The Globe and Mail published an editorial about the recent events in Turkey after the coup attempt. They say Turkey’s anti-coup continues, and Turkish democracy is taking the hit.
Was it just a coincidence that on July 15, the very day of the abortive coup d’état attempt in Turkey, an academic by the name of Henri Barkey of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank, was on the island of Bukuyada near Istanbul, taking part in a conference on the Middle East?
According to a pro-government newspaper: No, this was no coincidence. It was part of the grand conspiracy to overthrow the Turkish government, a plot whose fantastical list of alleged plotters keeps growing. The latest addition: the U.S. government-funded Wilson Center.
The atmosphere in Turkey is now so fraught that Mr. Barkey and his scholarly colleagues had their photos splashed across the front page of at least one popular newspaper, portrayed as sinister masterminds.
In the wake of the failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be paying off scores. He is also casting ever wider nets of suspicion. Speaking recently at a major mosque in Istanbul, he promised to “clean the virus from all state institutions. Unfortunately, like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state.” So, he is performing major surgery.
Anyone working in the Turkish public sector appears to be particularly vulnerable. All university deans have been required to resign, pending scrutiny and possible reinstatement. Many judges, police officers and schoolteachers have been dismissed, too.
Meanwhile, several media organizations have been seized by the government. And the head of research at the brokerage of one of the largest banks was deprived of his licence just after the failed putsch, as if any comment about potential instability would be unacceptable. Authorities have also demanded the right to vet client research from other analysts.
The failed coup has led to a settling of accounts and the sidelining, arrest or removal of tens of thousands of opponents, real or imagined. It’s troubling, not to mention incompatible with a liberal democracy. To top it off, many of Mr. Erdogan’s supporters are advocating the restoration of the death penalty.
The Erdogan’s regime came to power democratically. But unless it reverses course, Turkey will soon no longer be able to call itself a democracy. / Source: The Globe And Mail