President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is increasingly turning Turkey to authoritarianism with the sole aim of strengthening his grip on power. He is offering the European Union a harder stance by setting new demands for his cooperation to help contain the refugee crisis that has engulfed Europe.
Turkey was once on track to be a model Muslim democracy, though it now seems very unlikely that Erdogan ever believed in democratic principles. The fact that he is moving the country ever further from that path raises serious questions about whether Turkey can continue to be a trusted member of Nato.
The crackdown on newspapers is merely the latest of his increasingly authoritarian moves, which have included imprisoning critics, side-lining the military and reigniting war on Kurdish separatists. He is now in control of much of the media and has made Turkey a leader among countries that jail journalists.
Along with his evil campaign to wipe out a free press, his government’s prosecutors have opened nearly 2,000 cases against Turks for insulting Erdogan, which is a crime.
It is very unsettling that Europe and the United States have responded so meekly to his trampling of a free press. The Trump administration said these tactics against journalists are very “troubling” while the European Union simply said that “Turkey needs to respect and promote high democratic standards and practices, including freedom of the media”.
Democracy in Turkey continues to disintegrate further under Erdogan if other countries remain silent before his aggressive behaviour.
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