« 美しい夜景は人間の心を癒してくれます 夜景検定試験のお知らせ | トップページ | ポケモンGO マナーを守って街を歩こう »

2016年7月23日 (土)

トルコ非常事態 ここまでの粛清が必要なのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Can mass purge of Gulen supporters really be called necessary in Turkey?
トルコ非常事態 ここまでの粛清が必要なのか

Turkey is a regional power linking Europe and the Middle East. If Turkey becomes unstable, it could have a negative effect on efforts to prevent terrorism and deal with Syria’s civil war and the resulting refugee problem.

Turkey should refrain from politically exploiting the failed coup d’etat launched by part of its military and must avoid a situation that deepens rifts within society.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency. The president said this step was needed “to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organization involved in the coup attempt.” Emergency rule will make it possible to significantly restrict the rights of Turkish citizens, and could result in an escalation of heavy-handed politics in that nation.

The Turkish government has already detained several thousand people suspected of involvement in the coup attempt, including senior military personnel and judges. The figure shoots up to 60,000 if the number of police officers, civil servants and teachers who have been suspended or dismissed is added. Twenty-four TV and radio stations have had their broadcast licenses revoked, and controls on freedom of speech have been tightened.

Erdogan has pointed the finger of blame at Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric and political foe he claims is the “mastermind” behind the coup attempt. The so-called Gulen Movement, which has built schools to spread his teachings, has extended its influence into many fields and reportedly has several million supporters.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the failed coup, but Turkey’s government is demanding the United States extradite him. There is little the government can do to avoid criticism that its mass purge of Gulen supporters is a “witch hunt.”

Self-restraint needed

Erdogan has led Turkey for 13 years, first as prime minister and now as president. He apparently wants to sweep aside his opponents and speed up moves to amend the Turkish Constitution to strengthen the authority of the president.

In response to a call by Erdogan, many Turkish citizens took to the streets and blocked the attempted coup by rebellious members of the military. Some people even risked their lives to defend democracy. If Erdogan simply steps up his crackdown even though the coup has been suppressed, he likely will lose some of his supporters.

U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned Erdogan and quite rightly called on him to respect the rule of law. The European Union has warned that Turkey will not be able to join the EU if it reinstates the death penalty.

There is concern that if confusion drags on within the police and military forces, their ability to uphold public safety will decline. At the end of June, a major terrorist attack occurred at the international airport of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

Operations by an international coalition aimed at wiping out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group are at a crucial stage in efforts to take back key locations in Syria and Iraq. Turmoil in Turkey also could deal a blow to international cooperation in these operations.

Turkey is known as a pro-Japan nation, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has built up a relationship of trust with Erdogan. Japanese companies that entered the Turkish market through involvement in the construction of a nuclear power plant and a subway line are concerned about the current situation there. Erdogan will need to exercise more self-restraint.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, 2016)


« 美しい夜景は人間の心を癒してくれます 夜景検定試験のお知らせ | トップページ | ポケモンGO マナーを守って街を歩こう »





« 美しい夜景は人間の心を癒してくれます 夜景検定試験のお知らせ | トップページ | ポケモンGO マナーを守って街を歩こう »