Is Erdoğan not welcome anymore?

Published 06.08.2017 21:32
Updated 07.08.2017 01:36

Al Monitor's Turkey Pulse page says, "Turkey's pervasive president may be wearing out his welcome." Author Pınar Kizir Tremblay is a 43-year-old graduate student at UCLA. She is also listed as a "visiting scholar" of political science at California State Polytech, Pomona.

Ms. Tremblay writes for the T24 website in Turkish. One of her remarkable acts was an article inviting readers to vote for the People's Democratic Party (HDP), whose co-chairmen are being tried for aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist organization. One of them has already lost her status as a member of parliament after she was found guilty in court.

Ms. Tremblay compares President Erdoğan to Hollywood celebrities and opines that he is suffering overexposure fatigue: "Celebrities sometimes suffer the consequences of overexposure, when their audiences turn away, tired of seeing them everywhere. Turkey's ubiquitous president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appears to be feeling the effects of something similar: Erdogan fatigue."

To support her thesis, she cites an article by daily Hürriyet's Nuray Babacan on two public opinion polls reportedly commissioned by the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) after the referendum on constitutional reforms and the "Justice" march of the main opposition party from Ankara to Istanbul. Ms. Tremblay distorts the numbers reported by Babacan. According to Babacan, 35 percent of the young people (what age groups were considered young?) surveyed said they voted "no" in the referendum; Ms. Tremblay writes "Only 35 percent of the AKP youth voted for the constitutional amendments," and, based on her distortion, she jumps to the following conclusion:

"The long-dreaded truth has become clear: Erdogan lost the support of urban youth between the ages of 16 and 25."

Ms. Tremblay seems to be distorting other numbers as well. Hürriyet reports that half of the people surveyed believe in the justice systems in the country, while the other half do not. Ms. Tremblay reports it as follows: "Even more worrisome for Erdogan is that 76 percent of the population polled doesn't trust the justice system."

It is true that many people lost their confidence in the courts after learning that the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) sneaked its members into the armed forces, police and the justice system. After the cult's unsuccessful coup bid last year, tens of thousands of their members have been cleansed from the public sphere. Does Ms. Tremblay ever mention this traumatic event? Yes she does when she refers to the results of "Erdogan fatigue" on the international arena: "Germany and Greece are only a few of the countries that refuse to extradite Turkish soldiers and other alleged coup participants."

The word "alleged" may give the impression that Ms. Tremblay is always careful with her facts. Well, not so when it comes to twisting positive points. For instance she writes, "The financial and human cost of Turkish involvement in Syria is still unknown," despite the fact that every penny of either defending the country across the border assaults of Daesh and PKK terrorists or providing shelter to Syrians fleeing from the civil war have been accounted for. She says, "After Turkey suffered sanctions for shooting down a Russian jet, Erdogan […] still hasn't even managed to get Moscow's permission to resume tomato exports to Russia," despite the fact that thanks to Erdoğan the Russo-Turkish trade has surpassed the pre-sanctions level.

One point for which we should credit her is that Turkey was not able to convince the United States to stop providing military aid to the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. But does Ms. Tremblay remind her readers that what she calls the "Kurdish People's Protection Units" (YPG) were what Turkey calls the extension of the PKK terrorist group in Syria? Of course she does not. As if the YPG and its parent organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its new sibling the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are nationally or internationally recognized legitimate ethnic groups, Ms. Tremblay refers to them as Kurdish forces. But yes, the U.S. provides arms and military provisions to those terrorists claiming that they are doing their best on the ground against Daesh. Whether the YPG is really doing anything needs answering, since Daesh terrorists are simply disappearing from the face of the earth without leaving any dead bodies behind.

Ms Tremblay will not influence anybody in Turkey. But the problem is with those who are looking for support for their claims, such as "Turkey can no longer be fully relied on," as Michael Rubin claims. His source for this "fact" is, in his words, "analysts and former military officials." Next time, Mr. Rubin might think that in Ms. Tremblay he has another analyst he can rely on to base his outrageous assessments.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Disclaimer: All rights of the published column/article are reserved by Turkuvaz Media Group. The entire column/article cannot be used without special permission even if the source is shown.
However, quoted column/article can be partly used by providing an active link to the quoted news. Please click for details..