Friday, 28 March 2014

What Passes For European Values

You can often go a whole ten minutes without a story from the Islamic world that pulls you up short ... this time, its that 'European minded, Freedom of Speech loving, Demagogue', Prime Minister of Turkey - Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His vitriolic and rabble rousing manner of language in speeches, now ever increasingly reminding one of the rhetoric of Bin laden, or President Assad, or even Ex President Gaddafi.

So its perhaps not too unexpected in that part of the world, that he's now enmeshed in a web of financial corruption stories, that are not only dragging in his cabinet and political allies, but also his immediate family .... so what does this paragon of financial and political probity do? Why he opts to gag the messenger ....

Now remember that this man believes that his regime is fit to join the European Union, and that Turkey shares the same values as the other states who are there .... but he apparently thinks that these European values obviously include setting thugs, the police, and the army on demonstrators last year, or now saying that his government could ban, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as they carry the allegations of corruption against Mr Erdogan and his cabal. These allegations (and we have to use the term allegation because it will never get too trial), have included a recorded phone conversation in which he and his son, were caught discussing how to hide huge sums of money .... Mr Erdogan later called it 'a montage' ... whatever that may mean in that context. As the mainstream Turkish press hardly cover the allegations, because of fear of a government ban, they are being aired on social media.

Of course, once started, the claims and the rhetoric from Mr Erdogan got ever more wild, with threats, soon followed by further threats ... the Turkish broadcaster ATV aired an interview with him, which included such statements as "We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook. We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way." and when asked if that could include barring the social media sites, he said: "Included." ... he then added that the two sites were being used for "all kinds of immorality, all kinds of espionage". Of course this all follows hot on the heels of the government party dominated Turkish parliament passing a new law which allowing Turkey's telecommunications authority to block websites without a court ruling. It sparked violent protests in Istanbul which were suppressed in the usual Turkish manner .....

In Turkey, The Internet Is Not Always Uncensored ...

Later the Turkish President Abdullah Gul later said that such a ban was "out of the question" ... and the courts have rescinded the ban on Twitter as 'unconstitutional', but the government is now looking to block 'You Tube' .... few really believe that Mr Erdogan won't use whatever methods he can to muzzle his opponents. Its rather telling, that the most popular opposition to Mr Erdogan is Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who runs an influential Islamist network from safely within the US.

The government is also contemplating heavy fines for people who promote alcohol and drinking on social media, with fines ranging between 5,000 and 200,000 Turkish Lira (£1,355-£54,223), this following a law passed last year, which banned brewers and distillers from traditional advertising and sponsorship of cultural events. The bill also restricted the sale of alcohol. So the future of Turkey is likely to be an even more Islamic state.

Remember, this is the country and regime that is being backed by all the UK's political parties, as a future member of the EU ..... Thank God the French have a bit more backbone, and seem likely to veto Turkeys membership, because it seems there are 'double standards' not 'European standards' being applied here.


  1. According to the BBC, the Turks are busy hijacking hijacking net address domain servers like a rogue state in order to block social media sites and track down potential users of the sites.

    As usual our government says nothing as Turkey is our ally, and seemingly a perfect candidate to join the EU. What a contrast with the hot air over Russia and the Ukraine.

    1. Apparently Mr Erdogan has also claimed that “We have the democracy which the West is longing for” .... and he's right, if he means a religiously bigoted form of elected dictatorship by the socially backward. Which of course in many countries is exactly what 'democracy' really is.

      Thanks for the comment

    2. Strangely the Turkish government also argues that journalism in Turkey is among the most free in the world while doing this


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