On June 24, Turkey will vote to elect a president with immensely increased powers that will replace the country’s parliamentary democracy with a strongman. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan designed the position for himself, relying on the loyalty of the nearly 50 percent of voters who have sided with him in past elections.
The usually fractious opposition has come up with a unified strategy to stop his juggernaut. The governing Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., uses the largely cowed and co-opted media to target new enemies and scapegoats for its failures.
What are the chances for political and social unity in a badly fractured nation?… Seguir leyendo »
Until Friday afternoon, Turkey remained a competent and stable, if problematic, country that served as a buffer between Europe and the imploding Middle East and a partner for the United States. It suffered from terrorist attacks like European countries, and shared a world where solidarity could be demonstrated by Facebook posts and projecting the Turkish flags on national monuments.
That changed with Friday’s coup attempt.
The military action, the results of which are still unclear, took Turkey out of Europe and placed it squarely in the Middle East. It tore away the country’s stability, replacing polarization with what could end up being outright civil war, whether the coup succeeds or not.… Seguir leyendo »