Le Figaro article calls for Europe to sanction Erdogan, halt Turkey’s expansionist policies

Le Figaro article calls for Europe to sanction Erdogan, halt Turkey’s expansionist policies
The Le Figaro article by Nicolas Baverez says Europe should stop Turkish accession to the EU. (Screenshot)
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Updated 03 November 2020

Le Figaro article calls for Europe to sanction Erdogan, halt Turkey’s expansionist policies

Le Figaro article calls for Europe to sanction Erdogan, halt Turkey’s expansionist policies
  • Historian and writer Nicolas Baverez launches scathing attack against Turkish president and the ‘Islamist movement’

PARIS: A renowned French author has called for European powers to halt Turkey’s expansionist policies and place sanctions on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In an article in Le Figaro, historian and author Nicolas Baverez said now is the time for Europe to harden its position by practicing a firm policy towards Turkey.

He said Europe should stop Turkish accession to the European Union, place sanctions against Erdogan and his relatives and offer support for Greece and Cyprus.  

Baverez said that since rising to power, Erdogan, who leads the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has gradually tightened his control over the machinery of the state, placing his relatives in sensitive posts and terrorizing the population in an “unprecedented totalitarian drift.”

Internationally, Erdogan has pursued aggressive policies that have destabilized the entire region, especially by engaging in wars in Syria, Libya and the Nagorno-Karabakh region disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  

Baverez also accused Turkey of supporting Islamic extremism at the expense of moderate Sunni countries and aiming to present itself as the Sunni world’s leading force. 

“At the same time, Turkey’s resurgence on the regional scene comes as part of Erdogan's effort to rebuild the hegemony of the Ottoman Empire,” Baverez said.

He argued that Turkey is increasingly distancing itself from Europe and NATO.

The purchase of Russian military equipment, the conflict with Greece and Cyprus, and recent tensions with French President Emmanuel Macron, have added to Turkey’s isolation.

Erdogan and Macron have been at loggerheads in recent weeks after the Turkish president attacked France amid the aftermath of an extremist murder of a French schoolteacher. 

Samuel Paty was beheaded last month after showing students cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad during a discussion about freedom of speech.

Erdogan, whose politics are rooted in Islamist ideology, attacked Macron over his response to the atrocity, sparking a war of words.

Writing in one of France’s most esteemed publications, Baverez said the creeping Islamization of Turkish society is becoming increasingly contradictory with the republican and secular state of France, “which seems to aggravate the animosity of Erdogan and Turkey towards France in particular and Europe in general.”

“Turkey is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis, as well as a COVID-19 pandemic that has caused a health crisis,” Baverez said. “These difficult conditions pushed Erdogan to even more radical positions, in an effort to mask his problems and distract the population from their daily problems.”

The historian said Erdogan has interpreted Europe’s conciliatory “carrot and stick” strategy as weakness, leading him to increase pressure especially with Greece and Cyprus.  

“The time is right to limit Turkish expansion and stem the Islamist movement,” he said.

 

 


Amazon Prime show agrees to changes after India Hindu outcry

Amazon Prime show agrees to changes after India Hindu outcry
Updated 21 January 2021

Amazon Prime show agrees to changes after India Hindu outcry

Amazon Prime show agrees to changes after India Hindu outcry
  • The Amazon Prime drama “Tandav” drew criticism from members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Several BJP politicians called for the show to be banned

MUMBAI: The cast and crew of a popular streaming series starring Bollywood megastar Saif Ali Khan have agreed to “implement changes” to the show after ruling party politicians accused it of insulting Hindu gods.
The Amazon Prime drama “Tandav” — loosely compared to the US series “House of Cards” — drew criticism from members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party after its Friday release.
Several BJP politicians called for the show to be banned, saying it was “deliberately mocking Hindu gods” and disrespecting religious sentiments.
One of the criticized scenes depicts a university play in which Hindu deity Shiva talks about “azaadi” (freedom), a rallying cry from 2019’s anti-government protests across the country.
“The cast and crew of Tandav have made the decision to implement changes to the web series to address the concerns raised,” director Ali Abbas Zafar wrote in a post on Twitter late Tuesday.
The cast and crew also apologized on Monday, with Zafar saying that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had told the team it had received “a large number of grievances and petitions... with serious concerns and apprehensions” over the series.
“’Tandav’ is a work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental,” he said Monday.
The petitioners include Ram Kadam, a BJP lawmaker in Mumbai, who said he was “fighting for Hindu pride and trying to ensure that nobody dare to mock our Hindu Gods.”
Leading streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon and Disney’s Hotstar, have expanded their presence in the country of 1.3 billion, including by commissioning local content.
The streaming TV services are not subject to the country’s notoriously fussy censor boards, which regularly cut scenes.
But there have been growing calls, particularly from BJP politicians, for the shows to be subject to the same scrutiny.
The most recent controversy involved the BBC’s TV version of Vikram Seth’s epic bestselling novel, “A Suitable Boy,” which is streaming on Netflix, over a scene where a Hindu girl kisses a Muslim boy in front of a temple.
A BJP politician in November filed a police complaint saying the show had hurt Hindus’ religious sentiments.