Turkey: What Is the Real Terrorist Threat? by Burak Bekdil for the Gatestone Institute – 05.09.22

Erdoğan said that Turkey would freeze Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids if the Nordic countries do not come into line with Turkey's "fight against terrorist organizations."


That might be a tough task for Finland and Sweden. In 2019, Erdoğan notoriously called half of Turks (those who do not vote for him) terrorists. The same year, Erdoğan declared the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party a terrorist entity.


In parliamentary elections in June 2015, that party won 13% of the national vote and 80 seats in the Turkish parliament. Nevertheless, in 2021, Erdoğan stated that the students who peacefully protested his appointment of a rector to Boğaziçi University were "terrorists."


If Sweden and Finland do not fight wholeheartedly everyone Erdoğan deems a terrorist, does that mean he will veto their membership?


Kavala was acquitted on all charges but, as Erdoğan publicly insists that he is a "traitor," he was not released from prison. Upon his acquittal, a prosecutor instantly produced a new indictment against him.


The West should tell Erdoğan it is ISIS, not men like Kavala, that is the terror threat to civilization.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey would freeze Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids if the Nordic countries do not come into line with Turkey's "fight against terrorist organizations." That might be a tough task for Finland and Sweden. In 2019, Erdoğan notoriously called half of Turks (those who do not vote for him) terrorists.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ideological family tree is inherently anti-Western-- hence, anti-US and anti-NATO. This author's most recent article, "NATO Family Picture in Madrid: This Will Not Be Erdoğan's Last Blackmail," was posted on July 7. Only 11 days later, on July 18, Erdoğan said that Turkey would freeze Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids if the Nordic countries do not come into line with Turkey's "fight against terrorist organizations."


That might be a tough task for Finland and Sweden. In 2019, Erdoğan notoriously called half of Turks (those who do not vote for him) terrorists. The same year, Erdoğan declared the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party a terrorist entity. In parliamentary elections in June 2015, that party won 13% of the national vote and 80 seats in the Turkish parliament.


Nevertheless, in 2021, Erdoğan stated that the students who peacefully protested his appointment of a rector to Boğaziçi University were "terrorists." The Nordics may find it somewhat difficult to cooperate with Erdoğan and chase 40 million-plus Turkish terrorists in addition to tens of millions of Kurds living in Turkey, Iraq, Syria -- and Europe.


On May 17, Erdoğan announced that Turkey would veto Sweden and Finland's bids for NATO membership, and accused them of hosting Kurdish (and other) terrorists. Under pressure from NATO allies, he conditionally removed his veto at the June 29 NATO Summit in Madrid . If Sweden and Finland do not wholeheartedly fight everyone Erdoğan deems a terrorists, does that mean he will veto their membership?


Take, for instance, the notorious case of Osman Kavala, a millionaire philanthropist and human rights activist who has been in prison for the past five years on flimsy charges of sponsoring terrorism and riots against Erdoğan's government, espionage, and a rich fictional catalogue of other crimes.


On July 11, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) published its decision regarding Turkey's rigid failure to release Kavala, sentenced to life in prison in May. The court ruled that Turkey had violated a previous judgment from the ECHR in the case of Kavala vs Turkey from December 2019 that called for Kavala's release.


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Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was recently fired from the country's most noted newspaper after 29 years, for writing in Gatestone what is taking place in Turkey. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.



(Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images)

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