SUAT – ‘New Turkey’ or authoritarian majoritarianism?

‘New Turkey’ or authoritarian majoritarianism?For a number of years now, we have been confronted with the myth peddled by pro-government circles pertaining to “founding a ‘New Turkey.’” Pro-government circles and their affiliates in the think tank world, as well as the stories they tell in the press, repeatedly refer to the establishment of a “New Turkey.

” We are expected to believe that this “New Turkey” is the culmination of the Turkish people’s rise to power and an end to the authoritarian governance style of the old state elite. Pro-government circles make a point of saying that those who yearn for the old Turkey will have no place in the “New Turkey” and that these “old Turks” will become an extinct species.

They would also like us to believe that they merely refer to old Kemalists, but given their harsh response to a wide array of criticism, they actually mean a large part of Turkey’s population that opposes the policies of the government enacted since 2011.The break within the coalition made up of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), liberals and democrats was confirmed during the fateful Gezi Park protests last year Since then pro-government thinkers belittle those who oppose the government’s authoritarian-majoritarian policies as selfish, liberal lifestyle addicts pseudo-Kemalists religion-haters and many other imaginative labels.

Boxed into their own insecure positions, they are now betting on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan’s candidacy for the presidency as a new milestone in establishing a supposedly “New Turkey.”What seems to escape these “thinkers” is the simple fact that Prime Minister ErdoIan has totally lost the legitimacy to establish a so-called “New Turkey”.

His authoritarian populism and the corruption charges leveled against him and his government have alienated a majority of Turks who do not imagine him as a founder of a “New Turkey” at all. If there is a new Turkey to be discussed, it is the fiefdom that ErdoIan is trying to build.

This is a Turkey that sees ErdoIan as an omnipotent autocrat who is above the Constitution, above the law and beyond any requirements of a pluralistic democracy. There is nothing “new” about such a Turkey.

Indeed, it looks very familiar It is an authoritarian model where the only difference from that of the past is its beneficiaries. Instead of the military-state elite of the former authoritarianism it is now Turkey’s conservatives who enjoy the riches of the “New Turkey.

” There is nothing “new” about this. The optics of ErdoIan’s announcement as the AK Party candidate for the presidency clearly demonstrated the contours of this new authoritarianism he intends to build.

Marketing this not-so-thinly-veiled authoritarianism as a “New Turkey” is simply ridiculous and carries heavy responsibility for the future. Rest assured.

The day will come when those who are at the center of this marketing exercise will be expected to explain their actions. I feel sorry for them Most of them are aware that their leader has brought them to a dead-end but have no option but to sing the government tune.

Praise is the order of the day. It must be difficult to live with yourself if you have a conscience and see what the government’s authoritarianism is doing to the social fabric of this country.

It must be torture to know that the horse you are betting on is nowhere close to establishing a “New Turkey” but is, instead, steadfastly riding straight to hell.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman