IHSAN – The Assad-ization of ErdoIan

The Assad-ization of ErdoIanThe Assad-ization of President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan is a clear and present danger that Turkey is now facing.ErdoIan almost fully controls the judiciary now.

He has (indirectly) appointed many loyal judges to the superior courts to change their composition in his favor, and with the help of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) or Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP), he can even shatter the Constitutional Court.I went to Syria before the uprisings.

You could not tell that it was a country that had been oppressed for at least 40 years by oppressive leaders. The streets were crowded.

The shopping centers and squares were full of cheering people. Salespeople were happy.

Several newspapers were available at the newsstands, and TV stations — including pop music ones — were broadcasting. Tourists, with their Western dress styles, were everywhere.

Mosques were open and the adhan could be heard five times a day (the former Kemalist motto that was used to prove that in Turkey, religious freedoms were full!).Bearded religious men and headscarved pious Sunni ladies could be seen everywhere, including in universities.

The non-Sunni (Alawite) state was not in a fight with Sunni Islam and people were able to worship freely. This non-Sunni state included many Sunni bureaucrats and politicians.

The Alawite regime had co-opted large sections of the Sunni middle classes. Syrian businessmen were in full trade relations with businessmen all over the world.

Cellular phones were everywhere. Elections were held regularly.

So, what was wrong? Political opposition was declared illegal. This andldquotiny littleandrdquo deficiency was more than enough to declare the country a dictatorship well before its bloody response to the street protests.

It is obvious that ErdoIan is incrementally following the Assad familyand#39s path, even though he is still not able to control the military, unlike the Assads. But since Turkish society is very rightly fed up with military coups that have always harmed the country, and because the military does not want to be blamed for an economic disaster, ErdoIan feels that he can gradually get away with his gradual Assad-ization by empowering the police and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), which are under his full control, balancing the militaryand#39s power at home.

His record shows that, similar to the Assads, he is ready for bloodshed. If you remember what happened during the Gezi events, you can understand ErdoIanand#39s mentality.

He declared that he had asked the police to be harsh against the demonstrators during the Gezi protests. His men busted the peaceful protesters at a very early hour in the morning, physically harmed them and burned their tents.

As a result of police violence, almost 10 people died, including a 16-year-old child whom ErdoIan has repeatedly declared a terrorist hundreds were injured, many lost their eyes and some were left paralyzed. After the Gezi incidents, he financially awarded the police officers, and he has never accepted any wrongdoing.

In a wiretapped phone conversation, his interior minister at the time, Muammer Guler, is heard complaining about ErdoIanand#39s harsh, arrogant and violent attitude. This shows that if ErdoIan feels his power under threat, he will see if the military can stage a coup if he is confident that it will not be able to do so, he will resort to violence.

That makes him an Assad.But as long as the masses are not in the streets, the media does not report his corruption and the opposition parties cannot make their voices heard because of ErdoIanand#39s suppression of the media, he will continue to smile at his nation, try to deliver economic wealth and share it — to a certain extent — with large crowds.

He will continue to allow pop music, entertainment channels, officially sanctioned brothels, official gambling, discos and ultra post-modern lifestyles in touristic areas in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions.Forget his rhetoric and look at his actions.

He only uses Islam instrumentally, to mobilize the religious at a rhetorical level — that is it.I am sure you have noticed that all these andldquofreedomsandrdquo exist in any Middle Eastern dictatorship, as they existed under the rule of the Assads.

And remember, the United States administrations have always been able to work with them So ErdoIan does not feel any pressure from the US and he no longer cares about the European Union. We are squeezed at home, alone with ErdoIanand#39s Hobbesian state.

If ErdoIan continues to criminalize dissent, whatever freedoms we have will be meaningless.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman