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Update on Turkey


Just got off the phone with Ankara: Police have now arrested seven people in the assassination of Ozbilgin. The investigation has placed a few of them at the bombings of the center-left Cumhuriyet newspaper headquarters earlier this week. The head of the Turkish military Hilmi Ozkok—a relative dove in the Turkish spectrum—is calling for mass protests to continue, and contacts there are saying it a near-certainty that there will be early elections. Erdogan’s and the AKP’s statements that all of this must be plots of outsiders are falling on deaf ears. Turks have had enough of their government’s unwillingness to take responsibility for its actions and its incitement. What some Turks are asking, though, is why the U.S. media is paying so little attention to the crisis. This isn’t just an instance of Turks being Turkey-centric. But it seems that when Islamists threaten to make inroads, U.S. media is all over the story. But when liberals fight back, there is silence. This is not only true in Turkey, but extends to general media sympathy toward Islamism. Take the case of “moderate Islamist” intellectual Tariq Ramadan: How many stories and petitions have there been protesting the revocation of his visa to the United States? And yet absolute silence on the case of Issam Abu Issa, a liberal Palestinian anti-corruption activist, who had his visa revoked by the State Department on the request of the late Yasir Arafat.


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