Fifteen years ago when Recep Erdogan became prime minister of Turkey, both conservatives and liberals expected positive changes in the nation. They rallied behind his efforts to control the military and prevent future military coup attempts that, at least temporarily, ended democracy. In those days he was aided by followers of Fetullah Gulen, a fairly progressive Muslim who wanted a democracy not controlled by the military.
After about seven years of power during which Erdogan had respected democratic institutions, the desire for power grew stronger and stronger. By this year, Turkey had more journalists in jail than in any other nation. He closed newspapers that disagreed with his policies, and fired judges who respected the law. Last month a “coup” endeavored to overthrow his government. He claims it was initiated by followers of Gulen, and so far over 40,000 people have been arrested.
At this point, the free press of Turkey no longer exists. Thousands of teachers and professors have lost their jobs. Judges have been fired. Turkey has become the latest nations ruled by a dictator. Sad times to be turkey!