Turkey's political crisis undermining democracy
March 21st, 2014
01:27 PM ET

Turkey's political crisis undermining democracy

By Bayram Balci, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Bayram Balci is a researcher at CERI Sciences-Po in Paris and a visiting scholar in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

The recent disclosure of tapes allegedly implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a massive corruption scandal is the just the latest development in Turkey’s ongoing political crisis. But even as the rivalry between an increasingly autocratic prime minister and the shadowy Gülen movement deepens, there could yet be light at the end of the tunnel.

A previous, uneasy, coalition between the AK Party and the Gülen movement – led by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen – started to implode in December following the surprise arrests of the sons of three cabinet ministers over claims of bribery and the rigging of state tenders.

Undermined by widespread criticism and high-profile court cases, Erdoğan has raised the specter of a political plot being fomented from the United States. With Gülen’s supporters issuing arrest warrants and investigating alleged corruption among Erdogan’s allies, the prime minister has used suggestions of a plot to justify purges and political reshuffling within the police and judiciary.

But Erdoğan’s drift toward authoritarianism predates December’s arrests, having begun in earnest in 2011 only to intensify over the past year through internal purges, attempts to muzzle the media and, arguably even more seriously, through efforts to impose tight executive control over the judiciary.

With the political opposition in Turkey weak and fractured, the Gülen movement is, by default, now Turkey’s main opposition power. Its supporters in the media, particularly Zaman and its English edition, Today’s Zaman, have consistently criticized government moves to stifle corruption probes, and their calls for greater transparency have undoubtedly benefited democracy in the country. Yet despite these seemingly honorable principles, questions remain about the nature of the Gülen movement, its operations – and its intentions.

Despite promoting peace and religious dialogue, the inner workings of the Gülen movement remain relatively opaque, and the professed loyalty of some officials to Gülen rather than to public service has raised questions about the movement’s ultimate aims. Indeed, it is difficult not to wonder whether civil servants sympathetic to Gülen that have infiltrated the police and judiciary are acting out of a commitment to democracy and the integrity of these institutions, or in the interests of a specific community.

Regardless, the private struggle between Erdoğan and Gülen is overshadowing debate on key issues confronting the country, and is undermining Turkey’s fragile democracy by shutting the Turkish public at home out of the conversation.

Yet this anti-democratic rivalry could ultimately still end up leading to greater social harmony in Turkey, especially if Gülen’s movement can demonstrate that it is truly a social force, rather than a religious movement with political aspirations – one dedicated to education, spirituality and dialogue. Doing so will require greater openness and transparency, but would reflect a realization and acceptance within Gülen’s movement that despite decades of military oppression in Turkey, times have indeed changed.

In the meantime, though, the dispute between Erdoğan and Gülen reflects the reality that both forces have lost sight of their mission and responsibilities to the Turkish people. By interfering in the people’s private affairs, for example by vowing to shut down Twitter, the AKP has ceased to be a responsible political power. And by apparently nurturing increasing political ambitions, the Gülen movement has left the realm of social philosophy, raising understandable questions about its true motivations.

If these two forces can return their focus to their original spheres and responsibilities – the AKP to improving the day-to-day lives of Turkey’s citizens and Gülen’s movement to offering spiritual guidance and social progress – then Turkish democracy would be the better for it. And they might both save themselves from self-destructing in the process.

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Topics: Turkey

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Joseph McCarthy

    If Turkey is such a democracy, then why don't they accord the Kurds a plebiscite as to whether to achieve their independence or remain a part of Turkey? This, the right-wing news media never talks about. Besides, no true democracy puts people in jail for political purposes as is the case with the leader of the Kurdish PKK!

    March 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      The PKK is a terrorist organization and its leader is a terrorist leader who is rightly jailed for life without parole for the crimes of mass murder, terrorism and treason. Do not confuse political prisoners with terrorists. And do not equate the Kurds with the PKK terrorist organization. The PKK and Al Qaeda in fact support each other, and are both listed as terrorist organizations by the USA, the EU and many other countries.

