Turkey’s road to a dictatorship

Turkish Cypriot journalist Yusuf Kanli writes about the implications of the outcome of the Turkish elections:

“The expectation is that this Sunday there will be a very high turnout of Turks casting their votes in parliamentary elections, which may either usher Turkey’s governance system toward an elected dictatorship or save the fragile democracy badly hurt by the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 13-year-old majoritarian understanding.

For some reason every single national vote in Turkey – be it mayoral, parliamentary, presidential, or a referendum on a constitutional amendments package – has been very important. Of course, such votes in this country of over 77 million ought to be important. But this election, over and above all the previous ones, will be of existential importance; in a sense, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his political Islam clan have been correct when they claim that Turkey is at the threshold of a second “war of liberation.”

Turkey’s War of Liberation was a heroic one. How the nation waged the war with very limited resources, with an under-armed and undermanned force but with a national mobilization spirit is a legend. What kind of second “war of liberation” might the country be waging now? Is it, as claimed by Erdoğan and his political clan, a war to achieve recourse to the pre-republic imperial era? Or is it one to prevent the retardation of neo-imperial hallucinations and save the republican heritage?”


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