President Erdoğan Cannot Take A Bit Of Ribbing

Mick Hall sees the Turkish regime as waging a war on open debate and free expression. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.

  • From his exalted position in his $615m presidential palace, President Erdoğan cannot even take a bit of ribbing from provincial doctor

As part of the Turkish state's war against open debate and free expression, Aydin physician Dr. Bilgin Çiftçi was accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after sharing a meme comparing President Erdoğan's facial expressions to the Gollum character in the “The Lord of the Rings” movies.
The judges in the case could not reach an agreement on the charges so the court has demanded an expert examination to investigate Gollum's character to decide whether a comparison with him is an insult.

Such is the surreal nature of State censorship. Although if Çiftçi is found guilty the President's next target of state censorship may be newspaper and magazine cartoonists. We have seen the lengths Islamic movements will go when they take offence. Fatwa's fly about like yesterday's newspapers in a storm, as we saw when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published satirical cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 2005 which led to violence, arrests, intergovernmental tensions, and debate about the scope of free speech, if any.

Apart from the court case which is yet to be resolved, Dr Bilgin Çiftçi, after government pressure, lost his job at the Public Health Institution of Turkey. (THSK) He now awaits the decision by a group of court appointed academics, behavioural scientists, psychologists, and an expert on cinema and television productions, to decide whether he insulted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

It's interesting how power corrupts, for when Erdoğan was an up and coming politician in Istanbul he often found himself in court. At one time he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment and banned from holding political office for a time, for publicly reading a poem by a Kurdish poet.

Now safely glued to his exalted position in his new $615m presidential palace, he cannot even take a bit of light ribbing from a lowly provincial doctor. The president has become a sad caricature of his former self.

Dr Çiftçi  has denied he committed any offence having claimed that Gollum was not a bad character, thus he did not insult anyone.

Whether Erdoğan looks like Gollum, I will let readers decide. Myself I feel it's a good likeness. Besides, unlike the President of Turkey, Gollum did save the people of the Middle-East. Sorry that should have been Middle-Earth.



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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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