Turkey, the caliphate of Sultan Erdogan?

In his new blog, our Research Assistant Patrick Zingerle describes the current political situation in Erdogan's Turkey, from the army coup to the recent referendum strengthening the power in the hands of the Turkish president.

  • On April 16, the Turkish people voted in a constitutional referendum deciding whether to broaden the Presidential office’s influence at the expense of the parliament, further undermining the fragile Turkish parliamentary democracy and pushing it further towards authoritarianism. Erdogan’s razor-thin victory of (51,3%), allowed for the realization of his long-time effort to redefine his position as president.
  • The result, however, has been met with stark critique from international election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who report that it falls short of international standards. Does this vote signal the end of Turkish democracy?

Since 1923, Turkey has been reluctant in recognizing full rights of different minorities. The thorniest issue in this context concerns the recognition of the Kurdish minority, which witnessed severe human rights abuses and judicial prejudice due to intense ‘Turkification’ campaigns. The situation worsened after the failed coup in July 2016. Under the state of emergency introduced only 5 days later, fundamental freedoms, essential to a genuine democratic regime, were systematically curtailed.

The referendum’s result opens the door to a new model of governance represented by an obedient society supporting conservative values, spearheaded by an authoritarian “strong-man” and government. This new system clearly gives the president too much power, thereby dismantling the separation of power fundamental to a democracy and taking legislative authority away from the Parliament.

The whole article is available on BlogActiv.eu
#Erdogan #Turkey #coup #referendum

Patrick Zingerle
Research Assistant


EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
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