Erdogan Wants Everyone Criticizing Him Prosecuted
by Stephen Lendman
In Turkey, dissent is a criminal offense. Anyone criticizing Erdogan or exposing regime wrongdoing risks arrest, prosecution and imprisonment on charges ranging from insulting the president to espionage, treason or terrorism.
Journalists, academics, public figures, human rights activists, even young children are vulnerable. So would world leaders be if Erdogan has his way.
Last December, regime loyalist Mahir Akkar urged Putin be criminally investigated on charges of insulting and defaming Erdogan.
He wants Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to stand trial for “insulting the president,” saying “we cannot turn a blind eye to defamation against our president by other presidents or officials.”
Turkish officials pressured Angela Merkel to hold German TV host Jan Bohmermann accountable for reading a satirical poem on ZDF television criticizing Erdogan - violating the nation’s constitution, affirming free expression even when offensive.
Turkish nationals in the Netherlands were asked to reveals names of anyone insulting Erdogan and their remarks.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he’ll handle things through diplomatic channels. “Our ambassador in Ankara will ask for an explanation,” he said.
An Erdogan regime letter asked Turkish nationals living in the Netherlands to report “messages from people who are insulting our president, the Turkish nation or Turkey in general.”
It asked for “names and the quotes” to be sent to Turkey’s Rotterdam Consulate General.” Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Dutch branch chairman, Axu Ozalp, called what’s happening “very worrying.”
Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink said Ankara’s campaign targets anything appearing on Facebook, Twitter, other social media and private emails.
It aims to “influence how Dutch Turks behave.” Politicians in Holland call the scheme “the long arm of Ankara,” wanting control over diaspora Turks throughout Europe, perhaps others expressing criticism of a rogue regime.
I’ve blasted Erdogan in numerous articles, calling him a fascist despot, a megalomaniacal international outlaw, a psychopath - waging war on Kurdish nationals in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, wanting the Ottoman Empire recreated.
Let me go on record saying clearly. I’d do lots more than insult him. I’d make the same accusations to his face. I won’t be silenced or intimidated.
Maybe his “long arm” will target me. Put nothing past a crazed despot, wanting everyone and everything interfering with his iron-fisted rule eliminated.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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