Leading Turkish Opposition Figure Put Under Investigation After Defending Dozens of Arrested Academics Who Signed Peace Petition

220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganWe recently discussed the latest authoritarian move by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in rounding up dozens of academics who signed a peace petition. The move was denounced throughout the world, but Erdogan is clearly unmoved. Now, those who objected to the crackdown and loss of the freedom of speech are themselves being targeted by the government. Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu is facing arrest after saying that “Academics who express their opinions have been detained one by one on instructions given by a so-called dictator.” Prosecutors launched an investigation into Kilicdaroglu’s comments on charges of “openly insulting the president.”


Like most of the world, we have watched the rapid decline of civil liberties in Turkey after the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. Just recently, we discussed the arrest of Mehmet Emin Altunses, 16, who allegedly committed the crime of “insulting” Erdoğan. Who, incidentally, gained notoriety by calling people who use birth control “traitors” and claimed Muslims discovered America. You certainly are not allowed to be disrespectful or insulting in discussing Erdoğan, as shown by the prosecution of model and former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac, 26, for criticizing Erdogan by quoting a few lines from a poem called the “Master’s Poem” from weekly Turkish satirical magazine Uykusuz. Erdoğan’s totalitarian measures have earned him the nickname “Buyuk Usta” (the Big Master). Even a joking reference to Gollum and Erdoğan is enough to land you in jail today in Turkey.

Now, even decrying the loss of free speech by others, is enough to land one in a Turkish jail. Despite Erdogan’s infusion of Islamic principles into government and his wholesale rollback on civil liberties, he remains the most popular figure in Turkey. He is a troubling example of how people can come to embrace a dictator and celebrate their own denial of basic rights.

15 thoughts on “Leading Turkish Opposition Figure Put Under Investigation After Defending Dozens of Arrested Academics Who Signed Peace Petition

  1. Last sentence. And why spreading “democracy” is futile. Here ppl vote for an obama phone. There not to be wacked. At least here we balk at funding obama phones. There they cant complain about the wacking lest it be them. That’s why we had a constitution. But its only a generation of obama phones from being wacked.

  2. Perhaps he is of the opinion that if he is going to be an evil dictator, he should go all in. No partial measures. “Free speech” is for people who are “free”, as in, “not in jail”, such as fawning sycophants. They’re free to speak as much praise of Erdogan as they wish.

    I’m guessing he won’t be extending the olive branch to the Armenians in this lifetime.

  3. What you can not criticize is your God. Does the term “anti-Semite” ring any bells?

    President Woodrow Wilson was the first president to spread the nonsense that earthling’s lot in life improves to the degree to which the USA spreads American freedom, justice, and democracy around the planet.

    Did not work out so well for Syrians starving to death directly as a result of American military excursions in the ME.

  4. Say goodbye to Turkey, as it goes the way of every other Muslim country following Sharia law and plunges into the depths of total insanity and depravity. The exception: don’t say goodbye to turkey on Thanksgiving–that’s still great with cranberry sauce and dressing.

  5. I agree with BamBam.
    But, also: Turkey is East of Corfu. The Ten Commandments Don’t Apply. It is Beyond The Pale. Not talking about Palin here. Turkey is a member of NATO and needs to go.
    But: in pirate territories you need dictators. They are not capable of democracy. Those muddle east pirate territories have competing factions of religions. You can be a Turk, a Kurd, or a Turd and not like each other.
    When an outside nation state intervenes then things can go South. Leave all dictators in place. Keep all the Muslim terrorists in the pirate territories. Stop migration as we know it.
    Europe will be a pirate territory in two years. Angela is starting to see the forest through the trees. I am not talking about Forrest Gump here.

  6. “…he remains the most popular figure in Turkey.”

    What, does he have the most Facebook friends or followers on Twitter? If you don’t like him you’ll end up with another bunch of friends.

  7. This guy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Islam. He changed from a secular leader to an increasingly Islamic leader as he saw the US and Europe become feckless. This guy is a smart politician. He rules a country that straddles Europe and the Middle East. He knows the Middle East mindset worships strength. As he sees the West become weaker, this ruthless politician is becoming the strong Islamic leader the Islamic citizens respect. It’s not any more complicated than that.

  8. I agree with Nick and the dog. Religion is the opiate of the people and Islam is like heroin or meth. One has to distribute it wisely and yet control overdoses. Meth heads and Islamic terrorists are birds of a feather who flock together. The lead Turk is needed in that place. You need some Erdogans in Europe, not weenies named Hollande.

  9. Turks have always abused power. Watch “midnight express” the classic tale of woe.
    And ask the NATO allies of Eastern Europe how much they like them. NOT.
    Kick Erdogan out of NATO NOW!!!

  10. NATO’s using any excuse as a hair trigger, including free speech, and not a word from President Obama. Erdogan’s lucky Putin was the cooler head when he shot down that Su-24.

  11. Is it any better for the US to have Gulen in the US even though he is working behind the scenes to bring Turkey’s government down when his Charter schools using American taxpayer $$ are indoctrinating our children into Islam. Turkey has requested that Gulen be sent back to Turkey to stand trial for his 1980’s offenses but Obama has refused. It is better to have this Muslim here indoctrinating our children when both men are not good for Islam or the world. Just what power is it the CIA holds after they made the deal to bring Gulen to the US in the late 80’s to become rich and indoctrinate feeding on our children while he hies in the PA mountains. Some country!

  12. JT says: “He [Erdogan] is a troubling example of how people can come to embrace a dictator and celebrate their own denial of basic rights.” Wrong. Erdogan is just another Islamic figurehead carrying out Islamic principles. How many times do I have to repeat it? Apparently, endlessly, given the extremely thick-skulls of the nimrod leftists. Islam and civilization are incompatible. Islam is inherently anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-humanity.

    Here’s another Pat Condell video for JT and the the other leftist Islamopandering “deeper thinkers” out there.

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