Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has continued to slide further and further into the extreme right towards militant Islam. It has (coincidentally?) also pushed the country closer to US President Obama and further from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Turkish leader Erdogan on magazine cover
In terms, of the continued suppression of freedom and liberty in Turkey:
- Turkey jailed the most journalists in the world in both 2012 and 2013;
- Erdogan blocked kissing in public and sale of alcohol at night (May 2013);
- Erdogan banned Twitter (March 2014);
- Erdogan outlawed YouTube (March 2014);
- Turkey blocked Facebook pages deemed insulting to Muslim prophet Mohammed (January 2015)
The Turkish leader has also led his country into repeated confrontations with Israel due to his adamant support for the terrorist group Hamas, a group sworn to the destruction of Israel:
- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu withdraws from a global conference on security because Israel was in attendance (February 2015)
- Erdogan took to anti-Semitic rants comparing Israel to Nazi Germany (July 2014)
- Erdogan called Zionism a “Crime against humanity” (February 2013)
- Erdogan threatens to send more and more military vessels off the coast of Israel in a direct challenge to the legal Israeli blockade of Gaza (September 2011)
- Turkey enables a flotilla to leave its shores to attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Eight Turks are killed after they refuse to dock at an Israeli port and attack Israeli soldiers (May 2010)
- At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Erdogan called Israeli President Shimon Peres a killer and marched off the stage (January 2009)
The strong rightward shift has not changed the relationship between Erdogan and Obama.
- Obama considered Erdogan in his top five friends among international heads of state (January 2012)
- Obama used his relationship to coerce an apology from Netanyahu to Erdogan for the assailants killed on the flotilla (March 2013)
- US continued to contort itself to make Turkey happy as the US tried to help Kurdish fighters against ISIS, while Turkey did almost nothing in the fight, as it despised the Kurds (October 2014)
As described above, the Netanyahu apology to Erdogan did nothing to repair relations between Israel and Turkey and nothing slowed Erdogan’s crackdown on freedom in Turkey. The Obama administration twisted itself every-which-way to excuse terrible Turkish policies (whether its treatment of the Kurds, failure to support war on ISIS, suppression of freedoms at home…) while it picks on Israel for matters of protocol.
Here is the satirical music video by First.One.Through about the sad state of the world, where victims must apologize to the aggressors (music by Joe Cocker):
Related First.One.Through articles:
NY Times support of Erdogan over Netanyahu: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/new-york-times-talking-turkey/