“Istanbul — THE virtual control he already has of a majority of Turkey’s newspapers and TV stations apparently isn’t enough for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Friday, with the zeal of its despotic leader, his government seized my paper, Today’s Zaman, and its parent, the Turkish-language Zaman, which is the highest-circulating daily in the country. Together, these titles were two of the few remaining independent voices inside Turkey — and Today’s Zaman, in particular, was a reliable English-language news source for diplomats, academics and expatriates.From Our AdvertisersOn Friday, a government-controlled court appointed trustees to take over the newspapers in what amounts to a politically motivated assault. At midnight, protesters faced tear gas and water cannons as riot police stormed our Istanbul headquarters.Continue reading the main storyRelated in Opinion Editorial: Democracy’s Disintegration in TurkeyMARCH 7, 2016The authorities used power tools to force open the iron gate to the building. The following day, our Internet connection was cut off to stop staff members from working on a special edition about the takeover. Since then, the authorities have been unplugging the newspapers’ servers, destroying our digital archive.”
I think we should get tough with Turkey’s Erdogan. I have no idea how yet. I am fine with others going to war with him. I support an EU military invasion of Turkey to overthrow the new dictator, and establish Kurdistan. Kurdistan oil and gas revenues could help pay for the war.
On a more serious note, the EU should use Erdogan’s apparent desire to join the EU as the carrot to require his retrenchment from dictatorship, the release of political prisoners, the reopening of a free press, and some form of autonomy for the Kurds. Unfortunately, the control Turkey has over the flow of refugees into Europe from Syria and other countries in distress gives him the upper hand. The Europeans might have to actually act like a Union, but their choices are limited. Could they pay Greece to house and feed several million refugees? Given the corruption in Greece, it might be cheaper for then to invade Turkey, and nation build.