Erdoğan’s way: scare, divide and rule

Abdullah Bozkurt
Abdullah Bozkurt


Date posted: November 16, 2013

ABDULLAH BOZKURT

It appears that Turkey’s powerful prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his popular Justice and Development Party (AK Party) have set the election campaign on fear and divisions, rather than a conciliatory tone in a very much polarized society.

Erdoğan’s people are determined to run a partisan campaign, hoping this will prevent defectors from peeling away from the ranks. In the aftermath of the May-June anti-government rallies as part of the Gezi Park protests, the AK Party was in fact able to gain some points it had lost since the last elections of 2011, when voters were scared off by the violence that erupted amid protests. This was a temporary spike, however, and the AK Party could not hold onto gains when the tension in society was diffused.

That is the primary reason why Erdoğan thinks he needs to invent straw men to attack in a bid to channel voters’ disillusionment with his government. Out of the blue, he comes up with issues that nobody has been discussing in society and in fact no mainstream political party was even proposing. Then he holds these up as if they are real issues that matter to voters. He played around with abortion, coed housing, capital punishment, the interest lobby and private prep schools to steer the national debate away from substantive issues that might damage his rule. Erdoğan is now pinning his hopes for election victory on sharpening divisions with artificially inflated issues.

…….

The last straw by Erdoğan came this week when a draft version of a law seeking the closure of all kinds of privately established prep schools (dershanes) leaked to the media. The bill is so drastic that even private tutoring for kids at homes by parents is banned. The intrusive move is seen as a huge blow to free enterprise and the right to education, prompting concerns that the closure of these schools will block upward mobility in Turkish society. Many saw this as Erdoğan’s attempt to pressure the Gülen movement, which runs one-third of prep schools, into silencing criticism of the government on the eve of elections. The movement is critical of the government on corruption, weakened transparency and accountability, loss of enthusiasm for the EU process, lack of bold democratic reforms to address the country’s chronic woes, including the Alevi and Kurdish problems. The banning of prep schools curtails the free market credentials of the AK Party government while potentially scaring international investors into shying away from the Turkish market.

All in all, Erdoğan’s new way of ruling Turkey has dealt a big blow to his credibility as well as to the trustworthiness of the AK Party’s election program, which promised better accountability, increased transparency and better protection of privacy in government while boosting the free market economy and limiting the role of government. It will be difficult to convince voters on new pledges in the next election when the AK Party has already reneged on past promises.

Source: Today's Zaman , November 15, 2013


Related News

The real issue is the National Security Council [in Turkey]

A recent report by the Taraf daily indicating that the National Security Council (MGK) had formed a plan to destroy the Gülen movement has sparked discussions. This is only natural, considering that the current political administration is known for its adherence to religious values. This report is huge news because the government failed to oppose the military in the MGK meeting.

2014: a difficult year?

Turkey’s political life has entered a zone of turbulence. Some people were already accusing the governing team of being time worn, which is only normal after 11 consecutive years in power.

New mom jailed with baby for alleged ties to Turkey coup

A woman in Turkey who just gave birth was arrested at the hospital and thrown behind bars three days later — along with her newborn baby — as part of the country’s widespread purge of “Gulenists,” a report says.

In Turkey for once-in-a-lifetime experience

MYRA BLACKMON By the time you read this, I will be in Istanbul, as part of a group beginning a week-long tour as a guest of the Gulen Movement. We will visit tourist sites, but also meet with media folks, spend time in schools and universities and enjoy several dinners in private homes. We will […]

49-member team to report to President Erdoğan on Gülen-linked trials

A group of 49 people, nine experts from Turkey’s State Inspection Council and 40 key advisers of President Tayyip Erdoğan, will closely monitor trials concerning the Gülen movement and submit reports to the president.

International panel on Mary was held in Istanbul

An international panel, titled “Mary in the Holy Scripture and Qur’an,” was jointly held by the Journalists and Writers Foundation’s (GYV) Intercultural Dialogue Platform (KADİP), the Tevere Institute and İzmir Intercultural Dialogue Center (İZDİM) at WoW Hotel in Istanbul. The two-day meeting was attended by a number of leading scholars and intellectuals of the field and focused on such topics as “Approaches to Mary,” “Debate on Mary,” “Mary Doctrine and its Historical Development.”

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Governor’s office rejects Kimse Yok Mu’s application for aid campaign

Turkish nationals in South Africa fear abductions

US conference discusses Gülen movement contributions to peace

Lawyer: Female journalist traumatized by abuse, torture at Turkish police station

Abduction of Kacmaz Family – The dark side

Filipina, infant freed from Turkish jail, but…

Ex-diplomats detained over Gülen links subjected to severe torture, says deputy

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News