We have followed the rapid destruction of the secular government and civil liberties in Turkey under the authoritarian rule of Recep Tayyip Erdogan — assisted by the long-standing and continuing support of the Obama Administration of Erdogan. Erdogan used the recent failed coup to push his effort to create a de facto Islamic regime and to complete his work in arresting his critics, including forcing the resignation of thousands of secular academics, and suspending all civil liberties in a proclaimed state of emergency. Recently, Erdogan threatened 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, he has ordered the round up of journalists despite the fact that journalists helped him stay in power during the coup by bravely continuing to broadcast during the coup. In addition, his government is now arresting people who express doubt (with many internationally) about the coup. Erdogan has been known to use trumped up events to expand his power and many believe that he is not only using the coup as an excuse but engineered the coup. His government now says that anyone raising such concerns is likely a coup plotter and should be arrested.
Erdogan’s government has declared a state of emergency and suspended all civil liberties. It has also issued arrest warrants for over 40 journalists who will join over 13,000 people detained in the wake of the July 15 coup bid. Erdogan is using the coup (which many believe was staged) to wipe out the supporters of one of his greatest critics: US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Yet, Erdogan remains our close ally as he eradicates the most fundamental rights of free speech, free press, due process, and democratic government. Amnesty International has announced that it has “credible evidence” of the beating and torture of detainees.
Erdogan’s Islamic parties are continuing to stay in the streets to guarantee that there is no more trouble as he “cleanses” the government, schools, media, and other parts of society of any critics.