Is the West suffering from Erdoganophobia?
On July 15,2016 Turkey had gone through a gloomy and rough night as a junta within the Turkish Armed Forces had attempted to perform a coup d’état, primarily to topple down President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the current democratically elected government in office. The attempted coup resulted in civilian resistance taking place by the Turkish public, regardless of ideology or religion. Coup soldiers in retaliation to the resistance put up by the civilians had planted snipers on the Bosphorus Bridge (recently renamed as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge), crushed civilians with army tanks and injured many civilians by shooting them. Human rights watchdogs and Western Media outlets on the other hand had only a few sentences regarding the deceased and injured of the coup, but had pages targeting the democratically elected president of the Republic of Turkey for so called ‘authoritarianism’ and ‘crack-downs’ during the very frenzied time of incidents.
The hypocrisy of western media outlets could be seen as the curtain of obscurity was being lifted regarding the attempted coup on July 15. As the military coup was being attempted in Ankara and Istanbul, rather than tweeting or making headlines of the current situation of the coup, The New York Times had tweeted ‘A look at Erdogan’s controversial rule in Turkey, published just days ago’ while the Russian media agency Sputnik had tweeted of ‘images from the ground in Turkey’ showing people who pushed back the tanks as celebrating the coup within reality this not being the case. Though it just does not end there. As Turkish President Erdogan had called for the general public to resist the attempted coup and flock to the streets, The Daily Beast and American NBC had stated that ‘Erdogan reportedly was denied asylum in Germany, and now headed to London’, with deliberate intention of keeping people in their houses, and aiding the attempted coup to be successful.
Though does it all conclude here? Of course not. Fox News in the name of ‘unbiased journalism’ had spread propaganda with the underlying motto of ‘If the coup succeeds, the Islamists lose and we win’. Let’s not forget The Independent Newspaper though. As civilian deaths were taking place, The Independent contested the coup attempt was ‘faked’ by President Erdogan himself stating ‘Turkey Coup: Conspiracy theorists claim attempt was faked by Erdogan’, comparing Erdogan to the Nazis of Germany, and demonizing him. Finally, Business Insider had cheered on the disarray put forth by these media outlets tweeting ‘Erdogan could use the latest coup attempt to further tighten his grip in Turkey’. The double standards of Western Media outlets regarding democracy in Turkey can clearly be seen with the articles published on July 15. Rather than concentrating on civilian deaths and injuries, the parliament building being bombed, and the assassination attempt of President Erdogan in his hotel in Marmaris, Erdoganophobia can be observed.
Is Erdoganophobia just limited with western media outlets? Sadly no, as so-called human rights organizations have also been seen to possess double standards towards non-western countries. One clear example of this is Amnesty International otherwise known as AI. Amnesty describes itself as ‘a global movement who take injustice personally’. First being set up in 1961; AI has grown to being an ‘International movement’, though with all this in mind, there is a twist: Amnesty has been turning a blind eye to the civilian deaths and injuries in result of the coup attempt in Turkey. With an article titled ‘Human rights in peril’, AI has made various accusations which can be seen to be full of great bias, and also evidence not being present to back up accusations.
A state of emergency was declared in Turkey on July 20, 2016 following the military coup attempt. The failed coup had resulted in the Turkish parliament being bombed by F-16 fighter jets – first time in its history, the National Intelligence Agency building also being bombed and shot at by helicopters, civilians being shot at with automatic M-6 machine guns within the Sarachane Square, and also the infrastructure of the National Police Special Operations Unit being destroyed to rubble. Though why have human rights organizations not mentioned these civilian casualties in their articles or observations condemning the plotters? Do western human rights organizations possess a methodology problem in gathering their data or Erdoganophobia? Do they hold selection bias in whose ‘rights they defend’?
Amnesty had stated that an ‘exceptional crackdown [was taking place] by any standards – and of a scale not witnessed in Turkey since the dark days of military dictatorship in the 1980s’. Once again, a biased contention made with no evidence present. What also prompts one to think of selection bias present is the FETO Terrorist Organization – a group currently present as a terrorist entity in the Turkish National Security Document, not being mentioned at all, but given the name ‘opposition’. So who is the FETO terrorist organization? A legitimate peaceful opposition group?
The FETO terrorist organization, first being established in the 1960’s is a non-state organization set up by cleric Fetullah Gulen. The organization has been involved in so-called infiltration operations into the state apparatus to establish control of it and conduct terrorism activities. The group has had a track record of establishing “a parallel government” other than the real democratically elected one, as recent testimonies of the arrested coup member’s show. FETO has shockingly not been affected by any military coup’s in Turkish history. The FETO group leader Gulen is recorded to have stated to Cevik Bir, leader of the 1997 coup ‘the Gulen schools are in his [Cevik Bir] command and use’, bringing about an organic form of partnership between the two.
The year of 2013 was going to be an important turning point for Turkey. FETO members who had occupied the important positions in the governmental structure of Turkish State and bureaucratic headstones, had ears dropped into top secret telephone calls of the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and most dramatically Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan. The methodology used to ears drop include the recovery of encryption keys of the crypto and cipher’s used for the phone calls from FETO members present in the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). In addition to this, FETO prosecutors had intended to arrest President Erdogan and the ministers present in the cabinet based upon false allegations and fabricated evidence. Finally, prosecutors who are in connection with the FETO terrorist organization were given commands to arrest generals and soldiers resulting in the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases in 2010 and 2011. The primary aim of these two cases as seen later on were to liquidate army generals from their positions in order to place their own members paving way to today’s coup attempt. The Jamaat’s journalists and media outlets had also taken roles in these two FETO operations by justifying the operations. Though where were western media outlets and human rights organizations – including Amnesty International, when the democratically elected President of the Republic of Turkey was targeted by the illegal FETO terrorist organization? Why has the west kept a blind eye to all the crimes the FETO has committed?
Western media outlets and human rights organizations as stated earlier seem to have ulterior motives. Rather than conveying the true facts globally, a selective approach can be seen regarding non-western countries in serving the Western agenda. The failed coup has been a turning point not only in Turkish history but also world history too, as civilians have shown resistance and halted the coup. In lieu of concentrating on the amount of deaths and injuries coming about as a result of the crimes committed by the Junta, western media outlets and human rights organizations ironically targeted President Erdogan and his government instead. It is compelling and frightening to see a democratically elected president and his government being targeted by coup plotters and the West only watching even making statements that can be regarded as support for the putschists. Taking all these into consideration, are western organizations ‘defending human rights’ or suffering from Erdoganophobia?