The Unraveling of Turkey’s Democracy

Published on ZNet, by Alon Ben-Meir, March 11, 2016.

Only a few months after Turkey’s President Erdogan raided the offices of the Koza Ipek Media Group, the Turkish police assaulted early this month the offices of Feza Publications, which owns two newspapers (including Zaman) and two TV stations, without any warning. There is little else more injurious to any democracy than closing down news outlets and choking off freedom of speech

To take such an extreme measure based on concocted accusations that such media outlets are aiding terrorism and conspiring against the state is nothing short of scandalous, and shows his fear of public criticism despite his bravado. President Erdogan, however, seems completely dismissive of any potential repercussions, as he was emboldened by his past rampage against the press and jailing of scores of journalists on phony charges with impunity.

Although Erdogan knows well that Turkey is far from being a democratic state, he continues to promote the absurd notion that Turkey is indeed a genuine democracy, stating with his usual twisted flare that “nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey.”

In fact, Reporters Without Borders’ 2015 World Press Freedom Index ranked Turkey 149 out of 180 countries, between Mexico, where journalists are regularly murdered, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is a failed state.

Perhaps Erdogan should be reminded of what truly constitutes a democracy. Freedom of expression represents one of four critical pillars of any democratic form of government, which also includes the election of a representative government, equality before the law, and strict observance of human rights … //

… Erdogan should know that for Turkey to capture its rightful place among the great powers, he must restore all that was lost in the past few years, especially its democratic foundation. Without such democratic principles, Turkey will be further alienated from the Western countries, the bloc to which Turkey should belong, and will be unable to harness its true potential as a Middle Eastern and European power.

Ironically, Erdogan seems to relish the illusion that he will preside over the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 2023, and be remembered as the new “Turkish Father,” overshadowing Atatürk.

He desperately wants to restore some of the ‘glory’ of the Ottoman Empire, forgetting however that the then-Empire crumbled partly under its own weight, and became easy prey for the allied forces in the early 20th century because of corrupt and unscrupulous leaders.

Failing to make the right choice, Erdogan will not be remembered as the father of the new democratic and powerful nation, but as the misguided and ambitious dictator who sacrificed Turkey’s potentially glorious future for his religious zeal and burning desire for ever more power.

(full text).



IRELAND: Our welfare system is unfair to recipients and taxpayers, it’s time for radical change, on, by Willie O’Dea, March 10, 2016;

US-led invasion of Libya opened up massive arsenals to terrorists – Chris Hedges, on RT, March 10, 2016;

The Google of China Says Robots Will Take Your Job, on Fortune, by Stacey Higginbotham, March 9, 2016;

L’origine de l’extinction des dinosaures, dans Le, par Luca V. Bagiella, le 09 mars 2016: il argumente en faveur de l’abolition du salariat;

La Suisse se montre incapable de la moindre audace visionnaire, dans La Liberté.ch, par Bernhard Hugo, le 9 mars 2016;

La loi travail El Khomri, les mobilisations, dans l’Humanité.fr, le 9 mars 2016;

A Future Without Jobs? Two Views of the Changing Work Force. on NYT, by EDUARDO PORTER and FARHAD MANJOO, March 8, 2016;

Thoughts about robots, on Dayton Daily News, by Connie Post, March 8, 2016;

Nationalstaat vs. Nationalismus – Oskar Lafontaine, 5.43 min, von Bananenrepublik1 am 1. März 2016;

Michael Hitz mit Joschka Fischer, 30.51 min, von phoenix am 15. Jan 2016;

Aux États-Unis, l’intérêt porté à l’alternative grandit, dans le blog de Richard D. Wolff, by himself, le 2 janvier 2016  (paru déjà dans l’Humanité.fr … prise de conscience des inégalités par le peuple américain, candidature de Bernie Sanders à l’investiture démocrate, mouvement pour le Smic à 15 dollars, entretien avec Richard Wolff, l’économiste marxiste le plus réputé du pays);

… and this:

  • The Longest Tunnel in The World, 43.20 min, uploaded by Largest Dams, Feb 20, 2014 … the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is a railway tunnel in the heart of the Swiss Alps, expected to open in 2016. With a route length of 57 km (35.4 mi) and a total of 151.84 km (94.3 mi) of tunnels, shafts and passages, it is the world’s longest rail tunnel, surpassing the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.

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