Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Metaphors change

We cannot say that we have not been warned: Some six months ago, Turkey’s president, explained that his craving for more power, has precedent and brought Hitler’s Germany as an example.

Now we have stage II: In the aftermath of last week’s putsch attempt, thousands, probably tens of thousands, have been arrested. Erdogan, who has promised to bring in the death penalty, explained that "they will pay a heavy price for this. This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army." 

Erdogan spoke of the need to “clean the virus responsible for the coup.” The virus being the purported "terror group", led by Erdogan’s former associate, Fethullah Gülen.  

Going back to the role models, brings to mind the “night of the long knives”, in which Hitler had the head of the SA, Ernst Röhm, killed. Röhm had been a close friend and ally, who had become too powerful for the rest of Hitler’s team. As Hitler and his associates set to dismantle Röhm’s organisation, Hitler explained, “I gave the order to cauterise down to the raw flesh the ulcers of this poisoning of the wells in our domestic life.”   

Virus or ulcers poisoning the wells… Metaphors change.

1 comment:

  1. I am not saying he isn't capable of it, but Erdogan hasn't started a war yet and he hasn't built any concentration camps yet.

    His ravings bear more semblance to those of Stalin than of Hitler's: The decapitation of the military by deposing (killing?) its generals; the restrictions of science and teaching, of travel; the curtailment of the free press; the stringing along of wealthy but ignorant foreign leaders; the declaration of a permanent state of emergency; the paranoid war on part of his own country's population.

    All this seems more like Stalinist "cleansings" than NS-terror.

    Incidentally there is no counterpart of Ernst Röhm in current turkish affairs. Röhm was himself a rather despicable figure.