Turkey has witnessed in its recent history many political upheavals and abrupt changes, most of which was due to the heavy military weight upon the political life. Mustapha Kamal Ataturk, the father and founder of the new Turkish state, has brought the secular pro-west system into existence, and since then, and for a long time, the army has been the guardian of the system. Now, with Recep Tayyib Erdogan on top of the system he aimed at reestablishing the sultanate again under his tight grip this time.
Erdogan wants to introduce a new version of Turkey, built upon secular Islam. The failed military coup d’etat last year made him more determined to hold all powers in his hand.
Last Sunday referendum which gave Erdogan unprecedented prerogatives and presidential mandate, made him an absolute authoritative ruler over the whole system. The victory earned was far from being a representative one, it was a victory with the taste of defeat, because it was a narrow percentage that made Erdogan win, and those who voted in favor of the presidential system do not represent a real majority.
True, Erdogan today accumulates more power than any time, but it would’ve been equally correct to say that turkey has never been divided at any time in the past as it is today ..
Turkey suffers from two major problems:
The two crises are interwoven and feed on one another. Turkey has long fluctuated between East and West. Ataturk wants it to be part of the secular west while its history and whole heritage was built upon being the Ottoman sultanate, the number one stretching empire representing official Islam. This has led to a severe identity crisis, as it is difficult to reconcile between the two. Turkey has a complex of dismemberment as the Western powers separated vast parts of the empire and annexed them to other countries, thus weakening Ankara and relegating it into a secondary and marginal player in the world game of power and influence.
In addition to this, Turkey’s role has diminished in the world and the whole region, Ankara found itself in a real dilemma, as the aspirations to join the European Union evaporated, while it did not yield any tangible results in its Arab and Islamic surrounding, this explains partly, its interventions in Iraq and Syria. Turkey is adamant to have a say, and yield advantages in determining the future of the two countries.
As a conclusion, Turkey’s referendum results had opened the country into the unknown. The country has not fully recovered from the bloody coup few months ago; the political opposition inside the country is mounting and many forces refused the results of the referendum. The Kurdish problem reigns with its heavy weight at a very sensitive time, while the Takfiris who enjoyed continuous Turkish support since the eruption of the Syrian crisis, are venting their anger inside Turkey.
Will the new powers represented in the presidential system do Erdogan any good, and bring his dreams any closer? Turkey is at a crossroad; the foreseeable future will bring the answers; whether this will bring more political and security stability to the country, or open it to more seditions and divisions.
Source: Al-Manar Website