Turkey from 2007 to 2017: An Introduction

In 2007, Turkey elected its new President, Abdullah Gül. He is presented as “the first Muslim President of Turkey”, which meant all of the following, and all at the same time:

  1. The previous presidents were not Muslim.
  2. They were not Muslims because of the system of the country.
  3. This system will be taken down.
  4. The identity of Republic of Turkey will change.
  5. With the new president, Turkey will evolve.
  6. This evolution change will be towards Islamism.
  7. Turkey will not be what it has been so far.

In less than a year, after managing to hold both Presidential and PM offices, the party invented a term, New Turkey (Yeni Türkiye). According to them, in the old Turkey so many bad things happened because of the system and the bad people who were responsible of the system. But this New Turkey was different. It was not the continuation of the old one. It was revolutionary.

From early 2007 on, Turkey was divided in two large groups. On one side were us – these “secular fascists” who wanted to “continue the status-quo”, who were against “Islam and Muslims” as well as “Turkish society’s norms and values, their well-being, and their joy and prosperity” because of being “elitist”, who sided with and wanted “military junta” and were “illiberal and against democracy”. On the other side were those that were “taking revenge”, the liberals who wanted to “give Islamists and the society a chance”, and those who wanted Turkey to be less of a secular and more of an Islamist state.

Once the central identity in politics is religion or nationality, race, or such, there is the high chance of a societal divide and increasing unrest than the aimed opposite. And if it is a revanchist religion like Islam, not only the stakes are higher but also the outcomes are to be worse. I knew it in 2007, when I was 21. Many millions did not – including university professors or analysts for prestigious institutions.

According to reliable data by V-Dem, Freedom House, or such, Turkey had a break in 2011-2013, and became an oppressive state (again). But history shows that from 2007 on, Erdogan’s identity which was “hidden” until then was revealed. In 2008, two central things happened:

  1. The case against AKP due to anti-secular acts and speeches was opened.
  2. Ergenekon trials, in which many military staff and generals were accused of plotting against the government especially in 2003-2004.

Clearly AKP was against secularism, but it was ignored by many. Ergenekon trials, as well, were based on scientifically fake evidence, but courts were assumed to be just and fair. For the last decade, AKP has been playing the same game the same way. But it is realized only after 2011, if not 2013, in many circles.

Today Turkey is on the verge of a civil war, massacre, or a level of suppression which will be worse than today. Many, contrary to 2007, are concerned, but no one talks about what is to come. It is clear that today the society is deeply divided. One half has the state apparatus backing them, with their legal bullets. The other half is the mixture of the minorities and cultural, social, (and partly economic) elite. The elite still are in their comfort zone, yet it is getting smaller and smaller. Erdogan seems to aim that comfort zone in the end. The logarithmic decrease in life quality will soon mobilize the elite.

What will happen? There are three scenarios:

  1. The elite will get armed, and a civil war or massacre will start.
  2. The elite will get armed, and there will be an international intervention.
  3. The elite will not get armed, and they will be massacred.

There is no way out for Turkey than a destruction as seen above. Once more those that should speak up are silent. In less than a decade, we will be reading the analyses of the experts on how Turkey was drawn into a civil war, while hiding their support either in the past or present.

Will they not have their share in the suffering and death of the people?

(This post was previously shared at WordPress)

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