Amnesty International urges Theresa May to speak out about Turkey’s slide into authoritarian rule over case described as ‘travesty of justice’
Amnesty International urged the British government to end its silence over Turkey’s slide into authoritarian rule on Tuesday after its local director and five other activists were remanded in custody on accusations of belonging to a terrorist organisation. It is possible the six will now be held in jail for as long as two years before their full trial comes to court.
Any lingering hopes that Erdoğan would return to the path of democracy have wilted. Instead he has solidified his power to push his political agenda
• Ersin Şenel is an economist and a political scientist based in Istanbul, TurkeyA year after Turkey’s failed coup attempt, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime faces a dilemma: first it fears any kind of street-based movement. Erdoğan’s harsh response to the Gezi Park protests in 2013 or the protests that were brutally quashed in the Kurdish cities of south-east Turkey last year are examples. Yet with the president’s power built on a friend-or-foe dichotomy, he also needs a street-based legitimacy. Witness the weekend ceremonies marking the anniversary of 15 July in which he whipped up public support for punishing coup plotters with the death penalty and talked about “ripping the heads” off so-called traitors.