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Another in a succession of intriguing recent political events that has the potential to shape contemporary world history, was yesterday's constitutional referendum in Turkey. After last July's failed coup and subsequent declaration of an indefinite state of emergency that's been extended for a further 3 months, Turks yesterday went to the polls to vote, in essence, on the granting of presidential powers to the current incumbent of the Turkish presidency, Tayyip Erdogan, as well as other potential future leaders. Erdogan won which means he can potentially rule until 2029 providing he wins the necessary elections.

Opinions? Is Turkey on the road to a dictatorship? What does this mean for European relations and ties between Turkey and the Middle East? Was the supposed coup a modern Kristallnacht designed to lend Erdogan a pretence under which he could strengthen his grip on Turkey? Or is he a patriot for putting his country's interests before any other foreign considerations, and democracy has had its day? 

 

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Well, now Erdogan has been crowned Sultan. Be ready for Kurdish genocide,massive militarization etc

By the way, it is quite surprising that he won with just 51% as the country's media was covering only his side.

He wants to look like a patriot, for one simple reason: to remain in power. He has repeatedly criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, threatening peace with Greece. He and his party-fellows have claimed the Aegean and Turkish military has been violating the border ever since.

Plus, the "recent" human rights abuses. (Actually Turcs have a long history and love for human rights abuses- see 1978 Midnight express movie; it depicts the reality of Turkish prisons)

With such behaviour, one thing is clear; you simply can't join the EU.

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1 hour ago, 5akaalsingh said:

With such behaviour, one thing is clear; you simply can't join the EU.

I think they have the perfect excuse not to curb the oncoming migrant wave that's headed for Europe. In a way it's quite heartening to see someone like Erdogan thumbing his nose at these weak and cowardly European leaders, but as you say, the Kurds are in for a torrid time. I do think he'll eventually go too far towards an Islamic autocracy over the next decade or so, and when that happens things will be a mess for the whole country. In the meantime, it'll be curious to see who he reaches out to in a diplomatic sense.

Edited by MisterrSingh
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Erdogan once said that democracy is like a tram ride. It's useful until you get off at the next stop.

The country is going towards a dictatorship and it will be an Islamic dictatorship. 

It seems he wants to re-create the Ottoman empire.

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1 hour ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Erdogan once said that democracy is like a tram ride. It's useful until you get off at the next stop.

The country is going towards a dictatorship and it will be an Islamic dictatorship. 

It seems he wants to re-create the Ottoman empire.

Does that mean he wants to take on the Arabs?

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16 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

Does that mean he wants to take on the Arabs?

That may be a possibility. 

He definitely wants to have some degree of influence.

The Ottoman empire did lord it over the Arabs in present Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and other parts of the Arab world.

He does not want Kurds to gain too much power in Iraq and Syria because it would make the Kurds in Turkey very restless.

He does not want Iran to have too much of an influence either. The Ottomans and Iran (when it was the Safavid empire) used to come to blows in the same region.

Even before Islam, it seems there were the same problems when there was the Byzantines and the Sassanids. 

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32 minutes ago, Ranjeet01 said:

That may be a possibility. 

He definitely wants to have some degree of influence.

The Ottoman empire did lord it over the Arabs in present Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and other parts of the Arab world.

He does not want Kurds to gain too much power in Iraq and Syria because it would make the Kurds in Turkey very restless.

He does not want Iran to have too much of an influence either. The Ottomans and Iran (when it was the Safavid empire) used to come to blows in the same region.

Even before Islam, it seems there were the same problems when there was the Byzantines and the Sassanids. 

I don't know how useful it is to project past dynamics on the situation today? I'm not saying that they might not be entirely accurate and valid, but change and pragmatism on part of those involved wouldn't be any sort of big shocker. 

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9 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

I don't know how useful it is to project past dynamics on the situation today? I'm not saying that they might not be entirely accurate and valid, but change and pragmatism on part of those involved wouldn't be any sort of big shocker. 

If there is one thing I have learnt is that history does tend to repeat itself and the geopolitics of the region have a much bigger impact than we realise.

One thing from my own observations is that Erdogan is very determined to undo the foundations of the modern Republic of Turkey set up by Ataturk. 

But he is doing the dismantling in a step by step process.

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3 hours ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Erdogan once said that democracy is like a tram ride. It's useful until you get off at the next stop.

The country is going towards a dictatorship and it will be an Islamic dictatorship. 

It seems he wants to re-create the Ottoman empire.

It'll be amusing to see what justifications certain parties begin to churn out when he starts a Soviet style cracking down on dissent; the whole political opposition / artists / minorities routine that become the victims of these type of regimes. The same people who cheered when the military coup was crushed last year will be wringing their hands in disbelief, asking why nobody is helping those oppressed Turks. Give it another 7 or so years.

Edited by MisterrSingh

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2 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

It'll be amusing to see what justifications certain parties begin to churn out when he starts a Soviet style cracking down on dissent; the whole political opposition / artists / minorities routine that become the victims of these type of regimes. The same people who cheered when the military coup was crushed last year will be wringing their hands in disbelief, asking why nobody is helping those oppressed Turks. Give it another 7 or so years.

what do you mean start I thought he had already soon flavour last year by murdering dissenting army generals, journalists etc calling mobs to put down the soldiers 

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4 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

It'll be amusing to see what justifications certain parties begin to churn out when he starts a Soviet style cracking down on dissent; the whole political opposition / artists / minorities routine that become the victims of these type of regimes. The same people who cheered when the military coup was crushed last year will be wringing their hands in disbelief, asking why nobody is helping those oppressed Turks. Give it another 7 or so years.

The urban/coastal Turks are the ones who tend to be anti-Erdogan.

Most of his support comes from the Anatolian heartlands. They are the more conservative religious types and would definitely be the ones cheering him on.

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23 minutes ago, Ranjeet01 said:

The urban/coastal Turks are the ones who tend to be anti-Erdogan.

Most of his support comes from the Anatolian heartlands. They are the more conservative religious types and would definitely be the ones cheering him on.

 

2 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

what do you mean start I thought he had already soon flavour last year by murdering dissenting army generals, journalists etc calling mobs to put down the soldiers 

I meant those who are reluctant to criticise him in the West; certain media outlets and newspapers of a particular ideological bent, who are hedging their bets afraid that any condemnation of Erdogan and his policies might be considered to be Islamophobic. When the so-called coup of last July was eliminated, the barely contained joy amongst the liberal press in Europe was embarrassing to behold. Anyone with two brain cells could see it was one big stitch-up, yet only now when those few within the country itself have begun to reach out and say, "Maybe Erdogan isn't doing the best thing for Turkey" is there a sense of acknowledging the very thing these idiots refused to see last year.

Erdogan didn't even win the support of the three main cities in Turkey, mostly, as others have mentioned, due to the generally metropolitan outlook of their citizens. Gradually as he begins to consolidate power and tighten his grip on the country, those voices of dissent within the country will get louder. This won't end well for Turkey. Long term there are going to be huge problems, and if there is a violent lurch towards outright Islamism, it's only a matter of time until America will wade in, even if it won't be until another 15 or so years. I just feel sympathy for the Kurds. They're going to be targeted in a big way by Erdogan, and nobody is going to come to their aid. 

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