Turkish President Comes To The US, Pretends That It Can Silence And Attack The Press Like It Does At Home

from the freedom-of-the-press? dept

We've written a whole bunch about the incredibly thin-skinned and litigious President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan took his show on the road to the US this week, and apparently that included pretending that he can treat press in the US as bad as he does at home. Erdogan spoke at the Brookings Institution yesterday, and there were protestors outside. That's not that surprising, but rather than doing what basically anyone else does in that situation and ignore the protestors, Erdogan's security clashed with the protestors and then took it up a notch going after reporters:
A planned speech by the controversial Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan descended into violence and chaos Thursday, with one journalist physically removed from the event site by Turkish security personnel, another kicked by a guard, and a third — a woman — thrown to the sidewalk in front of a Washington think tank where he was to speak.
And then there was this:
Later, a shoving match between what appeared to be a Brookings Institute worker and Turkish security broke out. “I am in charge of this building,” the apparent Brookings employee shouted as the two tangled. A Foreign Policy reporter and others holding cameras outside the event were also scolded by Turkish security. One cameraman was chased across the street by Turkish guards.
Apparently local Washington DC police had to keep explaining to Erdogan's security that they're not in charge and they're not allowed to do what they were doing:
Local Washington D.C. police officers were forced time and again to get between Erdogan’s security forces and journalists and protesters. At one point, an officer placed himself between one of Erdogan’s security guards and a cameraman he was moving to confront, while another angrily confronted several Turkish security guards in the middle of the street, telling them, “you’re part of the problem, you guys need to control yourselves and let these people protest.”
Meanwhile, inside, Erdogan played ignorant claiming that he has no problem at all with "criticism" but rather is just deeply offended by "insults."
How one distinguishes between "criticism" and "insults" is -- of course -- left unclear.

Filed Under: free speech, freedom of the press, recep tayyip erdogan, turkey


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Apr 2016 @ 7:23am

    Re:

    And he would probably only be offended by the latter. Erdogan has a vision of uniting the middle eastern power-structure and the european after he has been humiliated repeatedly by Europe in terms of potential membership of EU. He has gone from that secular and liberal position and has been inspired by autocrats:
    - Use history as a prism for today: Unite people in nationalism and use history selectively to defend laws.
    - It is good to have common enemies to better be able to push for concentration of powers
    - Making an election a question of for or against "the leader" is so much easier to win since fear of change is a powerful force
    - The easiest way to influence people is to control the information they are getting
    etc.

    Erdogan has basically pushed in the same direction as Muscowy. Only difference is the timeline.

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