The news has been crazy all week. I thought it was important to focus on something that has been undercovered because of the Trump-Russia mishigas. Turkish President Erdogan was in Washington this week to visit Trump. I wonder if he gave the Insult Comedian any tips on how to transform a democracy into an autocracy. Even if he did, the president* never listens to anyone so any dictator tips would be lost on him as he contemplates a nice piece of chocolate cake.
Erdogan’s bodyguards were busy too; busy kicking the shit out of demonstrators outside the Turkish Embassy. The beatdown was captured on video by a Turkish dissident group, Turkey Untold. Here are a series of tweets documenting the beatdown. Make sure to watch the embedded videos.
The last time I recall this happening was when the Shah of Iran visited President Carter in 1977. Reza Pahlavi’s goons kicked the living shit out of Persian protesters on that occasion. It’s a sad commentary that I’m comparing a NATO head of state to a tyrant like the Shah.
I’ve never had traditional Greek views about the Turks. In fact, I’ve been known to tweak my Greek-Greek relatives who have such views. One of my older Greek cousins took umbrage when I called my morning beverage Turkish, not Greek coffee. We didn’t even go into the origins of baklava and other tasty delicacies that are commonplace throughout the former Ottoman Empire.
I do, however, object to the current Turkish government’s treatment of Kurdish demonstrators on the streets of my country. Trump doesn’t think it’s a problem. Criticizing dictators isn’t his thing. And his former national security adviser was a paid agent of the Turkish government whilst advising Trump. At least the Washington police intervened to protect the protesters as Erdogan gawked like a spectator at a soccer match. Politics as blood sport. Literally.
Contemplating the Carter-Pahlavi meeting put me in a Seventies frame of mind. There’s a perfect song to conclude this post. This is it.