Turkish Hooliganism: World must urge Erdogan to stop harassing opponents
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2015-11-01 04:54:34

Turkish Hooliganism: World must urge Erdogan to stop harassing opponents



Turkish police have stormed the offices of an opposition media group days before the country’s pivotal election, in a crackdown on companies linked to a US-based cleric and critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Police sprayed water to disperse dozens of people as fights broke out outside the offices of Kanaltürk and Bugun TV in Istanbul. The media groups are owned by Koza Ipek, which has links to Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. The authorities seized 22 companies owned by Koza Ipek on Tuesday in an investigation of alleged financial irregularities, including whether it funded Gülen. The company denies wrongdoing. Erdoğan has led a crackdown against once influential followers of Gülen, his former ally, after police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to the cleric opened a corruption investigation into the president’s inner circle in 2013.Legal action against other opposition newspapers, including the nationalist Sözcü, was planned for after the vote, said Aydin Ünal, a legislator in the ruling AK party. This raid took place mere days before the election is set to take place on Sunday and confounds all logic of winning the sympathy of voters in a democratic climate. One high ranking member of the AKP triumphantly asserted that after the party wins the election on November 1 it will go after other newspapers and critics who are deemed to be “insulting” the government while bemoaning that prior to the election all eyes were on Turkey and were not in a ‘comfortable’ position to take the action they wanted due to the pressure of, in his mind at least, unjustified international condemnation. These words from a high ranking member betray the fundamental dictatorial conception of power prevalent in the AKP, a party that has been in power for so long it has become corrupted by it. On the evidence of these actions and strategies, it seems unlikely that the AKP can rightfully win the seats it wants even in its second attempt to do so if the democratic process is allowed to unfold unadulterated. The government of President (previously Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, in power since 2003, was dealt a huge blow in the June elections where it failed to win a simple parliamentary majority, thus being unable to have a single party rule for the first time since its ascent into power. Erdogan’s Freedom and Justice Party (AKP) was hoping for a two-thirds majority, which would allow it to change Turkey’s constitution to have a presidential system, thereby giving the party’s leader Erdogan, President since 2014 after nine years of being the prime minister, sweeping powers.



Categories:   World ،
Tags:   Turkey ، Erdogan ، AKP ، Koza Ipek ، Fethullah Gulen ، Istanbul ،
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