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Which coup has lost in Turkey? Which coup has lost in Turkey?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2016-07-17 10:58:14
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I don’t think democracy ever faced such an irony as a few days ago in Turkey. A man who rules violating basic democratic rules and constantly discriminates freedom of speech was saved from a military coup that tried to overthrow him by the reaction of the people and the contemporary form of freedom of speech, the social media. Actually democracy saved an authoritarian and ruthless ruler from a dictatorship.

tur01_400_01Truth said, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan enjoys a strong support from the religious and conservative Muslim majority of the country and he has since the day one when he run for Istanbul’s mayorship in 1994. For 22 years Erdoğan monopolizes the Turkish governing establishment. He started as the hopeful alternative that could influence the whole Middle East, the moderate Muslim politician who could be the equivalent of a contemporary Christian-Democrat in the west and could actually bridge the political differences between the west and the Arab world. That was the beginning and it lasted for a few years, at least until he won his second term in the Turkish prime-ministerial seat in 2002.

From 2002 everything changed. The democrat Erdoğan who tried to persuade the west that there is nothing wrong with a Muslim-democrat leader and that his orientation and dedication to the western values was much higher from that of the Kemalist past Turkish leaders, turned gradually into an ottoman sultan with expansionist dreams, dominant ideals, authoritarian practices and of course the necessary paranoia. The new Erdoğan was so different from the old one that made a lot to wonder if the past Erdoğan was just an act. That was till 2010. Since 2011 everybody seems convinced that it was an act.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his last term as Prime Minister and his first term as president of Turkey has shown the face of an arrogant and ruthless authoritarian who doesn’t care about democratic rules and ethics, who violates human rights and hates freedom of speech. On top of that rumours of corruption have reached his inner cycle and his family. As far his policies and especially foreign policies he seems to practice the dogma use everybody, divide and rule.

Erdoğan and his puppets he uses for government, deny it but it is not a secret anymore that he is often in bed with ISIL in a very twisted political move and thinking that pampering them Turkey will stay out of their targets. Feeling strong – after all Turkey has one of the strongest military machines in NATO – and often hiding behind USA, Erdoğan has bullied from Russia to Egypt and Saudi Arabia - no reason to mention Greece and Cyprus here, both too small for him – and the same time he has expand his influence from Azerbaijan to FYROM and Albania and from Egypt to Somalia all of that funded with mysterious ways. As far the help he supposedly offers to the western allies in their war against terror, this is also selective and when they serve his very ambitious plans for the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire. George W. Bush will never forget and forgive Erdoğan’s games and blackmails during the invasion to Iraq and the hunt for Saddam or his lethal hostile attitude to the only allies the Americans found in Iraq, the Kurds.

tur02_400_01But the last few years things got even worst. Erdoğan acts as a dictator despite the fact that he still has the support of the majority in Turkey and his arrogance has gone so far as to harass even politicians and journalists abroad. Anybody who acts or talks against him ends in prison with inhuman sentences. Everybody who dares doubt him ends in a police station with unknown consequences, since torture is daily practice by the Turkish security forces. Some simply disappear or become victims of ...accidents.

This is today’s Turkey and this is the country that lived a military coup a few days ago. And now we must believe, in the name of democracy that it was good that a military coup failed and Erdoğan won. In the meantime hours after Erdoğan secured his position over 2,500 judges were dismissed with accusations that included treason and some of them were imprisoned. The number of army officers and civilians arrested and imprisoned unknown. Erdoğan is in a witch-hunt with unknown consequences. Actually this is a pogrom against anybody who has even dare to say or think anything against Erdoğan or is suspected of have thought something not nice about the Sultan.

But the worst it is still to come. Everybody has started wondering if everything was staged. And even though the majority doesn’t believe it the truth is that Erdoğan is staging the day after and it is a ruthless dictatorship under democratic veil. The minute the military coup ended, the real coup started and this time it was led by Erdoğan. And the worst is still to come.

What is the worst? Turkey just enters an economic nightmare that will last anything between three to five years. The good times and growth is over for good. Nobody trusts Erdoğan’s Turkey anymore, now they know what he is capable to do. Photos of tortured bodies in the streets of Istanbul and threats for beheadings from the officials, guarantee that the day after in Turkey is not a safe place for any investment. Plus, who knows what will be the next move of a paranoid leader with corruption issues while bedding ISIL and orchestrating slaughters against the Kurds? The dark ages for the Turkish people have just returned and makes you wonder, which coup actually won and how much democracy lost in Turkey.

********************************************

As a personal note, many personal friends in turkey suspect that this whole thing was fabricated from Erdoğan to clear his enemies and every opposition. Actually is something widely spread in turkey after his pogroms which have expand to every level of the society.


         
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Emanuel Paparella2016-07-17 21:58:11
Oh my, oh my, how complicated can it get! The Kamalists (which comprise most of the army) assume that secularism and modernity is the best guaranteed for preserving a democratic modern country, what the French and many Europeans call laicitè, and then feel that democracy has to be abolished from time to time to save it from itself, so to speak…; the religious Islamists assume that their political national Turkish identity resides in adherence to Islam and it is their patriotic duty to curtail freedom or at least its abuses from time. And so, from time to time, we have coups or attempted coups in Turkey abetted by pseudo-heroes and pseudo-villains. It never occurs to either side that perhaps their assumptions may be wholly misguided, that democracy and liberty does not imply the repression of religious freedom and can in fact degenerate into the tyranny of the majority, and that, on the other hand, a radical fundamentalist unreformed religion can degenerate into fascism and dictatorship. I am afraid we are seeing that scenario play out as we speak.


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