Erdogan Crushes The Secularists

Erdogan Crushes The Secularists

Last Updated: November 20, 2015
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a total victory in the snap parliamentary elections held in Turkey last week. The party of the current President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, won a little over 49 percent of the total vote. This result will get the right to that party to form a government alone. Because of this fact, many secularists in Turkey are afraid – with a good reason – that Turkey will face a radicalization of society and that the AKP, led by Erdogan, will entice totalitarianism.

Today Turkey is a country plagued by numerous problems, mostly by conflicts with the Kurds within Turkey and Syria. It seems that the people of Turkey have donated their trust to the party and the man who they think can get them out of the trouble. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known for belonging to the ‘hard’ current of the political-religious milieu of Turkey.

Erdogan supported the Islamists, a fact he is accused for by the weakening secularists. It seems that the majority of the people in Turkey voted for the current that can provide some kind of stability, regardless the fact that the party flirts with Islamists. Turkey has an ambivalent attitude towards ISIL and fairly clear attitude towards the Kurds.

Clashes between the Turkish army and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party inside Turkey have restarted recently. The Turkish army constantly attacks positions of the Kurds in Syria who are fighting against the ‘Islamic state’. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is uncompromising when it comes to the solution of the Kurdish problem. However, he is also unscrupulous to his opponents in the country.

As for opponents among the Turks, Erdogan took the initiative immediately after the elections. He cleaned the media in one go, accusing the heads of the opposition newspaper Nokta for the coup d’État attempt. The chief editor Cevheri Güven and the manager Murat Capan were accused of the plotting to overthrow the government and placed into custody. “The two of them were arrested by the police in Istanbul, since the cover page of the last issue of the newspapers presented the election triumph of Justice and Development Party (AKP) as the start of the civil war in Turkey”.


Turkish police took the two television stations belonging to the opposition and laid off 58 journalists. But that was not all.Recep Erdogan came into conflict with his religious enemy, preacher Fethullah Gülen, and arrested 35 of his followers, among them were senior administrative and police officials. The raid began in Izmir at dawn against the supporters and members of ‘parallel structures’ which is the name for followers of Fethullah Gülen who is currently located in the United States.

The Court sought a sentence for Gülen of 34 years! Secularists in Turkey have so little to hope for. There is no doubt that Erdogan would further strengthen his authoritywhich could affect the democratic system in Turkey, but for most Turks Erdogan and his party are symbols of stability of the country and deal with the Kurds. However, the Kurdish question will continue to plague Turkey until an acceptable diplomatic solution is found. In this light it is difficult for Recep Tayyip Erdogan to negotiate with the Kurds.

Turkish planes bombed positions of the Kurds again and the question is how the Turkish president actually intends to resolve the ‘Kurdish issue’ because it is obvious that military force cannot help, and the use of weapons brings both sides back to the vicious circle. One thing is for certain, Erdogan has vowed to continue attacks on the positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party after ceasefire agreement failed in July.

Unfortunately, such major victory of AKP in early parliamentary elections does not bode well for democracy in Turkey and for the issue of the Kurds because it is obvious that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unable to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.