When Paranoia and Police Powers Meet: Erdogan Denounces International Media Conspiracy

220px-Erdogan_croppedParanoia and police power are never a good combination, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have readily embraced both. With thousands protesting his destruction of the secular traditions of Turkey and authoritarian power, Erdogan has called on his Islamic supporters, crushed protesters with tear gas and clubs, and now blamed an international conspiracy led by the media, particularly the BBC and CNN. Turkish police have been attacking makeshift hospitals with tear gas, including an attack that led to a pregnant woman losing her baby in a miscarriage. It was a tragic symbol of the cost of Erdogan to the future of this nation.

Erdogan is no longer speaking of reconciliation with opponents and pledged to his Islamic party to crush those who oppose them in Taksim square. He then launched into the type of paranoia that is a dangerous mix with faith-based politics, telling his supporters “You will make your voice heard so anyone conspiring against Turkey will shiver. Turkey is not a country that international media can play games on.” He even attacked the middle aged women who have been banging pots from their windows in protest to his autocratic rule.

Ergogan appears to have moved beyond reason in the face of this confrontation and seems entirely unmoved by the scenes of massive injuries among the largely peaceful protesters. He has demonstrated the fallacy of “moderate religious parties.” As soon as he took power, he began placing limits on “immoral” activities from drinking to signs of public affection. Even in a country with a long history of secular politics, he has shown that religion trumps all opposing considerations when you are elected due to your professed sectarian faith.

Source: Guardian

13 thoughts on “When Paranoia and Police Powers Meet: Erdogan Denounces International Media Conspiracy”

  1. randyjet, The real world is where you apply what you read in textbooks, quickly realizing most of what you read in textbooks was bullshit. History is the most blatant example of sanitized history being drilled into the heads of kids. The real world is where real knowledge is learned.

    1. Nick, Since I am an amatuer history buff, much of what I have learned is from textbooks. They are not perfect to be sure, but the ones I have read of modern vintage are rather good and objective for the most part. The problem as I found out when I read up on the history of Vietnam is not so much lies as what is left out. Thus skewing perceptions. I wanted to learn more about the history of Poland at one time. I got some textbooks on the subject which were written by Polish exiles that were used in the US. I found them to be of the Kim Il Sung variety they were so bad. I then got a translation of Stalinist history from Poland, and it was surprisingly far better. Of course, they left out a lot, but I was amazed that such a relatively good text would be found in that place.

      I visited the Eastern bloc in 1984, and got a real feeling for the place and people. It was quite different than portrayed in our history books dealing with the places. I found that Churchill was quite good too, and he also left a lot out to cover his tracks and machinations. So I have found that the best antidote to BS in history is to ask questions of what you have read, look at alternative explanations, and use common sense and know and learn a lot about a subject.

      One good example is how the Berlin airlift is portrayed in US history.In school they never mentioned and I was too young to ask, Why did Stalin do that? The stock answer was that he wanted to take over Berlin. Had I been smarter, I would have asked, so Stalin got up one morning and decided it was a nice day for a blockade? How could the US stop him from taking Berlin over since he could easily have done that given the forces involved. The answer is that Stalin established the blockade in response to the US, UK, and France violating the four power agreements that they had signed after WWII. THUS the blockade as a measured response to the western violations. He figured that if they wanted to scrap the agreements, he could and would too.

      Churchill also made a lot of admissions in his work on WWII that blew me away, especially about how the division of Eastern Europe came about. It was Churchill who divided it up, and Stalin did not want to keep the incriminating document on his person or in his files. Churchill had no such scrupples. I still think of Churchill as the greatest Englishman in history, but I also have a realistic view of events.

      My critical view is extended to the left as well as the right since there are many who discard the idea of truth there too. Zinn’s book is a good example, but I think it is a good supplement to any US history course, since it deals with a lot that is left out in standard texts. He falsifies a number of things, makes bad judgements, and poor scholarship from sources that are dubious. Still it is a useful book in showing people how NOT to write history well and in some places is quite good in illuminating things left out.

  2. Arthur, Thanks for relating your personal experience. You learn much more from than that as opposed to a classroom.

    1. I have to say that the US Air Force gave me a far better education in life and technical knowledge than any university. So for that I can say it was a good experience. I am sure that they did not agree with what I learned, but I have always thought for myself rather than taking official positions are being the right ones. It blew away my idea that the US was a beneficial power for the people of our allies. I also got to know folks of different cultures and even learned to speak a fair amount of Turkish.

  3. No one predicted that there would be violence in the streets of Istanbul and dancing in the streets of Tehran.

  4. Nick I was stationed in Turkey for a couple of years, and I had no problem trusting Turks. It was a dictatorship at the time and there were a number of riots against this state of affairs. So I have a lot of sympathy for what they are going through now. It has always been a fight to keep any kind of free society in that country. The one thing that this shows with the election of the Islamists is that Turkey should NOT be part of the EU since they are not committed to a democratic secular country that respects human rights.

    It is a paradox that it took an authoritarian founder, Ataturk, to break the hold of Islam over the country and establish the foundations for a democratic state. It is thus sad to see that the heirs of Ataturk are spitting on him now. The foreign policy and domestic policy has skewed far to the right, and shows that power without any regards for the rights of any opposition can lead to bad outcomes in terms of democracy. My thoughts and hopes are with the Turks to re-establish democratic secular norms that most of us value.

    I had the misfortune to be in Athens a couple of days after the Colonel’s coup and they had just lifted the curfew when I got there. So I had a first hand experience of another military dictatorship which spoiled my leave, but at least I got a good education as a result of it. The colonels were busy killing off tens of thousands of their fellow Greeks, but I got to talk to some Greeks who were NOT happy with the US government for its support of this. Hopefully Erdogan will not be as bloody as the Greeks were in establishing right wing government. I also hope that our readers will be posting and joining in the protests against this repression.

  5. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and the list goes on: This is what I see. The world since WW II is changing rapidly due to technology and specifically communications technology that lets anyone in the world see how others in the world live. There is a war going in within the Muslim community, primarily between Sunni and Shia but there are of course factions within them as well. We inserted ourselves where we don’t belong in all of the above listed countries because of “national interest” which is really a code word for a few rich guys interest. I fear there is nothing we (in the west) can do about all this other than continue to live our lives and try to insert reason (at least our idea of reason), that human rights mean you get to worship the god of your choice or not worship any god and you have the right to change which god you worship as well. Until those basic ideas sink in with the vast numbers of Muslims that believe their god gives them the right to force people to worship their god or die, we should keep our noses out and let them duke it out.

  6. Sounds like he would make a good Repugthuglican, or maybe a good running mate for obushma.

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