It's too early to declare the Turkish Republic dead and buried. The president's popularity has maxed out at 50 percent of the population, and the anti-Erdogan opposition won't be silenced
Louis Fishman is an assistant professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York and writes on Turkish, and Israeli/Palestinian affairs. His upcoming book is on Ottoman Palestine. He has lived most of his life between the U.S., Israel, and Turkey. Follow him on Twitter: @IstanbulTelaviv He blogs at:http://louisfishman.blogspot.com.
What could have been a contained crisis spiraled out of control once it hit a perfect storm of election fever, with both sides competing on the basis of 'If they go low, we go lower.'
The delegitimization, if not criminalization, of any opposition – political, media or cultural – by Turkey's ruling party coincides with a crucial referendum on expanding presidential power even further.
The grotesque sight of parliamentarians being dragged into police cars, mouths covered by the hands of the security forces, is the latest sign that Erdogan’s Putinization of a once proudly secular democracy is reaching a point of no return.
Rather than speak up for those targeted by the ongoing arbitrary and excessive post-coup purges of the media, business, academia and local government, Turkey’s main opposition party allowed itself to be co-opted by Erdogan.
Despite a show of almost unprecedented unity at a recent rally – and newfound Turkish nationalism following July’s bloody coup attempt – the purges hark back to a bleak pattern in Turkey’s past.
It was a wild, confusing night of gunfire, unscheduled calls to prayer and sonic booms in Istanbul. But with an nontransparent government, a media that's state controlled or under pressure, and wide-scale purges, Erdogan's narrative will be hard to challenge.
The country is in a dire situation, and needs to get its act together and fight the real terrorists while holding talks with Kurds.
Rooted in the AKP's staunchly anti-Israel past, often tainted with blatant anti-Semitism, rooted in internal Turkish politics, Erdogan has always treated Turkey's relations with Israel with disdain. What changed?
By methodically eroding liberal democracy, Netanyahu and Erdogan could endanger their states' domestic and international legitimacy. At least if the current diplomatic moves bear fruit they’ll have each other.