'Stop Erdogan' Billboard Appears In New York Times Square


'Stop Erdogan' Billboard Appears In New York Times Square

A billboard stating 'Stop Erdogan' has been put up in New York's Times Square, prompting anger from the Turkish leadership. Recep Erdogan, the current Turkish President, has stated that the publicity stunt is the work of an outlawed group he claims attempted to overthrow his government in a 2016 coup.

The billboard was paid for by Advocates of Silenced Turkey, a US based activist group that campaigns for human-rights and democracy within Turkey. It is as of yet unclear whether they do have a link to the Gülen movement, a religious group opposed by the Turkish regime. Their leader, Fethullah Gülen, has lived in exile in the United States for many years.

Ömer Çelik, a spokesperson for Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), made a statement in which he blamed the billboard directly on Gulen. He said:

"FETÖ [a derogatory acronym referring to the Gülen group as a terrorist organization] is an enemy of Turkey and hence our President. This treacherous network added to their betrayals by targeting our President with ads filled with lies. Their attacks on our President stem from their enmity towards our people."

It is unclear whether Gulen was involved in the 2016 failed coup, but it was used as a pretext for Erdogan to clamp down on any opposition within the country. Following the coup, thousands of journalists and opposition political activists were jailed and subject to torture. Indeed, Turkey has more journalists imprisoned per head of population than anywhere else in the world. The regime has also cracked down on almost all opposition newspapers, and social-media sites, and sought to roll back secularism within Turkey.

Erdogan's actions on the international stage have also been strongly criticised by the international community. This involves funding and training jihadi fighters in both the Syrian and Libyan civil wars, who are accused of mass-killings and mass-rape. The invasion of northern Syria to crush the Kurds of Rojava, which involved cutting off food and water supplies to the civilian population. The arming of the Azerbaijani regime in their war against the Armenians of Artsakh, and the violation of both Greek and Cypriot waters in order to obtain oil. Late last year, the French Navy was sent to defend Greek and Cypriot waters and a large amount of illegal Turkish weapons was found aboard a vessel destined for Libya.

[h/t: Greek City Times]



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Thinking Humanity: 'Stop Erdogan' Billboard Appears In New York Times Square
'Stop Erdogan' Billboard Appears In New York Times Square
A billboard stating 'Stop Erdogan' has been put up in New York's Time Square, prompting anger from the Turkish leadership. Recep Erdogan, the current
Thinking Humanity
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