We’ve written a lot here about President Erdogan and his Islamist Turkish government, including that if you criticize him you will be arrested. This is a constant problem for the media who have no freedom to speak the truth about Erdogan:
Well a recent headline by Hurriyet Daily News, one of our favorite Turkish news websites, has upset President Erdogan. The headline was about Morsi getting the death sentence a few days ago in Egypt:
“World in shock: Death sentence to president who won 52 percent of the vote”
Kind of an odd headline but the article was clearly about Morsi. There has been great angst in the Middle East over Morsi getting the death sentence, even one newspaper suggesting that Ankara is trying to work out a deal to get Morsi brought to Turkey.
So why did this innocuous headline upset President Erdogan and his Prime Minister Davutoglu?
From Today’s Zaman:
Speaking at an election rally on the same day, Davutoğlu claimed Hürriyet’s headline was suggestive, given that Erdoğan was also elected with a 52 percent share of the vote in the August 2014 presidential election. A day later, Erdoğan claimed the headline suggested that he had been “threatened with the death penalty handed down to Morsi.”
So everything is always about Erdogan, even when it’s not about Erdogan. And the headline wasn’t even criticism, it was just a factual headline.
Let me remind you that Erdogan is no longer Prime Minister, which is the highest office in Turkey. He’s simply a president which has only a little more power than the Queen of England. Yet he’s still regarded as the leader of Turkey.
So now Hurriyet Daily News is under a criminal probe. Got that? A CRIMINAL probe:
Lawyer Rahmi Kurt asked prosecutors to launch an investigation into Hürriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin, Managing Director İzzet Doğan and the daily’s Internet editors for “inciting hatred and enmity,” “inciting people to armed rebellion against the government,” “praising the crime and the criminal” and “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.” He also requested their arrest.
Wow. This lawyer who is obviously a pawn of Erdogan is calling for their arrest.
Even Erdogan has called for the arrest of the president of the Dogan media group that runs Hurriyet:
The Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC) issued a statement on Thursday, calling the president’s request for the arrests of Ergin, Doğan and the editors a new blow to press freedom and free speech. According to the TGC, the arrest of Ergin, the head of a mainstream newspaper, would signify the end of press freedom.
Hurriyet responded to Erdogan’s allegations the other day in an editorial:
In an editorial published on the front page of its Tuesday edition, Hürriyet called Erdoğan’s accusation “very unjust and unfounded,” asking him if he has any evidence to back his claim. “What is your evidence?” it asked, continuing: “Is your evidence that we used a sentence that you yourself used? Could there ever be such evidence? Could there be distortion to such an extent?”
“Mr. President, what do you want from us?” the editorial retorted, adding: “Why are you attacking us with blatant injustice and clear distortions? Why are you turning us into a target? What do you want from us? Will you banish us?”
Yes, he will banish them and he doesn’t need evidence. If he thinks they are the enemy in any way, he will say they are part of the ‘parallel state’ and he will banish them.
This is a man who obviously exalts himself above all others, to a god-like status, so that if you criticize him in any way, he’ll bring the full power of his government down on your head.
And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all. – Daniel 11:36-37