Tuesday, March 15, 2016

More authoritarianism in Turkey

The big concern with the "war on terror" is the danger that the definition of "terrorism" will be expanded from people who use violence to oppose the government to people who do it peacefully and democraticly. And now, exactly that is happening in Turkey:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it is necessary to redefine terrorism to include those who support such acts.

He said there was no difference between "a terrorist holding a gun or a bomb and those who use their position and pen to serve the aims" of terrorists.

Mr Erdogan added that this could be a journalist, a lawmaker or an activist.

What does that look like in practice? Academics signing petitions critical of government policy are arrested for "terrorist propaganda". Journalists who expose government wrongdoing are prosecuted for "espionage". Independent newspapers are taken over at gunpoint and turned into government propaganda organs. Classifying your political opponents as "terrorists" is a hallmark of authoritarianism and tyranny. And the longer democratic nations stay signed up to America's war, the greater the danger for democracy.