The impossibility of Turkey bashing Saudi Arabia

The impossibility of Turkey bashing Saudi Arabia

This is what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said about the recent execution of 47 convicts by Saudi Arabia: “47 people have been sentenced to death. Turkey does not have the death sentence, but the executions in Saudi Arabia are an internal legal matter. In Egypt, nearly 1,000 death sentences were handed out. Hey world: Why are you not talking about that? [Mohamed Morsi] was a president chosen by 52 percent of the nation’s votes. A man who carried the title of president was sentenced to death. Was he a terrorist?”

Erdoğan is remembering wrongly. First of all, Saudi Arabia topped the list of countries that did not condemn the death sentences in Egypt. On the other hand, all the world’s democracies reacted against the judicial charade in Egypt and asked for the immediate withdrawal of the decisions.

But no word came from the supporters of military coup leader and current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In fact, they supported al-Sisi with billions of dollars.

Secondly, just like Morsi was not a terrorist, the Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr who has just been executed was not a terrorist. On the contrary, he was against armed struggle and in favor of peace and peaceful protests.

What’s more, the execution of a peaceful man of religion, in such a way that could spark a sectarian war in the Middle East, cannot be considered just an internal legal issue of Saudi Arabia. We do not live in such a world. Defending human rights has nothing to do with borders.

But I can understand Erdoğan. He just can’t bring himself criticize the Saudis.

When Saudi Arabia backed al-Sisi he could not criticize them. By the same token, he cannot do the same today either.

Yeni Akit and journalism

Ertuğrul Gazi Özkürkçü, the head of the press section of the General Chief of Staff, recently called the son of Hasan Karakaya, the deceased editor-in-chief of right-wing newspaper Yeni Akit, to offer his condolences.

According to news of the conversation published in Yeni Akit, Özkürkçü said Karakaya “left a space in the Turkish press that cannot be filled.”

We cannot be sure whether he actually said this.

But we can say that Karakaya’s former colleagues in Yeni Akit will be able fill in the space he left.

In the same news it was claimed that Özkürkçü praised Karakaya for “never compromising even in the toughest times.”

Members of the General Staff, which has had certain problems with Yeni Akit in the past that even went as far as court, were angry that such an expression was used by Özkürkçü in the condolence message.

However, we later found out that he did not actually say anything like that. We learned that this expression made its way into Yeni Akit’s report “by mistake”!

It is easy to understand how such a huge but fake sentence found its place in the report; after all, Yeni Akit’s approach to journalism comes from Karakaya’s tradition. 

Indeed, Karakaya himself often used to make such “creative contributions” to the news. It seems that those he educated will suitably fill the space he left.

May God pardon his sins.