Under the despot Recep Erdoğan, the wonderful country of Turkey is becoming a nightmare, with people arrested for insulting the President (this includes a former Miss Turkey), the media muzzled, social media shut down when it calls attention to the President’s malfeasance, and an increasing censorship that is going to take a once-enlightened Nation back to an Islamist theocracy.
The latest incident, as reported by ClarionProject and Middle East Eye, involves the deportation of a Turkish fashion designer from Cyprus for making an anti-regime video, and his beating and arrest as he arrived in Turkey,
The fashion designer is Barbaros Şansal, 59, who made a video deemed by the regime to be “insulting to Turkey.” In Cyprus at the time, he was deported back to his homeland, and, in a really horrible move, the government broadcast when his plane was going to land in Istanbul:
Sansal, an outspoken critic of the ruling Islamist AK party [AKP], was forced out of the self-declared state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus after making a video on New Year’s Eve deemed to be insulting to Turkey.
In the video, which was uploaded before the jihadi attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people [you can see the video, with English translation here], Sansal rails against the “scores of journalists in prison,” “corruption and bribes” and the increased Islamization of the country:
While scores of journalists are in prison, while children are sexually harassed, raped, while corruption and brides are everywhere, radical Islamist are distributing shit to you in the streets. Are you still celebrating the New Year? I am not … You know what I will do? I will drink all the drinks in this room and bar. I will drink all of them! Will not leave you a single drop. I will take all my dollars to Switzerland. I will not leave a single penny [in Turkey]. OK? On the other hand, I am in Cyprus. The [North] Cyprus is now in the New Year, as they follow Turkey because of pressure. There is still an hour for the Cyprus Republic to enter the New Year. I will go there and I will celebrate there as well. I will drink there, too. I will drink everything. OK, baby? I am not even kissing you. You carry on with your celebration … in this disgrace, misery and dirt. Drown in your shit, Turkey!
On his Facebook page, Ari Murad, a Kurdish human rights activist and filmmaker, reported that “after the video went viral, Sansal was detained by Turkish Cypriot authorities and then extradited to Turkey. While Sansal was being ‘extradited’ to Turkey, Turkish state news agency AA informed readers of the flight airline and hour of departure.”
Other media picked up the gauntlet as well. A tweet by CNN Turk’s presenter Beste Uyanik [JAC: Now deleted] said Sansal “must be cut down to size” and “taught his limits,” when he arrives in Turkey.
What happened is shown in the video below. Sansal was summarily attacked and bloodied by a group of “baggage handlers” (probably government goons) as he walked down the stairs, was beaten viciously, and then dragged to a waiting police car. All for criticizing the government in a video.
And it’s absolutely unbelievable that the government itself would tell people when Sansal would arrive. That’s deliberate encouragement of vigilante justice.
He wound up looking like this:
And yesterday he was charged with “inciting hatred and animosity among the public” and for “insulting” the public.
I weep for Turkey, as would Kemal Atatürk, the architect of Turkish democracy and secularism. There’s no way Turkey will ever get into the EU, but I suppose it doesn’t care. What has happened is that a petty tyrant has taken over a vibrant country, and is dismantling all the progressivism started by Atatürk and maintained by (some) regimes. The ban on hijabs in public universities has been lifted, and more and more women are veiling themselves. It is a great pity.