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Erdogan's last chance
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-06-13 07:55:44
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Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a third term but his grace period is over; now he has to prove that he’s ready to make the difference, to change Turkey into the democracy he’s promising for so long and that he’s going to give an end to the shadow governors of Turkey, the army. And while writing this sentence suddenly had the sense that during the last two terms Erdogan managed to change a lot of things in Turkey but I’m afraid he never managed to kill the dragon that keeps Turkey backwards the last five decades at least.

The Turkish democracy the way it evolutes during Erdogan’s era is the target of envy and dislike for every Middle East – to start with - and every Islamic state in the world. The Development Party (AKP) has proved at least in theory that can combine its Islamic roots with a secular policy that often reminds the Christian-Democratic parties of the west from its foundations back in 2001. Since then a lot of things have change for both, the AKP and the Turkish democracy and Erdogan has managed sometimes following the hard way reforms that somehow soften the way to most radical but necessary reforms for the future of the Turkish democracy and that despite all the effect to join the European Union.

The same time another thing that seems to have changed is Erdogan himself, the man who climbed the steps of the power with the support of the ordinary people has taken a more regal attitude often using the party’s Islamic roots not only as a tool for unity but also as a threat and a tool of aggression opposing reforms that doubt his regime and the style of authority he tries to establish.

And of course the army remains the lethal thorn for every politician in Turkey. The army in Turkey is not just a defence mechanism but it is part of the establishment, part of the state and part of the decisions making for anything internal or external. And Kemal might have dreamt the army is the guardian of the secular state but what has turned to be is another case often coming out of Kemal’s nightmares. The army in Turkey has expanded its activity beyond legalities often using illegal ways to fund its own sometimes imaginary wars and intrigues. The last two years the Turkish political life is trembling from the scandal that has raised that included from political murders to military coups, including Erdogan to their targets. And the lists of the names include mainly former or still in action officers of the Turkish army some of them in highest decision levels. The deep state is a reality for the Turkey and if the Turkish democracy wants to step forward in the 21st century has to beat this dragon.

And Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried and has tried hard, I’m only afraid that on his way to beat the dragon he transformed into a dragon himself. Suddenly the politician who had been victimised from the former regimes and the army, who had even imprisoned for his ideas he started losing his tolerance with his critics especially with the journalists and columnists, odd since he was imprisoned form the former regimes for exactly the same reasons, criticizing the government through his columns and articles.

The same time and regarding her foreign status and policy Turkey tries to pass the feeling that it is the soft and tolerant power and practises this policy in the Balkans and Middle East and to a certain level it has worked but the latest contradictions with the internal policy have made aware allies and sceptics and it is up to Recep Tayyip Erdogan to change that; if he wants! And this is the part I mentioned above, Erdogan’s Turkey is an issue of envy for some but a condemn to fail experiment for more especially among the Middle East and the Islamic states.  Regarding the EU membership fortunately or unfortunately the road goes through Nicosia and oddly for the beginning of his new term Erdogan will have to deal with a Cypriot presidency in the European Union to test his tolerance and will for reform and change!

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Emine Koseoglu2011-06-14 23:30:17
Your comments are to the point Thanos... We will see.

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