Opinion: Dangerous game with Turkey | Opinion | DW | 15.10.2015
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Opinion: Dangerous game with Turkey

The Turkish government has banned broadcasts on investigations into the Ankara suicide bombings. DW's Seda Serdar asks if Europe will turn a blind eye to what is happening in Turkey.

As the investigation into the Ankara attacks continues, the government is taking new steps that directly affect the public by blocking access to information. According to a new court order, broadcasts about the investigation are not permitted on any media platform. This move contradicts the constitution.

Not only are these broadcasts banned, but so is any kind of criticism on the topic. Amid such investigations, it is crucial for sensitive information not to leak: That is understandable. But using this as an excuse to block the right to information should not be taken lightly. This is not the first time that the government has taken such measures - and it will not be the last.

Looking for scapegoats

Seda Serdar, editor in chief of the Turkish department (Photo: DW)

DW's Seda Serdar

Since the attack on October 10, every single citizen in Turkey has been trying to understand what happened. The political leadership is still not willing to take responsibility for explaining what happened. While the opposition has called for the resignation of the AKP government, even the mere thought of that is unbearable for the ruling party.

So close to the elections on November 1, the new measures regarding broadcasts about the investigation are hurting whatever is left of the AKP's credibility regarding its attempt to get to the bottom of the attacks. Firing a few police chiefs amid such socially traumatic events creates the impression that the government is looking for scapegoats instead of hunting down the real perpetrators. Simultaneously, putting a broadcast ban on the investigations is making the situation worse.

Playing with fire

In a few days, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be meeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Europe has different concerns. The leaders of the European Union are worried about the waves of refugees coming to their countries.

Their main goal is working together with Turkey to find a way to keep the refugees inside Turkish borders. However, we have to remember that Europe is built on democracy, human rights and freedom of speech. While these are under attack in Turkey, is Europe willing to sacrifice these values and turn a blind eye to what is happening there - in order to strike a deal on the refugee issue? If the answer is yes, this is a very dangerous game to play.

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