Follow by Email

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Postcard From Turkey": Dead Wrong!

Does Thomas Friedman speak Turkish? No, but that does not stop him from breezing into Istanbul and mistakenly describing the nature of protests throughout Turkey. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Postcard From Turkey" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/opinion/friedman-postcard-from-turkey.html?_r=0), Thomas Friedman writes:

"Having witnessed the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2011, I was eager to compare it with the protests by Turkish youths here in Taksim Square in 2013. They are very different. The Egyptians wanted to oust President Hosni Mubarak. Theirs was an act of 'revolution.' The Turks are engaged in an act of 'revulsion.' They aren’t (yet) trying to throw out their democratically elected Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. What they’re doing is calling him out. Their message is simple: 'Get out of our faces, stop choking our democracy and stop acting like such a pompous, overbearing, modern-day Sultan.'"

Turks "aren't (yet) trying to throw out their democratically elected Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan"? An act of "revulsion"? Is that all it is? According to the BBC on June 7 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22809430):

"Mr Erdogan responded to calls for his resignation by referring to his election victory in 2011 when he took 50% of the vote.

'They say I am the prime minister of only 50%. It's not true. We have served the whole of the 76 million from the east to the west,' he told the crowd.'

It was the first major show of support for Mr Erdogan following a week of protests in which his opponents have called for him to resign."

As reported by Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/10/us-turkey-protests-idUSBRE94U0J920130610):

"Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned protesters who have taken to the streets across Turkey demanding his resignation that his patience has its limits and compared the unrest with an army attempt six years ago to curb his power."

According to The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/10122409/Mother-of-Turkish-protester-killed-in-Ankara-Erdogan-must-resign.html):

"The mother of Ethem Sarisuluk, one of five people killed in a fortnight of protests in Turkey, tells Justin Vela that the protests must continue until Prime Minister Erdogan resigns."

As reported by Haaretz (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/with-one-voice-they-yelled-erdogan-resign.premium-1.527192):

"For the last two days, Istanbul’s main center, Taksim, and its surrounding areas, have been under siege due to a massive peaceful protest. Thousands of canisters of tear gas have been fired at hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters throughout the city, together with water-cannons spraying tainted water that burns the skin, all while the protesters screamed in unison, 'Erdogan Resign!'"

And as reported by Friedman's own newspaper (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/world/middleeast/turkish-leader-agrees-to-meet-protest-organizers.html):

"The protesters later widened their grievances into a broad rebuke of what they consider the authoritarian style of Mr. Erdogan and his political party, which is supported by religious conservatives in Turkey. The protesters have demanded the resignation of governors and security chiefs in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, the punishment of abusive police officers and the release of people detained in the protests. Some have called for Mr. Erdogan to resign."

Is the message of the Turkish protesters simply, "Get out of our faces, stop choking our democracy and stop acting like such a pompous, overbearing, modern-day Sultan," as Tom would have us believe? Or could it also have to do with the fact that Turkey leads the world in arresting journalists (see: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/02/2013217124044793870.html)?

And as long as we are on the topic of Erdogan, you will recall that when interviewed by Fareed Zakaria in 2012, Obama listed Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as one of his best international friends (http://swampland.time.com/2012/01/19/inside-obamas-world-the-president-talks-to-time-about-the-changing-nature-of-american-power/). Care to comment now, Mr. President?

4 comments:

  1. "Throughout the Muslim Middle East, women are murdered every day by their fathers, brothers and husbands for allegedly bringing shame upon their families."
    Yes, but Barbra Streisand came on her first visit to Israel at the tender age of 71 to attack ... you guess it ... Jews ... for mistreatment of ... women (and of course to collect praises and adoration)
    I think I'll stop commenting here because only unprintable words come to mind.
    Just one thing. Such events make me really sad. Millions of wonderful human beings perished, while ...
    Yes, Jeff, there is evil in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh no, I misplaced my comment again. It was a response to Dowd's column.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We at least have to give her some credit for her stellar performance of 'Avinu Malkeinu'.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YRdIXkHKVNA#!

    An even better, studio version can be herd here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YONAP39jVE

    She'll be giving two concerts at the Bloomfield Stadium later this week - both are sold out.

    Hey, look at it this way - these days, Israel is lucky for whoever it can get without paying them $500K an hour. Most performers have caved into the BDS boycott and would sooner give a concert in war torn Damascus than in Tel-Aviv.

    Better to have Barbra Streisand and Robert De Niro come than the likes of Alice Walker giving
    book-readings of her latest novel "“The Cushion in the Road".
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/adl-alice-walker-unabashedly-infected-with-anti-semitism/

    ReplyDelete
  4. No, I disagree. And one can't live a day without some primitives? Are Israelis that empty? That snobbish? That stupid? It has to Hollywood? They have Russian immigrants. Something tell me that half of them can sing. Well.
    The entire Streisand's behavior and this last visit are despicable.

    ReplyDelete