The Times article on Erdogan and Turkey

Ahead of the debate in Parliament on Turkey today, I have written an article for The Times about the situation in Turkey and Erdogan's actions: Britain must denounce Erdogan as the dictator he is.

Democracy, the rule of law and human rights have all been completely trampled all over by Erdogan and his acolytes. A referendum next month will give Erdogan absolute power to embed his dictatorship, choose judges and enact laws by degree.

Since the declaration of a state of emergency in July, Erdogan has responded to the attempted coup by brutally repressing any semblance of opposition. Political opponents, journalists, judges, generals, civil servants, police officers and academics have been fired, intimidated, arrested and even killed.

Demonstrators and activists engaging in peaceful protest have been imprisoned on trumped-up charges of treason and terrorism, as have dissenting lawyers and journalists. Access to social media has been curtailed, 177 media outlets have been shut down, 400 journalists are behind bars and 3,000 judges have been sacked. Some 25,000 police offers have been arrested and thousands of soldiers, including 167 generals, have been dismissed.

Our position as a nation that takes pride in our respect for human rights and our role as a positive force in international affairs is on the line if we stay silent continue to allow an ally to inflict such cruelty upon its own people.

Today the government has the opportunity to break its silence and condemn the torture and human rights abuses being carried out so brazenly in Turkey by Erdogan and his followers. It is time to speak out against this march towards dictatorship and tyranny.

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