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The Challenges of Erdogan’s Turkey

1- Erdogan Has Established Himself as an Opponent of Human Rights and An Authoritarian Hunger for Power.

• Campaigned as reformer, once in office he has resorted to totalitarian tactics.
• Erdogan arrests political opponents, jails journalists, writers, judges, academics – 130,000 citizens.
https://news.vice.com/story/erdogan-is-still-arresting-his-opponents-in-massive-purge-that-has-surpassed-113000-people
• NYT: “Turkey has become like an open-air prison”.
http://nyti.ms/2nGAzrO
• Erdogan justifies his totalitarian actions by blaming Hizmet and moderate Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. International human rights organizations denounce this action as subterfuge.
https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/turkey
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/06/257880.htm
• Fethullah Gulen is a pacifist who calls for the education of women, interfaith dialogue and opposes the Muslim extremist “cancer.” World leaders are depending upon moderate Muslim reformers like Gulen for stability in the Middle East.
http://www.politico.eu/article/muslims-unique-responsibility-in-fighting-terror-london-attack-fethullah-gulen/
• Erdogan detained Amnesty International Turkish Chairman and director at the same time with more than 10 human rights defenders.
https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/06/271631.htm
• During 2017 U.S. visit, Erdogan’s personal bodyguards beat protestors, causing Congressional condemnation by a vote of 397-0. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/07/turkey-rejects-resolution-condemning-bodyguards-attacks-on-protesters.html
• According to CPJ, Turkey has the highest scored jailed journalist in the world.
https://cpj.org/europe/turkey/
• 2017 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders: Turkey 155/180 in the world rankings and behind even Russia and Ethiopia.
https://rsf.org/en/ranking
• RULE OF LAW: ABA Report American Bar Association (ABA) condemns mass detentions and arrests of Turkish legal community by passing the Resolution 10B against Turkey.
https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews/2016%20Annual%20Resolutions/10b.pdf
• INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS: Turkey: the Judicial System in Peril by International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).
https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Turkey-Judiciary-in-Peril-Publications-Re-ports-Fact-Findings-Mission-Reports-2016-ENG.pdf

2- The Botched Failed Coup Attempt.

• UK Parliament: No evidence Gulen behind coup.
http://buff.ly/2njjlO9
• German spy agency chief: Gulen not behind Turkish coup attempt.
http://reut.rs/2mVUWxM
• U.S. House Intel Chair Nunes: “Hard to believe Gulen is behind Turkish coup”.
http://theglobepost.com/2017/03/19/us-house-intel-chair-says-hard-to-believe-gulen-behind-turkey-coup/
• Stockholm Center for freedom released 191 pages “July 15 Erdogan’s coup” Report about the botched failed coup attempt.
https://stockholmcf.org/report/
• AFSV Video documentary “ Was July 15 Turkey’s Reichstag Fire”.
https://youtu.be/6QvF6TMxs1U
• WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN TURKEY ON JULY 15, 2016?
http://afsv.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/White-Paper-on-July-15-failed-coup-attempt.pdf
• Why did Erdoğan ask Parliamentary Probe Commission to terminate its mission on coup attempt? By Journalist Yavuz Baydar.
https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/13543936

3- Torture as a Grave Human Right Violation.

• Human Rights Watch release a detailed report about torture and abductions after July 15.
https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/10/12/custody/police-torture-and-abductions-turkey
• Amnesty International Torture Report for Turkey.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/turkey/report-turkey/
• JWF Torture report to UN.
http://jwf.org/reports/
• The anti-torture struggle in Turkey was important. But torture is like a contagious disease. Once it starts it will spread. It is painful to see the reversal taking place now.
https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/10/24/blank-check/turkeys-post-coup-suspension-safeguards-against-torture
• Stockholm Center for Freedom “Mass Torture and ill Treatment” Report.
https://stockholmcf.org/report/
• National Interest: Turkey has a Hitler problem.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/turkeys-erdogen-has-hitler-problem-14809
• Mass torture in Turkey under the spell of religious zealotry.
http://stockholmcf.org/mass-torture-in-turkey-under-the-spell-of-nationalism-and-religious-zealotry/
http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/europe/erdogan-security-germany-g20/index.html

4- Erdoğan’s Allies.

• Qatar — Biggest supporter of Hamas terrorists. While other Muslim nations broke relations with Qatar, Erdogan moved 5k troops to Qatar.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/25/erdogan-rejects-saudi-demand-to-pull-turkish-troops-out-of-qatar
• Iran – Erdogan linked to suspect helping Iran avoid terms of sanctions agreement.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-mysterious-case-involving-turkey-iran-and-rudy-giuliani
• NATO Purge and Alliance with Euroasianists.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/13/turkeys-post-coup-purge-and-erdogans-private-army-sadat-perincek-gulen/
• Human Rights Watch release a detailed report about torture and abductions after July 15.
https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/10/12/custody/police-torture-and-abductions-turkey
• Russia.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/annaborshchevskaya/2017/01/27/is-erdogan-a-russian-ally-or-putins-puppet/#1d831a4d1596
• Radical Islamists, ISIS and Hamas.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-turkey-isi_b_8808024.html
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/09/19/exclusive-how-istanbul-became-recruiting-ground-islamic-state-269247.html
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/06/world/meast/mideast-hamas-support/index.html

5- The long Arm of Erdoğan.

• Global Spying: German Justice Minister called out Erdogan’s global spying network
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/world/europe/germany-turkey-erdogan-spying.html • Illegal Kidnappings and Abductions by Erdoğan through bilateral interests of the countries like in Malaysia and Pakistan.
• Embassies and Consulates:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/turkey-spies-on-suspected-guelen-supporters-around-the-world-a-1141367.html
https://stockholmcf.org/der-spiegel-turkish-embassies-pursuing-erdogan-critics-in-35-countries/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-spying-germany-europe-austria-35-countries-erdogan-coup-fethullah-gulen-diyanet-a7662096.html
• Mosques:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/magazine/reading-erdogans-ambitions-in-turkeys-new-mosques.html
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/04/turkey-erdogan-uses-mosques-to-win-referendum.html
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/turkeys-islamist-agenda-i_b_8891634.html
• Erdogan uses nine U.S. non-profits and has engaged 20 DC lobbying firms, and millions of dollars to spin his message.

6- International Abductions and Kidnappings.

• International Federation for Human Rights Letter on abductions in Pakistan.
https://www.fidh.org/en/region/asia/pakistan/letter-to-the-government-concerning-the-forcible-repatriation-of-289
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-turkish-family-has-disappeared-in-pakistan-and-suspicion-turns-to-intelligence-agencies/2017/10/11/aa8c0d80-a480-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.53530d62e2f9
• Abductions in Malaysia:
http://www.theglobepost.com/2017/05/02/two-turks-kidnapped-in-malaysia-families-fear-of-extradition/
https://stockholmcf.org/eu-calls-on-turkey-to-investigate-abduction-cases-targeting-gulen-movement/
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-cia-director-mike-flynn-and-turkish-officials-discussed-removal-of-erdogan-foe-from-u-s-1490380426

7- The Danger to America and its interest.

• Germany has withdrawn its troops from Turkish base and relocated them to Jordan.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-withdraw-soldiers-turkey-refused-visit-angela-merkel-nato-a7736686.html
• Erdogan’s radicalization of Turkey is transforming U.S.’ strongest Muslim NATO ally into a cooperative partner to those nations that pose the greatest threats to U.S. security.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/its-time-for-nato-to-call-turkeys-bluff/article/2008198
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/29/the-dictatorship-in-natos-clubhouse-erdogan-kurds-turkey/
• The future of Turkey is at risk.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/turkey/2017-07-07/how-erdoganism-killing-turkish-democracy?cid=nlc-fa_fatoday-20170707
• Article by Steven Cook at Foreign Affairs about ‘ The American Alliance with Turkey was built on myth’.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/12/the-american-alliance-with-turkey-was-built-on-a-myth/amp/
• Kurdish Issue:
http://alonben-meir.com/writing/kurds-erdogans-tyrannical-governance/
• Afghanistan Issue and nuclear deal
• Anti Americanism in Turkey.
• Radicalism in Turkey, helping ISIS, and Imam Hatip Schools.

8- Erdoğan’s Dark Political Hostage Strategy.

•‘Hostages’ in Erdogan’s new Turkey.
http://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-erdogan-hostages/
• American Andrew Brunson has been improperly held (since Oct 2016) and accused of belonging to a “terrorist organization.” His crime? He’s been an evangelical pastor in Turkey for 23 years.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/politics/trump-erdogan-white-house-meeting-andrew-brunson/index.html

9- Religious and ethnic minorities.

10- International Responses.

• UN urged Turkey to release all jailed journalists, writers, judges, academics
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3949456/UN-official-calls-Turkey-release-journalists-jail.html
• UN Human Rights Commissioner complained over Turkey’s prevention of investigating human rights violations
http://bit.ly/UNHRC_urged_to_act_on_Turkey
• NATO chief warned Turkey to show “full respect” for rule of law
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nato-chief-says-turkey-must-show-full-respect-for-rule-of-law-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=112483&NewsCatID=359
• Germany: Will not deport Turkish soldiers who’ve defected
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170511-germany-grants-asylum-to-escaped-turkish-soldiers/
• UK acknowledges Gulen movement asylum seekers
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/04/09/uk-acknowledges-gulen-movement-asylum-seekers/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3721483/Sweden-wont-return-people-linked-failed-Turkey-coup.html
• American Bar Association’ s (ABA) resolution about their concerns on the rule of law in Turkey.
https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews/2016%20Annual%20Resolutions/10b.pdf
• US commission on international religious freedom. 2016 religious freedom report.
http://www.uscirf.gov/countries/turkey

11- Zarrab Case.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/former-turkish-minister-economy-former-general-manager-turkish-government-owned-bank
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-man-at-the-crux-the-of-us-turkey-dispute-is-about-to-go-on-trial/2017/10/12/92c4c7a2-af96-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.ff822d5748ec
• Why a New York Court Case has rattled Turkey’s President.
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/14/world/europe/turkey-new-york-case.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

12- What Can Be Done?

Turkey’s unique and historic role as a moderate Muslim nation and its longtime cooperation as a key NATO ally present challenges for policymakers who seek to hold Erdogan accountable for his atrocities. However, policymakers can:

• Deny U.S. Visas to Erdogan’s officials and Pro-ERDOGAN Businessman and especially who have engaged in torture and corruption.
• Compel Erdogan to release political prisoners and journalists.
• Grant political refugee status to those he persecutes in Turkey.
• Speak out against Erdogan’s attempts to close schools in foreign nations and stop illegally extraditing and kidnapping Turkish citizens who live abroad.
• Demand Turkey to release foreigners as hostages (priest Andrew, NASA scientist, US embassy’s workers, etc).
• Pressure UNHCR to give refugee status to Turkish citizens purged and prosecuted by Erdogan’s government using State of Emergency and decree laws as a base.
• Prevent TURKISH intelligence to make operations to abduct and get TURKISH citizens deported to Turkey.
• Release mothers/women (17,000) and kids (668) in prison with parole/conditional release.
• Provide Turkish newborns of Turkish citizens abroad with a travel document.


Download as a PDF File: AST_3-7-18-Challenges-of-Erdogan’s-Turkey-P13