This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Turkey's Islamist Anti-Ataturk Power Play

Against expectations and poll predictions, the ruling Justice and Development Party has been returned to majority status. The coalition of Kurds and leftists that managed back in May to win enough seats to deny the AKP the majority government they felt they would sweep the elections with to enable Recep Tayyip Erdogan to manipulate the constitution to give himself greater powers as President, didn't develop back then.

Now, however, with the calling of a re-election to make things 'right', Erdogan has got his clear majority. Though whether he has enough to call a constitution-altering referendum is yet unsettled. He will find a way.

 Recep Tayyip Erdogan (June 2015)

Turkey election results

seats in parliament for Justice and Development Party (AKP)
  • 134 for Republican People's Party (CHP)
  • 59 for People's Democratic Party (HDP)
  • 41 for Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)

AK Party supporters in Ankara, 1 November 2015
AKP headquarters celebrations: the Turkish people have triumphed!

The AKP convinced Turks that their country was under threat. It is under threat, that much is clear. What Turks haven't grasped, however, is that it has been the actions of their president and his party that connived to place it under threat. And to have it appear as though only Erdogan and his AKP stand between Turkish society and utter  calamity, brought to the fore by the consequential violent hostility of Turkish Kurds threatening the stability of Turkey.

The Kurdish ingrates are not satisfied with being Turks, they must agitate for their own Kurdish homeland, something that Turkey can never, will never permit.

As far as threats are concerned, the government's support for Islamic State jihadists, enabling them to station themselves in Turkey and conveniently travel across to Syria at will, helping them to procure arms, is not a matter for public discussion. For public discussion there is the emphatic denials of the government that they would ever contemplate such undesirable company, even at the cost of helping to rid Syria of its dictatorial Bashar al-Assad.

From one dictator to another; antipathy and loathing. Erdogan does not, after all, indiscriminately bomb all of his population, only that segment that supports dividing the country. And, casting about for a scapegoat, how serendipitous that the Kurds are there, protesting and making a nuisance of themselves, presenting as ready material for blame for all that has gone wrong. Deadly attacks against peace protesters planning to rebuild the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani? The fault of ISIL, of course.

An even more deadly attack, killing a hundred victims, not merely 30, taking place in Ankara with two horrific bombings? ISIL, naturally. Unfortunate in the extreme that the regime hadn't seen the necessity to have sufficient numbers of police on duty to prevent such an atrocity, but that's how it goes since the victims were mostly socialists and Kurds at any event. And if Turks were appalled by these grisly events, there was a solution: the majority re-election of the AKP and their admired strongman.

The Turks, like the Russians, are extraordinarily fond of their boastful, strutting, entitled strongmen. And the agitation against the PKK Kurdish militants and the growing threat of Islamic State put Turks in just the right frame of mind to consider that their options started and ended with the AKP and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In him do they trust. All the charges of corruption that temporarily blackened his reputation and those of his cabinet members? Trifles.

The thousand-room palace he spent a billion dollars in constructing to reflect his munificent brilliance? With its hundreds of rooms reserved for his family? His due in reflection of the reverence in which he is held and the vital part he plays in the state of Turkish affairs. Turks are anxious for calm to enter their country, for the fears of violence to abate. And who else could fulfill that role than Erdogan?

The pro-Kurdish HDP party, linked by Erdogan with the Kurdish militants, suffered the consequences. Many ballots were cast with fear of the future.

In a country that desperately wants a return to economic health and a disappearance of the millions of Syrian refugees whose care and whose plight has created a humanitarian quagmire of need and resentment. The ceasefire between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers Party resulted from Kurdish enmity, not Turkish plans to reactivate the conflict for political reasons; this is clear because Recep Tayyip Erdogan states is to be so and who is to argue with him?

Turkey's Ak Saray, Ankara - file pic

Does not such a hero of Turkey deserve a palace? Best to forget that Mr. Erdogan was sentenced in 1999 to four months in prison after being convicted on charges of religious incitement by his reading of a nationalist poem with the lines: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." It's only a poem, after all, a sincere expression of the Islamist ideal.
"I cannot believe this. I feel heartbroken. [The AKP] steals and kills, they put pressure on everyone, they muzzle the press, but they still win. I have lost faith in this democracy."
59-year-old retired teacher

"In the past, us Kurds put all our hopes into the help and the support of Europe. Who will stand by us if they abandon us now to stand only behind Erdogan?"
Türkan,  37-year-old housewife.

"We all knew that [the AKP] would win again. Why else did [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan insist despite everything on snap elections? Now we are afraid that the pressure will increase."
Hatice, 50, head, cosmetics company, Diyarbakir

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