A divided nation: Turkey after Erdogan’s referendum

Written by on April 17, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on A divided nation: Turkey after Erdogan’s referendum

After the referendum in Turkey, oppositional parties did not accept the outcome and demanded a recount, while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed a victory, in a divided nation, almost half of which rejected the changes to the country’s constitution and governmental system.

Erdogan had fought for the replacement of Turkey’s parliamentary democracy by a presidential system, which foremost serves one man and his lust for power: Erdogan. Not only will he take over the government as President, but his terms will not be limited anymore. This means, he will be able to govern the country in 2023, when the Turkish Republic celebrates its 100th birthday. It means, he can take big decisions without being restrained by anyone or anything.

The system of government in Turkey is now custom-made to serve Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is more powerful than ever.

Not only is he head of state, but also head of government. While, as President, he was not allowed to be a member in any party, he now is. Not only that, but he may actually lead that party. He gets to govern by decree, if and when he chooses to do so. Also he may appoint his ministers and even fill important posts in the judicial system as he pleases.

Yesterday’s referendum was the most consequential in the history of Turkey. The parliament has become far less powerful, the Prime Minister post was cancelled. It is gone. What all of this means is that there will not be a balance of power in Turkey, but one person which holds all the power: Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan managed to reach this point by actually convincing people he alone was the person to prevent terror and chaos. In 2014, when he was still Prime Minister, he had begun fighting for the new system. If the opposition does not get its way regarding a recount, and if the latter does not mean the outcome of the referendum was actually a “No”, one man will have reached his goal and definitely the peak of his career.

At this stage it looks like a majority has ended the vision of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Erdogan basically became the new Atatürk, unless his foes manage to get him off the throne. The “Yes” vote also means a “No” to the European Union or any pro-western direction.



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