Turkish dictator fires 15,000 more public workers, shuts down 375 more NGOs and 9 more news outlets

Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000.

Erdogan also shut down more civil society groups and independent news agencies (129 in total).

The purges use last summer's failed coup, and the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests of 2013.

The EU is contemplating full membership for Turkey; prior to the Syrian refugee crisis, the principal bargaining chip in these negotiations was respect for fundamental human rights in exchange for EU membership. These days, the EU seems to be willing to admit Turkey in its most dictatorial state in a generation in exchange for the country serving as a buffer and holding-pen for refugees fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq -- a compromise also fueled by the Russian power-plays in the region, which gives Turkey a second bidder for its allegiance.

Erdogan is deliberately baiting the EU now -- his party recently introduced legislation to legalize the rape of children, provided that their rapists "married" them. The bill has been relegated to a committee after public outcry.

The new wave of dismissals came on a morning when the European Parliament was scheduled to debate freezing accession talks for Turkey to join the European Union. It was one of several recent indicators that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was abandoning hope of success in that process, which has dragged on for 11 years.

Mr. Erdogan has been defiant, saying it was time that the European Union made up its mind on Turkey’s membership, and threatening to hold a nationwide referendum on whether to continue the talks.

A recent European Commission report expressed concern that Turkey’s worsening record on human rights and press freedom was making accession increasingly difficult. The Turkish president has advocated bringing back the death penalty, which is banned in European Union countries as a condition of membership, and he has ordered a thorough crackdown on the country’s news media, with 129 outlets now closed.

15,000 More Public Workers Are Fired in Turkey Crackdown [Rod Nordland and Safak Timur/New York Times]

(via Super Punch)

(Image: Taksim Gezi Park protests 2013, Fleshstorm, CC-BY-SA)

Notable Replies

  1. I'm glad to see America is leading the way by turning its back on demagogue leaders. :wink:

  2. It's not just the Turks. In the first half of 2017 we're likely to see significant contingents of European electorates giving right-wing populist parties power. Those groups in the U.S. and (effectively) the UK have already gotten their own processes underway, of course.

  3. Whew! For a minute there i thought this was happening here in the States.

    It can't happen here, right....?

  4. Maybe Libertarian-Socialism will finally be considered a viable force against authoritarianism (most of the Lib-Socs don't consider themselves liberals).

    Hey, things have been shit recently, I need to have something to hope for.

  5. jerwin says:

    back in 1954, Molotov proposed that the Soviet Union join NATO. Depending on how credulous you are, you might think that the Western rebuff was the start of the cold war, and ever since, NATO has been used to perpetuate the atlanticist hegemony against poor poor Russia.

    Anyway, the text of Molotov's proposal to the Soviet Presidium includes this bit:

    The Foreign Ministry considers that raising the question of the USSR joining NATO requires, even now, an examination of the consequences that might arise. Bearing in mind that the North Atlantic Pact is directed against the democratic movement in the capitalist countries, if the question of the USSR joining it became a practical proposition, it would be necessary to raise the issue of all participants in the agreement undertaking a commitment (in the form of a joint declaration, for example) on the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of states and respect for the principles of state independence and sovereignty.

    So, there is that.

    But, there is also the example of Greece.

    In 1947, the United States formulated the Truman Doctrine, and began to actively support a series of authoritarian governments in Greece, Turkey, and Iran in order to ensure that these states did not fall under Soviet influence.[1] With American and British aid, the civil war ended with the military defeat of the communists in 1949. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was outlawed, and many Communists either fled the country or faced persecution.[citation needed] The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Greek military began to work closely, especially after Greece joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952. This included notable CIA officers Gust Avrakotos and Clair George. Avrakotos maintained a close relationship with the colonels who would figure in the later coup.[2]

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