Saturday, 11 June 2011

Erdogan Threatening Journalists By Name

The Times has a story on the Turkish elections today that is far more critical of Turkey than the stories we typically see in the western press. It mentions the crackdown on journalists, the Imam's Army story, Ergenekon, and Erdogan jihadist background. Almost all of it will be familiar to anyone who reads this blog, but it's good to see some of this information reaching the mainstream at last.

The report contained one interesting detail I hadn't previously come across:

On the hustings, an increasingly aggressive Mr Erdogan has been denouncing by name journalists who are critical of him or his party, saying that they will pay a price.

Gareth Jenkins was also quoted on the topic of Ergenekon:

Many doubt, though, that Ergenekon exists. Gareth Jenkins, a senior fellow of the Central Asia-Caucuses Institute at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, has read the thousands of pages of indictments and concluded that Ergenekon is a figment of the imagination. “Of 300 charged, my estimate is 15 to 20 are really dirty. Some are mafiosi. Others are real Deep State operatives. They have been thrown in to tarnish the others,” he said.

Sik, in his pursuit of the Deep State, co-authored a two-volume guide to Ergenekon. He apparently fell foul of prosecutors because he was writing a book, alleging that the police had been penetrated by an Islamic secret society headed by Fethullah G├╝len, a spiritual leader who lives in exile in America and preaches a mix of Turkish supremacism and moderate Islam.

Sik’s book, The Imam’s Army, was seized when he was arrested in March, but the rough draft later appeared on the internet, where it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Mr Jenkins added: “It’s like The Emperor’s New Clothes. So many people know the case is absurd but it takes an idiot child to say it’s absurd.”


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