Is Erdogan Trying to Stop a US-Backed Coup?
It seems that every week, Erdogan finds a new way to exhibit his authoritarian leanings: Turkey’s largest newspaper, Zaman, was raided by authorities on Friday, resulting in demonstrations in Istanbul which were broken up (violently) by police.
Ankara has never been particularly kind to journalists. But this is perhaps the boldest attempt yet to crack down on the press. Turkey’s western partners have expressed concern, but how genuine are they really being?
The EU’s diplomatic service said that Turkey “needs to respect and promote high democratic standards and practices, including freedom of the media”, while the US described the move as “troubling”.
The Saturday edition of the newspaper was printed before the government-backed administrators had taken control.
“The Constitution is suspended,” a headline in large font on a black background reads on the front page.
“The Turkish press has experienced one of the darkest days in its history,” the paper adds.
But Erdogan has good reason to believe that the west is cooking up trouble in Turkey. When you factor in Erdogan’s “refugee blackmail” scam (which of course received support from elements within Europe and the US), as well as his documented ties to ISIS and other extremist groups, it could be argued that Erdogan is now a serious liability for NATO and Europe. Simply put, Erdogan is an easy scapegoat who has little left to offer his western masters. Here’s how one journalist describes the situation in Turkey:
“Everybody who opposes them [the government], every journalist who is against the government is being framed. I was framed as a terrorist supporter and Zaman is linked to the Gulen movement – which is a movement of a religious Turkish leader [Sunni cleric Fethullah Gulen] who is based in the US, and they say he is trying to stage a coup against the government. So now Zaman journalists and people who read Zaman are being framed as coup supporters, that’s how the government is doing it,” Frederike Geerdink, Dutch freelance journalist who was deported from Turkey last year, told RT.