Why Erdoğan has changed in the eyes of the West

Published 05.06.2015 00:18

Turkey's ever-lasting struggle for democracy and freedom will not end after the elections. Conversely, Turkey should stand stronger than ever against the groups that want to undermine its democracy no matter what happens in the polls

The other day, The Guardian published an article entitled "Turkey at a crossroads as Erdoğan bulldozes his way to lasting legacy." The content of the article, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pictured as a malicious dictator, constituted a view conveying little or imperfect biased knowledge that turns upside down the realities in the country, or a strong message that the West backs the opposition before the elections. What I find more important, however, was The Guardian's sociological and political analysis of Turkey. The article says that Erdoğan became a powerful figure among somehow less Westernized and more religious sections of society, but that he could not do so among the more modern sections of society that are younger and have concerns regarding the environment, gender tolerance, ethnicity, religious pluralism and activism, who considered this situation a fundamental reason to worry about.This analysis reflects the Western perspective with regard to the Ottomans and Turkey since the conquest of Constantinople. In the period of decline of the Ottoman Empire, it was conquered through Westernization and the state structure was formatted. A small Westernized section within society that The Guardian talks about was placed against the poorer and less Westernized, although wider part. These secular elites utterly seized the sovereignty of the country since the dethronement of Sultan Abdülhamid II by the Unionists. While the elite of the country was being formed through foreign private schools, the bureaucrats who were admirers of the West stripped the state of its essence and its values. Upon the establishment of the Republic, a picture that saw the values, social milieu and faith of its own people as a threat was drawn. Those who assimilated were included in this picture and rewarded with privileges. The chemistry of society was played on.

For the last 12 years, the poor, religious and less Westernized wide-spread masses that had been on the periphery have been in a process of nationalization that is suitable to their essence but that does not aim at secular society. The reason why the West supported Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the early period, was to complete the insufficient Westernization of the religious people in the country and to format society. Therefore, they would empty the content of Islam and turn this emptied content into a cultural shell, which they performed on Christianity in the third quarter of the 19th century. However, after Erdoğan refused to hand over the public will that he gained from the ballot box to international circles, or to Israel and the Gülen Movement, which is another moderate Islam project, he suddenly became a dictator.

Because of secular irascibility, different structures, even those at enmity with one another, have been put together. Coups were attempted one after another, but these attempts resulted in failure. As a last resort, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), its Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, and of course, the outlawed PKK violence were dragged into the game. Today, the circles that used to say that the best Kurd is a dead Kurd pull votes for the HDP. Well, what did Erdoğan do? He took a risk regarding the Kurdish issue, which had caused the deaths of 44,000 people over 35 years. He enriched the country. He apologized to Alevis for the Dersim Massacre that the Republican People's Party (CHP) executed. He issued a message of condolence to Armenians for the Great Catastrophe of 1915, providing Armenians with opportunities to commemorate their losses and he also sent the EU Affairs Ministry a message of condolence to the Mass held at the Armenian Patriarchate on April 24. He returned 354 foundation properties that the CHP had appropriated. Alevis started to establish their own houses of prayer. The poor in the country started to receive health service and became rich for the first time. Equal citizenship standards were introduced and torture and state of exception were abolished.

The issue is not the service Erdoğan provided for his people. It is the stubbornness of Turkey to be governed by its own people. That is why character assassinations of Erdoğan have been initiated and a hunting party has begun. The people see this. The ballot box will cause this great operation to collapse on June 7 and the nation will win one more victory. Will the challenge be over? No. With a new constitution and new presidential system, the world will enter into a process of suppressing Turkey because history will not flow inversely.

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