Mustafa Kemal Atatürk created the Republic of Turkey in 1923. His goal was to set up a secular state. Turkey was the first Moslem nation to become a Republic. It has served since the early 1920s as a model for Moslem and non-Moslem nations in the emerging world. Unfortunately its Moslem neighbors have not followed the example set by Attaturk, and current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully undone what Attaturk began.
Time Magazine posted an article today about Turkey’s most recent election.
The article reports:
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cemented himself as the strongman of Turkey, after his coalition won presidential and parliamentary elections that will extend his powers and possibly his rule for as long as a decade.
Erdogan’s coalition gained around 53% of the vote with close to 90% turnout, according to the state broadcaster, meaning he will extend his 15-year rule for at least another five – with the potential to control Turkey until 2028.
“Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the whole of the world,” he claimed in his speech. Elsewhere, his opponents cried foul with accusations of an unjust race, saying Erdogan’s party had the unfair backing of the state and the opposition was cowed by emergency laws.
The election has crucial implications for regional security, refugee flows, and world democracy — but also for Turkey itself, at the crossroads between Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
The article explains what will be the result of this election:
Last year, Erdogan held and narrowly won a referendum on amending Turkey’s constitution. The changes, which come into effect following this election, include a shift away from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency.
Erdogan will gain the power to issue decrees, appoint public officials including ministers and judges, decide the budget and control the military and the police. By contrast the power of parliament will be diminished and the role of prime minister abolished.
The dream of Attaturk has died with the last election in Turkey. This is another example of the incompatibility of Islam with freedom and democracy. Those who love freedom need to realize that radical Islam is a political system–not a religion. The dream of Erdogan is to reestablish the Caliphate that was the Ottoman Empire with Turkey leading the way. That is not a step in the direction of peace in the Middle East.