After President Tayyip Erdogan took a major step toward transforming Turkey into a dictatorship by maneuvering Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu out of office last week, things are deteriorating quickly in what once was one of the few liberal Muslim countries in the world.
Last week, White House spokesman John Earnest reacted to the resignation of the Turkish Prime Minister who was more or less forced toarnest said that he didn’t expect that Davutoğlu’s resignation would have any impact on the “ability of the United States and Turkey to work together.”
The White House press secretary praised Turkey for its role in the battle against Islamic State and for letting the U.S. Air Force use Turkish air bases for attacks against Islamic State. He also heaped praise on the Erdogan regime for playing “a constructive role” in working with the European allies “to address a very difficult immigrant situation.”
He was referring to a deal between the EU and Turkey that was meant to stop the influx of Syrian refugees into the EU. Erdogan, however, has now blown up the deal and the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs just said the agreement is a “botched job.”
Earnest said the Obama administration had certain concerns about “freedom of speech and freedom of the press” in Turkey and claimed it had reminded the Turkish government that it was necessary to “uphold the universal, democratic values that are enshrined in Turkey’s constitution.”
However, he claimed this had not affected the administration’s ability to work together with the NATO allies, including Turkey.
Earnest ducked a question about Erdogan’s increasing autocratic and erratic behavior and emphasized the administration is “focused on continuing to effectively cooperate” with its ally to “degrade and destroy” ISIS.
A week later it has become clear that Erdogan is leading the NATO ally to the abyss and is rapidly transforming Turkey into an Islamist autocracy.
As Western Journalism reported earlier this week, Erdogan is escalating the war with the PKK, the Kurdish Workers Party. This war has been largely underreported by the mainstream media and is ignored by the Obama administration and its Western allies.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Tuesday that Turkey’s military activities against its Kurdish population are “extremely alarming.”
The UN Human Rights chief was talking about a series of curfews the Turkish military imposed on Kurdish cities and towns in southeast Turkey.
“More and more information has been emerging from a variety of credible sources about the actions of security forces in the town of Cizre during the extended curfew there from and the picture that is emerging, although still sketchy, is extremely alarming,” al-Hussein said.
Ra’ad al-Hussein said he had information that unarmed civilians were “being deliberately shot by snipers, or by gunfire from tanks and other military vehicles.”
“There are also allegations of arbitrary arrests, and of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, as well as reports that in some situations ambulances and medical staff were prevented from reaching the wounded,” he added.
“Most disturbing of all are the reports quoting witnesses and relatives in Cizre which suggest that more than 100 people were burned to death as they sheltered in three different basements that had been surrounded by security forces,” al-Hussein said while he demanded “access for UN staff and other impartial observers and investigators, including civil society organizations and journalists” to the region.
To get a better understanding of what Erdogan’s military is doing to the Kurds, one has only to read this report by Rudaw News about what happened to the Kurdish town of Gavar during an operation by the Turkish army that lasted five weeks.
The operation against the PKK in Gavar invlved some 80 armored vehicles and 10,000 Turkish soldiers and ended in the destruction of 5,000 homes and caused 80,000 of the city’s 90,000 residents to flee the city.
But there’s more.
An Armenian radio station reported Wednesday that “Erdogan’s thugs” are now beating up Kurdish and Armenian MP’s in the Turkish parliament.
The radio station cited a report by Harut Sassounian, who writes for the Californian Courier.
“In recent days, AKP Parliamentarians have hurled insults and physically assaulted Garo Paylan (an Armenian) and Ferhat Encu (a Kurd) who represent the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Parliament,” Sassounian wrote.
He relayed how Paylan was “kicked and punched over 100 times” by members of Erdogan’s AKP party during a 10-minute all-out brawl (see video below) after he had dared to commemorate the Armenian Genocide in the Turkish parliament. Paylan had proposed a parliamentary committee be formed to investigate the circumstances of the deaths of Armenian MP’s of the Turkish parliament who were murdered during the genocide committed by the Turkish Ottoman government in 1915.
“After the attack, when HDP members walked out of the hearing, the committee voted to approve the AKP proposal to lift the immunity of pro-Kurdish HDP MPs. This inflammatory measure is expected to be approved by Parliament shortly! Most Kurdish members along with Paylan will then be arrested on trumped-up charges,” Sassounian wrote.
“All people of goodwill around the world must raise their voices in condemnation of Erdogan’s increasingly despotic rule,” Sassounian concluded while adding that nothing “seems to have changed in Turkey in the last 100 years!”
Obama, who recently refused to call the Armenian massacre “genocide,” has yet to respond to the latest evidence that his erstwhile partner is transforming Turkey into an Islamist dictatorship and is committing crimes against humanity. step down after tensions with Erdogan.