Friday, July 15, 2016

Is the jig finally up for the wily Erdogan?

As I write this multiple media reports have President Erdogan playing hide-and-seek with military police firing live rounds in his 1,000 room palace.

The myriad contradictions that have come to contaminate Erdogan's reign over the past few years made it inevitable that things would come to this. Turkey is a NATO ally, the world's premier club for "freedom and democracy," but under Erdogan it has become anything but free and a democracy only in a very limited sense.

Freedom of the press? If Erdogan doesn't like what he sees in your newspaper or on your TV channel, his thugs will take over your newsroom.

He's been waging a vicious war on his Kurdish population for the past year, because although a cease-fire had been largely successful, he needed to ramp up violence to assure an absolute majority in the second of last year's elections. It was a cynical strategy that worked, and allowed him to even further consolidate his power. At the cost of thousands of Turkish lives.

He's been playing a double game in the "war on terror" for years, supposedly fighting ISIS while at the same time supplying them with weapons, facilitating their trade in stolen oil, and allowing free passage through Turkey for ISIS fighters.

He alienated Israel and Washington with the Mavi Mamora fiasco.

He's risked a major escalation of the Middle East inferno with the reckless downing of a Russian jet. He has alienated virtually every one time ally, to the point where he'd have a tough time finding a place to seek sanctuary today.

Maybe he can swap digs with Fethulla Gulen. Gulen gets the 1,000 room palace and Erdogan gets that lovely country get-away in Pennsylvania.

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