Abiy Ahmed hypocritical deals with Turkish drug smuggling collaborator and Christian oppressor

Is Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed now making deals with a Turkish anti-Christian cocaine dealer? Does the hypocrisy of Abiy Ahmed know no bounds?

Photographs from the Nordic Monitor showing 24 containers of cocaine caught being smuggled to Brazil

Just this month a story published in the Nordic Monitor described that a jet owned by a close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was caught smuggling 1.3 tons of cocaine into Brazil. The jet was owned by a company owned by Şeyhmus Özkan, a known oil smuggler who enjoys political cover thanks to his close ties to the Erdoğan government. He is a vital supporter of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  The article noted that the response of the Turkish government to this event “bears the hallmark of a coverup by Turkish authorities”. Is Abiy Ahmed planning to use Ethiopian jets the same way to help his economy?

Components of Turkish Airlines have filed bankruptcy in last year and have struggled to do well in the international COVID19 pandemic. Additionally although offering low fairs which are probably violating international regulations on national subsidy to capture markets the airline suffers from a poor reputation of customer service. Frequent comments such as “worst airline ever” appear on the well known rating website Skytrax.

Although Abiy Ahmed presents himself as devoted evangelical Christian who promotes tolerance of religious diversity that is not the case with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is coming under increasing international criticism for his suppression of Christianity in Turkey. Historically Istanbul once known as Constantinopol was known as the first nation to officially adopt Christianity by the Emperor Constantine. He is recognized and venerated by Ethiopian Orthodox followers as his mother, Helen, who is said to  have found the relics of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. This is in fact an important holiday in Ethiopia called Meskel which means cross in the ancient language of Ge’ez used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in its scripture. Why make deals with a man who mocks your own religion?

Ethiopians celebrate Meskel in the large square named for the holiday

Whereas it was once commonplace for Orthodox Christianity and Islam to co-exist in Turkey that has changed under Erdoğan’s leadership. Christian churches are being converted to Mosques and Christians are frequently confronted by police and accused of treason. The celebration of Meskel as an open public celebration as done in Ethiopia is outlawed in Turkey.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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