Others do not, of course. The Gulen movement has been debated for decades now. Erdogan took power 16 years ago, in But there came a decisive break in , when Erdogan accused the Gulenists of plotting against him. Gulenists say they were simply trying to curb the corruption of the AKP-ers. In any case, Erdogan cracked down on the Gulen movement, eventually declaring it a terrorist organization. More on him in due course. In July came a coup attempt in Turkey.
By whom? This is a murky subject. Still others said that Erdogan himself had a hand in the events.
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It did, in a way. Erdogan executed a sweeping, horrific crackdown, arresting hundreds of thousands of people — judges, professors, journalists, everybody — and cementing a personal dictatorship, so common in the world. Last year, a joke made the rounds. A prisoner visits the prison library, requesting a certain book.
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But we do have the author. Erdogan made Fethullah Gulen — who flatly denied any involvement in the coup attempt — a demon figure. Propaganda against Gulen and the Gulen movement is nonstop. It happened in Kosovo, dramatically. Six people — almost all of them teachers — were nabbed and immediately flown to Turkey. A CCTV camera caught one of the kidnappings. Two agents posed as cops, yanking Yusuf Karabina from his car. His wife, Yasemin, knowing what was happening, screamed for help.
To no avail. Before long, her husband and the rest were on the plane to Turkey. They were tortured along the way, of course. And here they will be held to account. Turkish intelligence has operated fairly easily in countries such as Kosovo, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Gabon, and Sudan. It is harder in countries with a sturdier rule of law.
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They did not pull it off. Last summer, the Swiss government issued warrants for their arrest.
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Enes Kanter, the basketball player, was targeted in Indonesia, while on a tour for his charitable foundation. Tipped off at in the morning, he caught the next plane out, which was to Singapore. From there, he went to Romania — where he discovered that the Turkish government had canceled his passport. Helped by the U. Otherwise, he says, it might have ended very badly for him.
Kanter is a Gulenist — a genuine one — and an outspoken critic of the Erdogan regime. His fame as an athlete has protected him, to a degree. He can talk to journalists openly as he has to me and is happy to be quoted. Other Turks abroad, however, are scared to death to be identified.
They have reason to be. They know it could be death — murder — to their families back home. The family of Enes Kanter has paid a price. He has also been put on trial.
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What will happen is not yet clear. The list goes on. Michael Flynn, while advising Donald Trump in the presidential campaign, worked with the Turkish government to this end. And, belatedly, he registered as a foreign agent. Also attending was a former CIA director, R. James Woolsey. Woolsey wanted no part of such activity. Gulen has not been whisked away.
But Erdogan is pressing hard for his extradition. Eric Edelman, who was a U. We do not do this here. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior. If Turkish authorities behave this way in the American capital in broad daylight, imagine what they do at home, or in relative backwaters such as Kosovo. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is prominent in this league. He is. Will others stand up to him, and that league? That is a major question of our time. In This Issue Articles. By Ramesh Ponnuru. By Jim Geraghty. By Madeleine Kearns. On Jacob Rees-Mogg, Brexiteer and upper-crust rebel.
By Jay Nordlinger. The Turkish government and its program of kidnappings. By John J. By Douglas Murray. Trump, Brexit, and the divides deepening between us. Health Care.
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