mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Turkey on the Edge

The erosion of civil liberties in Turkey continues. Via Meadia recently pointed to the government’s increasingly heavy-handed prosecution and imprisonment of members of the press. A recent Financial Times (registration required) piece brings word that the country’s prosecutors have begun going after the chief opposition leader on very shaky grounds:

The move came in response to statements made last November by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party, after he visited inmates in Turkey’s Silivri prison, according to TRT, the country’s state-owned broadcaster.

On that occasion, Mr Kilicdaroglu compared the prison to a concentration camp and said he “could not stomach” describing Turkey’s legal authorities as judges. He has made similar remarks in recent days.

TRT said the Silivri prosecutors office had begun a probe into Mr Kilicdaroglu for “seeking to influence a fair trial” and “insulting a public official”.

Out of power, the AK party in Turkey portrayed itself as committed to civil liberties and the rule of law.  Its record since taking power has left some of its longtime supporters feeling queasy. People all over the world are watching to see whether Turkey’s Islamist party can combine Islamic piety and democratic values. Via Meadia hopes the experiment will work, but the situation in Turkey is not trending well.  This is one of those stories we continue to follow.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Phineas

    “People all over the world are watching to see whether Turkey’s Islamist party can combine Islamic piety and democratic values.”

    It can’t, for the reason that democratic values and Islamism (and its requisite, the imposition of totalitarian Sharia law) are fundamentally and wholly incompatible.

  • John

    Indeed, it can’t work. One cannot be a true follower of Islam and a committed democrat. Quran and the Bill of Rights don’t go well together, do they? Child molesting, genocidal, hateful, vengeful, immoral so-called prophet Muhammad somehow did not envision a constitution where the power resides upon men.

    But engaging in wishful thinking is always fun, albeit counterproductive and, at times, dangerous.

    P.S. The Republic of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk understood Islam well. He said – “Islam, this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives.”

  • a nissen

    Your sharp nose for paranoia maybe missed the Turkey PM on Tuesday pledging to strike back at “the interest rate lobby” attempting to “suck Turkey’s blood” by imposing high interest rates and causing inflation —contrary to orthodox economic theory.

    Reply from economist Tim Ash, RBS, London as reported to the WSJ:

    ” There’s absolutely no evidence of a speculative attack on the lira… worse, it comes as the market is increasingly confused by the central bank’s [Turkey’s] policy strategy; it’s either going to win them a Nobel Prize or it’s a road to nowhere.”

    No comment from Turkey’s legally independent central bank.

    Who’s on first?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Turkey is backsliding, and will suffer greater and greater economic, political, and justice problems as the Islamists consolidate their control.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service