“Turkey & the West are Heading for a Breakup” (William Armstrong, War on the Rocks)


“Talking to locals where I live here in Istanbul, it seems to have already become accepted wisdom among many that the United States was behind the coup. Such sentiments might not have been voiced so boldly if Turkey’s Western allies had been less seemingly equivocal in their condemnation of it – or if Ankara had not so instinctively reached for anti-Western conspiracy theories in the aftermath. The Turkish government’s legitimization of conspiracy theories is certainly making foreign observers less sympathetic to Turkey’s predicament.

Many Turks have also lashed out at media coverage in the West, which they believe has mirrored the failings of Western officials. Foreign journalists on the ground here have told me that they despair about editors’ obsession with President Erdogan. Even while the coup attempt was still underway, the focus of much analysis had already turned to Erdogan’s expected iron-fisted crackdown. That crackdown has indeed been harsh: Tens of thousands of people have been suspended from state institutions and tens of thousands have been detained by police. The government has declared a state of emergency allowing more punitive measures, including its suspension of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Journalists and academics, some without any connection to Gülen, have been detained for police questioning. Photos show military officers with severe bruising and injuries apparently inflicted after being detained (which is likely to complicate any extradition request). Amnesty International has reported claims of torture and sexual abuse of detainees. All of this must be monitored vigorously both inside and outside Turkey. But the Western media’s immediate focus on Erdogan’s predicted power grab — even as hundreds were being killed on the night of July 15 and people were being crushed under tanks – left a bitter taste, even among his harshest critics here.” Read more : http://warontherocks.com/2016/08/turkey-and-the-west-are-heading-for-a-breakup/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief