Turkey: Leading MPs and Doctors Question Prime Minister Erdogan’s Sanity

After witnessing Prime Minister Erdogan’s“breakdown” after he exploded into a temper tantrum during a speech of the President of Turkey’s Bar Association, Metin Feziogly on May 10, leading members of parliament, including doctors, commented on the prime ministers health, reports Aydinlik Daily.

ErdoganErdogan has previously been criticized for his inability to tolerate criticism and radical, inconsiderate responses, including last year’s violent crack down on protesters in Gezi Park and numerous public tantrums.

Several of the MPs made public statements to the prime minister’s latest temper tantrum and breakdown in response to the Bar Association’s criticism, sharing their concerns that the incident shows that Erdogan’s unstable mental condition might drag the whole country into turmoil any minute now.

Aydinlik Daily quotes Dr. Aytun Ciray the Deputy President of Turkey’s largest opposition party CHP commenting on the fact that Erdogan may run for the presidency as saying:

The Prime Minister loses his temper quite quickly and such a person cannot be president. A president who cannot control his anger can get Turkey into all sorts of troubles, considering the fact that a president is also the chief commander of the army. We all saw Erdoğan’s behaviour during the State Council’s ceremony. He respects neither the public nor the presidency. As a doctor, I do not think Erdoğan is in his right mind. A psychiatrist had better study him.”

CHP Deputy President Professor Dr. Haluk Koc, for his part, was quoted as commenting on Erdogan’s tantrum and breakdown:

“I told you 10 years ago that Erdoğan was sick. He cannot manage his anger. He is in fear and trembling, which is why he is unable to act rationally. This is what it was about at the ceremony. He thinks that he owns the state. He wants to be president, prime minister, shaykh al-islam and AKP president, all at the same time. He loses it whenever he receives criticism. He is in a dreadful psychologic state. He is even afraid of people around him. He must be examined by professionals.”

Emine Ülker Tarhan, an MP for the CHP from Akara commented on the prime minister’s inability to listen and lack of judgement and rationality, saying:

“That was the evidence of a Prime Minister who listens to himself 24/7 and has no patience to listen to other people. We believe that the head of the state must be able to use his judgement rationally, but it seems impossible for him to run the country in such a state of mind since he does not have the patience to listen to others.”

The three are not the only ones who have drawn the psychological stability of the prime minister into question. The fact that leading Turkish MPs set political protocol aside and stress the need for Prime Minister Erdogan to be examined by professionals is, indeed alarming and does raise questions about national security.

The Sick man of Turkey

16th March 2014 – By . The Turkish Medical Association (TTB, or “Türk Tabipleri Birliği” in Turkish) released a statement Saturday passing considerable judgment on PM’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s controversial reactions over the past year. For those familiar with events since the start of the nationwide anti-government protests of 2013, the 60-year-old independent trade union — covering 80% of Turkey’s medical professionals, & recognized by the World Medical Assoc. — just questioned the mental health of the Turkish prime minister. The full English translation of their 15 March press release reads as follows:

WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT PRIME MINISTER ERDOĞAN’S EMOTIONAL STATE!
“The interest lobby provoked the Gezi events.”
“They drunk alcohol in the Dolmabahçe Mosque.”
“They attacked my headscarved sisters.”

We, as doctors, have been watching with anxiety the polarisation, the marginalisation, and divisive rhetoric Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been using since the Gezi resistance. We were terrified when we listened to what he said about Berkin Elvan at the Gaziantep election rally yesterday. Normally, nobody would try to steer two families who lost their children against each other. Normally, nobody would declare a child aged fifteen who was hit in the head [with a teargas canister] by the police on his way to buy bread and who died after fighting for his life for 269 days, a terrorist. Normally, nobody would distort the truth about marbles put in a child’s grave and call them “steel balls.” Normally, nobody would get a mother — who lost her child only two days ago — booed at an election rally. We are doctors. We know about thousands of different states of mind and the emotional states of a human being. We are worried about Prime Minister Erdoğan’s emotional state. We are extremely worried. We are worried for him, for the people around him, and for our country. We are sharing our concern with the public. – The Central Committee of the Turkish Medical Association
In other words, (if the EU or U.S. are watching) the most authoritative medical body in the land just affirmed what at least 50% of Turkey already believes: that the emperor has no clothes.

From: http://istanbuldispatches.com/2014/03/16/the-sick-man-of-turkey/

Turkish teen injured in anti-govt protests dies

11th March 2014 – A teenager who fell into a coma after being hit by a tear gas canister during mass anti-government protests last year died at an Istanbul hospital on Tuesday, his family said.

“To our people: We lost Berkin Elvan today at 7am. Condolences to us all,” his family said in a message on Twitter. After his death, family supporters outside the Istanbul hospital began pelting a police minibus with objects and the police responded with tear gas. They had also used tear gas yesterday to disperse a crowd keeping vigil at the hospital.

Berkin was walking to buy bread when he was hit on the head by a tear gas canister fired by police as mass anti-government protests swept Istanbul in June 2013. He was 14 at the time. Berkin’s story – he spent 268 days in a coma – gripped the nation and became a symbol of the heavy-handed tactics used by police to reign in the biggest demonstrations that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had faced since coming to power in 2003.

The protests started as a small environmentalist movement to save an Istanbul park from being razed. They snowballed into a nationwide wave of protests against Mr Erdogan, who critics say had become increasingly authoritarian. The teenager’s death brought the toll from the unrest to at least eight including a policeman. The protests saw an estimated 2.5 million people take to the streets across Turkey over three weeks to demand Mr Erdogan’s resignation.

More than 8,000 people were injured in the demonstrations, according to the medics.

From: http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/0311/601422-turkey-berkin-elvan/

http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/11/dispatches-turkey-justice-berkin-elvan

Berkin Elvan died at the age if 15

Berkin Elvan died at the age if 15. Shot by a police canister on his way to buy a loaf of bread last summer.

Turkish PM Erdoğan admits meddling in judiciary, trade deals

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has admitted to interfering in the judicial process and defense tenders, following the revelation of wiretapped conversations released online this week, defending his meddling as “natural.”

“Is there anything more natural than for me to ask my justice minister to follow [an ongoing trial]?” he said March 5 in Ankara, a day after a recording appeared depicting him demanding that a court punish Doğan Holding Honorary Chairman Aydın Doğan while speaking to then-Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin. 

“The information given to me by the Capital Markets Board [SPK] was very dangerous. [It contains] parallel structures and a dirty relationship. So it makes it necessary for me to tell [the justice minister] to closely follow [the case],” Erdoğan said during a meeting with representatives of local media outlets.

Erdoğan’s remarks also came after Doğan Holding issued a statement expressing hope that the alleged conversation was not correct and that the tapes were not real. 

“If correct, such a conversation will further shake the judicial system in Turkey beyond creating a personal grievance,” the statement said. 

Erdoğan also commented about another leaked conversation regarding a project to build a national warship, known as the MİLGEM program, in which he advises a businessman who claimed to have been unable to take part in the bid to take legal action.

“There are many tenders and someone could have been excluded and might have appealed to me. And I’m telling them to open a lawsuit because the state ultimately earns millions of dollars out of it,” Erdoğan said regarding the tape.  

“Here it is, they are characterless to the degree of listening to that conversation,” he added, accusing once again the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of conducting the wiretappings. 

“You will infiltrate the state, tap people’s phone conversations, then blackmail them. You will extort people. Leave aside Islam, you cannot see such lowness in any religion,” he said.

Erdoğan also reiterated his threat to uncover many truths regarding the Gülen network. “All the dirty relationships and the dirty actions will be revealed one by one, and their perpetrators will face justice,” he said. 

Erdoğan faces one of the biggest crises in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 11-year rule and has proclaimed that the upcoming local elections on March 30 will be his party’s most important test.

Corruption allegations moved closer to Erdoğan’s family after voice recordings between him and his son were leaked last week onto the Internet. Erdoğan described the recordings, in which he was heard discussing how to hide large sums of money, as a “montage.”

But on March 5, he said he was ready to step down if his ruling party failed to win the most votes in the March 30 elections.

“I am ready to quit politics unless my party emerges as the winner in the elections,” Erdoğan said.

March/05/2014, Hürriyet Daily News

Judge who released graft suspects found to be Erdoğan supporter

A substitute judge who released a number of suspects in a major corruption and bribery investigation case, including Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, is reportedly a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Facebook profile of İslam Çiçek, who ruled to release five corruption suspects on Friday in his role as temporary judge, has raised suspicions over the judge’s objectivity. Çiçek “liked” a Facebook page created by a pro-Erdoğan group. The page is titled “Allah uzun ömür versin Uzun Adam” which translates as “May god grant you a long life, Tall Man” in English. The moniker “Uzun Adam” (Tall Man) is generally used for Erdoğan by his supporters.

Soon after Çiçek’s profile was highlighted in media reports, he completely shut down his Facebook account.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Faruk Bal displayed a photo of Çiçek’s Facebook profile during his speech in Parliament on Saturday. Bal stated that Çiçek’s ruling has been met with concerns and suspicion by the MHP and the Turkish people.

Bal stated: “İslam Çiçek, the judge who released sons of ministers and Zarrab, ‘liked’ something on his Facebook page. What did he like? Let me read it to you: ‘May God grant you a long life, Tall Man.’ This page he liked has a picture of Mr. Recep Tayyip. This is what the Turkish judiciary has come to.”  

Zarrab, a prime suspect in the high-profile Dec. 17 corruption probe, along with the sons of two ministers were among five released from prison pending trial on Friday by Judge Çiçek who was substituting for the main judge as he was on leave.

The court decided to release the suspects, including Barış Güler, the son of former Interior Minister Muammer Güler, and Kaan Çağlayan, son of former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan. The suspects have been banned from leaving the country and will have to check in with the police every week. With the release of the five suspects, none of the detainees in the investigation remain behind bars. Erdoğan has hailed the decision, saying, “Justice has been served.”

2 March 2014 

İSTANBUL, TODAY’S ZAMAN

 

PM’s advisor Akdoğan blasts daily for choice of photo

Fatma Sahin5th Dec 2013 – Advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ankara deputy Yalçın Akdoğan harshly criticized a Turkish daily on Wednesday for its decision to use a photo of Erdoğan and a female minister holding hands in a news story. Writing in his column for the Yeni Şafak daily under the pseudonym Yasin Doğan, Akdoğan accused another daily, Bugün, of a “departure from morals.” After stating that Bugün is well known for its opposition to a government proposal to ban private prep schools, Akdoğan then said that the paper published a photo showing Erdoğan and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin holding hands on its front page on Nov. 30, suggesting that it was part of an effort to discredit the government.

Akdoğan wrote that in the photo Erdoğan is holding hands with all of the municipal candidates in the upcoming elections in March, including Şahin, and that Bugün chose to cut the others out of the picture. “This is openly shooting below the belt, has no merit and is rotten,” Akdoğan wrote, adding that such disrespectful behavior should not be part of any struggle.

Although Akdoğan directed attention to the photo four days after it was published, a group of AK Party supporters and journalists then quickly joined Akdoğan in criticizing Bugün, particularly in social media.

In response to the social media campaign against it, the Bugün daily issued a statement on Wednesday stating that İpek Media Group has never acted in any way contrary to media ethics. Calling it immoral to add a different connotation to the photo of Şahin and Erdoğan during the announcement of mayoral candidates in Ankara, the statement said that arguing that Bugün used the photo with a different purpose reflects a “sick mindset.”

Bugün also noted that the photo that was published in their paper was provided by the state’s official news source, the Anadolu news agency. “Although the photo was used in complete innocence, we apologize if the page layout led to any hard feelings,” the statement read.

In addition, İpek Media Group’s statement addressed the government and said, “Not everyone who does not applaud you is your opponent, and not everyone who criticizes is your enemy.”

The daily said that sometimes the facts are just as they appear and that no other motivation should be sought or attributed, referring to the use of a cropped photo of the prime minister and the minister.

While the daily said that it is a constitutional duty of the media to inform the people, the debate led to further discussions in social media about the degree of government’s involvement in the media.

From: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-333153-pms-advisor-akdogan-blasts-daily-for-choice-of-photo.html

 

Turkey’s Dominant Political Coalition Shows Signs of Fraying

28th Nov 2013 – Series of Initiatives by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Provoke Backlash Ahead of 2014 Elections. Intensifying rivalries between Turkey’s prime minister and segments of his Islamist-rooted ruling party are threatening to fray the largely conservative coalition that has dominated the nation’s politics for more than a decade, just as it prepares for elections next year. Over the past month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched initiatives that prompted a backlash from the Islamists, conservatives, nationalists and liberals who have powered his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, since it swept to power in a 2002 landslide.

Such strife before the March local elections—a litmus test of Mr. Erdogan’s popularity ahead of his expected bid to become Turkey’s first directly elected president next August—is unusual for the AKP alliance. Its discipline helped dislodge Turkey’s military-backed, secularist establishment, which had ruled the country since it was established in 1923.

The rifts have emboldened anti-AKP segments of society. Antigovernment demonstrations in the summer that drew millions marked the most significant public challenge yet to Mr. Erdogan. But they have yet to boost the divided opposition or dent the government’s popularity. “Explicit criticism of Erdogan from inside the party has increased and surfaced in public for the first time in 11 years, which may have an impact on his performance in the presidential election,” said Naz Masraff, a London-based analyst at Eurasia Group, a political and economic risk consultancy. “But it doesn’t improve the prospects for opposition parties or undermine the power of AKP in the March local elections.”

Mr. Erdogan’s most contentious recent move was a campaign launched two weeks ago to shut down the nation’s private college-preparatory schools. More than a quarter of these schools are associated with the loosely knit, world-wide religious movement known as Cemaat, or the congregation, and called Hizmet, or service, by its followers.

It is led by Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive, influential Muslim cleric from Turkey who lives in Pennsylvania.

The moderate Islamic movement is estimated to have at least a million followers including AKP lawmakers, prosecutors and police in Turkey. They have helped underpin the AKP’s nearly 12 years in power.

Last year, Mr. Erdogan warned about the power of Turkey’s judiciary, saying it had started to resemble “a state within the state.” The remark was also seen as a suggestion that the Gulen congregation wields vast influence over the judiciary. The prime minister’s relations with the group cooled visibly since February 2012, when prosecutors sought to question a top confidant—spy chief Hakan Fidan. Mr. Erdogan moved swiftly to pass legislation making key bureaucrats off-limits to the judiciary.

Continues: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304281004579221980073239464