When a tyrant is glorified, perhaps to strike a deal or to get rich, sooner or later it ends badly. Very badly. It happened to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with General-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and now it’s happening to all the European leaders with the Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is transforming Turkey into a dark dungeon.
Obscuring the fact that the Egyptian president’s coup had blood on its hands, Renzi first legitimized el-Sisi, then praised him publicly and forged a special, even friendly, relationship with him. Now he doesn’t know what to say about the fact el-Sisi is hiding evidence and obstructing the investigation into the murder of Italian scholar Giulio Regeni. All he can say is Egypt has provided “inadequate cooperation,” even as repression, violent disappearances, arrests and death sentences rage. Even Ahmed Abdallah, a human rights activist and adviser to the Regeni family, has been arrested.
On the Turkish front, they want to blame the Turkish president for his misdeeds. But nevertheless, Europeans enter into his court to take lessons on humanity, democracy and respect for freedom. Just look at Angela Merkel, who accepted the indictment in Germany of the comedian Jan Böhmermann who wrote a satirical song about Erdogan.