Monday, July 22, 2019

Erdogan is no Islamic democrat, either

Mar 17. 2019
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Re: “Turkish coup attempt proved Gulen is no Islamic democrat”, Have Your Say, March 15

His excellency the Turkish ambassador’s letter is typical of the mentality prevailing in President Erdogan’s contemporary Turkey.

Each self-respecting dictatorship needs an enemy to focus on – real or imagined. The Turkish regime’s relentless paranoid campaign against a cleric who was persecuted and thus left Turkey attests to the latter. Not a shred of evidence can be produced by Erdogan’s propaganda machine (see the ambassador’s letter as reference) to support their preposterous claim that Fetullah Gulen masterminded the 2016 coup, or otherwise acted against his homeland. But since the letter mentions Islamic democrats, let me challenge Ambassador Akgun: is your master President Erdogan one of those Islamic democrats? Turkey has the dubious honour of having the highest number of jailed journalists on the planet. Meanwhile citizens in their hundreds of thousands lost their livelihoods due to their imaginary roles in the coup.

Regarding the use of “lethal military hardware against civilians”, Mr Akgun, are you talking about Erdogan’s army’s vicious campaign against Kurdish civilians both inside Turkey and – with impunity and typical chutzpah – beyond Turkey’s borders in Iraq and Syria? What is Turkey doing in these countries anyway, blatantly breaching their sovereignty?

Finally, Turkey has been occupying Northern Cyprus for 45 years and counting. Erdogan routinely lectures others including Israel on human rights. Reading this letter, one feels puzzled over the Turkish regime’s real nature.

Andy Leitner

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