Its official now.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the next dictator-cum-strongman of Europe – in fact the only one after Vladimir Putin in Russia.
As ‘Putinism’ is used to describe the dictatorial run of Vladimir Putin, another dictatorial style complete its gestation period today – ‘Erdoganism’ – with his designs for an all power presidency in Turkey.
Today, Erdogan killed the Turkish parliamentary system and gave his coronation as Turkey’s undisputed, unbridled, unchallenged (and hardliner) ruler a presidential makeover. Today, Turkey, the only Muslim country with a modern cultural outlook today completed its journey to become a man’s fiefdom.
Today’s referendum has given unparalleled (and unquestioned) powers to Erdogan. Now he will appoint and sack his cabinet as he pleases. Now he will choose who will deliver justice in Turkey’s courts. Now he will dissolve the parliament, that has already been reduced to a nominal existence, when he feels so.
And it is not without public support. The 2016 Turkish coup against Erdogan failed because public opposed it. And swathes of public could be seen in long shots of Erdogan’s victory celebrations today. He is riding high on a nationalist fervour.
Something that Putinism has done with a panache.
Putin has been ‘democratically’ elected dictator of Russia since 1999, 18 year now and is poised to remain there for decades. Erdogan has ruled Turkey’s power corridors since 2003 and with today’s move, he also cemented with position for decades to come. They both have abused democracy to give democratic sanction to their ruthless power grabbing acts.
The 2016 Turkish coup, in fact, was the last remnant of the secular thought process – the hallmark of the Turkish military once – that saw its disoriented expression on July 15 last year.
Tens of thousands have been arrested and purged and it is still ongoing – with ruthless finesse. It is expected to last till every voice against Erdogan is effectively silenced. Erdogan was doing it for long but the coup (or the failed coup) exacerbated it. With today’s coup, Erdoganism has tried to give it a sort of democratic garb.
Would the European community act? Would the European nations take note of it?
Well, this question was raised every time Putinism displayed itself and it will continue its tradition with Erdoganism, as has been the case when signs became visible that Europe’s next dictator had arrived in Erogan.
The answer never came. Turkey has become the next Russia for Europe. And European nations cannot do anything about it. Today, the only secular Muslim country of the world initiated its journey back to religious fundamentalism under a ruler who is a Islamist and was jailed for hurting Turkey’s secular credentials. Today, the right wing politics prevailed in yet another country.