While the world’s attention has been focused on the glorious victory of Trump over the rag-tag anti-White horde that is the Democratic party, in Turkey another man has been consolidating power. President Erdoğan has continued with actions he began this past summer. From the New York Times,
On October 31st, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, continuing to purge his opposition under the guise of the state of emergency he declared following a failed coup attempt, in July, ordered the imprisonment of the editor of the left-of-center daily Cumhuriyet, along with a dozen of the newspaper’s leading journalists. He then ordered the detention of lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or H.D.P., including the party’s co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
The official justification for the actions against both the newspaper and the H.D.P. leadership came in the form of terrorism charges. Erdoğan’s government claims that Cumhuriyet has ties to Fethullah Gülen, the reclusive cleric who has lived in exile, in Pennsylvania, since 1999, and that the newspaper was involved in the July coup attempt, which many Turks believe Gülen orchestrated. The H.D.P. lawmakers, meanwhile, have been accused of collusion with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., an armed nationalist group that has fought the Turkish government for decades. Evidence for the charges against both the journalists and the lawmakers is questionable.
The media and other internationalist forces (in this case left-wing parties) are being dealt with because of their hostility to the ruling party. I have a feeling most Turks are fine with this (generally speaking they’ve been fine with everything else Erdoğan has done, regardless of how illiberal it was). Quite frankly I don’t care either. Media has long harped on about Erdoğan ruling like a sultan and having a neo-Ottoman policy,
Erdoğan’s ultimate goal is a constitutional referendum granting him unprecedented executive powers, but to pass it he needs a two-thirds majority vote from Turkey’s five-hundred-and-fifty-seat parliament. His A.K.P. party currently holds three hundred and seventeen seats, meaning he needs to pick up an additional fifty votes. The H.D.P., which holds fifty-nine seats, had represented an obstacle. But with its leadership now under lock and key, the party’s seats are in limbo. All eyes in Turkey now turn to the remaining non-A.K.P. lawmakers in parliament. Will they go along with Erdoğan to avoid the H.D.P.’s fate? If so, Erdoğan may soon hold power more akin to an Ottoman sultan than to the leader of the republic as envisioned by Atatürk, the man the country mourned [recently].
President Tayyip Erdogan could govern Turkey until 2029 with expanded executive powers under proposals the ruling AK Party hopes will go to a referendum next spring, officials who have seen the latest draft told Reuters on Wednesday.
Erdogan and his supporters argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid the fragile coalition governments that hampered its development in the past.
Opponents see the proposed change as a vehicle for Erdogan’s ambition, and fear it will bring increasing authoritarianism to a country already under fire from Western allies over its deteriorating record on rights and freedoms, especially after widespread purges in the wake of a failed military coup in July… Under the latest draft, presented to the MHP on Tuesday, Erdogan could assume the position of “acting” executive president immediately after the referendum if the changes are approved. A presidential election would then be held, as scheduled, when his term expires in 2019.
Under the constitution’s current two-term limit and provided he wins the 2019 election, Erdogan would be able to rule until 2024 only. But under the proposed executive presidency, the clock would reset, allowing him another two terms.
If this simply meant authoritarian rule in Turkey I wouldn’t care, but I fear this neo-Ottomanism could encompass more. Turkey has begun to flex its military muscles by invading Syria in order to help anti-Assad rebels. Unlike the Russian intervention this has been largely ignored by the Western press.[i] Turkish intervention in Syria could be problematic given that they are part of NATO. The last thing we need is to be drawn into another damn conflict in a region where warfare is seemingly never-ending. Then again, now that Trump is president and has made it clear he will not be funding anti-Assad rebels the Turks may be far more cautious with their actions in Syria.
This neo-Ottomanism could perhaps prove to be beneficial to Europe. Although Erdoğan hasn’t, as far as I know, given up on EU membership his new direction will make it increasingly difficult for Turkey to join. Eurocrats may want the larger labour pool but they don’t care for nationalistic minded policies or ones that don’t give the press complete and utter freedom to do as they please. So neo-Ottomanism could be beneficial in stopping further expansion of EU, but it won’t be helpful in regards to stemming the flow of migrant hordes. I doubt the Turks are going to be any more helpful on this issue now then they have in the past.
Turks are free to go their own course but they should really be removed from NATO. Hell we should scrap NATO entirely.
[i]Another reason is to fight Kurds and protect Turkmen