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.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Erdogan, Making Himself Invincible

"Municipal services have stalled."
"That's why President Erdogan is saying we need a shake-up."
Presidential adviser, anonymous, Turkey

"We are a young population. The median age is something like 32."
Mehdi Eker, vice-president, Justice and Development Party

"[Retiring, forcibly] not because I am unsuccessful, not because I am tired."
"Only and only, I am fulfilling Recep Tayyip Erdogan's request."
Melih Gokcek, former Ankara mayor
Melih Gökcek (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Merey)
Ankara's eccentric mayor, Melih Gokcek, resigned Saturday after 23 years of running the Turkish capital, becoming the latest local politician to bow to pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he shakes up his party.

"The greatest secret of his success has always been teamwork."
"Step by step, he purged everyone who is capable of standing on their own feet. He does not share power anymore, he allocates."
Rusen Cakir, founder, Medyascope TV
There are always reasons that can be conjured up handily to explain any situation, and there are always seasons when it becomes convenient for those reasons to be aired as legitimate and meaningful for any entity to surge ahead with its designed purpose. In this instance, reason and season come together in a timely way for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, consolidating his imperial position as president-for-life of that great democratic nation, Turkey.

Leaving no stone unturned, and no individual in office who has proven he cannot pull his weight in authority dedicated to a designated cause; that of unquestioned support to Erdogan's agenda, those whose performance has been judged sub-par have become expendable irrespective of the fact that they represent elected mayors of Turkey's largest cities for whom the electorate has high regard in their effectiveness.

Judged solely by the fact that in 17 of Turkey's largest 30 cities his pet project referendum to confer  unlimited powers on this Islamist president of Turkey there was a failure to assent to the April referendum, the mayors of those cities, held responsible for the lack of support, are now paying the freight associated with their inability to carry the people to vote in favour of a regime and a president they may view as somewhat more corrupt than they are willing to countenance

In the wake of the imprisonment and firing of tens of thousands of police officers, judges, civil servants, journalists and academics following last year's failed coup attempt, Erdogan saw fit to replace mayors of 82 municipalities out of a total of 103 in the Kurdish southeast alone. Once his April referendum victory, slight as it was, was secured, he changed 19 seats on the 50-member executive board of the ruling Justice and Development Party.
Türkei Putschversuch (picture-alliance/AA)
More than 50,000 people have been arrested and some 150,000 dismissed from their jobs in an ongoing cull in the wake of the failed coup attempt

Though Erdogan remains the most popular politician in Turkey, the party itself has slipped to 43 from 49 percent in popular support, that slippage no doubt having some relation to the voters considering AKP officials and Erdogan family members corruption-tainted, with some government ministers held to have accepted millions in bribes.

In view of the fact that the Turkish population is younger and as such fodder for manipulation in favour of voting for the AKP, some alteration in the social-public covenant and services have been in order, with the new mayor of Ankara signalling his loyalty to Erdogan by lowering the minimum age to hold public office, from 25 to 18.  Another initiative was to extend public transport for all-night operations, a move popular with the young.

The dismissed mayors did not go with good grace into the night of unemployment. Former mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, considering himself unassailable in the position he held securely for 23 years resisted mightily for all the good it did him. For Erdogan, having mayors in Turkey's large cities totally allied with his personal agenda to capture greater power is critical to his end-game.

Erdogan on a golden throne
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly accused Dutch and German politicians of acting like "Nazis" and claiming the "spirit of fascism" is rampant in Europe. He later invoked medieval religious wars in the context of escalating tensions between the EU and Turkey. "My dear brothers, a battle has started between the cross and the half moon. There can be no other explanation,"

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