Erdogan’s Turkey: ‘Democracy’ Wins

For 53 years, the European Union has kept this nation waiting in front of its door. You are not the only fish in the sea. We have been progressing without you in the last 53 years. You have put such pressure to many countries. What have you gained? You cannot finish Turkey off too. If needed, we will work twice, three times more but we will never bow down. Those who intend to bring Turkey to its knees through ideological impositions must note that Turkey is not one of those countries. While you are afraid of 200-300 people, Turkey has been taking care of 3 million refugees with its own money. It is disappointing that Turkey is insulted in such a manner by the European Union. We have not closed the EU chapter yet but this picture does not allow us to look at this issue positively. Turkey has many alternatives. We will keep going on. We keep talking to these alternatives.

The statement above belongs to Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was honoured to speak at the opening of “Global Future: Human-oriented, smart economy-themed Bogazici Summit” on 29 November 2016. It is obvious that Mr. Erdogan was furious at the European Union’s non-binding statement on “the suspension of negotiations“. The same body of the European organisation mentioned what conservative opposition parties of Turkey, namely, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), could dare to voice. Ankara’s non-democratic policies, particularly following the imprisonment of the MPs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were described as “disproportionate repressive measures“.

Erdogan unremittingly refers to 15 July coup attempt when it comes to ‘justify’ his aggressive position. Back in 2013 Summer, his key argument was ‘elections’ in a subtle attempt to articulate ‘democracy’. Now, he even expresses the possibility that ‘death penalty’ could be passed if Turkish people wants. Only two days after the EU’s decision, Erdogan asked: “Isn’t democracy the national will itself?

Well, it is not surprising to see Erdogan’s politics of polarisation over and over. His flirt with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; threatening statements that he could not adhere to the migrant agreement creating a Turkish barrier to stop illegal migration to Europe in return for a staggering £2.5 billion; religious and national salvos; and malfunctioning ‘democracy’ calls to have politicians, musicians, students, lawyers and writers silenced serve only to his ambition to secure the adoption of the presidential system as well as a new constitution. That is why, we have witnessed the extension of state of emergency in October for another 3 months. Last week, Erdogan said that this could be extended further by 6 months.

It is unfortunate that peoples of Turkey suffer from a strong-minded opposition party who has achieved to construct a collective identity standing for a new society vis-a-vis a dictatorship; except the HDP so far. Imagine that while the leader of the main opposition party (the CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, challenges the ruling party (The Justice and Development Party or the AKP) as to whether they are “nationalist enough” to “liberate” 18 islands in the Aegean Sea “invaded by Greece”; the leader of the MHP, Devlet Bahceli, has been very busy with Mr. Yildirim behind closed doors to contribute to the new constitution negotiaitons with his ‘death penalty’ motives.

Show must go on…

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