Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Two graduate students and two undergraduates recalled personally experiencing the July 15, 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government at a December 7, 2016, Georgetown University panel, before a youthful audience of about fifty. As crews from Turkey's TRT Haber television network and Anadolu Agency (AA) filmed/recorded, the panelists praised the coup's popular foiling as a democratic victory, irrespective of Erdogan's dangerous Islamist policies.
Such willful blindness mirrors that of other American-educated Middle East studies scholars whose actions and pronouncements lend a veneer of legitimacy to Erdogan's dictatorial policies, including mass purges and arrests of academics and teachers throughout Turkey. Erdogan's personal spokesman is Ibrahim Kalin, a George Washington University Ph.D. who serves as a senior fellow at Georgetown's Saudi-funded Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He joined Juan Cole of Michigan, Cemil Aydin of UNC Chapel Hill (Harvard Ph.D.) at an October 2016 conference in Istanbul even as innocent educators languished in prison or faced academic ruin.
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