Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, following the anti-corruption investigations, arrests, and indictments of a number of his closest supporters and their relatives, apparently including an investigation of his own son, has responded by firing or reassigning thousands of police officials, prosecutors and judges, while ordering that all officials report to their superiors any such investigations underway, and before arrests are made or indictments are issued. He is currently pushing through legislation that would give him unprecedented authority over the appointment of judges.
These officials are apparently not being reassigned or removed from their offices in accordance with established procedures, pursuant to legal proceedings aimed at an impartial determination of the facts regarding any allegations against them. Moreover, Erdogan has unleashed a climate of intimidation which is hardly conducive to impartial decision making by anyone legally required to reach an unbiased judgment based on an impartial finding of the facts in cases of removal or reassignment.
What is taking place appears to be a clear attempt by Erdogan to overthrow the legal order in Turkey, so that it becomes subservient to his will. In burying the corruption scandals in this grotesque manner, he is increasingly assuming the mantle of one-man authoritarian rule.
In short, Erdogan has launched–from within the highest level of the state itself–a coup d’etat. The rule of law, under a constitutional government, is being overthrown.
Yet very few foreign reporters and statesmen address the issue directly. The fact that Turkey is a NATO member and aspires to membership in the European Union highlights both the risk to NATO, and the immense cost the Turksh people could eventually pay as and if aaccession to the EU utterly recedes from the realm of possibility. In acession discussions this week, Europe has stressed the importance of democracy for accession to occur.
But what is going on in Turkey deserves much greater and louder attention from the democracies of NATO and the world. The first thing that is needed is a clear denunciation of the coup d’etat that Is cuurently underway–without mincing words, and without wrapping this cold, hard truth in diplomatic niceties.
Would it be nonsensical to ask, what is America’s position, and what concrete steps has it taken to get Erdogan to reverse his current ruinous course?
Has the issue even popped up on Barack Obama’s radar screen?
The Trenchant Observer