So far Turkey’s Islamist PM Erdogan is following the typical Middle Eastern dictator playbook in response to protests.
1. Try to violently crush the protests
2. Deliver bizarre rants on television blaming social media and foreign disruptive forces
3. Claim Allah is your homie
Erdogan has now reached Stage 3. Stage 4 is using chemical weapons, which arguably Erdogan is also doing.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew back to a Turkey rocked by days of anti-government unrest on Friday and declared before a sea of flag-waving supporters at Istanbul airport: “These protests must end immediately.”
“No power but Allah can stop Turkey’s rise,” he told thousands who gathered in the early hours to greet him in the first pro-Erdogan rally since demonstrations began a week ago.
At Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the center of the protests and now occupied by thousands around the clock, some chanted “Tayyip resign” as they watched a broadcast of the address. In the capital, Ankara, the Kugulu Park echoed with anti-government slogans, while protesters danced or sang the national anthem.
The decade long pretense in Europe and America that Erdogan was a moderate figure and that his Islamic democracy was a template for the rest of the Muslim world has gone down in flames.
Erdogan is behaving in ways that the media can no longer censor. The protesters have successfully managed to get him to act like a lunatic thug, which is how he has been acting all along, but the protests focused attention on his antics.
The Turkish Summer may not succeed in forcing Erdogan to resign, but it has severely hurt his credibility in America and Europe.