The Resurrection of Recep Erdogan: Democracy Prevails For The World’s Rising Dictator

220px-Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan Turkey’s rising dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has prevailed from a military coup — a victory claimed in the name of the very democracy that Erdogan has been systemically disassembling. We have followed the ruin brought to the once fledging democracy of Turkey by Erdogan. His government has arrested the very journalists that he counted on to spread the word of his resistance, including Western reporters like Dutch journalist, Ebru Umar, a well-known atheist and feminist journalist. Umar wrote a piece critical of Erdoğan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted. Her last tweet chillingly said “Police at the door. No joke.” Now, with the support of the United States and opposition parties, Erdogan has cloaked himself as the very personification of freedom and is clearly moving to wipe out any remaining opposition in the military and country with the justification of the coup. While no one should support a military coup, we should not delude ourselves: a dictator has survived and democracy in Turkey will die with his rise.

We have seen the erosion of all civil liberties in Turkey after the election of Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. This has also included 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. 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.

Erdoğan has already used the coup to focus on this nemesis Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania and a critic of his autocratic rule. It is likely that the Obama Administration, which has continued its absolute support for Erdogan as he has cracked down on journalists and critics, will be asked to take actions against Gulen, 75. Glen is an imam who went into exile to the United States in 1999 and settled in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.  What is clear is that Erdogan is already using the coup attempt to consolidate power and eliminate what few restrictions remained on his power. Indeed, some have suggested that the entire coup was staged or encouraged secretly by Erdogan precisely to serve as his catalyst for a final push toward authoritarian control.

Erdogan was saved largely by mosques calling out the faithful into the streets. Some of those Erdogan supporters reported beheaded an unarmed soldier after he surrendered.  Others were shown beating unarmed soldiers as Erdogan political allies called for the “ultimate punishment” of those involved in the coup.

Erdogan, our key ally, has now promised to “cleanse” the military — a threat understood to mean that the secular military will now be filled with his Islamic supporters. In the meantime, the United States will continue to support the man who has destroyed the only true secular democracy in an Arab nation.

57 thoughts on “The Resurrection of Recep Erdogan: Democracy Prevails For The World’s Rising Dictator”

  1. What is the Niagara Foundation? Are there nations that have schools associated with Gulen? Do tax dollars support those schools?

  2. I spent a year and a half at Incirlik, which I found to be interesting since i traveled extensively while there. The Turks were secular at that time, but from what I have read, this has changed radically. I posted with some Turks on line, and they have been mis-educated that Ataturk was a good Muslim, which is an outright lie. I even read a recent bio of him to make sure my recollections of him were accurate. They were. The base is a Turkish base with the US having tenant status. The Turkish compound back then was at the center of the base, and there were US and Turkish air traffic controllers in the tower. Unfortunately, the government then was a military dictatorship which was not too popular, so there were plenty of anti-government riots to keep us entertained and on our toes when we went off base, since we became targets as well. It seems like the Turkish military has lost its secular character and respect it had back then.

    The interesting thing about Ataturk is that he tried to construct a democratic modern state on the ruins of a feudal, theocracy where the majority of the population was illiterate and very poor, and had no concept of representative government or political functioning. Thus he had to be a dictator of sorts, at the same time trying to sponsor a loyal opposition. He succeeded FAR beyond most expectations in many matters, but political maturity takes time. it is too bad that the current Islamic politicians are opposed to freedom and democracy. Only time and more bloodshed will change this as Erodgan loses support over the years. The latest rape of the judiciary will foster even more corruption, which will hurt the economy, and peoples lives. Then the ground will be laid for an end to this regime.

  3. Curious as to the real US position. Since they turned the lights out on Incirlik, my guess is that we may have been complicit in some capacity. That will indeed be interesting.

  4. Paul

    I’m not going comment in any detail re that topic on this thread. I want to cogitate before flapping my gums. But I suspect that the folks who will scream the loudest about Kasich not being able to disregard the open carry law are the same folks who say that we can disregard the laws prohibiting torture. As I said, the comments will be very interesting.

  5. Yeah, On topic

    Kasich wants to see if crazy people show up at GOP convention under protection of gun carry laws & dust someone.

  6. Off topic.

    Interesting that the police union has asked Gov. Kasich to suspend Ohio’s open carry laws during the convention. Kasich has said he can’t do that.

    Prof. Turley, could you PLEASE do a post on that topic. I may be able to entertain myself for a week reading the comments.

    1. Don de Drain – do you think the governor has the power to suspend the laws against murder during the convention? Would love to see the comments on that topic.

  7. Mental,

    There were some old Iraqi dissident farts that stirred up Bush for an Iraq war.

    1 Guys name is Ahmed Chalabi.

    In the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), with the assistance of lobbying powerhouse BKSH & Associates, provided a major portion of the information on which U.S. Intelligence based its condemnation of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, including reports of weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda. Most, if not all, of this information has turned out to be false and Chalabi has been called a fabricator.

    In January 2012, a French intelligence official stated that they believed Chalabi to be an Iranian agent.

  8. The Gulen character looks a bit old. How old? How could he orchestrate a coup from Pennsylvania? Proof is in the pudding.

  9. What if situation:

    Erdogen gets enough intelligence on Fethullah Gulen and actually can prove coup
    was orchestrated by Gulen in Pennsylvania. Would the U.S. extradite? Kerry, Obama & Clinton need to figure this out. Gulen has a green card & 25 acre gated property in U.S.

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