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NATO's First Family Dicatorship

The political atmosphere in Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble a soap opera, with the undisputed protagonist Erdogan.

Within days Turkey becomes ERDOGANIA, the empire of the Erdogan family clan. 

Turkey became the only dictatorship in a NATO country.

A democracy only on paper now, but with almost no substance left.

Three particular political developments occurred in Turkey this week and although they may appear unrelated at first, they all point to the same trend of undoing the democratic institutions, secularism and freedom of expression which have been the foundations of Turkey’s post-Ottoman political identity.

1. The first event was the unexpected declaration of intention to resign from Turkey’s prime minister Ahmet Davutouglu. Davutoglou made no secret of the fact that this decision was a result of a fall out with president Erdogan.


2. The second event was a ridiculous argument in the Turkish Parliament on Thursday. Strangely enough, the argument was not sparked by Davutoglu’s resignation or any disagreement on matters of security or policy,  but by an attempted citation of Oscar Wilde by a member of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). An AKP member, unhappy that the quote was neither from a muslim nor from a Turkish man, interrupted him shouting: “Do you not have any examples from this culture, this civilisation?” The fight continued, amid confusion and hilarity, and the HDP deputy was eventually cut off and his Oscar Wilde quote was never heard. This strange act of what seems to have become a political soap opera in Turkey, follows last week’s violent and ugly brawl, where an Armenian member of the Parliament, Garo Paylan, was assaulted physically and through hate speech by members of the AKP. He told journalists at a press conference: “During the attack, AKP members pointed at me and yelled ‘Come, Garo is there,’ and stressed my Armenian heritage, yelling hateful slurs directed at me,”  and added that “the fascists are scared, and will attack insidiously only in groups.” Both these incidents in the Turkish Parliament bear testimony to the process turning Turkey into an increasingly monolithic society, where if one is not Turkish or Muslim, one is hindered from expressing their opinions openly or fully participating in the democratic process.


3. The third event of the week was President Erdogan’s toughening of his position vis-a-vis the European Union.

(You can read more about the EU-Turkey Refugee deal here: What you have to know about the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal)

As Globalo has reported over the last few months, Turkey is sliding ever more to dictatorial and authoritarian tendencies. On average, every four days someone is being sued in Turkey for insulting Erdogan – almost 2,000 people since he became president. Among them are artists, journalists, cartoonists, academics, even students for Facebook comments. Newspaper editors critical of him have been convicted to 5 years imprisonment.

Nato’s new Dictator Erdogan

But he is also presiding over a deep general crisis on all fronts. The conflict with the Kurdish PKK is making Turkey an increasingly unsafe place to live, with seven suicide bombs in a year blamed on the PKK and the Islamic State. In terms of economic indicators, Turkey is also experiencing a nosedive with double-digit unemployment and there is an expected tourism drop of about 40% this year. These are all indicators that AKP’s policies are failing on all fronts and a breath of liberal democracy needs to blow in the shores of Turkey if it is to prosper again.