20.06.2016 Author: Martin Berger

When Will Erdogan Step Down?

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Just a short while ago Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was bragging that he would step down if his connections to ISIS (Islamic State) were proven. Since that moment, numerous media sources across the globe published an extensive amount of evidence showing Erdogan’s kee-deep connections in supporting the notorious terrorist organization tearing Syria apart. However, Erdogan didn’t leave. Moreover, Turkey’s president has been desperately clinging to power through a number of various parliamentary reforms aimed at securing his full and unconditional authority over the country, turning Turkey from a parliamentary republic to a presidential one overnight. He has single–handedly laid siege upon all  democratic principles that have underpinned Turkey as a modern nation-state, transforming all of his former allies from Berlin to Tehran and Riyadh into enemies.

According to an article by the influential Boulevard Voltaire, the leader of the AKP party who came to power in 2002, used to occupy strong positions before he decided to pursue the erosion of democratic principles that had once governed Turkey. A blind desire to stay in power no matter what has led him to the destruction of everything he has been fighting for throughout his career. The brutal suppression of the Taksim Square demonstrations, the continuous jailing of journalists and civil activists, the violent oppression of the Kurdish population, in spite of the fact that it was Erdogan’s AKP that once negotiated a peace deal with the Kurdish PKK.

On May 19, Turkey celebrated the memory of the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who became the nation’s first president. On this day Kemal arrived to the city of Samsun on the north coast of Turkey to start a national struggle for the liberation of his homeland from foreign occupation, which led to the formation of modern Turkey. This event used to be a massive national holiday that people celebrated in grand style, but not anymore. Kemal Ataturk founded a secular Turkey, the Turkey that is not to be found anywhere today.

Europe which has supported the development of democratic values in Turkey has made a bitter mistake, since the supporters of these democratic principles are not just outnumbered in the Turkish society today, they are violently suppressed. Finally, the last paradox: Erdogan who has been quoting Ataturk time and time again to justify his various political decisions is now urging everyone to abolish those, starting “a new liberation struggle” against the wisdom of the past. Now Erdogan is just a step away from demolishing Ataturk’s Turkey, plunging the country in  political and religious chaos.

As it has been noted by France’s Le Figaro, Tayyip Erdogan is blinded by pride, while behaving as the modern day Sultan of the Sunni world. He has become too concerned with his reputation, which is understandable, since there’s more evidence to testify to the fact that he has been collaborating with ISIS, while consistently violating the principles of freedom of speech in Turkey. Yet, against such a background, he somehow tries to keep his place in power. Erdogan has decided to surround himself with family members and close friends who will support his notions without questioning them or arguing, even if he’s clearly wrong. That is how the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim became the new chairman of the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party.

As it has been noted by the Arab newspaper Al Arab, the Turkish president won’t find refuge in his White Palace which he controversially built for himself, in vain hopes that he would be ruling Turkey till the end of his life. Yet, he craves absolute power, like those Arab leaders who have recently been brought down across the Middle East for having somewhat similar desires. He has built his palace without any fear that his actions may provoke harsh criticism in the media or discussions over his questionable behavior in power.

However, the tide of harsh criticism of his actions has eventually emerged, and it’s striking him from where he expects it the least. Turkish journalists have recently discovered a curious fact within his biography – Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t have a diploma of higher education.

It is noted that none of the people who have ever worked with Erdogan can testify that they’ve seen any documents that would show that he has finished higher education. This, in particular, has been noted by the notorious Al MonitorThe Turkish SunHurriyet Daily News  along with a number of other highly respected and internationally recognized media sources. Soon this case may reach the court, since, according to the Turkish Constitution, the president is not entitled to his position if they have not spent at least four years in an institutions of higher education and has not received a diploma.

Only one question remains: whether Erdogan will leave his position willingly, or if the international community will be forced to take steps to for him to step down, since the world must recognize any constitution as the fundamental law of any given state, and cannot be ignored by either the people of that state or the international community in contact with that state.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”  


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