      March 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Reply
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Do you think that our founding fathers were terrorists too, Steve? If the T word was around some 200 years ago, the British would have used it against them. In fact, Nathan Hale who said "I regret that I have but one live to give for my country" was hanged for that reason in 1776. So quit touting the Turks who slaughtered over 1.8 million Armenians in 1915.

        March 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        Contrary to what you think Joseph, the Founding Fathers didn't kill women and children intentionally for their political or ideological gain as the PKK & Al-Qaeda do . The PKK uses the same methods as Al-Qaeda, so are you arguing that Al-Qaeda prisoners should be released as well? If that is the case, you should take it up with what you call " the right-wing thugs in Washington". Maybe they'll enlighten you on what terrorism actually means.

        March 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • Lance Buckmaster

        "This was a terrible thing to do but so many people are doing it these days, including me."
        Glad you admit to stealing names and posting under multiple handles, Judge/Joseph/USMC1369. Now why don't you grow up and stop this psychotic behavior?

        March 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
      • Korea Terrorists

        Because we have 'blind Mr.Obama and US administration' over there in Washington DC. 'Koreans secret clandestine enemies terrorists networks' are the most dangerous devils on earth. How can US militarily cooperate with Korea, as Korea by definition means: K.O.rea=K.O.usa! ... meaning lost American lives, lost jobs, terrorism on the weak nations based on racial profiling (no real facts about terrorism or WMD), crimes of mass murder, terrorism and treason - only because we have blind non-educated people in Washington DC.

        March 25, 2014 at 7:26 am |
    • deniz boro

      No improvement but you make the same comment it seems. Aren't you afraid of being boring?

      March 22, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Then again Joseph, I noticed that you're the only one here who says anything about the plight of the Kurds. It appears that everyone else here is too ignorant to notice. They only parrot the views of the politicians in Washington and take up for Turkey, never mind the fact that the Turks did kill almost 2 million Armenians in 1915! I tend to agree with you. Just never mind the comment I made above.

      March 23, 2014 at 12:35 am | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        I'm curious Deniz, what can be done about the so called "plight" of Kurds? Perhaps you can enlighten us as to what can be done that hasn't been done already? As someone who lives in Turkey, you should know that Kurds are treated as equals. We had a Kurdish president (Turgut Ozal), Kurds have their own party (BDP). As for the Armenians.. The Ottoman Archives (which are the most extensive archives of the period throughout the world) have been open since 1985 and not a single evidence of intentional genocide was found since. On the other hand, the Armenian archives are still closed to the public to this day. True, many Armenians died during the deportation. Some were even killed by Ottoman troops and Kurdish tribesman, but it was in no way orchestrated by the Sultan or his government at the time. This is why the whole idea of a genocide at the time must be in question, a matter of debate. Why would the Ottomans go through all the trouble of deporting the Armenians if they intended to kill them? Why do Armenians seek a political vote in France and the US and other countries to decide history when history should be decided by historians? What about the plight of the Turks? No one ever talks about that. Over 2.5 million Turks (ordinary citizens) died during the course of WWI. Many European countries tried to ethnically cleanse the Turks (unsuccessfully) for over a millennia (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Russia etc.). The Western powers even tried to divide us after WWI. Shame one those who try to tarnish our perseverance and those who still try to divide our sovereignty!
        Sure, I don't like what AKP is doing. I didn't vote for them in the first place. But anyone who wants to divide my country is far worse in my eyes than the AKP. Those who raise the communist flag during every demonstration (such as the TKP, DHKP-C, KCK, KONGRA-Gel, KADEK, TAK, KNP, YNK, HPG, ERNK, KNK, KON-KURD) have only 2 goals in mind: establishment of a communist state and division. This has nothing to do with Kurdish rights, it is all about division and an establishment of a independent Communist Kurdish state. If you're too blind to see that, then I'm sorry for you, for every protest video you see, their flags are raised followed by violence. Turkey will persevere and overcome any obstacle against those who seek to undermine it, whether it's internal or external. Just as we did during the Turkish war of independence (1919-1923).

