“It’s like snow in the summer”, says Abdülhamit Bilici, director of Turkey’s Cihan News Agency, about the systematic breakdown of the rule of law and erosion of democratic freedoms in his country. Perhaps that’s the only way to keep going in the context of an assault on media freedoms, arrests of judges, manipulation of the judicial system, blocking of funding to aid agencies and raiding of schools – to see these as an aberration that will pass. Turkey is caught in a frightening maelstrom of corruption and the quest for unbridled power, a pseudo war against Isis and a real war against the Kurds, as well as a flood of Syrian refugees streaming through the borders. It is a world away from us but is a storyline that holds important lessons for South Africa. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.