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HomeHeadlineErdogan's Repressive Tactics: A Strategy of Fear and Control

Erdogan’s Repressive Tactics: A Strategy of Fear and Control

The European Court of Human Rights has made a very important decision. It ruled that depositing money in a bank, working at a school, being a member of a union, and using Bylock cannot be considered crimes, and people cannot be imprisoned for these actions. The decision of the Grand Chamber of the ECHR that Turkey has violated Articles 6, 7, and 11 of the ECHR Convention is final and definitive.

The European Convention on Human Rights, which came into force in 1950, is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The Court makes decisions based on this convention and additional protocols. Article 6, which is mentioned as violated in the Yalçınkaya decision, regulates the “Right to a Fair Trial.” The ECHR, the most effective international court in the world on human rights issues, has determined that the right to a fair trial in Turkey has been systematically violated. The Court gave a decision, with a vote of 16 to 1, stating that Article 7, which states, “No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed,” was not taken into account. This situation is disgraceful and humiliating for Turkey. Erdogan claims that Turkey under his leadership is fabricating unlawful crimes worse than a tribal state, and he punishes his citizens in masses. Despite Erdogan’s denials, there is a clear and decisive decision. In the long run, this decision will certainly have an impact and be effective. Since the absolute domination of the government over the judiciary continues, it would be optimistic to expect brave judges to come forward after these words. However, sooner or later, the impact of the decision will be seen. Despite Erdogan, non-militant judges will use their discretion and modify their decisions.

In fact, with this decision, Turkey had the opportunity to escape from the quagmire of oppression and injustice that had been going on for 10 years. If a united and strong voice had been raised, a positive atmosphere for returning to the rule of law could have been created. Even if Erdogan did not want it and delayed it, the courts would have had to implement the decision. But due to the silence of public opinion and the failure of politicians to put the decision on the agenda, Erdogan responded to the ECHR decision with new operations. He ordered additional arrests by saying, “They are helping the victims,” which does not even exist in the most primitive legal systems. He broke the hearts of a family with six children by imprisoning both the mother and father. Erdogan, in his own way, sent a message to the public, judges, dissenters, and the ECHR. Yesterday, we learned that Yusuf Kerim, who was receiving cancer treatment and had been separated from his mother for a long time because she was in prison, passed away. In the face of so much oppression, indifference, and lack of conscience, many of us cried out, “Let the apocalypse come!” and “Let this world collapse!”

A friend I saw in the market said, “I want to go to the city square and list all the curses that come to mind about Erdogan. I can’t understand how one human being can inflict so much oppression and torment. Can you understand?” I told him that this is not only heartlessness and mercilessness but also a Mongol strategy. Although the Mongols were not numerous, they conquered the world with the atmosphere of fear and terror they spread. While they contented themselves with imposing taxes on surrendered countries and people, they left no stone unturned in the cities they fought, and they killed masses of people, regardless of age, in unimaginable methods of terror. This cruelty had its own strategy and logic, and it conveyed a message to other peoples. In fact, they were saying, “Either you surrender to us, or we will kill you and destroy you with unimaginable brutal methods!” Indeed, those who saw what happened to other cities chose to surrender instead of resisting. With this method, the Mongols easily gained control over many countries and populations.

Erdogan, by oppressing women with babies, the elderly, and children to an extent that no conscience can accept, is actually aiming to create a climate of fear and terror throughout society and force everyone to surrender. He does this as part of a strategy, just like the Mongols. As we can see, he succeeds in it. He implements this strategy by demonizing Hizmet members, whom he targets in society. He skillfully uses the division and narrow-mindedness in the country for his strategy.

In the literature, this is called state terrorism. A group of mafioso who have infiltrated the top of the state, by oppressing innocent people and carrying out absurd tortures, intimidate the public and force them to surrender. The opposition, which gave full support to Erdogan at the New Gate in the establishment of the regime, continues to be a part of this strategy with its silence.

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Mahmut Akpinar
Mahmut Akpinar
Dr. Mahmut Akpinar is a political scientist focusing on international relations and Turkish politics.


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