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Monday, June 13, 2011

A disastrous election?

And here I was pleased with the results of the Turkish election because the AKP did not win enough seats to pass a new constitution or to call a referendum by themselves. But Michael Rubin calls it disastrous.
Turks voted for Recep Erdogan for three reasons: At least half of his support (or 25 percent of the country) seek Islamism and an end to Turkish secularism. Perhaps half the remainder is the business elite who credit Erdogan for Turkey’s economic boom. The AKP certainly deserves credit for this, although much of Turkey’s boom is predicated on illicit Green Money and a willingness to incur huge debt. Much of the rest embrace Erdogan’s shameless anti-Semitic and anti-American populism.

Alas, Erdogan’s re-election may be the final nail in the coffin of Turkish democracy. During the next months, Erdogan will seek to re-write Turkey’s constitution; push ahead with show trials of his political opponents; and unravel the remaining checks-and-balances which have for decades guaranteed Turkey’s secularism. Diplomats have long described a Turkish model in which an overwhelmingly Muslim population could embrace democracy. Alas, Erdogan has given new meaning to the Turkish model. He has launched a step-by-step process to unravel secularism and, all the while, given new fodder to those who say the Muslim Brotherhood is inimical to democracy.
Of course, I don't think anyone really expected otherwise, but perhaps what Rubin is saying is that my expectation that the opposition will slow down the AKP is unrealistic.

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At 4:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The AKP will intimidate, buy out and repress the rest of the opposition. Turkey is well on the way to becoming an Islamist state.

And the rest of the world has hit the snooze button.

What could go wrong indeed


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