Freedom of speech in Turkey

On March 25th, the Turkish Constitutional Court held the first hearing on the cases of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gul, who exposed the connection between the Turkish authorities and Islamic radicals in Syria, accusing them of espionage.

Exposing the criminal actions of Erdogan

Can Dündar, chief editor of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, and its publication bureau chief in Ankara, Erdem Gul, conducted a journalistic investigation into the relationship between Turkish intelligence agencies and the Syrian jihadists (in particular the secret arms supplies to Syrian rebels from Turkey). They were arrested in November and the prosecutor's office in Istanbul prescribed the journalists the most stringent punishment of life imprisonment, and charges of espionage and disclosure of state secrets.

In their investigation, the journalists published photos and a video inspection of trucks with "humanitarian aid" of the National Intelligence Organization, on their way to the Turkish-Syrian border. The photos and videos clearly indicate that the boxes with so-called "humanitarian aid" are in fact, boxes of ammunition, mines, and shells. The Turkish journalists said that Turkey was delivering smuggling arms to the Syrian rebels.

The Turkish leadership’s geopolitical course

Last year saw a sharp deterioration in relations between Turkey and Russia: the shoot down of a Russian aircraft, the crisis in economic cooperation, and so on. Turkey, as a NATO member, has consistently followed the dictate of American policy.
However, a couple of factors should be considered when trying to determine the geopolitical strategy of the Turkish leadership.
1) Against the Kurds, ISIS and Assad: Turkish aircraft, under the pretext of the fight against ISIS, inflicted air strikes on the Syrian Kurds. At the same time, the Kurds enjoy support from the United States. America is not interested in resolving the Middle East problem and considers it necessary to keep the situation in the Middle East in a stage of "controlled chaos". Turkey, on the contrary, is interested in conflict resolution and controlling the Kurds and ISIS.

Since the US is not interested in resolving the "chaos in the Middle East”, the US is trying to turn Ankara against Assad, which will lead to a confrontation with Russia. The US supports Kurdish separatism, which is a major threat to Turkey's territorial integrity.

2) Turkey and the EU: The question of Turkey's format of cooperation with the EU, which refuses to accept Turkey into its ranks, is still unclear. The acceptance of the Muslim country of Turkey into the EU would signal the end of Europe as a Christian civilization. There are strong nationalist accusations against the neo-Ottoman policies of Erdogan inside Turkey, who believe that the president is a geopolitical traitor. The issue of cooperation and relations between Turkey and the EU is not defined and is in limbo.

Today, Turkey is experiencing a deep political crisis. The only salvation may be the assertion of their national identity, choosing to be in favor of a multipolar world, and the restoration of cooperation with Russia (the construction of a Eurasian Ankara-Moscow axis).