After Cracking Down On Tens Of Thousands Of Enemies, Erdogan Says He's Dropping His 2000 Lawsuits Over Insults

from the say-what-now? dept

For the last few months we've poked fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ridiculously thin skin. As we noted, he had filed upwards of 100 lawsuits per month against people for "insulting" him -- and this included things as ridiculous as posting a meme on social media that compared Erdogan to Gollum.

Of course, more recently (as you've heard) there was a coup attempt in Turkey, which failed, and Erdogan has spent the last few weeks basically using the coup as an excuse to crush all his enemies.

In the first 48 hours, around 7,000 people were detained, arrested, or dismissed from their jobs. That number has been rising constantly, reaching around 66,000 people from all layers of society, but consisting mostly of government employees.

Add to that the family members of those arrested and dismissed and you will reach a number of 250,000-300,000 potential new opponents, most of whom were not involved with the "other" side or had no direct links with it. The memory of the killings, the hatred, and violence, the split in the army and government agencies about who was on which side -- all of this is truly traumatic for the Turkish nation.

And now, having done that -- including having shut down much of the media in the country and arresting a ton of journalists, Erdogan is apparently in a good mood. He has announced that in a "show of good will," he's going to drop those thousands of cases against people for insulting him.

Uh... thanks?

Of course, he notes that this is a "one-off," meaning he can start bringing more cases pretty soon. Besides, it hardly seems like a gesture of goodwill when it follows destroying the lives of 100s of thousands of people to further entrench your own political power and interests. Of course, he also has a message to anyone with an opinion on all of this:
"Some people give us advice. They say they are worried. Mind your own business! Look at your own deeds."
Yeah. Perhaps Erdogan should look at his own deeds as well.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 29 Jul 2016 @ 6:09pm

    Tattered silk glove over iron fist

    I'm guessing this is a (laughably obvious) attempt to demonstrate that he can show 'mercy' to those that oppose him as well as brutality, an attempt to disguise his tyrannical, thuggish nature. That it comes at the same time as he's busy purging 'his' country of those that might have stood up to him makes it a pathetic attempt, but I suppose he figures no-one will be willing to stand up and call him on it at this point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2016 @ 8:07pm

      Re: Tattered silk glove over iron fist

      I don't think he can grasp the concept of mercy. His previous lawsuits were a dragnet to scoop up all his detractors. Hoping to get serious enemies some unwitting protestors got caught up. He just didn't realize the more he sued over trivial insults made him the target of more such insults making him sue more people to root out more enemies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 1:16am

      Re: Tattered silk glove over iron fist

      With a lot of western critique coming down on him, he has to show capable of acting "democratically" and send at least some of the people he has cleansed to court.

      If you fill the courts with useless defamation lawsuits, you will end up stalling that opportunity. To be able to satisfy EU and US demands for some kind of legal action before execution, he has to clear the courts for his theater to begin.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 30 Jul 2016 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re: Tattered silk glove over iron fist

        yeah, that and, um, he threw the 2000 lawsuit defendants in jail; so, yeah, no need for the lawsuits themselves any longer...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve Zissou (profile), 29 Jul 2016 @ 7:52pm

    'a one off gesture of goodwill' sounds like something an angry dictator would say

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2016 @ 8:15pm

    No need to keep suing the people if you've used the coupe attempt to thrown most of the people in jail and scare them into not speaking out again. Helps when the media is all Erdogans people now as well so they won't report anything other than what he wants them to say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Jul 2016 @ 9:28pm

    After the July 20 Plot...

    ...Hitler used the plot as an excuse to prune the ranks of about seven thousand individuals, few of which actually had to do with the attack. Likewise, the Gestapo and the SS took advantage of the incident to accuse their enemies, many of whom were not merely executed, but killed brutally to make an example of them. Hanging from piano wire was popular. It was a good time to be in the piano wire market.

    Great moments in history!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2016 @ 10:39pm

      Re: After the July 20 Plot...

      Hitler was all too familiar with plots, he tried to overthrow the government himself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 1:23am

      Re: After the July 20 Plot...

      Stalin... Trotsky... The great purge...

      If you dig in history it is brimming of tyrants solidifying their power by purging percieved plots against them. It actually seems like one of the most telltale signs of a dictators, szars, sultans or kings to purge opposition by force.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 6:56am

      Re: After the July 20 Plot...

      Nothing like a failed coup to help a real coup flourish. I wonder if there are any "fake" failed coups orchestrated to support real coups out there.

      Of course, nowadays you don't need weapons to instate a coup, just look at Brazil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jul 2016 @ 12:12am

    Why waste the courts time after you've had the persons who insulted you rounded up, tortured, & worse?

    We should be more afraid he is going to decide this is a faster way to handle things & start ordering strikes elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 30 Jul 2016 @ 12:51am

    An example others should follow?

    This would be an appropriate time to ask Gollum to forgive that guy who compared him to some politician...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 30 Jul 2016 @ 3:35am

    This reminded me of:

    "Conan, what is best in life?"

    "Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jul 2016 @ 12:36pm

      Conan the Barbarian (the 1982 movie) wasn't the first.

      Allegedly from Genghis Khan (though considered out of character by some historians) The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Norahc, 30 Jul 2016 @ 3:51am

    Travel plans

    I still wouldn't make any travel plans to Turkey if I was you, Mike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Tejat, 30 Jul 2016 @ 4:38am

      Re: Travel plans

      I still wouldn't make any travel plans to Turkey if I was you, Mike.

      Why not? I'm sure it's perfectly safe. Turkey is a "democracy", remember?
      /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 4:41am

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. Mr. Putin knows that too.
    Trump 2016 :p

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 6:52am

    He is exhibiting all the hallmærks of a dicktator. Yes yes spelling mistake on purpose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 8:09am

    Obviously having thousands of people executed and recording the results to masturbate over later is more entertaining to Erdogan than lawsuits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2016 @ 10:14am

    He's probably already put all of those people in prison by now as "coup participants".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 30 Jul 2016 @ 12:56pm

    Conan's model

    @Mark Wing--
    If you want to see where Robert E Howard got that quote, google: "Genghis Khan joy is in victory".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 30 Jul 2016 @ 8:34pm

    We can do better

    Apparently we haven't turned up the taunting enough.

    Hey Erdogan, saying you look like Gollum is an insult to Gollum!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 30 Jul 2016 @ 10:40pm

    Thanks, Hugo!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 30 Jul 2016 @ 11:11pm

    Thanks

    Thank you Bush and Obama. Bush's lies and warmongering and Obama's incompetence has really contributed to major instability. It's so nice that the US can stir up shit and then return home with an ocean separating them from the chaos. I hope the next coup is successful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 5:12am

      Re: Thanks

      It's not tinfoil hat territory to say that world leaders are to blame for the "instability".

      In fact, the middle east instability started before WWII.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2016 @ 5:28pm

    Those poor Lawyers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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