Turkey Seeks Life Imprisonment For Two Journalists Who Reported On Gun Smuggling By Government To Syria

220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganWe have followed the rapid decline of civil liberties under the authoritarian rule Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the past few years as well as his empowering of Islamic parties in the once secular state. This trend was evident recently with the rounding up of dozens of professors for simply signing a petition denouncing military operations against Kurds in the south-east of the country. Now, his government has announced that it will seek life sentences for two journalists who reported on the gun smuggling operations of Turkey to Syria. Erdoğan has been gradually arresting or threatening the dwindling number of independent journalists in Turkey and this prosecution may succeed in forcing the remaining reporters into silence or living in exile.

Cumhuriyet newspaper reported that an Istanbul prosecutor has completed an indictment against editor-in-chief, Can Dundar, and the paper’s Ankara representative, Erdem Gul. Last May, Cumhuriyet published images of Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants. The paper said the images proved that Turkey was smuggling arms to rebels. Turkey (and Erdoğan’s family members) has been accused by various groups and countries like Russia of profiting on oil purchased from ISIS — money that has been used to fund the terrorist organization. The United States has been accused of knowing of these operation and only recently targeting fuel trucks despite the long pipeline that openly operated through our ally, Turkey.

Now, while there remains question about Turkey’s true desire to fight ISIS, there is no question about Erdoğan’s desire to wipe out any independent journalism or political opposition in the country.Like most of the world, we have discussed the sad decline of freedom in Turkey under Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. Recently, we discussed the arrest of Mehmet Emin Altunses, 16, who allegedly committed the crime of “insulting” Erdoğan. calling people who use birth control “traitors” and saying Muslims discovered America, you are not allowed to be disrespectful or insulting in discussing Erdoğan. Then there was the prosecution of model and former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac, 26, for criticizing Erdoğan for 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.

In the most recent case, Erdoğan responded to the investigative article by saying that he would not let Dundar get away with such reporting. Now his government is seeking a life sentence for an act of press freedom. It is good to know that this is one of our closest allies but such crackdowns could easily confuse Turkey with those countries that we have denounced as part of an “evil axis” and extremist.

Source: New York Times

19 thoughts on “Turkey Seeks Life Imprisonment For Two Journalists Who Reported On Gun Smuggling By Government To Syria”

  1. Woof. Cuz how are they our ally? They denied the fourth infantry div access to iraq for iraqi freedrom. Routinely deny air space. For decades. What makes them an ally? Plus i got nothing ” made in turkey” so what makes them a trading friend? Their only claim to any relavance is a pipe line acrosss. So who they help or dont help is who they figure they will pipeline. To that end we are irellavent….explain how we are allies….pls. Cuz the eu had a hard on.

  2. Kick Turkey out of NATO. Tell all Americans to stay outta that pirate territory. Put Erdogan’s face on toilet paper and send it to your NATO allies.

  3. “Video Makers In Planned Parenthood Scandal Indicted By Texas Grand Jury

    Turkey or Texas, “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

    Corruption is spreading around the globe like a virus. It’s causing mental illness in tyrants and dictators.

    Crime is crime wherever it occurs. Exposing a crime is opposing a crime.

    Truth is a God-given, natural right that exists before government is established.

  4. The Turks a doing a fine job of convincing Europeans that Turkey deserves a place in the EU.

    Turkey is much closer to Arab values than to Western European values.

  5. Turkey is one of the avenues through which the CIA operates to arm, finance, and support ISIS, same as then-CIA Agents Hillary Clinton and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton were avenues through which the CIA ran drugs to finance the Contras and other illegal world-wide CIA operations.

    Spreading freedom and democracy, everywhere we go.

    The list is long of activities once considered the realm of “conspiracy theory,” then later independently confirmed as true. Among the list are remotely turning on mobile device to eavesdrop, and government financed trolls paid to post in social forums to steer and control public discourse favoring government lies/memes.

    Who in the pre-9-11 world would have predicted US MSM and sheeple passively agreeing to Presidential “Kill Lists” of US citizens, minus such trivialities as public charges, trial, conviction by jury of peers, etc? One person Obama drone-murdered on his Kill List was American citizen 16-year old child Anwar Al-Awlaki. Two weeks earlier Obama drone-killed Awlaki’s father by the same name. Awlaki’s crimes are unknown and unknowable.

    Did the President also cry crocodile tears for the above 16 year old?

    For persons who support such Kill List: Are you also down with such Kill List in the hands of a President Palin (God forbid)?

    King George could have well followed Obama’s plan: George should have sent trained assassins to quietly and privately murder all the signatories to the Declaration of Independence. Problem solved!

  6. NPR reported this morning that some organization, I forgot who, found that the Scandinavian countries have the least political corruption, based on several criteria. The US by comparison has significant government corruption. Turkey, no doubt has more. It would be nice if the world would take seriously the causes and solutions to government corruption, so that humanity could move forward with a lot less of it.

  7. “Historically speaking we have been very lucky Obama came along when he did.”

    I have to agree with you isaac. Previous progressive Republican and Democrat administrations were content to use a “death by a thousand cuts” approach in their efforts to build an irreversible weaponized, administrative state. Obama’s arrogance couldn’t stand the idea that his legacy would be that he couldn’t finish it off. Now, Obama still has a year left of legacy building but he has single-highhandedly exposed progressives for the monsters that they are and we might just salvage this thing after all. 🙂

    Nicely done!

  8. I say we sell cocaine through the CIA and then use the money to buy missiles and then trade the missiles to the Turks and then let them supply the rebels because that way it’s not us, it’s them. Or, we could let a few oil convoys through and use that money. Or we could just take billions in duffle bags and hand it over. The worst the Obama administration can be accused of pales to almost nothing when compared with the Bush and Reagan administrations. Historically speaking we have been very lucky Obama came along when he did. The big question is what would a Trump administration be capable of?

  9. Dealing with Turkey has always been like dealing with a hot potato and the Obama administration has been dropping the potato. What you do is blow up the supply line and continue to blow up the supply line.

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