Black-day for Turkey: Erdogan to veer for complete authoritariansim
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2015-11-06 16:43:52

Black-day for Turkey: Erdogan to veer for complete authoritariansim




Flush with an election victory, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan demanded constitutional change that he wants to gain sweeping powers, and vowed to “liquidate” Kurdish guerrillas in a defiant speech that gave no quarter to those hoping for conciliation. Three days after the Islamist-rooted AK Party he founded won back the mandate to govern alone in a surprise landslide, Erdogan used Wednesday’s speech to make clear military action in the largely Kurdish southeast would not end any time soon.

The election victory also puts him closer to his dream of changing Turkey’s constitution to consolidate power in the hands of the presidency, a move his opponents fear would enable an already authoritarian leader to govern unchecked.  Turkey’s dominant political figure, Erdogan served as prime minister for more than a decade before being elected president last year. He aims to transform the previously ceremonial office into that of a chief executive, a Turkish take on a Russian or U.S.-style presidency. That goal was set back when the AKP lost its parliamentary majority in June but is again within reach after Sunday’s surprisingly strong comeback in an election rerun.

He said Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would consult opposition leaders on rewriting the constitution, and he would back any parliament decision to hold a referendum on changes. “One of the most important messages of Nov. 1 is that Turkey needs to solve the new constitution issue as soon as possible,” Erdogan said in a speech to hundreds of “muhtars”, local administrators generally loyal to the government.

“I hope that opposition parties will not fail to contribute to the work on this. If they try to block it, they will give account for it at the next election in four years.”

He did not directly refer to presidential powers, but has long made clear those were the changes he seeks.

The President (and former Prime Minister) of Turkey has been deemed to be veering towards authoritarianism as his party used the state’s resources to repress and persecute the troika of his perceived enemies: the opposition political parties, the news media and the Kurds. In addition to AKP’s authoritarian overreach and crushing of human rights, the party’s Islamist tendencies and unilateral imposition of neo-liberal policies were also widely unpopular and engendered a credible opposition consisting of a coalition of leftists and Kurds. Subsequent to the June elections, Erdogan’s authoritarianism was in overdrive and even on the eve of elections, his police forces were ransacking media offices associated with the opposition. Since July, Turkey was once again in the throes of escalating violence due to the renewed war against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Meanwhile, Erdogan premised his campaign on fear mongering and presented himself as the best chance of ‘stability’ for Turkey. And to the shock and dismay of many national and international observers, AKP’s cynical gamble of introducing a climate of doom and gloom worked in the party’s favour as it emerged a clear winner with almost fifty percent of the votes in Sunday’s election.However, despite seemingly achieving a resounding mandate, the fact remains that the half of the country that did not vote for AKP utterly detests the sitting president and his party, and the political climate of Turkey is likely to remain polarised. True to their word before the elections, the rejuvenated government is going after opposition media houses and activists with even more zeal now that their victory is assured and they have no inhibitions about ‘image management’. If one is to look for a silver lining, it may be found in the victory speech of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who tried to reassure the government’s opponents by promised “inclusive” rule and called on all parties to agree on a new civilian constitution to replace a 1980 military-drafted charter. The AKP would be wise to sincerely practice the mantra of a ‘Turkey without conflict, tension and polarisation’ and revise its policy of targeting the opposition. A united Turkey is better for the aspirations of both the country and its ruling party.

Categories:   World ، Islamic News ،
Tags:   Turkey ، Erdogan ، AKP ، Kurds ،
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