Home > Middle East, Politics > The Many Battles for Turkey’s Soul

The Many Battles for Turkey’s Soul

Andrew Finkel writes in Le Monde Diplomatique:

Turkey’s elections this summer have put both presidency and government into the hands of the post-Islamist AKP. The secularist old guard fears this unprecedented concentration of power and the idea that the AKP, which has handled economic difficulties gallantly, has become the natural party of government.

Bill Clinton certainly never said: “It’s the future of the republic, stupid.” He only mentioned the economy. Yet many pundits were convinced that it wasn’t the Turkish economy that concerned voters during this politically hot summer, but the nature of its regime. More than one publication called the 22 July general election “the battle for Turkey’s soul”, although what was at stake, who represented God and who the Devil, was often left vague. Did the contest pit Islamists against secularists, democrats against autocrats, pro-Europeans against old-style nationalists, globalisers against protectionists, a new against an old elite, civil society against the military/bureaucratic guardians of the state, all or none of the above?

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Categories: Middle East, Politics
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