FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Beware Turkish ‘democracy’
Posted:Apr 20, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Viva democracy. The people have spoken. Turkey’s strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is here to stay. Power to the people, their will has been done. And all that jazz.
 
 
If only things were so simple.
 
 
Unofficial counts put Erdogan’s victory at a mere 51.4 percent. This is hardly winning-by-a-mile stuff. Rather, it is along the lines of the wishy-washy Brexit vote. The latter, too, was a close call, with the Remainers scoring just 52 percent. We now know that one year on from that ill-fated referendum that has, effectively, changed the future path of Britain’s interactions with the majority of Europe, Britons will likely be heading to the polls once more. This time for a general election that will be three years ahead of schedule.
 
 
The most striking commonality of the two referenda is the narrow margins with which both sides won. This points to deeply divided societies. It also points to the failure of the parliamentary system — in terms of votes alone representing the measure by which majority will is assured. For democracy must name the process by which it comes to power. And this must extend to existing frameworks pertaining to a free media as well as freedom of speech, both of which ought to converge to provide for an informed campaign. This didn’t happen in either case.
 
 
Turkey has a notoriously bad reputation when it comes to clamping down on a ‘dissenting’ media. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP), 81 journalists — editors, writers, cartoonists and photographers — were detained in Turkish prisons as of December last year (of a total of 259 globally). All of them face anti-state charges. Many believe that this is the highest number of journalists ever held in a single country at a single time. In the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s referendum, Erdogan vowed to extend by an three additional months the country’s state of emergency, initially put in place following the failed coup to out him last summer.
 
 
Thus the future looks precarious for Turkish democracy. And we, here, in Pakistan would be right to be wary of the way in which Erdogan holds both our Prime Minister and the PTI leader seemingly captivated. For it was only at the end of last year that Nawaz Sharif, in a fit of hitherto unknown decisiveness, expelled around 100 Turkish teachers working at a chain of international schools. He did so over allegations that these were run by the man believed to be behind last July’s anti-Erdogan manoeuvring.
 
 
Turkey’s outlook for EU ascension looks bleak, not least of all because of Ankara’s unease at adhering to certain criterion on the political front. But this doesn’t mean that Pakistan should not bother looking before it leaps between the sheets with the strongman of Ankara.

Daily Times, April 20, 2017 

 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image I am honored to be here today for the first U.S. government exchange alumni conference for India and Bhutan.
 
read-more
The European Union and India should work closely to bring peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said.
 
read-more
On a self-imposed trial of three months, the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir has gone for what it believes to be a slam dunk.
 
read-more
spotlight image Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sprang a surprise when he registered himself as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election scheduled for May 19. After leaving the office of President in 2013 at the end of two controversial terms, the firebrand populist has been largely inactive in politics. 
 
read-more
That China strictly implements the UN Security Council resolutions that sanction North Korea is seen by all. If Pyongyang continues with its nuclear and missile tests, China is bound to support more harsh resolutions on this country.
 
read-more
India should be extremely wary of any Trump involvement on the Kashmir issue because he would do anything to bring India to the table, writes Dr. Susmit Kumar for South Asia Monitor.
 
read-more
A pre-dawn  suicide terror attack (fidayeen)  on an army camp in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday (April 27)   resulted in the death of three army personnel including an officer,  while two terrorists were neutralized. Combing operations are in progress to ascertain if any of the attackers have
 
read-more
The core parts of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system have been moved to the site of what had been a golf course in southern South Korea.
 
read-more
Health of the citizens and the economy of the nation they inhabit go hand in hand and every buck spent on former guarantees a manifold increase in the latter,  said noted public health expert K Srikant Reddy. The lecture 'Health and Development: India Must Bridge the Disconnect' was ...
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Column-image

Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...

 
Column-image

Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive