Hopefully the beginning of the end of tyranny in Turkey.
I was against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before it was cool to be against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
My first post warning of his anti-democratic, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic tendancies was on January 31, 2009, barely four months after the launch of Legal Insurrection in mid-October 2008.
We continued to follow Erdogan’s progression over the years, as he became more and more authoritarian and Islamist, undermining secular institutions such as the judiciary and military, repressing the press, and cracking down on social media.
Erdogan was an obsessive Israel hater long before the deaths on board the Gaza Flotilla Erdogan’s party helped organize in 2010.
Those 2010 deaths, when Israeli soldiers boarding the main ship were attacked, turned Erdogan’s anti-Israeli obsession wild.
But more than anything, Erdogan turned to Jew-baiting to whip his supporters into frenzies. Erdogan became a paranoid bully who saw Jewish conspiracies behind opposition to his policies. On the eve of parliamentary elections held today, Erdogan lashed out at “Jewish” media:
Erdogan also launched a new attack on the New York Times, which has written there are “dark clouds” over Turkey under his rule.
He said the newspaper had been campaigning against Turkey’s leaders going back to Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, who ruled the Ottoman Empire during the final phase of its decline.
“Now, they are spitting out the same hatred on me… It’s clear who their patrons are. There is Jewish capital behind it, unfortunately.”
The New York Times had earlier this week hit back at Erdogan’s attacks with a tweet satirizing his vast new presidential palace in Ankara.
“Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?” the paper had tweeted.
Erdogan was taking on delusions of Ottoman Empire grandeur, having palace guard dress in traditional Ottomon garb.
Erdogan just got his comeuppance, from the Kurds of all people, as the NY Times reports:
Turkish voters delivered a rebuke on Sunday to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his party lost its majority in Parliament in a historic election that dealt a blow to his ambition to rewrite Turkey’s Constitution and increase his power.
The election results represented a significant setback to Mr. Erdogan, an Islamist who has steadily increased his power as president, a partly but not solely ceremonial post. After more than a decade as prime minister, Mr. Erdogan has pushed for more control of the judiciary and cracked down on any form of criticism, including prosecutions of those who insult him on social media, but his efforts appeared to have run aground on Sunday.
The election was also a significant victory to the cadre of Kurds, liberals and secular Turks who found their voice of opposition to Mr. Erdogan during sweeping antigovernment protests two years ago.
Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., still won by far the most seats in Parliament, but not a majority, according to preliminary results released Sunday night.
The Guardian further reports:
By contrast, thousands of jubilant Kurds flooded the streets of the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir as the results came in. Erdoğan had repeatedly lashed out at the HDP and its charismatic leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, before the election. Demirtaş promptly ruled out a coalition with the AKP.
“This result shows that this country has had enough. Enough of Erdoğan and his anger,” said Seyran Demir, a 47-year-old housewife who was among the thousands who gathered in the streets around the HDP’s provincial headquarters. “I am so full of joy that I can’t speak properly.”
Is it the end for Erdogan?
Probably not. But it might be beginning of the end.
— Bridget Johnson (@Bridget_PJM) June 7, 2015
— Hurriyet Daily News (@HDNER) June 7, 2015
— Alma chalaby (@Almachalaby) June 7, 2015