Skip to comments.Turkey’s Authoritarian Legacy (AKP, CHP, Gulen, HDP, Kurdish, PKK struggle)
Posted on 09/30/2018 7:40:13 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
For years, explaining Turkeys democratic travails seemed an easy task. There was the persistence of an authoritarian tradition, whose source was identified as Kemalismthe secularist-nationalist founding ideology of the Turkish republicand which the military embodied. According to the conventional narrative on Turkey, with which anyone who has only casually followed international politics during the last decades will be familiar, the Turkish military had a missionto protect secularismwhich explained, so we were taught, its habit of overthrowing governments. All that was needed for Turkish democracy to flourish was the emergence of a force strong enough to end the tutelage of the military.
For several years, the rise of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, seemed to be the answer. The general consensus among international observers was that Erdoğan was on a mission to make Turkey fully democratic. Disappointment and bewilderment have increasingly replaced that hope, particularly after an April referendum engineered by Erdoğan expanded the executive power of the president. Theres a scramble for explanations and definitions that will make sense of and conceptualize Turkeys authoritarian drift under Erdoğan, the presumed liberal-turned-authoritarian.
The problem at the heart of the matter is that Turkey lends itself all too easily to simplistic dichotomies and to exoticism. The currency of these dichotomies, in turn, reveals an unmistakable, residual orientalism, as in Edward W. Saids framing. Turkey is, invariably, a place where East meets West, where secularism and Westernization fatefully collide with Islam. Western scholarship has long since abandoned the modernization paradigm of the 1950s and 1960s that was applied to the Middle East by orientalistsof whom Bernard Lewis was a leading exponentand into which Turkey was fitted as a model example of a modernizing Muslim country...
(Excerpt) Read more at thecairoreview.com ...
I resist being wrapped up in Left/Right ism's defined explanations. In my opinion these struggles are not generally idealogical in nature, they are about power. I despise Totalitarianism in all forms, no matter what it is called; it is the enemy of freedom and liberty of all men.
Halil Karaveli is senior fellow in the Silk Road Studies Program of the Central Asia- Caucasus Institute where he heads the Turkey Initiative and is editor of Turkey Analyst. From 1991 to 2007, he was an editorial writer at Östgöta Correspondenten, a Swedish daily. He has contributed to the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and National Interest.
Sounds like Turkey is political and ideological twister alley!
Also, read a couple of headlines about Iraq’s Kurd election. Any word on what really happened?
No, not yet. Did see report that the election took place.
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