Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Actually, when it comes to issues pertaining to Armenians and Kurds, the AKP provides a much more progressive face than either of the main opposition parties. The latter group has provided a lot of support to the AKP over the years--part of the reason why the party has managed to retain its hold on power for so long.
But then, the Prime Minister tacked unexpectedly. He began to channel the tough guy who took down the military and other enemies in the Ergenekon trials. He began referring to the Gülen cemaat in terms that were very similar to those used to describe the Ergenekon suspects. It sounded very much like the 'criminal gang' that had been planning a 'coup' over the previous decade, no?
Well, if I remember correctly there were plenty of folks in this country--including a number of people who write about Turkey professionally--who were perfectly willing to buy the 'organized criminal gang' spiel that Erdoğan was spinning just a few years ago in relation to the Ergenekon trials. So who could blame the Prime Minister for going back to that well again now?
Charlie Rose is really a softie--I can see why Erdoğan likes talking to him. The Prime Minister was able to repeat the same old stories regarding Gezi--that the protesters were attacking police, throwing molotov cocktails, and other misleading depictions--without being challenged. Other than when it came to the Armenians--a topic of apparent interest to Rose--there were few follow-up questions. Erdogan was allowed to say whatever he wanted.
Erdoğan's no dummy--life in his neighborhood is dangerous enough. With so many difficulties on the country's borders, maintaining good relations with Russia is likely a high priority for his government right now.
By the end of the interview, I'd started to come around on Rose's handling of Erdogan. Maybe, when it comes to someone like Erdoğan, Rose's approach just might be best. Rather than getting into a shout-fest with the Prime Minister, it's more revealing to just let the man talk. You end up hearing a lot of different things--not all of which make a lot of sense--but you know it won't be boring.
Anyway, see it for yourself here.
More links, commentary and other stuff can be found poolside at the Borderlands Lounge.