Well, things are finally getting better in Turkey and democracy may eventually be restored. Naw… I’m kidding. Ever since the passage of the referendum officially giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the virtually tyrannical power he was already exercising it’s been pretty much all downhill. That trend continued this week, as Erdogan imprisoned more than 1,000 additional police chiefs and law enforcement officers while sending almost ten thousand more home with pink slips. As usual, the “charge” was that they were all in league with Fethullah Gulen and plotting against him or something. (The Guardian)
One week after Erdoğan’s narrow referendum victory, alleged supporters of US-based preacher are rounded up.
Turkey has detained more than 1,000 people and suspended over 9,100 police in a new crackdown against alleged supporters of the US-based preacher accused of orchestrating the coup bid against president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Dawn raids across the country – seeking more than 3,000 suspects – were followed by a statement from police that 9,103 police officers were being suspended on suspicion of links to Fethullah Gulen.
The usual rounds of “cautions” and tongue clucking came from Germany, the EU and Great Britain, but none of it was backed with any threats of real action. This sad, repeating pattern must be familiar to Erdogan by now, allowing him a free hand to do as he will without fear of repercussions. And speaking of doing as he will, it’s also worth mentioning that Turkey conducted another round of airstrikes this week, not on ISIS fighters, but on the Kurds. And they came close to taking out some American advisors. (Military.com)
In a rare rebuke to a NATO ally, the U.S. military charged that Turkish airstrikes against a valued U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria came with little warning and could have endangered American advisers.
“We were troubled by that,” Air Force Col. John Dorrian said of Turkey’s failure to give adequate warning of airstrikes Tuesday in the Hasaka area. The strikes reportedly killed at least 20 fighters of the YPG, or People’s Protection Units, which have proven to be the most effective anti-ISIS force in northeastern Syria.
Oh, and they weren’t just hitting the Kurds in general on the assumption that they are tied to the KPP. Israel noted with some alarm that he was specifically targeting the Yazidi Shingal Protection Units.
In case you missed it on the news when it happened, this brief clip from Fox News captures some of the carnage left behind.
This is quickly turning into another one of those situations like the disaster in Aleppo under Obama a few years back. You can only report on the same horror show over and over again before people become numb and start tuning it out. It’s just the new normal now I suppose. Turkey’s democracy has failed, a tyrant has shut down the media and locked up his political enemies in dungeons, an American pastor is still held there behind bars… ho hum. Just another day in news that happens “somewhere else.”
This is a shameful moment in the history of western democracy.