watchful eyes of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK party co-travellers has continued to drift ceaselessly to a full-blown dictatorial country.

It all started with the massive and continued clampdown on journalists, rights activists, academics, members of Gulen movement and of recent, political parties as well as their leaders for daring to have political orientations different from that of the Erdogan-founded ruling AK party.

Gulen movement, which is inspired by the highly-respected United States based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, has been brazenly targeted for total destruction by President Erdogan after the failed coup in that country few months ago. The iron-hand President accused members and sympathisers of the movement as being behind the coup, an allegation that has been repeatedly denied by the peace-loving Gulen.

Since the failed coup, nearly 100,000 persons are now cooling their heels in the unfriendly Turkish detention cells, another 37,000 have also been arrested all because of either suspected link to Gulen movement or because they share ideas that appear not to support government positions in many of its anti-freedom policies.

Even the newspapers and members of parliament are not spared of Erdogan’s power intoxication. About a week ago, Turkey’s secularist Cumhuriyet newspapers’ daily Editor-in-Chief, Murat Sabuncu and columnist Güray Öz were detained after police raided their residences.

In the latest stage in President Erdogan’s clampdown on alleged dissidents in the country, which signals his regime’s increasingly authoritarian policies, Erdogan has now taken his dictatorship to a new height by the recent detention of leaders of a major opposition party in the country for failing to line up behind the government quest to further subjugate the freedom of the Turkish people.

The arrest of the leaders of the country’s main pro-Kurdish opposition party in an alleged terrorism investigation in addition to the hundreds of thousands of Turkish people in detention, has continued to draw strong international condemnation of a widening crackdown on dissent under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, co-leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were jailed pending trial after being held in overnight raids. Ten other HDP lawmakers were also detained, although some were later released.

The United Nations human rights office has already warned that the arrest of elected members of the Turkish parliament’s third largest party, and the detention or suspension of more than 110,000 officials since a failed coup in July, may “go beyond what is permissible.”

The United States on his part expressed deep concerns over the ugly events going on in Turkey, while Germany and Denmark summoned Turkish diplomats over the Kurdish detentions, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the actions “call into question the basis for the sustainable relationship between the EU and Turkey”.

The HDP, which made history last year by becoming the first Kurdish party to win 10 percent of the vote and enter parliament, said the detentions risked triggering a further unrest in the country.
While some few countries hitherto notorious for dictatorship  are walking away from the ‘rule of force’ to allow freedom for their people, President Erdogan and his co-travelers in the AKP appear to see nothing wrong in cracking down on media and suppressing opposition. This ugly trend has led to experts coining various terms to describe the type of ‘democracy’ that holds sway in Turkey, with many likened it to mere authoritarianism.

But to actually think of it, is Turkey really operating a democracy or an illiberal democracy? The country regularly holds periodic election just like other democratic states, yet, hard-won freedoms and opposition views, which are major ingredients of democracy are often suppressed with iron hand.

Though Erdogan continues to dismiss condemnation of his tyrannical onslaught against oppositions and sympathisers of Gulen movement with a wave of hand, it is high time more pressure is mounted on the President and his AK party to allow Turkish people enjoy the fundamental human right of freedom of speech and that of association without subjecting them to a daily dose of either physical or psychological torture through government actions or the President’s body language.

Yunus Haruna, a public affairs commentator, wrote this piece from Kano.

Source: Daily Trust , November 10, 2016


Related News

Kosovo detains Gülen-linked teacher at Turkey’s request

A Turkish teacher named Uğur Toksoy was detained by Kosovo authorities just following a visit by Ankara Chief Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman, over his alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday.

Fethullah Gulen: I consider the coup attempt as a serious “terror coup”

The events of that night [the coup attempt] could be called as a serious terror coup. I categorically reject such accusations. The claim that I convinced the 8th biggest army in the world from 6000 miles away against its own government is an incredible slander. I would like those who are responsible for this coup attempt, regardless of their identities, to receive the punishment they deserve after a fair trial.

Why should education in Pakistan be held hostage to the politics of other countries, however brotherly?

If Pakistan does indeed give in to pressure from the Turkish government, the move will be ironic, given the number of madressahs currently operating in the country with established links to political, religious or denominational movements that have a more than suspected record of terrorism, violence and spurious religious indoctrination.

Woman miscarries twins after arrest, struggles for her life in prison

In yet another example of human tragedies proliferated in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt, a Sinop woman lost her twins in jail after she was arrested due to the ByLock mobile application that she says has never downloaded.

72-year-old Turkish man detained over coup charges

Gülen movement has been accused of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15 despite its successive statements that denied any involvement. Failing to back up its accusations with credible evidence, the government has detained more than 40,000 people and arrested 24,000 over their alleged links to the coup attempt since July 15.

Bank Asya: Battle for survival against a presidential onslaught

Not all banking collapses are alike or lead to extinction. Some are caused by systemic, catastrophic events such as the global financial crisis of 2008, while others are caused by idiosyncratic exposure to geopolitical factors. Bank Asya, Turkey’s largest private participation bank, is currently in the midst of the latter and is potentially edging toward disintegration.

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

“ISIS — A terrorist group making false representation of Islam,” says Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen

Austrian Far-Right Leader Likens Turkish Coup to Reichstag Fire

Excitement of Turkish Olympiads felt in Ethiopia

Students from 32 countries participate in international cultural festival in Cambodia

Romania hosts 12th International Language and Culture Festival finals

Ahmet Şık’s book and Ergenekon’s media campaign (3)

Second alleged disappearance in a week: Philosophy teacher goes missing

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News