Boston Herald publishes an editorial on Turkey’s post-coup crackdown.
“The once thriving democracy of Turkey is on the brink of becoming a gulag — its own citizens held captive, unable to leave.
Since the aborted July 15 coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the arrest of thousands of judges and prosecutors, ordered the closure of hundreds of schools and dozens of media outlets and suspended more than 66,000 civil servants from their jobs.
Late last week the nation’s interior ministry also confirmed that 49,211 Turkish citizens have had their passports revoked. The government insists that’s simply to keep possible terrorists from fleeing the country. In fact, it assures that the nation’s best and brightest won’t be allowed to leave even as they watch democracy crumble around them.
It harkens back to the worst days of the old Soviet Union. We here in the United States too often forget that one of the most precious freedoms is the freedom to leave.
Erdogan himself has now openly accused the U.S. of “taking sides with the coup plotters.”
And U.S. military officials are increasingly concerned that their Turkish counterparts, who have led the joint fight against the Islamic State, are being removed and jailed at an alarming rate.
Gen. Joseph Votel told the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, “We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders, military leaders in particular. And so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue to move forward.”
That further enraged Erdogan who said, “It’s not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place.”
Yes, we know our place all right. The place of our own nation is to stand up for real democracy and rule of law — even if it means calling out a once trusted ally who is taking his once great nation down a dark and dangerous path. That point can’t be made strongly enough by our own State Department.”
Source: Boston Herald, http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/editorials/2016/07/editorial_turkey_turns_gulag