Reuben Abati: Let’s talk Turkey about Turkey

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President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

I was shocked by the trenchant reaction to my piece on the July 15 attempted coup in Turkey from at least two persons. The piece titled “Nigerians and the Failed Coup in Turkey” (The Guardian, Sunday, July 17) had fetched a mail and direct messages from a concerned Nigerian who objected to my description of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a bad guy- an intolerant, arrogant, temperamental dictator who after July 15 could become even more authoritarian. The fellow praised Erdogan and spoke glowingly about how well the Turkish economy has fared under his watch. I also got a list of current economic indicators on Turkey sent to me.

I assured the fellow that I was not in any way in support of any anti-democratic move, and that the article was not about the Turkish economy but Erdogan’s politics and leadership. I added that while he was perfectly entitled to his admiration of Erdogan, I had no reasons to change my views and that he should beware of Embassy propaganda. It was a polite, private discussion. But there was nothing polite about the other reaction that caught my attention. It was in form of a scurrilous, very badly written press statement titled “Reuben Abati Should Keep His Stinking Pen” by a so-called Center for Human Rectitude, posted on Facebook, and signed by one Yusuf Jimoh Aweda, with the pompous title of a Director.

Aweda’s abusive statement praises Erdogan, defends Turkish Airline, and lists Erdogan’s achievements as the President of Turkey. I smiled, wondering why Aweda is yet to relocate to Turkey. Since the failed coup, President Erdogan has behaved true to prediction. Over 15, 000 persons have been detained in connection with the coup. More than 140 media houses have been shut down. Arrest …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper