May 23, 2017


 The Turkish Embassy in Washington yesterday announced that the protestors attacked by Erdogan's goons “began aggressively provoking Turkish-American citizens who had peacefully assembled to greet the President”. What do such aggrieved and self-righteous statements remind one of, if not of the virtually similar expressions of outrage emanating from other authoritarian regimes engaged in repressing dissent, from Stalinist Soviet Union and Maoist China to Khomeinist Iran and Salafist Saudi Arabia?

Perhaps not surprisingly, all authoritarian or totalitarian regimes inevitably revert to the same wooden language and the same passive-aggressive response in defense of their otherwise indefensible actions: "The patriotic [police/soldiers/vigilantes/armed thugs] defended their persons and the honour of their country against the aggressively protesting [students/housewives/running dogs/traitorous hyenas] by [gently pushing them back/remonstrating with them/beating their skulls in]. This particular rhetorical trope is based on the principle that the more you have to apologise for, the more stridently outraged and unapologetic you should sound. Plus ca change...