We have followed the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has single-handedly destroyed Turkey’s secular traditions and rolled back on civil liberties. With the support of Islamic parties, Erdogan used the recent failed coup to complete his work in arresting his critics, forcing the resignation of thousands of secular academics, and suspending all civil liberties in a proclaimed state of emergency. The United States helped create the tyranny rising in Turkey in its support of Erdogan as he systemically dismantled the only secular, free country in the Arab world. Now, Erdogan is threatening the United States that he wants his greatest critic, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, delivered to him and that a failure to yield to his demands would be a “big mistake.” Now, one could easily dismiss this threat as the ravings of an egomaniacal, delusional dictator with a persecution complex. However, Erdogan already forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reject basic free speech rights to appease him.
In addition to arresting thousands and “cleansing” the country of critics, Erdogan has focused on Gulen — his long standing nemesis. He blamed Gulen of involvement or support of the coup. There is little question what would await Gulen if he were to be turned over to Erdogan who has suspended all due process and civil liberties in the country. The 75-year-old Islamic preacher still holds enormous influence in Turkey and Erdogan is obsessed with stomping out any political threats to his authoritarian rule.
Even if the Obama Administration does not simply yield to the demands of this dictator, it is clear that it intends to continue to support him and his Islamic takeover of Turkey . . . in the cause of fighting Islamic extremism.