Erdoğan Announces That He Will Not Comply With Court Ruling Protecting Two Journalists

220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has continued his assault on basic freedoms in his country with an assault this month on the decision of the Constitutional Court. The Court had the temerity to disagree with Erdoğan and rule that the imprisonment of two prominent journalists for a report on alleged illegal arms transfers to Syria was a violation of their rights. Erdoğan has announced that he will simply ignore the ruling of the court because he disagrees with it. Erdoğan has become increasingly bold in his crackdown on opponents and civil liberties — relying on his base of Islamic organizations.

We have previously discussed the rapid decline of civil liberties in Turkey after the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. This includes 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 Erdogan for quoting a few lines from a poem called the “Master’s Poem” from weekly Turkish satirical magazine Uykusuz. Erdogan’s totalitarian measures have earned him the nickname “Buyuk Usta” (the Big Master). The fact is that censorship and repressions is that it tends to become increasing absurd as leaders try to punish those who would insult them or question their leadership. For example, the government recently investigated physician Dr. Bilgin Çiftçi for allegedly insulting Erdoğan after sharing a meme comparing Erdoğan’s facial expressions to the Gollum character in the “The Lord of the Rings” movies.

In this case, as we previously discussed, Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara representative Erdem Gül were charged for publishing 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 a Court has stood its ground in defense of the lingering notion of the rule of law in Turkey. Erdoğan responded in his signature authoritarian style: “The Constitutional Court may have reached such a verdict. I would only remain silent. I am not in a position to accept it. I do not obey it nor do I respect it.” There you have it. After breaking down the secular tradition of the Turkish government and introducing Islamic values into the government, Erdoğan is now saying that he will simply disregard judicial opinions that he disagrees with. It is even more chilling that the ruling was meant to correct the earlier of abuse of Erdoğan’s government in charging journalists with espionage and aiding a terrorist organization for merely doing their jobs.

Erdoğan left no doubt that he views the law and government in strictly personal and autocratic terms: “The media cannot have unlimited freedom. These reports are an attack on the current president of this country. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression at all. This is an espionage case.” The sheer stupidity of such a statement leads one to assume that he does not really mean it. However, Erdoğan’s twisted religious-based view of government allows him to disregard notions of separation of powers or the rule of law when they oppose his action or those of his government.

Notably, Dündar and Gül are still facing possible life sentences in a trial, which is due to start on March 25th. The government continues to maintain that by simply investigating and reporting on a national issue, the men are guilty of “obtaining and revealing secret information pertaining to the security of the state for espionage purposes,” “seeking to overthrow the Turkish government” and “aiding an armed terrorist organization.”

Turkey remains one of our most important allies in fighting “extremism” in the region, which it eviscerates basic human rights and civil liberties.

36 thoughts on “Erdoğan Announces That He Will Not Comply With Court Ruling Protecting Two Journalists”

  1. I see that there is NO response to the FACT that Clinton was impeached over a bogus reason, and nobody can say what Jones had to do with Whitewater. That says it all. Then it appears that being black is sufficient reason to evict people as protesters since they showed that they did nothing other than to BE in the audience. There were no placards, signs, etc..nor did they say anything. I love how these so called Americans can divine peoples intent by just looking at them. THAT is reason to fear them as enemies of freedom.

    1. randyjet – it is reported that the ejected students were disrupting the people in front of them. They were using foul language.

    2. randyjet – high crime or misdemeanor is the standard for impeachment. Impeachment is a political charge. There was no question that Clinton committed perjury, hence his impeachment.

  2. Paul,
    I think everything randyjet said at 12:48pm up to but not including the first “that” is factual. Everything after that is Sharptonesque.

    1. Olly – Trump rented the building. He is not required to give seating to protesters. They were protesters who most happened to be black. That does not make it racist. Or you could say that the protesters were racists in protesting against a white Presidential candidate. They didn’t protest against Obama.

