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Understanding ‘New Turkey’

There is an interesting article on Al Monitor called What exactly is ‘New Turkey’? that seems to explain Erdogan rather well. The money quote:

“A transfer to a majoritarian dictatorial regime from minority hegemony.”

It is an interesting read.

17 comments to Understanding ‘New Turkey’

  • Paul Marks

    The Turkish government has been open that it wishes to enforce the Islamic doctrines that most of the population believe in. A Westernised elite does not mean a Western country.

    This is the end of a “Western” Turkey that (so the government claims) was never really Western anyway.

    As the population of Western Europe changes (with the rise of Islamic populations – witness the schools in so many Western cities) so the culture (including the political culture) of Europe will also change.

    Free migration is fine if the new people (and their children) are converted to the belief system of the existing population (or the new people are only a small proportion of the existing population – and do not tend to have more children than them).

    However, what belief system do most Western countries now have? What answers to the fundamental questions of human existence do they offer?
    What is there to be converted to?

    I no longer follow threads (as I do not wish to spend what remains of my life tied to this chair) so I will spared the pathetic “replies” of various people about sex, drugs and pop music (as if this was a belief system) and useless weak “jokes” about a serious subject.

    If people do not wish the West to survive (if they wish it to be replaced by Islam) they should say so – not indulge in “humour” and other stupidity.

    Humans need a belief system – it need NOT be religious, but it must be serious (people do not remain teenagers for ever).

    If the West no longer offers a serious belief system (something to be converted to) then the West will die.

    No amount of bullets and bombs will save the West.

  • What answers to the fundamental questions of human existence do they offer?

    The fundamental question of human existence is: “where is my next meal coming from?”

    And the reason Islam is not going to destroy the (kinda sorta) capitalist West is we have answered that question: “the supermarket.”

    But as you seem to think a reply you disapprove of is not a serious reply, all I will add is… whatever Paul.

  • Mr Ed

    It is the Krikkit Wars problem from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as Ford Prefect said ‘They care, we don’t, they win‘.

    The enemies of the West are however, our own political classes. Some time in the late 1990s, I read an article in the Times, it was an interview with the lady who drafted the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998. She was reported as having said that she hoped that the Human Rights Act (and the principles therein) would come to be a substitute for God.

    This is the legislation that has enabled the UK Courts to rule against the deportation of convicted foreign rapists on release from prison, on the basis of the rapist’s right to a family life.

    And as for supermarkets, some of them seem all too keen to surrender to the mob.

  • Turkey is full of supermarkets. Tesco. Carrefour. Metro. Auchan. They are all there.

    Turkey has a rapidly developing mixed economy. It has the rapidly growing middle class that comes with that. Some of that is secularised. The secularised portion of it is growing, too. Some of it is secularised and does not know it yet. Children do not always believe the same things that their parents do. In places where there is little opportunity, they may end up more radicalised than the older generations. In places where there is plenty of opportunity, they are more likely to end up less radicalised. Istanbul right now is a peculiar mixture of both these things at the same time, but I am not convinced that the radical, more Islamic elements are winning, despite the present politics.

  • The enemies of the West are however, our own political classes

    I certainly agree with that.

  • but I am not convinced that the radical, more Islamic elements are winning, despite the present politics.

    Indeed and I think some of the counter currents are already visible.

  • But what happens when the supermarket is there (and it is affordable), Perry? People – at least some – do look “for more” than “mere” existence. And the key point here is that such people need not be a majority, not even a very large minority (as they never are). Such people tend to be the troublemakers (in the good or bad sense of the word), always and everywhere. And when they find their answers, it very much does matter whether those answers are conducive to the continued existence of affordable supermarkets, or are they rather destructive to prosperity, not to mention basic freedom. Free-market capitalism is not an ideology (in the sense of a belief system), it is “merely” the most efficient mechanism for supplying people with what they need for basic existence, however defined. Not everyone needs an ideology in their lives – in fact, most people don’t. But one simply can’t ignore those who do, because they will keep looking for one, and exactly what sort they find and embrace will always have a great impact on the rest of us.

    With regard to Turkey, I think that Michael has it, more or less (most likely more).

  • Free-market capitalism is not an ideology

    Free-market capitalism is just applied liberty.

  • We are told simply that New Turkey will be a place where “democracy” will be consolidated, and the era of military coups and interventions will be forever in the past.

    Hmmm. Occasional and temporary military coups are not always a bad thing, especially when democracy has failed to provide a satisfactory environment in which corruption is rife. I’m thinking here of Thailand where the military has dispersed the various cartels (Phuket taxis, for example), thrown corrupt mayors and policemen in jail, and set about demolishing the illegal businesses of local tycoons who had protection from the former government (for example, a Patong restaurant built on a section of public beach, which the proprietor didn’t own).

    When – not if – the Islamist bent in Turkey starts to restrict the personal liberties and freedoms of its citizens, I would not be too upset if the army intervenes and says “Actually, no. We are not going to let you create yet another Islamist shithole, democractic or not.”

  • Chip

    Much of the current Islamic world was significantly secular half a century ago. Student graduation pictures in Egypt from the 60s show coed classes with kids in western clothes. The streets of Kabul in the 50s had women with makeup. In my uncle’s home country of Syria, Maronite Christians mixed with Muslims and the burka was unheard of.

    Where are they today? The shift to radical Islam has been broad and deep. If Turkey remains secular it will be an exception. But considering Erdogan, his reelection and support from the expanding demography of Asian Turkey, it’s hard to see it happening.

    After all, Muslim immigrants in western countries are proving to be very reluctant to embrace secular values. Why would they anywhere else?

  • Indeed, Perry. Problem is, for too many people, liberty is the ‘how’, not the ‘what’ (if even that). You and I may disagree, but ignoring that would be at our own peril.

  • llamas

    It is in the nature of that part of the world that national and political power very-quickly aggregates into the hands of a very-small and unaccountable elite, which then maintains that power either by overt force or by ‘panem et circenses’. Generals, mullahs, or kings, it’s always one of the three, from Analtolia all the way to Pakistan. It’s not a religious vs non-religious issue, it’s a regional trait – the cult of the ‘strong horse’. It seems to be how the people want it, or at least, what they are willing to put up with.

    Nobody has yet shown any reason why Turkey should be any different. Ataturk was a minor blip in the normal course of events in Turkey, and even he only suppressed one form of elite ruling class in order to foster another, to wit, his own.



  • Sean McCartan

    I’m kinda with Tim on this. The last time I looked (which was , admittedly , a wee while ago) , the Turkish army saw themselves as the guardians of the Ataturk./secularist legacy , and seemed to regard that role pretty seriously. Worth watching how twitchy they get in months to come.

  • Also, as we’ve seen in Egypt…when the public elect the Muslim Brotherhood who then started banging the Islamist drum and talking about ripping up peace agreements with Israel, the army stepped in and kicked them out. Democratic? No. Do I give a shit? No.

    Although I suspect the army’s takeover was something to do with they being the ones who would have to fight any war with Israel, and perhaps remembering what happened last time…

  • Nick (natural genius) Gray

    The only difference between a Police State and an Army state is in the weapons, surely? Has Turkey ever been a real democracy when the Army is the final decider?

  • lucklucky

    Erdogan is a Putin with Islamism behind to be even more powerful.

    Turkish army is completely neutralized by Erdogan with generals dismissed. So no, Turkish army will not do much.

    Islamism will increase in Turkey. They have confidence, they don’t care about losses, they don’t care about enemy losses.