Erdogan’s lack of accountability risks Turkey’s security
At the end of 2013, there was a major corruption scandal in Turkey. We listened to a series of tapes over YouTube and although not much came out of it, there was one that I could never forget. A senior AKP member and a police chief were talking. The policeman was trying to explain that what the AKP guy wanted him to do was unlawful.
At that point, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s man uttered the sentence, “You do whatever needs to be done, and we will pass the laws to cover you, do not worry about rules or regulations, we will take care of it”.
As Turkey slithered from a crippled democracy into an authoritarian and a fascist system, I recalled this sentence frequently. Laws became arbitrary, while truth became invisible. We do not know the inflation rate, COVID-19 infection rate, or even poverty rate in Turkey.
Today, even staunch AKP supporters find it difficult to trust state figures on the economy, even though Erdogan tells us the economy is booming, we are the best in the world, those who can still make a living buy American dollars as soon as they get paid. The truth has been the first victim of Erdogan’s power grab, and justice has fallen alongside with it.
Erdogan’s government is an endless law generating machine. There are so many presidential decrees, even the law professors cannot keep track. And more than new decrees, there are decrees that revise the previous decrees, so if you want to understand the recent one, you must dig through two or three other decrees, regulations, or omnibus bills. Most news agencies have simply given up. Journalists that explain the truth and manage to get it out frequently end up at court and sometimes in jail.
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