Friday, February 18, 2011

Turkish Government Repression Steadily Escalates

By Barry Rubin

Repression in Turkey steadily increases and is ignored by the international community. The latest event is the jailing of a famous columnist for Hurriyet, Soner Yalcin, and three journalists for a website publication called Odatv.

The crackdown came the day after Odatv reported that it had videos showing the state’s case in the Ergenekon conspiracy, the made-up case used to imprison military officers and dissidents--to be false. Odatv had reported:

"These videos will change hundreds have been arrested and held without bail, including intellectuals critical of the regime and scores of people who are obviously innocent. The trial has been going on for almost two and a half years without any convictions."

The next day, the station was closed down.

Finally, the U.S. government got up the nerve to criticize mildly the ongoing repression of journalists in this case. The ruling Islamist AKP government responded sternly: "Ambassadors cannot interfere with our domestic matters, they cannot design our domestic policies.”

So criticism and demand for reform is something supposed to happen in Egypt or Bahrain. The problem with unfriendly regimes is that they ignore the United States and bark back in an intimidating fashion, after which the U.S. government generally gives up. Friendly governments, in contrast, are pressured to make concessions. There's something wrong going on with this kind of  policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.