Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Turkey: A Family Affair in a #NewEraWithErdogan

"[Turkey is] making a new start. [Turkey] is entering a new era."
"We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos."
"[I am prepared to] propel our country forward."  
"With the power granted to us by the new presidential system, we will get quicker and stronger results."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his press conference at the Presidential Palace after taking his oath of office, in Ankara, Turkey, 9 July 2018
Mr Erdogan informed guests at the presidential palace in Ankara that Turkey was "making a new start" EPA

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party have had several decades of manoeuvring and plotting and manipulating and promoting the ascendancy of Islamism to change Turkey back to the backwater of Islam it was before Kemal Ataturk turned it into a parliamentary republic and a European-style democracy, hauling it out of the stagnating dark ages of the Ottoman Empire to reflect its halfway immersion in Europe, leaving its Muslim legacy a heritage to be practised in private. Erdogan has succeeded in reversing a century of progress.

When he came to power and for the first decade after, Turkey was prosperous and working toward acceptance into the European Union which urged it to tweak its human rights record just a little more, leading him to make a temporary and uneasy peace agreement with Turkey's Kurdish minority. As Erdogan and his party became more solidly ensconced, assured of support from Turkish Islamists he felt confident in sowing the seeds of discord between Turkey and the EU, Turkey and Israel, a longtime Middle East ally, and NATO.

He manipulated and schemed and planned a succession of elections to bring him to the point where he is at present, partly by portraying Turkey internally as beleaguered by the United States and Europe, and throwing in that trusty old standby, hatred for Jews and Israel as a unifying technique to enable him to convince the Turkish electorate that greater powers for Erdogan, Islam's anointed new Caliph, would bring greater glory and wealth to Turkey. In the process he hunted down Kurds, destroying the accord and re-aligned himself with Russia in deadly regime-occupied Syria.

Opposition accusations of nepotism, corruption and general malfeasance barely dented the man and his ruling party. After all, he was in control and ensconced in his palace from which no one could wrench him. The state of emergency he imposed on the country after the unfortunately failed coup attempt saw Erdogan wreaking vengeance on those whom he identified as supporting his arch enemy the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen and so he dismissed 18,000 civil servants, police, justices, journalists, teachers, military, arresting 60,000 as coup plotters, enemies of the state.

Term limits for Turkey's central bank governor have been removed, the bank no longer independent but in the hands of his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, formerly energy minister. Erdogan is head of the executive, controls the military, controls Turkey's intelligence agency, may now issue decrees and select senior judges. He is the government. He is Turkey, indivisible.

All of these informed, intelligent choices in ruling the country is bringing it to economic ruin. The Turkish lira lost 3percent of its value, but that is not Erdogan's fault; it has resulted from a "very open and clear operation" against Turkey by its enemies. Stand up, U.S.

On this most auspicious day for Erdogan and Turkey, he was cheered by crowds of enthusiasts as the convoy made its way to the inauguration ceremony. #NewEraWithErdogan, tweeted the presidency.

 The image of the presidential palace, a palatial estate worthy of Erdogan's status and ambition appeared on a special commemorative coin minted for guests attending the inaugural ceremony where he conferred with Nicholas Madura of Venezuela for hints on how to proceed with the ruination of a country and the beggaring of its population.

 

 Erdogan's avowed quicker and stronger results have been initiated. Foreign investment has fled. Turkey's economy is beginning to crumble. Long live the Caliph!

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