Turkey is now a totalitarian state and no longer a representative democracy. Erdogan has, in essence, become a dictator and now has virtually unlimited power. There is no doubt that he is going to cast forth opposition parties and probably do away with what is currently the Turkish legislative system in favour of a one-party state. Unfortunately, the leaders of many western nations give him a pass on this; let’s have a look at the evidence.
Turkey, Erdogan, and the Coup
In 2016, Erdogan survived an attempted coup, and as a result of this started killing and ousting opponents in his path, and it was suspicious at the time, to begin with. Anytime there is a problem in Turkey, authorities immediately shut down any social media. The media that exists in Turkey is essentially at this point state-run or at least state co-opted. Their representative system has just fundamentally been overthrown; with constitutional change under ‘Article 5’, that gives Erdogan more general power to dismiss ministers and so forth; which means that if he doesn’t like you or if you have been elected to a different position or appointed, he can just get rid of you at a moment’s notice. He does not have to consult any legislative body in Turkey.
This is a shining example of a totalitarian state, one that is not a representative democracy in any way shape or form and it was already having problems years ago. Back in 2013 when Erdogan wanted to demolish Gezi Park and people were protesting, the Turkish government came in, brutalised people, including attacking a gay march in Turkey, yet this did not spark a huge deal of outrage in Turkey as it is not exactly the most friendly LGBT country in the world, but certainly the Western European nations looked askance at that time for at least a little while.
Isn’t Turkey a NATO member? What Impact Does that have?
From a democratic point-of-view, Turkey has been overthrown and should be kicked out of NATO. They were an intrinsic ally within NATO, and its members should do as much as possible to prevent exactly what is happening now in hopes of retaining them in the West. Turkey controls the Bosphorous, they do have a fairly powerful military, and along with Egypt, they are the main focal point of this region. Having Turkey and Egypt on your side means control over an enormous proportion of the world’s trade, particularly in energy, however, the west has let them slip and has put very little pressure on Erdogan.
What Impact Did Former U.S President Barack Obama Make on Erdogan’s Tightening Grip on Power?
Barack Obama has done nothing. Former U.S president Barack Obama has used no pressure at all and completely ignored the issue as Turkey slowly slipped away from Ataturk’s reforms. From being a secular, classically liberalised nation, Turkey has slid backward and is now in the dark ages as far as it’s government goes, with Erdogan at the helm as a de-facto dictator.
Turkey has slipped away from the West, and despite being in NATO they are now partnering directly with Russia despite blowing one of their planes out of the air. If you happen to be in the western half of Turkey, you are essentially in a liberal democracy unless a few years ago, but now there is no free press, and certainly no free speech or expression. Erdogan has become a sultan more than he is a president or a prime minister in any standard sense that we would have in the western world.
Turkey is also increasingly at hazard from rebel groups, especially the Kurds, who would probably end up loosely aligning with the east as well as the west trying to straddle the fence. You would probably have to hope that Erdogan gets shot or dies of a stroke and that the AKP somehow falls into ruin unless the United States intends to activate the CIA to get rid of Erdogan themselves.
What is Erdogan Going to Do Now? Could you Give some Predictions for 2017?
Sure. He may very well attempt to invade parts of Syria, partner with the Russians a little bit and the world will see what he is aiming for. It would not be surprising if he wanted the Russians to go and slaughter Kurds in northern Iraq, and in northern Syria. Erdogan meanwhile, may keep a lid on the situation permanently in exchange for some of that land. Assad will be more than willing to give it to him, because one of his major enemies will be wiped off the face of the earth by a joint Turkish-Russian action, and when this actually happens, the Bosphorous will essentially be controlled by the Russians and they will not have to worry about warm water portage anymore.
Moreover, they will not have to worry about the western world throttling their naval capabilities, and they sure as hell don’t have to worry about being surrounded by missile systems anymore, because they will have the whole of Turkey as their pawn, in exchange for Erdogan being the supreme dictator of his nation who does not have to worry about being re-elected anymore and secondly, so Turkey can begin to retake little parcels of land of what used to be the Ottoman Empire.
Tayyip Erdogan is a devious fellow and a dictator. Turkey has already fallen and is now a dictatorship. People at first thought that Erdogan had common sense and there were comfy giving him more power; what a bad idea that was.
Turkish democracy is rapidly eroding. Please consider a donation towards Amnesty International, which helps fight for the cause of human rights in Turkey. The London-based Kurdish Human Rights Project also advocates for the rights of persecuted Kurdish people in Turkey, as well as Syria and Iraq, and would deeply appreciate any support.
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