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 has arrested 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 says that anyone raising such concerns is likely a coup plotter and should be arrested.
None of that stopped Erdogan for expressing dismay at the loss of free speech in Germany: “Germany, you have no relation whatsoever to democracy and you should know that your current actions are no different to those of Nazi period. When we say that, they get disturbed. Why are you disturbed?” he was quoted by Reuters as saying at a rally in Istanbul on Sunday.
Erdogan remains a menace to basic civil liberties and this dark legacy will be the introduction of Islamic influence over the Turkish government and the denial of free speech to Turks. To avoid appearing comically hypocritical, he should probably remain focused on this authoritarian agenda and not comment on the actions of others.