        March 23, 2014 at 4:55 am |
      • kuasol

        When the Turkish government gives dual citizenship to the Anatolian Greeks, Armenians and Syriacs whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were killed or deported, as Spain has offered the Sephardic Jews, and civilian Armenians are no longer being shot in the streets of Turkey, then the Ferhat Barkans of this world will have some credibility.

        March 23, 2014 at 5:50 am |
      • deniz boro

        The above message was not written by me: "Then again Joseph, I noticed that you're the only one here who says anything about the plight of the Kurds. It appears that everyone else here is too ignorant to notice. They only parrot the views of the politicians in Washington and take up for Turkey, never mind the fact that the Turks did kill almost 2 million Armenians in 1915! I tend to agree with you. Just never mind the comment I made above".
        I would ike to ask or actually demand CNN to check their security systems.

        March 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • deniz boro

        The above message starting as follows was not written by me: "Then again Joseph, I noticed that you're the only one here who says anything about the plight of the Kurds. I...." Please disregard it. Although I did not check Word by Word the rest of the mesages seem to belong to me. But even this small act by some diseased mind shows how ar they can go.

        March 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        @Deniz: I believe you. I've seen this happen in previous news article comments to others. I also want you to know that I agree with all your other comments.

        March 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • Opinion

        This is just a thought. When trying to bring progress. Individually, locally, nationally, and globally. Wouldn't it be wise not to use atrocities in the argument?

        I'm not saying we all forget the past, but using it against one another hasn't helped anyone, anywhere.

        Knowing this, I always question using this type of history in arguments. It's grasping in a sense.

        I do recognize this is somewhat of a luxury for me. As I harbour no ill will towards any ethnicity or race of people.

        March 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Lance Buckmaster

        Deniz, everyone has a unique patterned icon connected to their ip. Of course, people with multiple devices will have different icons. What is funny is that the stolen comment's icon matches that of Joseph McCarthy's. Hope this helps when you contact CNN about this problem.

        March 24, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • Judge Jean Boyd of Texas

        I tend to agree with you, Lance. If this guy was in Fort Worth where I am judge, I'd give this guy 20 years for impersonating deniz boro, really I would. He apparently doesn't have the "affluenza" bug like most these ignoramuses here do. This was a terrible thing to do but so many people are doing it these days, including me.

        March 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • Lance Buckmaster

        “This was a terrible thing to do but so many people are doing it these days, including me.”
        Glad you admit to stealing names and posting under multiple handles, Judge/Joseph/USMC1369. Now why don’t you grow up and stop this psychotic behavior??

        March 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
      • Greg

        Hey you people above, aren't we supposed to be discussing Turkey, it's democracy(if it is a true democracy) and the Kurdish problem here instead of all this childishness over who's who here? It seems lie everyone who disagrees with some clown here seems to be the same person! Let's cut it out and get back to discussing Turkey. For the record, I too am for Kurdish independence.

        March 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • deniz boro

        @Lance Buckmaster. Just where do you get off accusing me in engaging in "psychotic" behavior? This is hurtful and ignorant. Have you no shame?

        March 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • Narendra

        Israel and Turkey now have diverging insrteets. Ultimately, insrteets overrule virtually any other consideration.During the Cold War era, Israel and Turkey had a common interest in opposing the Soviet Union and its drive to influence the ME. Both saw the SU as a threat.Both Israel and the old Atta Turkish' regimes in Ankara wished to keep Turkey out of the more rabidly Islamic camp. The regime in Ankara has now changed hands.Israel had no objections to Turkey joining the EU, as it saw the EU as a further restraint on the inherent potential of Turkey to be a dominant power in the Islamic world. This has now gone a'glimmer. Israel-Turkey trade was a nice little bonus for both sides, but never indispensable. Israel sold some defense gear and tourism to Turkey. Turkey sold some beer and meerschaum to Israel. Maybe slight net loss to Israel. Sell a few more Jaffa oranges to Germans.Right now, it's a war of rhetoric. Turkey's not about to put a fleet off of Haifa or TA, and Israel's not about to bomb Ankara. They'll pick at each others scabs Armenia, Cyprus, gas deposits, the Palestinians, etc, but no knives are out of scabbards.Not to say that could not change in the future, but right now both nations have more urgent matters on their plates.

