Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party vowed to annihilate Tweeter “slander” that “is much more dangerous that a vehicle loaded with a bomb.”
Ali Sahin, the vice chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper as saying, “People must be held responsible for the content they write. If as a result of a tweet they write, people loot shops and burn vehicles, the one who wrote it must bear its costs.
“A tweet containing lies and slander is much more dangerous that a vehicle loaded with a bomb. The explosion of a vehicle loaded with a bomb would be limited, but a tweet filled with lies and slander can lead to a climate of conflict.”
The party took the cue from Erdogan, who has blamed the Twitter social network for the success of opposition elements to stage mass protests that are well into their second week.
Isn’t censoring Twitter a violation of rights?
Not at all. The opposite is true, according to the party’s logic.
“Sahin said people’s personal rights, legal personalities of companies and public institutions were being attacked while commercial activities were harmed due to news spreading on social media,” Hurriyet reported.
Sahin added, “The elected government is being conspired against, there is an intention to topple the government through social media and people are being sworn at. All these things should have a cost, a sanction. Cursing at people is not freedom… Social media must be brought under order and regularity. Such a draft law can be considered.”
Now it all makes sense.
Anyone wanting to topple Erdogan’s government and cursing it through social media is violating the freedom of others, especially that of Erdogan to remain at the helm. Got it?
Erdogan is doing his best to prove to the world that he is an ego-centric power seeker.
An article for CBS Marketwatch by freelance journalist Craig Mellow described Erdogan as a prisoner of his own desires. “Like other transformational leaders who came before him, Prime Minister Erdogan in his third term now looks more like a captive of power than an agent wielding it for the nation’s good,” Mellow wrote.
With one speech one day last week, Erdogan managed to sink the country’s stock market by 5 percent. That’s pretty good work for one day.
As the Jewish Press reported on Sunday, Erdogan might have been able to let the protest movement die from lack of oxygen had he talked them eye-to-eye, as he finally plans to do on Tuesday, instead of calling them vandals and terrorists.
“Erdogan decried what he called the ’interest rate lobby,’ which ‘thinks they can threaten us with speculation on the stock exchange,” Mellow wrote. “That lobby duly dumped more Turkish shares, bringing the decline in the benchmark Istanbul Stock Exchange National 100 Index to 15% since the protests began.
Mellow praised Erdogan for his first years in office, when he turned Turkey around and created one of the world’s healthiest baking systems and ushered in a period of tremendous economic growth.
“Along the way, Erdogan laid down what looked like a promising blueprint for a modern Islamic state that honored its own traditions without sending secret police house-to-house to enforce them,” Mellow continued. “Turkey’s reputation changed. No longer the butt of Europe, Turkey became its vibrant oasis….
“But… Erdogan in his third term now looks more like a captive of power than an agent wielding it for the nation’s good. A la Putin, he is constructing an end-run around term limits that would allow him to stay in charge of Turkey by being elected president….
Recep Erdogan is teetering on the edge of a classic tragedy, wherein a powerful and potentially positive character is done in by a moral flaw that is revealed by extraordinary events.”
But at least Erdogan will make sure to make Turkey safe from those awful Tweets that can cause car bomb explosions.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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