We previously discussed how Turkey’s rising dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was likely to use the failed military coup to complete his objective to become a virtual dictator (backed by Islamist parties). That dire prediction appears to be fast becoming true with a roundup of thousands and the declaration of a state of emergency. Turkish academics have also been banned from leaving the country. Of course, Erdogan has offered his usual Orwellian rationization for the three-month state of emergency as necessary to protect civil liberties by suspending them “to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens.” With that, and the support of his Islamist allies who passed sweeping new powers for the budding Sultan, Erdogan suspended civil liberties in Turkey. In the meantime, women have reportedly avoided the streets because of being targeted by Erdogan’s Islamist supporters.
Turkey’s High Education Board on Tuesday ordered the resignation of 1,577 deans at all universities. It is part of rounding up any and all critics of Erdogan under the guise of continuing countermeasures after the coup supporters. It is telling that the first group that Erdogan wanted to silence (after the military coup leaders) are academics — a pattern seen in countries like China where academics were killed or arrested under the “Cultural Revolution.”
Thousands of public employees have been summarily dismissed as Erdogan replaces official with the party loyalists. In the meantime, the world is left watching the evisceration of the secular state in Turkey and the rise of a new Islamic-based authoritarian regime. Whether the coup was faked or not, Erdogan admitted that it was a “gift from God” to achieve his final consolidation of power.
In the meantime, he will remain a core ally of the United States as he arrests journalists, academics, and political activists.