        July 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • Nuloh

        Lieberman is not being helpful. If he WANTS to easlcate the situation then he is going about it the right way.Netanyahu should slap him down the only reason he in the cabinet is because it is politically neccessary.No Western nation receives him and both sides of the aisle in the US consider him to be a third rail because of his unIsraeli unsecular like ideas.Israel is doing the right thing now which is to wait and see and keep a very focused eye but also doing everything to keep the situation calm.Raising the Armenian issue from WW1 [!!!] is emotionalist and has nothing to do with more iimportant matters of those alive today.Does Lieberman want to urge a shooting war between Turkey and Israel? He knows full well that the Turkish leader is taking umbrage at everything and how sensitive this issue is.It is at times like this that the US Federal system of government of the winner takes all would be a great idea for Israel instead of the hodge podge balagan that we have to rely upon and remain hostage to whims of minor and religious parties.

        July 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Oyon

        in pretty clear terms to knock off the teatrhs to Cyprus and who knows what was said behind the scenes about Israel.Now I often see Lieberman as a buffoon, but I sometimes wonder how calculated all this is. If it's not Netanyahu certainly has used Lieberman well this round.Israel was able to send a clear signal that it could make life miserable for the Turks and Netanyahu could send a clear signal that Israel was looking for a confrontation.As Erdogan has stepped back, so has Lieberman. Still I expect relations to remain frosty for a number of reasons others have outlined. But open warfare not so likely.What this means for Turkey though is hard to say. It threatened Syria to stop the killing or else that or else has never come. It threatened Cyprus to not drill for gas, but it looks like drilling is still set Sept. 20. It threatened Israel, but is now walking that back. Turkey is beginning to look like a regional power people can ignore.

        July 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • deniz boro

      "@Lance Buckmaster. Just where do you get off accusing me in engaging in "psychotic" behavior? This is hurtful and ignorant. Have you no shame?"This ms does not belong to me.

      April 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  2. Ferhat Balkan

    The AKP (including Erdogan) were democratically elected in Turkey. If the Turkish people are dissatisfied with what the AKP is doing, then they'll have the option to choose another party during the next elections. It's as simple as that folks. No need to start a revolution and go down a bloody path.

    March 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Democracy and elections are supposed to be carried out in a free environment. Giving the voters the right to chose. Not terrorising them and shepherding them off to the polls to do what is ordered. Although election campaigns of various candidates in history thave been rather strange the concept of having the electors fight each other must be a new concept in any kind of democratic concept.

      March 22, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • deniz boro

        This msg belongs to me.

        April 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  3. j. von hettlingen

    Erdogan wants to be Turkey's next president in August. It is indeed doubtful, whether people would vote for him. He might have a strong base among Islamists, yet his behaviour in recent months has been a disgrace. Gul has shown himself sensible and moderate. Many in Turkey have asked him to run for re-election, as they can't bear the idea of seeing Erdogan in the leadership.

    March 22, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      please read: President Gul has criticised Erdogan in the public and shown himself sensible and moderate.

      March 22, 2014 at 9:58 am | Reply
  4. deniz boro

    One logical outcome though for those Turks WHO are well versed in the running of the World. Turkey has been disgraced by any organization imaginable in the World while this fight for power goes on between individuals. They may be Gul, Guler or Erdogan. As far as I am concerned none of them are fit to represent the Turkish people anymore.
    But soley for your information Hettlingen, Gul has been as passive as you like in his seat; bored to be deposited in the Presidential Palace, passing his time with tweets and not making any decisions other than the color of his tie. A perfect puppet but even the Turkish people can see through it. There has been lot's of "Missing Person" report in the social media for almost a year now. Mr. Gul is a safe and well packaged no-mans land for anybody.

