Saturday, January 02, 2016

Erdogan Damage Control

Erdogan Damage Control

by Stephen Lendman

Turkish democracy is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. Erdogan is a tinpot despot, a rogue leader in a part of the world ruled by tyrants. 

He seeks constitutional changes for a presidential system, officially affording himself unchallenged power - able to eliminate opponents and critics more easily than already.

He cited Hitler’s Germany as the way he seeks to run things - calling it streamlined rule for more effective decision-making - code language for wanting one-man tyrannical authority, no opposition or critics allowed.

Damage control followed to subdue outrage to his remarks. An official statement said he was misinterpreted. His office said his “Hitler Germany metaphor (was) distorted by media outlets…”

It ignored his hugely corrupt regime, despotic rule, banning press freedom, imprisoning or murdering critics, waging war without mercy on Turkish Kurds, partnering with Washington in supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups - exhibiting overall viciousness millions of Turks oppose.

His policies risk greater regional war than already, including more US-approved attempts to provoke Russia belligerently - a reckless agenda vital to challenge.

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state, an outlaw regime - with one of the region’s most deplorable human rights records, fundamental freedoms virtually nonexistent on matters affecting his iron-fisted rule.

Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner Christoph Strasser said human rights “deteriorated” markedly under his regime. “This concern drives me,” Strasser stressed.

“There can be no human rights policy discount for Turkey. We must not be generous towards Turkey just because presently we cooperate more with it. The EU must stick to its crystal-clear strict rules with respect to human rights and press freedom.”

Ankara sought EU membership unsuccessfully since 1987. Its despotic rule under Erdogan alone should be enough for ineligibility.

Its Muslim population at a time US-led NATO states wage war on Islam rule it out. Turkey is far from eligibility, Strasser explained.

“We need to repeatedly send a compliance reminder to Ankara. In Turkey, dissenters are punished, and there are attacks against the opposition,” he said. 

“As long as there’s such a thing, the country doesn’t belong in the EU. If we ignore (its deplorable record), it would be a fatal signal.”

Strasser failed to explain US-led Western states partnering with Turkey in ongoing regional wars - Washington especially failing to condemn its deplorable human rights record.

Last October, Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal said “(t)he free space of journalists is being limited in an unprecedented way because there is an order from a sultan who hates independence.”

“Freedoms, rule of law, the right to live democratically are swiftly being eliminated.” Two young boys risk imprisonment for ripping up Erdogan posters - on charges of “insulting” the president.

National security is used as a pretext for harsh crackdowns on civil society in an atmosphere of anything goes.

Erdogan dominated Turkish politics from 2003 - 2014 as prime minister. In his new post as president since August 2014, he seeks unchallenged despotic rule.

Whether he’ll get enough needed opposition party support to rewrite Turkey’s constitution serving his interests remains to be seen.

Many opposition lawmakers oppose his power-grabbing scheme, free from parliamentary oversight. As long as he remains Turkey’s leader, tyranny will substitute for freedom. 

Constitutionally granting him unlimited executive powers assures unchallenged one-man/iron-fisted rule - no opposition or critics allowed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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