Tayyip Erdogan was elected in 2014 as the President of Turkey. Although he is extremely unpopular with the majority of the nation’s people, he managed to become the first president selected in a general election. His actions before and after the battles were counted prove that he is a dictator, and not the leader of a secular government. The question must be asked; were the election results falsified?
In 2013 he ordered violent attacks against protesters in Gezi Park and Taksim Square located in Istanbul. Citizens from all walks of life were protesting the destruction of Gezi Park, the last vestige of green in the city.
Protests emerged in other cities, indicating that the unrest was more about other issues than the park. Erdogan was attempting to move Turkey into an Islamic state, and enforce Sharia law. He forbid women to wear western style clothing and make-up. Alcohol consumption was banned; Erdogan claiming that anyone who had a single drink of spirits was an alcoholic. Public displays of affection were also forbidden.
In 1930, a Turkish military officer by the name of Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay was beheaded by rioters who were in favor of Sharia law. He is considered a revered hero in the fight for Turkey’s movement to become a secular republic.
On Tuesday there was a commemorative ceremony to honor Kubilay. One of the attendees was a 16-year-old student. He is a member of a group called Democratic High School Students who communicate online. He made a speech at the gathering vehemently accusing Erdogan and his minions of acts of corruption. His name has not been revealed; he is referred to as M.E.A.
The following day M.E.A. was dragged out of his classroom and taken to the police station. He has now been indicted for violating article 299, which forbids critical speech relating to so called ‘Turkishness,’ the government of Turkey, or the legislature and military. He faces four years in a Turkish prison.
Defenders of M.E.A. pointed to the social media stating that his ‘illegal’ remarks could be read at any time on social media, and were virtually identical to those in his speech.
Erdogan has made efforts to stop the use of social media in his country, calling their existence a ‘tool of western governments.’
The elected dictator of Turkey has already arrested 20 people who support a Muslim cleric by the name of Fethullah Gulen who has been critical of Erdogan and his policies. At one time the men were allies; now they are fierce political enemies.
M.E.A. raised the questions of Erdogan’s corrupted regime and accused him of bribery. There have also been questions regarding the funds used to finance his presidential campaign. It is widely believed he used state funds to outspend his opponent.
The teenage boy has entered a plea of ‘not guilty,’ and is awaiting trial.
Turkey is a member of NATO, and considered an ally of the United States. It is difficult to confirm that the nation is in a transformative state, but one thing is certain; free speech is not allowed in Turkey.
By James Turnage