    March 22, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  5. deniz boro

    I know there is a portion of voters in the developing countries WHO are not privilaged enough to get a free education or do not have the time to Access to the simplest 8 pm news. Communication or media is the 4th power in the World. If you dictate it, you shape the opinion of people. Can this be called "the free choice of people". The dictator more or less buys the people and the people are not given a choice to chose. Handy :)
    Well it started with the Penguins back in Gezi Chapulling days and is continueing with the Tweeter.
    And off course this all was out of line with the Arabian Spring. You Know what, the planners should pay more attention to their subjects.

    March 22, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  6. deniz boro

    What I fail to comprehend is why a GROWN UP PERSON would go through this just to be in power. The "bird" is a kind of jargon in Turkey. It refers to your private parts. And the singing of the bird means it is still operational. Hence, I must say Turkish teckminds are having a party hear in Turkey with creative comments. One of which was ""LET YOUR BIRD SING".. Banning of any other IT channel is becoming a trend to outdo them. In shorts, people are enjoying themselves at the absurdity. But yes I can not reach Youtube anymore.

    March 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Moreover, mustachio, and having potency are still valued for Turkish people. Potency, power and being on the top of things have a hilariousy basic similarity. We shall see jow much it counts in the coming elections.

      March 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  7. kuasol

    What CNN and other news organizations fail to report is that Erdogan is supported by the Christian minorities in Turkey, whose miserable existence under the Republic of Turkey has never seen better days. The Kemalists did to the Armenians, Anatolian Greeks and Syriacs what Rome did to Carthage, namely obliterate any record of their existence.

    March 23, 2014 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • deniz boro

      I have Jewish and Armenian friends from my primary school days. We were brought up together. I dated a few of them. It was never an issue. Yes there are the conservatives and the reformists or liberals. They did suffer and suffering more for the last 5 or so years. It was never like this even under the Ottoman rule. But than again there was and is an antagonism against even liberal muslims for a couple of years now. The conservatives or rationals seem to believe that that they have all the right of the Book, Kuran. And in so many cases they misinterprete it. Oh well. I should not write anymore. Do not want a bunch of poliçe at my doorstep.

      March 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        Unfortunately you are mistaken. Actually Erdogan has not been an improvement at all for non-Muslims and non-Sunni Muslims as we don't have any particular rights and is increasingly putting us under pressure by undermining secularism and his open favoritism for Sunni Muslims, particularly for his deeply religious electorate. The situation has not improved when Erdogan came to power in 2002, as I feared long before, but has steadily deteriorated. Erdogan's "understanding" of religious freedom, is ever increasing Islamization and supremacy of religious Sunni Muslims, thereby bringing no systematic relief for Turkey’s smallest non-Sunni Muslim minorities, such as Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics and the much larger Alevi Muslim minority who are all being singled out and vilified. Turkish ID's have a religious affiliation section, and if there is anything other Islam written on it (the only respite for Alevi Muslims), it causes all sorts of trouble and discrimination.

        Turkey’s Christian minority has dwindled to just 0.15 percent of the country. In the words, it is an “endangered species.” Erdogan wants to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque which is now a museum, and other former Christian churches which became museums, are being converted to mosques. And worse, he never bluffs when he makes such pledges.
        The Jewish minority fell from 25,000 in 2008 to 17,000 today, when Erdogan lashed out during the Gaza incursion and the Mavi Marmara incident, resulting in an anti-Semitic wave which frightened many Jews and began a new exodus to Israel. Not to mention the murder of Christian clergymen and missionaries, many of which have not been solved or most of the perpetrators have been released very early, despite receiving long prison sentences and life sentences.

