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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sinister minister: Turkish PM corrupt

    Turkey has been in a state of political unrest for quite some time. Current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone mad with power, to the point where it is almost comical. There are plenty of people with similar mindsets all over the U.S. who could, and have, come into a position of authority.

    Recently, it was revealed that Erdogan has been taking bribes in his position. The evidence of his corruption has spread via several social media sites, such as Youtube and Twitter. Audio recordings of his nefarious deeds have gone viral in Turkey, and there’s no way people are just going to forget about it.

    Now, normally, you might expect a politician to avoid the public and be a little less boastful when his reputation has been compromised — maybe even own up to the deed and accept the consequences. (Just kidding.) But Erdogan is something special. Essentially, he’s gone on a rampage of censorship, one that is so absurdly in-your-face you might not even believe it. Or if you’re like me, it might be exactly what you would expect.

    Erdogan claims that he’s done nothing wrong or unlawful, but goes out of his way to make sure no one is saying anything about his actions.

    One of the more drastic measures Erdogan has taken is his silencing of Twitter. He temporarily shut the site down last month, also blocking Youtube, and setting his sights on Facebook and any other source that might be used to voice outrage toward his authoritarian behavior.

    He’s also decided to copyright his own voice, so that he can have any recordings of it taken down based on copyright law.

    Attacking the internet isn’t the worst of it, either. The situation in Turkey is very unstable overall. In June of last year, Erdogan threatened that for every 100,000 protesters that show up on the streets, he would send 1 million cops in riot gear to deal with them. Erdogan has publicly claimed that protesters could be treated like terrorists, and will be. He doesn’t look at the droves of protesters as unsatisfied dissenters; he looks at them as an invading army.

    But this situation ties into more basic issues of human nature. It doesn’t just serve to show that the prime minister of Turkey is pretty much Darth Sidious from “Star Wars,” sans the ability to shoot lightning from his hands. There are still lots of people in Turkey who are on the prime minister’s side; not just the ones who are receiving money from him, or the ones who are afraid of him, but the people who originally voted him in. In fact, he has actually won a total of four elections so far.

    There’s no way people like Erdogan would still be in power without major support from others. He’d just be some looney muttering nonsense to himself.

    But some people are so unwilling to admit to the faults of their chosen candidate on Election Day that they kiss his feet after he’s gone mad with power and essentially declared himself the god-appointed king of the country.

    We have similar issues here in the U.S., with both Republicans and Democrats. I’ve seen quite a few people who are still defending Sheriff Joe Arpaio despite his draconian dealings, and other supporters. It’s also difficult for those who have been for President Barack Obama since the beginning to concede that his dealings with the National Security Agency are more extensive than he promised.

    As much as most of us would hate to admit, we’ve all felt ashamed of an official we voted into office at one point or another. We end up pretending we didn’t vote for them, or trying to make up silly excuses for their errors, such as passing the blame onto the opposing side.

    The majority of those protesting Erdogan in Turkey are quite young, with their futures still well ahead of them. As college students in the U.S., we’re the ones who need to be concerned with politics and voicing our grievances. We are the ones who have the most at stake whenever society is in turmoil.

    There has to be a point where everyone is willing to tear down the wall that our system has wedged between us for the greater good. We need to get over partisanship and call out our leaders when they do something wrong, regardless of whether we like them or not. If we don’t learn to check our pride as a society, we could slowly but surely end up running our nation into the ground.

    — Jesus Luna Tarazon is a senior studying English. Follow him @DailyWildcat

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