Concerns about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian leanings have been at the fore in the nation’s political dialogue since he assumed the presidency, and appear to have been well founded, as in a televised speech today he declared “democracy,, freedom, and the rule of law have absolutely no value any longer.”
Rather, Turkey is about one thing in 2016, and that’s wars, with Erdogan insisting anyone who supports his wars is a friend and anyone “on the opposite side are our enemy,” insisting the nation will treat them all with an iron fist.
Erdogan also vowed to turn the nation’s military against the opposition HDP, which opposes the war against the Kurds, saying that “wherever you run, our soldiers, police, and village guards will find you there and do what is necessary.” Erdogan had previously pushed for the HDP’s parliamentarians to lose their legal immunity so they could be charged as terrorists.
“I no longer see as legitimate political actors the members of a party which is operating as a branch of the terrorist organization,” Erdogan reiterated today, demanding parliament take quick action against opposition MPs from the Kurdish-dominated southeast.
Erdogan has increasingly sought to charge political opponents as terrorists, and has in the past few weeks not only arrested academics as “terrorists” for their positions on his government, but nationalized the nation’s largest newspaper for publishing articles critical of his ruling party.