        I am half Turkish and half American and a non-Muslim and I live here in Turkey, and as a non-Muslim Turkish citizen, whose religious affiliation has "Hıristiyan" on my ID, I know exactly what it is to be an "outcast" in the eyes of Erdogan and Co, for not being Sunni Muslim. Were are not living in "good times of emancipation" but in a nightmare. And there are naive people in the West who still think that Erdogan and Islamists in general can be democrats and emancipators for religious freedom! True secularism, by which religious freedom is fully guaranteed, religion and state are kept totally separate, and no favoritism is made to any religion, is the only way in a predominantly Muslim country.

        March 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • Steve

      On the contrary. Christians, Jews and Alevite Muslims are very much fearful for their future just like secular Turks and all these groups have been undermined and discriminated as never before, under the ever increasing Islamization during Erdogan's rule. In fact the Christian and Jewish minorities have declined by a third since Erdogan came to power in 2002, and now are steadily declining at an ever increasing rate.

      March 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • kuasol

        Steve, Except for the Varlık Vergisi, an excessive tax imposed on non-Muslims, which led to Jews as well as Greeks, Armenians and Syriacs dying in Turkish labor camps because they were unable to pay the tax, and the fate of 800 Jews who died on the Struma ship in 1942 due to Turkish chicanery, the Jews of Turkey fared better under the Kemalists than the Armenians and Greeks. Perhaps Ataturk's Jewish ancestry played a part in that. When there were "Kristallnacht " type events against in Istanbul in 1955, the Jews were not targeted as much as were the Greeks and Armenians. Due to EU pressure, Erdogan has allowed some minimal renewal of Christian sites in Turkey. Hopefully governing states in the Balkans will allow Ottoman Turkish sites to be restored. My family includes Turkish Jews, Roman Catholic Armenians and Protestant Armenians, so I am familiar with how minorities have been treated under the Turkish Republic. Erdogan has been an improvement over the Kemalsts for Christian minorities.

        March 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
  8. Hamdi Tandoğan

    Go to hell Erdoğan.

    March 23, 2014 at 2:10 am | Reply
  9. Bobo Jones

    How can CNN recognizes tyrannical dictators abroad, but fails to see Obama's excesses?

    March 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • Baris Seven

      You surely do not know what a dictatorship is and what a dictator is! Just keep eating what is served on the plate served to you. A dictator elected by the free-will of people! huh? A dictator who is and whose family members including his deadmother insulted and ridiculed by the most obnoxious slurs and slanders and fabrications that you would not even dare to use/employ for any public official of the US, for if you did you would be put in jail first stripped naked completely before you get a chance to see your lawyer let alone the Judge. If a citizen of Turkey indulges in such acts against Erdogan he has no fear of any judicial and official retaliation and may even make it to the media of the gang and their compariots. If such a man as your target is a dictator you would not see the light of the next day for a second... Just a bit saneness and commonsense please.

      March 24, 2014 at 1:12 am | Reply
  10. chrissy

    Forget it @Deniz they are one and the same person and cnn is already aware of the menace. He is the reason they shut down their TJI blog!

    March 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • USMC1369

      Are you the true chrissy here or some troll trying to be funny? The latter appears to be true.

      March 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  11. chrissy

    Generally when "he" isnt getting the attention he feels he should he jacks anothers user name to compliment "his" post if you get my drift.

    March 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  12. Dan

    "Turkey's political crisis undermining democracy"

    Funny how that works in the Islamic world, isn't it Fareed?

    March 23, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  13. Baris Seven

    BS

    March 24, 2014 at 12:16 am | Reply
  14. Baris Seven

    Sorry, was just testing the poster but that it still tells about my thoughts about the article. Good Journalism CNN:-)) Ask people who are in the anti-Erdogan camp to write pieces, that is what you get! Democracy is well and ticking in Turkey thanks to the reforms achived by the AKP. To portray an underground gang operation that uses both religion and captivated juristocrats reponsible for "corrupting of Justice" with illegal procedures and operations as the hope for democracy in Turkey borders on pitifullness! You are fed self-serving fabrications and twists by a newspaper in English (Today's Zaman) of only about 5000 readers (mostly foreign diplomats in Turkey) owned by this gang to spread their hatred of Erdogan. For CNN and alike to give credit to such onedimensional news sources out of Turkey actually becomes a reflection on their credibility. Also find other sources for your reports, such as Sabah Daily another English newspaper in Turkey for the benefit of your readership. You owe to the American public first to inform them with unbiased and factual articles as to what is really happening in Turkey. The democracy in Turkey is soundly in the hands of the People and whether one likes it or not the majority of the People of Turkey (and Kurds are included in that too) favor Erdogan and are solidly behind him. If I may say, the biggest Jury is the People and their preference in the ballot box! Better start finding new anti-Erdogan themes for after March 30 mayoral elections. Then you can safely inform the American People who is going to be the first directly-elected-by the People President of Turkey in August, if the American people care at all... ERDOGAN! And for the benefit of the US Public you better start shedding some light into operations of this gang which is running hundreds of Charter Schools in the US by using and usurping the American taxpayers' money!

    March 24, 2014 at 12:44 am | Reply
  15. Cezmi Duru

    The atmosphere is getting more hotter for the ordinary people,like educated,democrat middle class people in the country.There will be local elections at 30th of March and PM Erdogan organises meetings, to reflect his anger to consolidate his supporters!He is so intolerant to opponents that at Izmir meeting two women who made him hand gesture is taken in custody with his own safety guards without court order by personally pointing with finger.This is terrifying.
    In real democratic world elected leaders always covers,protects,cares all the layers of the people and the nation.In contrary he treated the other half of the people like an enemy.Like many of the dictators had said he always uses 'national will' phrase to defend his acts when narrowing rights and freedom.
    What all Turks need is real justice,more freedom,more human rights and safety.We don't want to hear angry politician threats everyday.We Turks feel we are the member of democrat and civilised world and we want to live in such a country governed by democrat,tolerant,fair minded,rationally thinking and confident leadership.Thats all the good people of Turkey needs..

    March 24, 2014 at 5:44 am | Reply
  16. TURKEY - NATO partner

    Turkey is a key NATO alliance country. We need help Turkey to become a great democracy, instead of spending US-tax-payers-money, US lives, US jobs on unproductive collaborations with Asians.

    March 24, 2014 at 7:33 am | Reply
    • USMC1369

      So does this excuse the murder of over 1.9 million Armenians back in 1915 by these Turkish "allies" of ours, TURKEY-NATO partner? Somehow, I don't think so. Besides, why don't our NATO "partner" grant the Kurds their long sought independence? I noticed the the right-wing media remains stone silent on this issue.

      March 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • NATO - our future

        NATO alliance must be our future – no Asia (no china, no s.korea, no vietnam, ...). You are not wrong, that there are still problems in the NATO alliance, but if we focus and work on them – we will successfully solve them. NATO alliance must be our future – NOT Asia! If we lose our resources, our business, our jobs to Asians, and forget to make the NATO alliance the Greatest Civilization and Democracy – then we will not win. That's why the right way: drop Asia, drop Chinese, drop Koreans!

        March 25, 2014 at 7:42 am |
  17. deniz boro

    Well all this election fight is getting seriously funny anyway. After twitter and youtube is banned thaere is this gossip going around that another tape which will have scandalous context will be published tomorrow. Anonymous did publish a tape which says they are now aiming Mr. Erdogan.
    AND SURPTISE SURPRISE! Turkey's only web surver TTNET announced that they will not be able to provide Internet in some areas between 08:00 and 16:00 on 25 March DUE TO INFRASTRUCTURE WORK. One never gets a boring day in Turkey.

    March 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  18. Smart Adam

    The article presents the political crisis in Turkey as Erdogan-Gulen war, but in reality there is only a war between Erdogan and democracy. No one in Turkey can stand up against Erdogan's authoritarianism except for the Gulen movement and the youth in Gezi protests. Everyone is fearful of Erdogan. The media can not be critical of Erdogan, since he can hurt business interests of the media owners. Remember penguins?

