The proposed constitutional change grants the presidency new powers to directly appoint a vast range of public officials – cabinet ministers, provincial governors, and judges to the highest courts in the land. Simply put, the government’s plans are an enabling act: they are designed to strengthen the individual over the collective.
The AKP government, under emergency rule, has taken over hundreds companies, seized the assets of businessmen and shut down institutions linked to the movement. Despite the fact that Gülen denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan – calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” – and the Turkish government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement.
However, Erdogan has a problem: Whereas Ataturk came to power as a military general, Erdogan has a democratic mandate to govern. Ataturk’s Turkey was rural and only 10 percent of the country was literate at the time, with most educated people supporting his agenda. Erdogan’s Turkey is 80 percent urban and nearly 100 percent literate, and many well-educated Turks oppose his agenda.
Western officials have preferred to raise concerns over the steady dismantling of Turkey’s free institutions only privately with their counterparts in Ankara. This approach has failed. That failure has left many millions of pro-democracy Turks to fend for themselves, while a once-fringe ideological element in the AKP, reared on Islamist supremacism, has been emboldened.
According to an official narrative of the government, MIT learned the coup plans earlier in the day and its chief several times discussed it with army chief Akar. One fundamental contradiction was the fact that despite this early warning and intelligence, commanders of navy, ground forces and air forces attended a wedding ceremony that night.
The UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee is examining the bilateral relationship between the UK and Turkey, focusing on rights and freedoms as well as how Turkish foreign and security policies relate to those of the UK. The inquiry is ongoing.
Turkey’s western allies are alarmed, but against a complex geopolitical backdrop, they have chosen discretion rather than valour. After the EU parliament last week voted to freeze EU accession talks with Turkey, Mr Erdoğan lashed out by threatening to open the country’s borders to migrants heading to Europe. This is tantamount to blackmail.
Bekir Cinar was working as an assistant professor at the political sciences department of Suleyman Sah University when it fell victim to the crackdown. He says that many academics with different views were working at the university. Cinar is currently continuing his scientific work at a British university. He considers this a major loss for Turkey, not least because it takes 20 to 30 years to become an academic.
“In the big picture, Erdogan knows that the EU needs Turkey and will come back begging for a new agreement on the migrants. That’s why he will play a game of brinksmanship,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish program at The Washington Institute.
AfSV Statement on Turkish Government’s Arrest of HDP Parliamentarians Erdogan’s Persecutions Underscore Authoritarian Slide New York (November 9, 2016) – The Alliance for Shared Values is deeply concerned about the arrests of nine members of Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag. […]
Turkey’s alliances with the US and EU are fraying badly. Above all, Mr Erdogan is moulding the country in his own image, with only a uniform message allowed. As one liberal intellectual puts it: “In the past you got arrested for what you said, but now you can be arrested for what you don’t say.”
Turkish authorities have finally come up with a detailed set of measures and criteria to identify suspected Gulenists. After its publication and prime minister’s announcement, critics argued that this presents a perfect textbook of fascism as the government justifies its actions, purges on ludicrous charges devoid of a legal base in universal standards and even country’s current laws.
Gulen movement, which is inspired by the highly-respected United States based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, has been brazenly targeted for total destruction by President Erdogan after the failed coup in that country few months ago. The iron-hand President accused members and sympathisers of the movement as being behind the coup.