After a column written by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was published on their website Tuesday, the Washington Post has been roundly criticized over what many see as a staggering display of hypocrisy from the paper considering their “Democracy Dies in Darkness” masthead.


In the piece, Erdogan condemned the New Zealand mosque murders and drew equivalencies between the killer and the Islamic State. He also took the opportunity to call on the west to do more to eradicate hate:

In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre, the West has certain responsibilities. Western societies and governments must reject the normalization of racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia, which has been on the rise in recent years. It is crucial to establish that such twisted ideologies, such as anti-Semitism, amount to crimes against humanity. Moreover, we must shed light on all aspects of what happened and fully understand how the terrorist became radicalized and his links to terrorist groups to prevent future tragedies.

While he’s right that more needs to be done to combat hate-filled ideologies, that Erdogan sees himself as a leader in this regard is a bit rich when you consider his violent treatment of journalists and opposing voices. The Washington Post‘s absurd decision to allow an enemy of free speech the space with which to lecture the west on the rise of hate and violence was not lost on readers of the paper:

 

 

 

As a refresher, here’s what the Committee to Protect Journalists wrote about him last year:

Even as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the fiercest critic of Saudi Arabia for the murder of Khashoggi, his government continued to jail more journalists than any other on the planet. CPJ found at least 68 journalists jailed for their work in Turkey, which is slightly lower than previous years. In the course of the year, dozens more have been jailed or released, as prosecutors continue to seek arrest warrants and apply new charges, and courts ordered some journalists released pending trial and acquitted others. For the third consecutive year, every journalist imprisoned in Turkey is facing anti-state charges.

Erdogan began the crackdown before the 2016 failed coup attempt, but afterward intensified it, shutting down more than 100 news outlets by decree. Those on the periphery of the journalistic profession are also vulnerable. CPJ’s list of jailed journalists does not include 13 staff from Gün Printing House, including its owner, a security guard, and several machine operators, who were jailed. Their “crime” is evidently printing Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, a pro-Kurdish daily paper that the government took over and eventually shut down. Several journalists affiliated with the paper, who are included in the prison census, are detained on accusations of supporting the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. Dozens more in Turkey are accused of affiliation with PKK or with an alleged terror group run by exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, which the government blames for the attempted coup.

Legal Insurrection has warned about Erdogan for years, noting his disturbing anti-Israel tendencies, among other things:

Trump Admin Sanctions Top Turkish Officials Over Imprisoned American Pastor
Erdogan Begins New Term by Purging 18,000 ‘Traitors’
Turkish President Erdogan Insists Jailed Journalists are Terrorists
Erdogan’s Thug Bodyguards Beat Up Protesters…in America
Turkey continues roundup of academics, still no progressive academic boycott calls
Turkey: Ambassador Purge Next, Reports of Detainees Being Raped, Tortured
You Should Be Worried about Erdogan’s Turkey

Erdogan is also – surprise! – anti-Semitic.

Back to the Washington Post, they can’t exactly feign ignorance when it comes to Erdogan’s abuse of his own people and journalists. They published an editorial a year ago criticizing him about it:

IN TURKEY under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweet has been turned into a crime, and a troubled democracy is being turned into a dictatorship. Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation is being transformed by Mr. Erdogan into a dreary totalitarian prison. In the latest setback, last week, 23 journalists were sentenced to prison for between two and seven years on patently ridiculous charges that they were members of a terrorist organization and had tweeted about it. Two others were convicted on lesser charges of supporting a terrorist organization.

Mr. Erdogan, the target of a failed coup attempt in July 2016, has embarked on a campaign of repression against perceived enemies in the press, government, academia and law enforcement, among other pillars of Turkish society. More than 60,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 forced from their jobs. Mr. Erdogan’s prime targets are the perceived followers of the opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania. Mr. Erdogan claims Mr. Gulen — once his ally in Turkish politics — had incited the coup attempt, hence the charge of a “terrorist organization.” Mr. Gulen denies it.

Turkey once had a robust, independent press, but Mr. Erdogan has waged a multifront campaign: closing media outlets, forcing others into new ownership, and using friendly judges and prosecutors.

As a result of Erdogan’s war against journalists in Turkey, what’s left are more or less state-run news outlets he can use to spread his propaganda. And he now has one he can use here in the United States, too, thanks to the geniuses at the Washington Post.

Unbelievable.

–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–

 
 
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