    March 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  19. deniz boro

    Wait for the .... (no words to describe it, sorry. STILL) It came out clear. Even for the dumb. with the coes and the proes. Millitarry was a stupid and selfish move roothed in ancient history. No return plus lack of alternative. Pls do learn before you risk people. Nxt time t'you cause I am drunk

    March 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  20. deniz boro

    Thanks for what you got out of my drunken gibberish ;)

    March 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Marine5484

      That's quite alright, deniz. Now let's get back to talking "Turkey" and the Kurdish situation, shall we?

      March 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  21. deniz boro

    No decent or educated talk will be gettin out of Turkey for an unpredictable time. Even if I watch alll internetional channels, the voice of Turkey will be diluted and directed. This new hunger or starvation or last resort for power silence them all. I really do not comprehend why this is so important. But life or thinking or anythin else is almost shot down now. Or that's how I feel. The election campaign here is almost a harrasment on your senses. 3 days ao I woke up to a bus blaring one more campain tüne and all I thought of was throwing an egg at them. Well those eggs were organic..more valuable than this masquarade

    March 28, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  22. deniz boro

    SOS. all ...

    March 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  23. deniz boro

    Yep hence the democratical result.

    April 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      The people of Turkiye voted. We have to respect the results of a democratic vote whether we like it or not. Nearly 90% of the population (an unprecedented number compared to previous elections) was involved.

      April 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  24. deniz boro

    Yes that's a step to democracy if we disregards the cats WHO took control of the POWER in Turkey as the votes were counted.Pet owners should keep to their pets for the next election. Or they do end up at POWER POLLS.

    April 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  25. deniz boro

    But how a primary pet gets so out of line is a principle issue. We as pet owners worldwide do take care of their food, vaccination, training and genarally well being; besides making sure that it does not cause any harm to society. Because usually the owners of the pets are kept responsible. We do take care that no pet should be trained for baiting or fighting purposes.. Some animals are harder to train off course. But if you are not up to it, you simply should not adopt them.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  26. deniz boro

    SMT out of Nostradamus.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  27. Antoinette

    I suspect Turkey is infiltrated by a Global enemy of our whole community. Words become twisted and actions/reactions are hijacked by our common enemy to stir up War among the nations, and destroy nations at the core, look at Syria, Egypt and look at Ukraine. Turkey is nominated next for becoming an international Flashpoint to War Our comml enemy won't settle until we are annihilated.

    April 20, 2014 at 8:11 am | Reply
  28. Antoinette

    What can I say? All the signs are here that there is going to e a surprise attack, like Hitler invaded Poland and annexed Tchechoslowakia as a limb of the German Empire, which was nothing but an Echo of the Roman Empire, which was nothing but an Echo of the Greater Ottoman Realm, which was nothing but a copy of the Egyptian and they always had only One Enemy... The Country that lost it's sovereignty to an exclusive club of Rich Investors, that have fallen from Grace in all the existences they could not Control.
    To my knowledge, the only colonizing kingdom that lost all of it's properties when The Throne was seized by the political forum in 1888 is Netherlands. They count as a successful operator on the Global platform, but they are just a little club of former slave traders with nostalgia for slave trade while the World abolished slavery in the 19th Century.
    They are ruthless, devious and mean and will not stop at annihilation to get what they want. Now they lost, so we must be destroyed for our defiance, because when they cannot beat us, they will not join us, because we don't care for money and prefer to be free and improvise our way through problems that come from interaction where there was none before.
    They moved in on Turkey, and when the people rose up, they moved to Ukraine and did it again only difference here is that the Ukraine Government had a lot of corrupt elements running the enemy's plan of conquering territory and scorched Earth when they fail.
    Our World is under attack people and we have a common enemy that has always been here so it seems. They are the Rothschilds and Rockefellers of this World and their fame or glamour is fading, while their grip is being broken by New Capital and this is nothing but their revenge.

    April 20, 2014 at 8:41 am | Reply

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