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foreignpolicy.com – Alexander Gray – May 29, 2014, 5:16 PM
The detention of 11 members of parliament from an opposition political party last week marked the latest step in Turkey’s transformation into a de facto dictatorship. For years, the United States has been equivocating about the consequences of
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In the immediate aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt, I had told that it was too early to come to a conclusion about the direction of Turkey’s democracy has been taking.
After all, although the numbers were huge, mass arrests and dismissals could be seen as justified by many, due to the existential threat that our democracy confronted in the face of the Gulenist coup plotters, who went as far as bombing the parliament and massacring dozens of civilians in places such as the Bosphorus Bridge.
Not even the clocks in Turkey can ignore the whims of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This weekend Turkey’s imperious president decided to make it summertime all year. The decision to abandon daylight saving time moves Ankara an hour further from Europe, and into a timezone with Khartoum, Moscow and Riyadh. If only that were the end of it.
Mr Erdogan issued decrees to oust 10,158 public officials; expelled 1,267 academics from their posts; took charge of appointing university rectors; permitted prosecutors to record client-lawyer conversations; allowed judges to deny access to lawyers for up to three months; and shut down 15 (mainly Kurdish) media outlets. And that was just this weekend.