— The four-year investigation into an alleged plot to overthrow Turkey’s government just keeps getting bigger. But as police arrest more and more journalists accused of aiding the coup plot, press freedoms groups are expressing alarm.
With more than 50 reporters currently behind bars in Turkey, activists argue freedom of expression is under fire in a country that is often promoted as a model Muslim democracy for the turbulent Middle East.
THE DIRECTION OF TURKEY’ S FOREIGN POLICY & STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Written by Michael Rubin *
For much of his first term in office, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pursued a balancing act: He sought to reinvigorate ties to the Islamic world while, committing simultaneously committing Turkey to the European Union accession process. After winning reelection in 2007, however, Erdoğan veered Turkish foreign policy further toward the Islamic world.
Turkey’s European ambitions fell by the wayside, into the realm of lip service only. Turkey’s September 2010 referendum marked another milestone. While the poll centered on constitutional reform, the size of Erdoğan’s victory imbued him with new confidence. In its wake, he has cast aside any pretense of compromise and balance. No longer does Erdoğan even pretend to look West; Erdoğan now guides Turkey to the East.