Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Erdogan’s Islamists split

Posted by Charles II on September 27, 2015

Owen Bowcott, The Guardian:

Turkey’s government is inflicting “systematic human rights violations” on its judiciary, police and media, according to a scathing report by senior British lawyers that was commissioned by one of president Erdogan’s exiled opponents.

The critical, 95 page-long survey alleges that the AK party government has interfered to produce “supine” courts, censored websites, restricted freedom of expression, stifled corruption investigations and subjected detainees to degrading treatment.

It has been written by Lord Woolf, the former lord chief justice, Sir Edward Garnier QC, the Conservative MP and former solicitor general, Prof Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, the director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, and Sarah Palin, a barrister specialising in media law.

Their inquiry was funded by the US-based Journalist and Writers Foundation, whose honorary chairman is the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen – a former ally of Erdogan who has become a fortright critic. Last year, a Turkish court was reported to have issued a warrant for Gülen’s arrest.

The lawyers’ report focuses on Gülen’s Hizmet movement and claims that his followers have suffered systematic purges that have removed as many as 40,000 employees from public positions, led to mass arrests and in some cases periods of detention.

Last year, the ECHR handed down to Turkey 101 judgments confirming violations of human rights; only Russia lost more cases at Strasbourg.

Erdogan has chosen poorly to go after the Gulen movement. That movement has internal popularity and international credibility that Erdogan lacks. I think Erdogan is nearing the end of his rule… at least as a democratically elected leader.

3 Responses to “Erdogan’s Islamists split”

  1. onyxpnina said

    1. I think I need to research this; I seem to be two regimes behind.
    2. “…Sarah Palin, a barrister specialising in media law.” caused whiplash until I pasted a firm “NO, NOT THAT ONE!” sticker over that sentence.
    3. If this were a “leftist” Turkish government, there would be major screaming about the human rights violations. Just saying.

    • Charles II said

      All good points, though you aren’t as far behind as you think. Turkey has been ruled by three main governments in the modern era: secular parliamentary democracy (Attaturk), the military, and Erdogan. Erdogan started out as a moderate Islamist and was elected against the will of the military. He has gradually accumulated power and turned toward fundamentalism. Part of this is inevitable, since Turkey is a very conservative country, and reactionary religion has an advantage, Recently, the left and the Kurds got together with other minorities and elected a parliamentary bloc that threatens Erdogan’s power. He has been attacking the Kurds. This has the effect of strengthening ISIS. Some people (like me) believe that he has decided to align himself with Saudi Arabia against Iran and has therefore allied with extremist Islamist elements not for ideological but for tactical reasons.

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