ISTANBUL -- Turkey's Kurdish movement has managed to survive and grow for 30 years in the Middle East, where politics is a dangerous business. Whether in Iran, Iraq, Syria or Turkey, the Kurds are now one of the key players in the Middle East, having won the world's admiration for their defeat of ISIS in Kobani. Secular, democratic and a champion of women's rights, the Kurdish movement has emerged as the most serious rival to radical groups like ISIS.
Fifteen years ago, the mainstream media in Turkey had worked under the shadow of the ruthless military and hostile judiciary. Little has improved since 1990s, and this time the tyrannical elected government is unchecked to a degree that there is no formidable power that could hold the authorities accountable.
The AKP does not aspire to be a model for the Islamic world; it aspires to be its leader -- a duty which includes safeguarding the interests of the nearly 20 million Muslims living in Europe. In Erdoğan's view, it is the EU which must accommodate itself to Turkey, not vice versa. Erdoğan is saying to the West: If you want my help in the Middle East, then we'll play by my rules.
Such is the disappointing state of the press in Turkey where the Erdogan administration's actions have rightfully earned the suspicion of the Turkish people and democratic nations across the globe that fear, with good cause, that the assault on the media is only the beginning. Not all is lost for Erdogan yet.