  3. I am disturbed that nobody here seems to care about Trump kicking out a group of black students from his rally at Valdosta College because of their RACE. They were not protesting, nor even planning to protest. They simply wanted to see him. So we now have the SS taking orders from Trump to segregate his audiences and throw STUDENTS out of their own building because they are black. THAT is here in the USA, not in Turkey. Turkey needs to be kicked out of NATO as long as Erdogen is in power. That is the only way the US can help Turkey remain a free country.

    1. randyjet – current updates on the news show the students to be protesters who were lucky they were not arrested. Even, once outside again they tried to jump the line to get back in. BTW, several blacks were in the audience and at least one white was escorted out with the protesters.

  4. We are in big trouble because fools think that perjury in a CIVIL trial is of the same seriousness of that in a criminal trial. I asked a lawyer how often perjury charges are ever sought in such cases, and his reply was almost never. I saw the research which found the number of times such charges have been brought in other trials, and the number is about FOUR times in the whole USA! Then we have the case of Justice Thomas committing perjury for a number of YEARS on his disclosure forms about over half a million dollars his wife earned from an organization which had a CASE BEFORE THE SCOTUS,yet NO outrage or impeachment charges have been brought against Thomas! That is more than a conflict of interest, yet not a peep from the right.

    I will agree that Clinton should have been impeached when you can explain to me what Jones had to do with Whitewater, and how it impacted his official duties as President. Now if she was seeking a federal contract, or he gave her a job, then it might have been justified. Absent any legitimate inquiry on his conduct in office, his impeachment will be a stain on the GOP more than Clinton. It will also mark those who try and use it as a cudgel as fools and partisan hacks.

  5. “After rumors of the scandal reached the news, Clinton publicly stated, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” In his Paula Jones deposition, he swore, “I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I’ve never had an affair with her.”Months later, Clinton admitted that his relationship with Lewinsky was “wrong” and “not appropriate.” Lewinsky engaged in oral sex with Clinton several times.”

    The managers concluded that Slick was guilty of, “willful, premeditated, deliberate corruption of the nation’s system of justice through perjury and obstruction of justice.” and deserved to be removed from office.

    In April 1999, about two months after being acquitted by the Senate, Clinton was cited by Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright for civil contempt of court for his “willful failure” to obey her repeated orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. For this citation, Clinton was assessed a $90,000 fine, and the matter was referred to the Arkansas Supreme Court to see if disciplinary action would be appropriate.

    Regarding Clinton’s January 17, 1998, deposition where he was placed under oath, the judge wrote:

    “Simply put, the president’s deposition testimony regarding whether he had ever been alone with Ms. (Monica) Lewinsky was intentionally false, and his statements regarding whether he had ever engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky likewise were intentionally false….”

    Not only did that punk lie and obstruct justice like he was chasing tail, our representatives didn’t have the loyalty to the rule of law and enough patriotism to throw him out of office. While I support wholeheartedly our free press and their dedication to exposing corruption abroad, it is unacceptable that they played ball with Blythie Baby, a nouveau riche 100 millionaire, and his enabler in all things criminal, even as she prepares to welcome him back in to the Oval Office.

    We be in big trouble boss.

  6. squeeky

    For an explanation of McConnell’s and the other dysfunctional Republican’s actions as being despicable, read the papers back for seven years. Held the country hostage over the budget, flat out stated that regardless of what Obama proposed they would go against it, good for the country or not-many times, same with appointing a Supreme Court Judge, even if it is the moment most advantageous to Republicans, and on and on and on. Eight years of the most corrupt and incompetent leadership by the three stooges has created a shame in the Republican part that Republicans have tried to drown out by shifting the blame to Obama and now Clinton. Objectively line up everything side by side and then comment.

  7. @isaac

    It is your OPINION that Imhofe and McConnell are more despicable than Obama and Clinton. It is my OPINION that while Imhofe and MCConnell do indeed stink, Obama and Clinton stink a whole lot more.

    What we all need to do is not just be partisan, but explain our reasons for our beliefs. It seems to me like most of the libs here just tend to pop in, launch a canard or ad hominem attack or two, sans any real discussion, and then pop out as if their OPINION alone should just carry the day.

    Sorry, but nobody’s OPINION is carved on stone tablets.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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