Turkish president’s triumph

  • Mr Erdogan should use his new powers to end Turkey’s ‘deep state’ image
- DAWN

Apr 21, 2017-

Turkey’s elected strongman has finally got what he wanted—victory in a referendum that will give him sweeping powers. As results started pouring in, the opposition cried foul and demanded a recount. Mr Erdogan asked the opposition not to challenge the veracity of his victory, and threatened to reintroduce the death penalty. The big issue is: what next? Will the AKP’s victory heal the wounds inflicted by the July 2016 coup attempt and its aftermath, or will Mr Erdogan continue with his petulant behaviour?

The 2016 attempt was a foolhardy gamble and was crushed by Turkish citizens. Millions saw men and women hurl themselves on tanks to proclaim their attachment to democracy and abhorrence of military rule. Yet Mr Erodgan’s own reaction stunned even his most ardent admirers as he launched what looked like a crackdown on his people. Since he came to power in 2002, Mr Erdogan has some achievements to his credit, including the consolidation of civilian supremacy and a robust economic growth. But he has gradually moved away from some fundamentals of Ataturk’s policies. Now armed with a fresh mandate, Mr Erdogan should shun vindictiveness, show magnanimity, unite a divided nation, use his new powers to end Turkey’s ‘deep state’ image and revitalise the economy.

Published: 21-04-2017 07:43

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