Tag: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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I have to wonder if this is not the theme of President Trump’s foreign policy. It is the eve of hosting the controversial Recep Tayyip Erdrogan. The Turkish leader has been the source and thorn for some years to many, since taking leadership of Turkey, an American ally and voting member of NATO. Trump has […]

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Turkish Trick or Treat?


A young veteran reminded me of the truly ancient roots of conflict in the Middle East, pointing to lines we do not even see on the sand and soil. This prompted me to return to a summary sketch I laid aside months ago, after fleshing out an account of what we now call Iran. Then the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution condemning the Ottoman Empire for committing the first genocide of the 20th Century…and 12 Republicans joined Rep. Ilhan Omar in opposing the resolution! What? Why? What follows is a single summary of the other three big players, historically, now known as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Egypt can point to the most ancient civilizations, as their progenitors were contemporary regional powers. The clash between them was captured in the ancient Hebrew texts, as the Jewish people were caught in the middle. Saudi Arabia comes next, with claims to punching far above their weight with armies fired by the fervor of a new faith, and more recently of being the secular and religious guardians of the faith. Finally, the Turks can claim to have been the most successful and latest power to rule the region for centuries after imposing final defeat on the (Christian) Eastern Roman empire.

Saudi Arabia:

Where Does a Patriot Turn in 2016?


The Democratic Party’s national convention is attempting to lay claim to the patriot mantle. Yet the party is not quite there. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was heckled with chants of “no more war.” The Code Pink wing lost the nomination this year, but it won the platform, and may yet win it all in the next cycle.

Shut Up! You Don’t Get a Lawyer!


shutterstock_265415651In the 1970s, Hillary defended a child rapist. Later audio recordings showed that she knew him to be guilty. But as difficult as it must have been for him to associate with such a criminal, we acknowledge that people accused of crimes — even if obviously guilty — have the right to an attorney. And as much as it may gall us in some instances, we can’t rightly criticize attorneys who take such cases. John Adams defending the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre is perhaps the most notable instance.

But while we can hold an attorney blameless for taking the case of a criminal suspect, there are other cases where the attorney should be blamed. A case in point: Ralf Hoecker, Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s German lawyer, who is trying to use the law to silence Erdoğan’s critics in Germany, starting with a TV comedian who read an insulting poem. Not only is this an assault on the liberty of the lawyer’s fellow citizens, but Erdoğan is notorious for silencing critics in his own country by jailing reporters and even seizing whole newspapers.

In other words, Hoecker is serving a dictator — and not merely selling him jewelry or providing accounting services — but actually serving as an accomplice to Erdoğan’s tyrannical conduct.

Angela Merkel Doesn’t Think That’s Funny


merkel burqaOne time my husband and I were having a fabulous dinner with friends — he from France, she American. We laughed about everything all night long, until someone made a joke about food. Our Frenchman instantly sobered up. “Food,” he said reprovingly, “is not funny.” Which of course caused the rest of us even greater hilarity.

Mark Steyn has a blistering, brilliant essay on the case of the German satirist facing a criminal inquiry from the German government (at the request of the Ottoman Empire Turkish government) for making a joke about a goat and Recep Erdogan:

A free society does not threaten a guy with years in gaol for writing a poem. If you don’t know that that’s wrong, you should just cut to the chase and appoint yourself mutasarrıfa of Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman sanjak of Berlin.

Merry Christmas to All, and Some Thoughts on Turkish Thugs


Merry Christmas, Ricochet! Or Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it and, otherwise, merry day in which you eat Chinese food and go to the movies. To those I’ve offended by mentioning Christmas, I apologize for my insensitive remarks. I promise I will learn and grow from the experience.

Speaking of things one must not say, I just published a piece in City Journal about the recent news from Turkey. As I stress in it, it’s not just news from Turkey, but news from America — news from the Poconos Mountains, in particular — and thus properly filed under “domestic news.”

Liberal Outrage Over Tyrants


Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganAll things are not necessarily equal when it comes to tyrants and liberals. Turkey has just elected a new president, or more accurately, they had their first popular election for that office, and moved their prime minister into that position. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been acting a little power hungry lately, and decided that he wanted to be president, and expand the powers of that office to meet his desires. For better or worse, the people of Turkey have obliged him. Because he’s backed by mostly conservative Sunni Muslims, it won’t be surprising if in the coming months we’ll see liberal foreign policy wonks talking about how bad this is. They’ll be right, but probably for the wrong reasons.

Cenk Sidar offered a very interesting pre-election analysis of the situation in Turkey at ForeignPolicy.com, particularly through a thumbnail sketch of the Erdogan administration. The first statement of interest had to do with Erdogan’s attitude about the system of checks and balances in the Turkish government.

Lately, Erdogan has shown little interest in preserving a system based on checks and balances and the separation of powers. The prime minister’s harsh crackdown on his political opponents and his combative rhetoric strongly suggest that he would like to see Turkey become a decidedly illiberal democracy, one in which he and his party can use the mandate of the ballot box to rule as they please, with little or no consideration of dissenting views.