Saturday, 21 August 2010

Erdogan Acts Like a Third World Despot

Turkey is currently in the throes of political campaigning as the referendum on a new constitution approaches. Erdogan, the Turkish president, is campaigning frantically for a Yes vote and acting like a third world despot in the process.

Recently, he publicly threatened TUSIAD, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association, with "elimination" unless it took a public stance on the upcoming referendum. "Declare your stance. If it is no, say 'no.' If it is yes, say 'yes' [...] He who is neutral will be eliminated," said Erdogan during a television debate.

To its credit, TUSIAD resisted the pressure, stating:
"The warning was an unfortunate act and will certainly not serve the cause of strengthening the role of civil society in modern societies."

Erdogan's AKP party also made insinuations about Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition party, claiming that because he had an Armenian mother and a Kurdish father his ethnic origins were not "legitimate".

The conduct we have seen from Erdogan and his party during the referendum campaign is well outwith the norms of civilised countries, thus making it clear once again that Turkey has no place in the European Union.

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